Posted on

Bee in the City preview shots!

Less than two weeks to go now! I’ve been drip feeding a couple of photos of my bee over on my social media accounts but thought I’d better post them here too. If you didn’t read my last blog post, I’m participating in Bee in the City, a public art trail where over 100 giant painted bees will be scattered around Greater Manchester. The art trail runs from 23rd July to 23rd September.
Bee in the City preview shots!


My sculpture will be on display outside North Manchester General Hospital in Crumpsall for the duration of the trail, after which it will be moving to its permanent home in Manchester Royal Eye Hospital on Oxford Road.

My bee is sponsored by the NHS for Henshaws, a charity dedicated to helping blind and partially sighted people. To create an accessible piece of artwork, I incorporated many different sensory elements including different textures and 3D features, shimmering pigments, and an audio box on the base describing the sculpture. I poured my heart and soul into this project and enjoyed every second.

I can’t reveal the full sculpture until the trail begins (not long to go now!) but here’s a little preview of the elements included in my sculpture as well as a couple of photos from when I was working on all the textures. I can’t wait to unveil the full thing!

(WIP) Some of the textured elements of the bee. In order to create a furry feel and still have the sculpture be durable and water proof, I used acrylic texture mediums to create grooves on the body.
The eyes on my bee sculpture have a honeycomb texture reminiscent of a real insect’s eye to really give it that larger than life feel!
I used colour shifting chameleon spray paint to give the sections on the abdomen an iridescent shine. You can’t see it super well in the photo but this colour shifts from green to a caribbean blue. These pigments were trickier to source than I thought!

I was also on ITV Granada news the other week to show off my sculpture along with Rob Cooper, the director of Henshaws, which was super exciting and nerve-wracking! Check out my instagram if you’d like to watch a recording of that segment and a special preview of my bee which was about halfway through completion at the time that footage was filmed 😉

That’s it on my bee for now! Keep your eyes peeled in a few weeks for the full unveiling! Also if you’re in Manchester in the near future then be sure to check out the Bee in the City art trail, there are so many incredible sculptures on the trail and it’s definitely worth spending a day out exploring the city and looking at them all!

Until next time!

 

 

Posted on

I’m painting a bee for Bee in the City, Manchester!

I’ve been buzzing with excitement over the last few weeks and now I can finally reveal why! I’m participating in Bee in the City, a public art trail where over 100 giant painted bees will be scattered around Greater Manchester. The art trail runs from 23rd July to 23rd September.
 
My sponsor, Henshaws, is an amazing charity that gives training, support and advice to visually impaired people. They do a lot of great work and I couldn’t have asked for a better sponsor- I am genuinely humbled that they chose my design.
 
My bee design is going to be tailored to be interactive so that it’s accessible for all people to enjoy it. I’ve been exploring lots of textures and other elements to include in my bee. I can’t reveal too much yet, but I hope you enjoy the cheeky sneak previews that I’ll be posting occasionally (Oh yes, and bee puns. Lots of bee puns.)!
 
Today was my first working day in “The Hive” – the warehouse where I and many fellow artists are painting their bees for the trail. I gave my bee a good bath as well as a fresh coat of gesso to get her ready for painting. At around 5 feet high she’s pretty big – but I’m just about tall enough to see over her head! 

bee in the city wild portrait artist wildportraitartist beeyond expectations henshaws realistic interactive accessible bee

I had just about enough time to sketch out some of the facial markings after letting her dry for a bit, but it was getting late by that point! My hands were itching for the paint brush! I am so, so excited to get started!

bee in the city wild portrait artist wildportraitartist beeyond expectations henshaws realistic interactive accessible bee

I will of course be filming my progress in making the bee so look forward to that video once the art trail starts! Until next time!

Posted on

Upcoming Exhibition!

Hi guys! Quick update this time around and it’s something I’m very excited about! I’ll be having my very first solo exhibition very soon! If you are local to East Cheshire, then please do come along to Tegg’s Nose Tea Rooms where I’ll be displaying my artwork and photography between the 21st April and 16th May. A lot of my newer pieces will be there, along with a couple of my photographs taken of wildlife from the surrounding local area 😀 Hope to see you there!

teggs nose advertisement poster2.jpg

Posted on

Patreon!

for twitter

Hi guys! Did you know that I have a Patreon? I’m offering extended 1-2 hour voiced tutorials, monthly prints or posters, as well as 10 high resolution, royalty-free reference photos a month, taken by me for you to use in your artwork! Check it out here: https://www.patreon.com/WildPortraitArtist

Becoming my supporter on Patreon would also help me improve the production quality and frequency of my Youtube videos! I would really appreciate the support in making steps towards becoming a self-sustaining artist. I’ve been a busy bee setting things up and getting my first Patreon rewards sent out for this month.

At the $4 pledge, this month’s extended tutorial is going to be of my “Hyacinth Macaw” drawing in coloured pencil, using the colored pencil powder blender. I am currently in the process of adding commentary to it and it should hopefully be available by next week.

This month’s 12$ pledge reference photos were uploaded yesterday and are ready to download right now! These photos will be available for download until 1st February, when they will be removed and replaced with next month’s photos so be sure to download them before next month!

Happy New Year and I’m so excited to show you what I have in store for the future!

https://www.patreon.com/WildPortraitArtist

Posted on

Hyacinth Macaw in Coloured Pencil

"Hyacinth Macaw" - A4 drawing in coloured pencils with powder blender on UArt 800 sanded paper. Reference photo by Jan Willemsen from wildlifereferencephotos.com Art by Wild Portrait Artist. Available for sale.

Last weekend I finished my hyacinth macaw drawing in coloured pencil!

