Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Start of a new portrait

A Work in Progress
Copyright Laura Hardie 2009

My next portrait is of two dogs – a Springer Spaniel and a crossbreed, although we’re not sure what cross exactly. Her owners affectionately refer to her as a ‘Heinz 57’ and have to admit that was a new one to me.

I’ve made a start on Keira (the Heinz 57) simply because she is on the left of the composition and I like to work left to right. This way I can avoid ‘smudging’ my work. At this stage I’m simply laying down my base colours and building up my layers to create depth, working light to dark. The ear is pretty much finished and I’m now jumping between the eyes, nose and head working a little bit here and a little bit there until it all comes together. Still a way to go before that happens though.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Springer Spaniel finished and Poll results

12x10 Coloured Pencil on paper
Copyright Laura Hardie 2009

While adding the final touches to Thistle I suddenly remembered about the poll I ran back in March and how I’d totally forgotten to post the results of this on my blog - oops. I do have a terrible memory which only seems to get worse it seems.

Just to refresh your memory (and to update any new readers who haven’t a clue what I’m on about) I was becoming increasingly unhappy with the results I was getting when scanning my drawings, especially those completed using graphite pencil, and wanted to do something about it. I was trying to find the best way to get images of my artwork and was interested to find out what other artists thought and what their preferred method was. See my original post here.

While I’m not sure word for word what my original question was, having noted only the results when the poll closed (a lesson learnt here to write the question down as well), I do know I was asking how you obtained a good image of your art work. Here are the results and I‘d like to say a huge thank you to all those who participated. From the 23 votes recorded…..

  • 11 (47%) use a scanner.
  • 9 (39%) photograph their drawings/paintings indoors using natural lighting.
  • 4 (17%) photograph their drawings/paintings outside.
  • 2 (8%) photograph their drawings/paintings indoors using special lighting.
  • 2 (8%) have their artwork professionally scanned.
  • 1 (4%) has their work professionally photographed.

Overall, photographing artwork whether indoors or outdoors, with or without special lighting turned out to be the most popular method, which did surprise me a little – I assumed that most artists scanned their work. Saying this scanning did come a close second.

I do believe however that whatever method is used that the majority of work happens post scan or photograph in Photoshop. Being able to correct and ‘fine tune' images using this software is great and only wish I knew more about it – or at least lived with someone who does.

I’ve experimented a bit with photographing my drawings and each time return to my scanner as I personally feel I get a better result this way. And now, thanks to a fellow artist, that I know how to get a white background using Photoshop without affecting my drawings I’m going to stick to this method for now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Springer Spaniel update

A Work in Progress
Copyright Laura Hardie 2009

The school holidays are now over so hopefully I can spend more time on my drawings. Spent a good part of yesterday just working on Thistle’s ear and only managed to complete half of it which really puts into perspective how slow working with coloured pencils can actually be.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Start of a new portrait

Things have slowed down recently behind the drawing board as I’m just not putting in the hours that I should be just now with the result that everything is taking that bit longer to complete. The school holidays haven’t helped as I never seem to get much done during them anyway, but mainly it’s just a simple case of life getting in the way……… again. Hopefully next week things will be back to normal and I’ll be managing my time better.

I’ve made a start on my next portrait, which happens to be a beautiful Springer Spaniel called Thistle. Here are the first couple of stages.

I was made aware of a new website this week called Colored Pencil Central which you might find interesting, especially if you love coloured pencils like I do. Set up by Ann Kullberg, it is basically a directory of coloured pencil websites, blogs, videos, workshops, etc and is well worth a visit. No doubt I’ll spend many an hour admiring the work of other artists and more blogs will be added to my favourites.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chocolate Lab finished

16X12 Coloured Pencil
Copyright Laura Hardie 2009

I actually managed to finish Milly on time but have been sitting on it (not literally of course) for the last couple of days to see if there were any areas jumped out at me in need of attention before calling it done. I am happy to say however that she has now passed my ‘scrutinization’ period and is ready for approval.

Friday, April 10, 2009

On the home stretch

Work in Progress
Copyright Laura Hardie 2009

Slowly (is there any other way with coloured pencils?) but surely Milly is coming together. This has been one of those portraits where I was forever going back to bits I’d previously called finished or starting one area and deciding I wanted to do another, then another all before any were finished. Probably wouldn’t look good if doing a demo but the end results are the same and that’s what matters at the end of the day.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Chocolate Lab

It’s been some time coming but at last we are getting some nice weather with, importantly, lots of sun. Only problem is I want to make the most of it, which means time away from the drawing board. It’s a good opportunity however to look for and take some much needed reference material for future drawings so don’t feel too guilty.

Here are the first stages of my next portrait as mentioned very briefly in my last post. Ideally I should be further along than where I am now but staying hopeful that it will be finished by Sunday, otherwise I'll be playing catch-up. When completed this will be 16x12 inches in size so quite big for coloured pencil.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A couple of updates

A Work in Progress
Copyright Laura Hardie 2009

Not a big update but an update all the less, which shows a bit more work has been done to her body. Quite a bit more needs to be done in this area but it will have to wait as I work on my next commission of a chocolate lab – you can see my reference for this in the sidebar. I’ve made a start but it’s still in the early stages and there’s really not enough on paper just yet to warrant a progress shot.

Work still continues with my prints after encountering yet more unforeseen problems over the weekend – not that I should really be surprised. While I had hoped at this point to excitedly tell all that my prints were now ready I instead have to console myself that it’s not to be, at least for the time being. I am progressing; I am getting there and I am learning – it’s just taking (a lot) longer than I’d planned.