Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Meg the Retriever.

Well the retriever went to her new home today so here she is. This was a lovely lass to draw, so pretty. Hope to get some drawing of the Rejoneador triptych done this weekend. Finally got my own car back today too, it's had the bash taken out of it which happened in November!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Untidy Moss.

Something completely different today. Here's a photo of Moss having emptied out his toy box. I bought him a nice box from Ikea to put his toys in and it seems to be an almost daily game to hoick them all out again and then lie down and look extremelly satisfied! Been out to work all day, then had to get the shopping and I doubt that I will get any time for drawing today as I still have to put all of the kitchen contents back into the new kitchen! Enjoy Moss relaxing in his mess.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Weekend workshop

Well, it really was a very interesting and fun weekend. I nearly split my sides laughing at how rubbish my paintings were, Malcolm and Glynis nearly died laughing at them too! Poor lass who was modelling for us - I have no idea what she must have thought of us and our paintings. I will definatelly have to practise pretty young girls more often! This grey painting in oil was to see if I could do any better than in colour (the answer clearly is no) but it was a good exercise to see the tonal values of the models face. I had the journey from hell on the way home, sat on the A1 for half an hour waiting to get to the A57, then some stupid Eddie Stobart lorry decided he would ignore all the signs telling him that there was a low bridge coming and of course he got stuck under it! Then I eventually got to the M1 to find that the junction I wanted to get on at was closed as there were power cables down on the road, spent about an hour trying to get to the next junction, then to cap it off when I was on the M5 there were signs telling me that it was closed further down...... I got home at about 11.45pm in the end and was absolutelly worn out! But what a great time away, my sides still hurt today from all the laughing. PS. Been trying to upload another image but it is being very unco-operative tonight so will try to post it tomorrow with maybe some of the sketches if I am home in time to photograph them in decent light.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Oh it's soooo late!

Right it's 11.25pm and I am only just in after a rotten journey home from Malcolms workshop weekend. I have no pics to post tonight but do come back tomorrow when I will put a couple up and tell all........ !!!!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Another day painting.

Well we went to Malcolm's again today to paint in his studio. Normally we have vases, flowers or still lifes with veg but today he had brought in a pretty young girl to sit for us. Well we have never all laughed so much at our paintings that we almost had sore sides. We definatelly did not do her justice at all poor lass. Anyway, we did some quick sketches in our sketch books then moved onto an hour pose (this is the one I have put the photo up of today), then we went on in the afternoon and did another pose. It was SO difficult to get the freshness and shape of her face. Oh well, we'll be at it again tomorrow so hopefully it can only get better!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Life drawing.

Today myself and Glynis went to Life drawing again at Sleningford. We had a really good model again. We did lots of short poses in all different manners. We did zig zag method where you just follow the lines and angles of the body (no curves allowed). We did continuous movement ones and a few at 20 and 30 seconds. After coffee we settled down for an hour (with a quick coffee break in the middle of that) and I chose to do just the head. I should have made the dark areas of him darker really but I got carried away with a small brush! Anyway, here's the result, it's a 6 inch x 8 inch pochade painting again - oil on mdf. Poor chap, he looks nothing like this really, he's much nicer in real life!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

An eventful trip to Yorkshire.

No photos today, I am back in Yorkshire and not on my own computer. I came up via the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to see the Singer-Sargent, Sickert and Spencer exhibition. I loved the painting "The Spanish Fountain" by Sargent and in the rest of the museum there was a Landseer that was lovely and a Bastien Lepage painting of a girl under a parasol. It was really interesting but I couldn't spend much time there as I had to get up to R&R country to collect a couple of horse prints I had bought on ebay, then dash up to the outskirts of York to collect a huge pile of mdf boards that had been cut to size for me for my pochade box. I eventually arrived at Glynis's and I walked the dogs to the ponies and helped fill haynets! I need to get to bed soon as we are off life painting tomorrow.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Another sculpture.

On the subject of sculptures.... this poor horse is dying in my studio. I sculpted him at a workshop a couple of years ago, meant to do more with him but now he is all dried up and cracked with bits missing. He was quite a big and very heavy sculpture, probably about 18 or 20inches tall and longer still. He got slightly damaged in the car on the way home from the workshop hence the squint ear and the line across his nose! Never mind, I can always break of all the old clay and use the armature again :D
Tomorrow a busy day, going to see the Sargent exhibition at the Fitzwilliam on the way up to Yorkshire for a bit of painting. Will try to post tomorrow but there might not be a picture!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A manic day!