"Hyacinth Macaw" - A4 drawing in coloured pencils with powder blender on UArt 800 sanded paper. Reference photo by Jan Willemsen from wildlifereferencephotos.com
“Hyacinth Macaw” – A4 drawing in coloured pencils with powder blender on UArt 800 sanded paper. Reference photo by Jan Willemsen from wildlifereferencephotos.com

 

I’m relieved this one is over! I had a bit of a battle with the paper all the way through this one. I used Uart 800 grade paper. Even with textured fixative and very light layers with the powder blender, it just won’t take any more layers of pencil. Not ideal! I hadn’t really experienced these issues in my previous drawings with the same paper (jumping spider and praying mantis). In this piece I kept getting ugly vertical ridges showing through that just wouldn’t blend out and the pencils just weren’t sticking to the paper no matter how many sprays of textured fixative I gave it. The paper is so fine and delicate that it just couldn’t stand up to the abuse I was putting it through!

It’s a little frustrating that I couldn’t make it as detailed as I wanted to, but I’m glad I finished it nonetheless! I got to play with my blue coloured pencils, something I don’t get to do often 🙂

I don’t think I will be using Uart 800 for coloured pencil again after this experience. The 600 grade paper definitely seemed to fare better in my cheetah drawing. I have also purchased some Fisher 400 sanded paper, which I hope to be trying out in the near future.

As with most of my pieces nowadays I have recorded my full process for this artwork and I’m currently in the process of editing. Expect the tutorial to go up on my YouTube channel this weekend!

I am also so thrilled to announce that my coloured pencil piece “Companionship” received an Honourable Mention in this year’s Colored Pencil Magazine competition! The other winning entries are absolutely phenomenal. Definitely check them out in this month’s Colored Pencil Magazine if you get the chance!

honorable-mention-cp-magazine-2016
Christmas is a very busy time of year for me and I have several top-secret projects in the works. Updates will probably be a little slow during this period but please bear with me! I have a couple of treats for you lined up, including product reviews of Derwent Inktense pencils and blocks, and Rembrandt soft pastels, which I am really looking forward to testing out!

14902855_891241394342997_6489903692653065736_o
Yum yum! My preciouses *strokes box*

There’s nothing quite as addictive as new art supplies!
Until next time!

Posted on

Published in Colored Pencil Magazine!

I am very excited to announce that you can read my article, “Is Tracing Cheating?” in the August 2016 issue of Colored Pencil Magazine! You can purchase a digital or physical copy of the magazine here: www.coloredpencilmag.com/issues

cpm1608_72preview.jpg

Posted on

Print Shop launch and more Grebe drawing progress!

print shop announcement

print shop announcement

This week I spent my time adding the finishing touches to my website. There was a bit of a blooper where the site went down for two days, I apologise for that! Now that we’re all up and running again, I finally launched my print shop this week! You can now purchase high quality fine art prints of my artwork, with anything from your more traditional framed prints to cushions, phone covers and even shower curtains! Please do check it out!

 

I have also been doing some more work on my grebe drawing, still thinking of a title for this thing! I have now finished the detail work on his head and neck, and now I’ll be moving on to tackling all those feathers on his body.

 

great crested grebe preening grooming feathers water bird drawing pencil coloured pencil colored pencil art artwork

Posted on

Back online!

great crested grebe preening grooming feathers water bird drawing pencil coloured pencil colored pencil art artwork

Phew! We’re back online with a new site host and shiny new site theme after being down for a few days! I’ve been tearing my hair out all evening trying to get everything working again. I apologise for the disruption in service, it’s been a bit of a bumpy transfer!

I finally migrated hosts from WordPress’s own hosting service, so I can now use plugins and have a lot more freedom with the design of my site. I’m still working on things so they might break occasionally but please bear with me! 🙂 I am currently in the process of adding a prints shop to my website along with a couple of other cool widgets so stay tuned!

 

For now here’s a small update on my grebe drawing to tide you over until the next update. Most of my flats are down, now that I know where all the feathers go it’s time to build on the detail work and shading!

great crested grebe preening grooming feathers water bird drawing pencil coloured pencil colored pencil art artwork

Until next time, see ya!

Posted on

A&I Artist of the Year Exhibition is next week!

Less than a week to go until the Artist & Illustrators Magazine Artist of the Year 2015 exhibition!
This is the final reminder I will be posting about the People’s Choice award, if people could send a vote my way and/or share this with their friends I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much for the continued support!
http://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/Kraan2015
If you’re down in London from 22nd February to 27th February be sure to stop by Mall Galleries to check out all 50 beautiful shortlisted artworks, including my “Knobbed Hornbill” piece!
Posted on

Please vote for me for Artist & Illustrators Artist of the Year!

The good news just keeps coming at the moment, I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed!

My coloured pencil piece “Knobbed Hornbill” has made it into the top 50 shortlist for the Artist & Illustrators Magazine Artist of the Year 2015 Exhibition! I can’t believe my eyes! It seems to be the only pencil artwork in the shortlist, which is a little nerve-wracking!

All 50 shortlisted artworks will be exhibited at Mall Galleries, London SW1, from 22-27 February 2016. I’m so happy and excited that I will be amongst them!

Please vote for me in the People’s Choice Award category! I would really appreciate it!

Hornbill Portrait in Coloured Pencil
My commissions for Christmas are still underway. Updates are going to be a little on the slow side until January, I apologise for the lack of posts up until then. My new drawing board arrived recently and I finally managed to squeeze in an hour in between commissions last night to work on my “Sun-Kissed Cosmos” coloured pencil piece. Not sure how I feel about the sky (the below image is cropped). I might end up cutting it down once the drawing is complete, I think there is too much of it.

12208395_712817798852025_6668807598601130851_nI just can’t stop smiling. Getting that news has made my day!