Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the drawing board

Zara
21cm x27cm, Coloured Pencil
Copyright Laura Hardie 2009

I work from photos (as if you hadn’t guessed:)) – I have to as I've yet to come across a dog, or any animal for that matter, who will happily pose for up to 30 hours or more while I complete their portrait. But I have to admit to being very particular when it comes to choosing those that I will work from, as I’m sure those who have worked with me in the past will testify. I’m not saying I haven’t worked with bad photos because I have, many in fact when I first started out, but ultimately this shows in the finished portrait hence my ‘fussiness’ and insistence on good photos to start with.

This week I had planned to start a portrait of four Collies but on printing out the agreed reference photos I really wasn’t completely happy with two of them so decided to ask for more. I do find it hard if I continually have to ask for more photos when they’re unsuitable – I almost feel as if I’m being a pain – but it’s so important to get this stage right and hopefully the finished portrait makes all the extra effort worthwhile.

So with the Collie portrait on hold until next week I had the chance to work on my own portfolio, which I’m slowly trying to build up between commissioned pieces, but was disappointed to get next to nothing done – too much procrastinating and not enough action. I had the perfect opportunity too as my daughter was off to London on a school trip for the week giving me plenty of me time. Sadly the only thing I managed to do was to finish the above drawing of Zara. I started this back in February and you can see a couple of work in progress shots here and here.

At this stage I’m undecided what to call this piece but I do have a few ideas running round my head that I’ll no doubt spend some time pondering over.

12 comments:

Mona said...

Laura, hope you feel happy about finishing this one anyway. It's truly a masterpiece!

Kari Tirrell said...

This is fabulous! Gorgeous work.

Sally McLean said...

Stunning!!

Pauline said...

Beautiful portrait, I love the varied colours in the fur and it is a typical boxer stance.

arcobaleno said...

Che bello!!!!

Teresa said...

Wow... this is truly an awesome portrait. You have certainly mastered colored pencil. Any plans to write a book anytime soon? :-) If so, let me know... I'll be one of your first customers!

Laura said...

Thank you so much for all the encouraging comments - they really are much appreciated:)

Teresa, I wouldn't know where to start with a book but feel honored you find my work good enough for one, thank you:-)

Grahame Butler said...

As a Boxer owner I love this, I would love to know which colours you used for the hair? and never mind the book get those art classes sorted you would be great!

Laura said...

Hi Grahame, So sorry for the late reply but time has not been on my side so far this week:) The colours I used were
Brown Ochre, Golden Brown, Raw Umber (Derwent Artist), Brown Ochre, Bistre, Walnut Brown, Venetian Red (FC Polys), Brown Ochre 10%,50%, Brown Ochre, Burnt Sienna 10%, Burnt Ochre (Luminance), Hazel, Brown Ochre, Vandyke Brown, Umber (Caran D'Ache). Lots of Brown Ochres but all slightly different:-D

I'd need to work on my confidence some more before I could even consider classes but thank you for your encouragement:)

Jesús Belly 3114 said...

Pintas muy bonito, Felicidades!!!!!

Teresa Mallen said...

Wow, so gorgeous!! And wow again girl, you have lots of different pencil brands!! Your working space must look like an art supply store. :-) Humm...maybe I could use some new pencils..thanks for the inspiration.

Laura, you definitely have all the talent, ability and knowledge it takes to teach and write books. Of course, you do need to have the time. Isn't that always the catch? I have more creative ideas then I will ever have the time to fulfull. Ah but we press on...getting to achieve some is way better than none. :-)

Laura said...

Thank you Teresa:) Oh yes, my pencils - I have to admit to being the Imelda Marcos of the coloured pencil world with my collection getting bigger all the time:-D I like to try out the different brands and have my favourites from each and always think the bigger the choice the better (that's my excuse anyway:-D)

And thank you too for thinking my work good enough for a book - as an artist that has to be one of the best compliments going and to receive it from other artists like yourself is even better (she says with a huge grin on her face):-D