Goodness, it's been manic one way or another today. I have been out cleaning and came home to the kitchen being worked on and one or two other problems that I have had to sort out so today we will go back in time again......
This is a sculpture that was commissioned by Julip Model Horses a while back. It wasn't to be in too much detail and had to be a particular size to fit the tack and stables that goes with the range. This one is still available in black I believe and is called Diablo.
I think if you copy and paste this address above into your address bar it will come up with the correct page. He's the second row down and in the middle. I also sculpted the Irish Draught Horse which can be seen on the Originals gallery page at
They are in alphabetical order so if you hover the arrow over the pictures you will come to Irish Draught. The Diablo one is also on this page a bit lower down called Lippizaner. It was great fun doing these and lovely to see them on the Julip site.

Monday, 22 March 2010

In memory of Polly.

Well today I learnt that a lovely grey mare that I drew before Christmas sadly passed away at the weekend. When I spoke to the co-owner of Polly, she said how glad she was that the drawing had been done before she passed on. They now of course have something unique to remember her by. She was a really sweet gentle mare. Here is the picture that I did of her. So it's a good bye from me to Polly, I hope she rests in peace.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Back to the Rejoneador.

I have had another play with part 1 of Rejoneador triptych. Bit happier with it now although I might just have another little fiddle with it. Have started the middle part of the triptych now.
Really excited today as myself and a friend are going to meet John Rattenbury Skeapings son in April and I have just finalised the arrangements. I love his works both the sculptures and the drawings/paintings that he did. I was lucky enough to be left a Skeaping (I admit it's only a print and not an original) and I absolutelly love it. It is also of a rejoneador and was in pastel originally. I have also attached a photo of it. His work is so very different to mine in the looseness of it. (Incidentally, there is glass shine in this photo of Skeapings picture so you have to ignore that!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Decisions decisions...

I have been looking through some of my "looking back" photos today to decide which one I am going to use for the SEA exhibition. I always do at least one and I have looked at a 2 Spanish ones, 1 Arab, 1 Highland, 1 Welsh and 1 coloured. I suppose it's probably inevitably going to be one of the Spanish ones :D as usual but I am rather drawn (pardon the pun) to the coloured horse. Anyway, in the meantime, here's an old looking back that I did a while ago, this is a New Forest Donkey looking back!
Been emptying out the kitchen into the living room today in preparation for the work in the kitchen so another day without drawing!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Black and white watercolours.

Here's a little project that a chap called Ron Jesty set me at one of his watercolour classes. We were told to bring in white objects, white watercolour paper and black watercolour paint. That other than water, was all we were allowed to use and here are the 2 paintings that I did with my black paint and white paper.
No drawing getting done again today, the cupboards are now finished (other than painting them but I just can't bare that again today) so I am putting all the clothes and bedding etc away. No doubt I will have to move it all around until I get used to having so much storage space all of a sudden after having none! I also have to go to Asda (worst task of the week for me) as I have run out of everything - even milk. What a bore.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Merlin the pony commission.

Well I managed to get together with Merlin's owner today who collected him so here he is. The image is a bit dodgy as I photographed him behind celophane wrap hence the differences in the background shades. I sold another of my drawings today which was a bonus and will help to pay for the shelves etc that I am having done. Been to my physio today who puts me as right as she can and has helped me to survive another week.... Still trying to get stuff into the new cupboards but now it's lunch time.... and I am HUNGRY!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Long day.

Well I thought I would never get here! I've been out cleaning all day and came home to start putting all the stuff back under the stairs now that there are shelves there. Came accross some old sentimental stuff like my past horses and dogs registration certificates and some old photos that I thought had been long lost. Have only just finished filling up the shelves but really must be more ruthless and put some of it in the bin!! I had 2 tall slots made under the stairs to accomodate some pictures and boards for painting etc and the next thing I have to do other than go to sleep is to make a curtain to cover the understairs! It won't be happening in the near future however, too much to do in the way of drawing to be done. No pics today, sorry!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

New exhibition picture.

Well here's the start of my works for one of the exhibitions (probably the SEA with this one). This horse was an absolute cracker, he was a showman within his own right. I took lots and lots of photos of him because the light in Spain on this horse was just incredible and really worth taking lots of pics of. There could well be more drawings coming of this chap in the future. I have been working on and off on him over the last week or so between my other jobs.... if only I had more time...

Monday, 15 March 2010

Drawing of Moss.

Well here's a drawing I did last week of Moss. I couldn't post it sooner as it was a present for my daughter's 18th birthday (makes me feel old!) and that was today so it's safe to post it now!
Neck and shoulders still killing me today and I have been sorting out how to do CD calenders... I hate computers! Got there in the end though so at least that's something sorted. Whew!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Painting with a difference!

Well there's no pictures today. I have been painting but not the sort of painting that I want to do! I am having a couple of new cupboards put up in the bedroom so decided in my wisdom to paint the walls at the back (they are open backed cupboards) so that they are nice and fresh to look at. I absolutelly hate house decorating and have only done the bit that the cupboards are going to be on but I will then have to decorate the rest of the room too........ Oh to employ a decorator!

An update to today at 6.15pm.... Oh dear, how I wish I hadn't done the decorating. My shoulders, neck and arms are really paying for it now. Stupid thing to do. Been trying to do the Spanish horse head and not getting very far very fast as I keep having to lie flat on the floor for relief every half hour!! What a nuisance. GRRRRR .

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Rejoneador triptych part 1 completed

Well here is the first part of the drawing, this is going to be on the left hand side of the triptych. I am having a break from this one though and not doing the middle drawing yet so have started a grey Spanish horse head instead. Will go back to the triptych once the grey head is finished! I might also go back to this drawing and make a few changes to it, not sure yet which is why I want to leave it alone for a bit!

Friday, 12 March 2010


Well here is an update of Rejoneador triptych. I am thinking it isn't going to work how I want it to but I suppose I will have to wait and see what it's like once it's finished..... The light is shining a bit on the graphite at the top so it is in fact a bit darker around his head and the decorations in the horses mane than is showing on the picture.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A journey back in time. (Part 4)

Well although I have been busy drawing the rejoneador again today and plan to continue this evening, I haven't had a chance to photograph the progress so far. So here is another journey back in time:
I have a good laugh when I look back at these :D The one with the horses head looking to the left was a preparatory work for the one on the right! I decided to change the direction of the horses head to make it easier to see the seahorse. This one I used as my "O" level piece (this was the prep for it and not the final one as we didn't get our art work back from exams in those days!). I can't remember now but I don't suppose the end result would have been much different to the prep one. This was for designing a book cover and of course it just had to be horses yet again! This was only a part of our exam and it did earn me an A. (I am not sure how to be honest but there you go! - clearly the judges didn't know about horses conformation etc!)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rejoneador triptych part 1.

Well here's the very beginning of the Spanish triptych. This is a guy called Diego Ventura on a horse called Ordoñez. He is a beautiful horse to watch and I will try to keep you posted on the progress of all 3 drawings for this triptych.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A journey back in time. (Part 3)

Well, it's been cleaning today so no drawing or painting so far. I might do a bit tonight if I get the chance and can keep my eyes open! Todays picture: we are going back to I think 1983 school days. I was supposed to be doing just a few studies of sycamore seeds but hey, why draw sycamore seeds when you can be drawing animals! Actually, my art teachers were all really great, sadly one passed away a few years ago and he was the one who used to let me skyve off biology to go and sit in his art class with whatever year happened to be in there. He used to have a big screen thing in his class and whenever I turned up unannounced I was put behind the screen so that if any of the other teachers came in they wouldn't see me. Bless him! I never did do the biology "O" level! :D But I did get an A plus in art!!!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Lyme Regis Art Group.

This morning I was up bright and early (well - perhaps not so bright but definatelly early!). I drove on down to Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast. I realised with the sun on the windscreen just how dirty the windows were and how difficult it was to see.. I decided that somehow I would have to wash them once I got there. Luckily for me... there is a police station next to the hall in which I was due to be teaching AND to top it off, there was a policeman in full uniform washing his police car with a hose. So, I thought, there's no harm in asking ... He was lovely, yes he said, please do borrow the hose, so I did at least get the windows clean! Then into the art group, a nice number of 8, really nice people and I enjoyed the morning. After re-parking the car down by the sea I ate my quick lunch and then myself and Moss walked along the seafront with the pochade box and my stool. We stopped to paint the eastern end of Lyme and were frozen to death after about 10 minutes with the really cold east wind. I went as far as I could with that one before being too cold and then moved on to the other end of the beach. I found a spot that was SLIGHTLY more sheltered and sat down to paint the western end of Lyme. Stopped on the way back to treat myself to a luxury hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream (yes, I know it doesn't help the diet but I was cold!). I found a lovely spot on the main road on the way home when the sun was going down and thought what the blazes, so what if it's a main road and stopped the car, got the pochade out and did it as quickly as I possibly could, about 8 minutes roughly! I had no Ultramarine or Umber left on the palette so it was difficult to get the darks and with a queue of traffic waiting to pass me I thought it best to move on! Now worn out!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Tiffanies commission.

I have been busy preparing for a workshop that I am teaching in the morning at Lyme Regis Art Group. We are going to be concentrating on tones and textures in pencil. I hope to go down to the sea shore in the afternoon to do some plein air painting with the pochade box. In the meantime, here's the commission that I did of the Tiffanies a couple of years ago. It was a long thin picture and joined together in the middle with the cats heads in the middle. It was too long to photograph with the camera I had at the time and too big in general so I had to photograph the 2 cats seperately, you will just have to imagine it joined together!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Quarter Horse

The lady who commissioned me to draw her quarter horse has just been and collected her drawing so I can now post it on here for all to see. This was an A3 sized portrait of the horse but in a the more unusual format of landscape to get his neck into the picture!
I am going to be starting a triptych of a Spanish horse and rider next for the London exhibition of The Society of Equestrian Artists. Will keep you posted on how it's going, hopefully with some progress pictures if I remember to photograph them!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Yesterdays pictures.

So here we have yesterdays pictures. The finished Tiffanie, the lamp on table oil sketch and one of the pages from my sketchbook at the Jazz concert. It was dark in there and rather difficult to see exactly what I was drawing but although they aren't perfect by a long shot, the exercise did make me look more closely at what was going on.. Off to Heathrow to collect some friends now so probably not going to get much done in the way of drawing today!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Lots of different things

No picture today although I have been really busy with art today. I have finished the tiffanie, done an oil sketch of an interior scene and done some sketching at a Jazz concert in a village hall - it was dark and I was at the back, the stage was lit up and looked lovely. Will post some pictures tomorrow, couldn't photograph them today as it is impossible to do them inside and it's dark out now!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Getting there!

So here's the work from yesterday afternoon, evening and some of the night. I am hoping to finish it tonight or in the morning sometime.
I have been really really naughty and treated myself to a couple of paintings by Sally Martin from her 100 paintings in 100 days, I just fell in love with a couple of the Spanish ones and had to have them. They arrived today and are even more lovely than they were on the web, her 100 day thing is well worth having a look at.. it's really interesting to see her work each day. Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Next stage of Tiffanie.

Here's what I did after getting home from work yesterday and after I had had my tea. I turned the TV on to find that A Fistful of Dollars was on and I love the Ennio Morricone music in the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns so listened (with the added effects of all the gunshots and the galloping horses hooves in the film too!) to that whilst I did the drawing.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Tiffanie in progress 1

So here is a picture of her in progress. She's not my cat, she is one of 2 Tiffanies that I drew together as a commission a couple of years ago. They are real beauties though and their tails are just amazing. I took the photos whilst they were still quite young so their coats hadn't fully grown then. I have seen them more recently and they are really really fluffy now - much more hair around the neck like a lions mane! So beautiful and lovely shaded coats.
I work in what some artists would say is a wrong way in that with my pencil drawings I always start from the top and work down, this is primarily to avoid smudging. I draw out a guideline to work to and then basically fill in. With the oil sketches/ paintings I do, I tend to work the whole picture at once - adding and taking bits away all over the place, for me it is 2 totally different methods.
It doesn't bother me what people say about the method being wrong, I always say that if it works for you then why change it? After all, most of the time it is about the end result in my opinion.