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Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils review and playing with Acrylic Paint

It’s that time of year again where all sorts of colds and bugs are going round, and unfortunately I finally succumbed to it this week! Being ill sucks but I was still determined to get some art done in between my sneezing and coughing!

My review of Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils is now available for you to watch on my Youtube channel, and I also show you how I drew my leopard portrait in pastels in this video too!


I’ve also been playing with my Rembrandt soft pastels for my upcoming review of them on YouTube! This landscape was a quick A4 study and took me around 50 minutes. Hopefully I should have a video about them up as soon as my voice recovers!

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Recently, on a whim, I bought some Winsor and Newton Galeria acrylic paints to try out. I’ve not painted with acrylics since my art GCSE. It’s amazing how much you remember about a medium even after a decade! This is a little 2-hour test painting  on a cheap canvas board that I did with them using my own reference photo. Not the most exciting of paintings and the canvas texture was a little too rough to get detail in easily, but I just wanted to see what I was capable of!

This little guy is a blue tit on 18 x 12.5cm canvas board. Own reference photo used. It only took around two hours to complete!
This little guy is a blue tit on 18 x 12.5cm canvas board. Own reference photo used. It only took around two hours to complete!

I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed painting with them so I decided to start on a more serious project.

Yesterday I started a painting of a male greater kudu in acrylic. I’m doing this on an ampersand smooth board which was left over from a failed coloured pencil attempt (yay for recycling!) This is a very different way of working to what I’m used to in coloured pencils, so I’m finding it a little tricky! It’s so much fun though!

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I need to stop working on so many pieces at once! Last but not least, I’m still working on my okapi drawing in coloured pencil. The okapi’s face is starting to come together now that most of the underpainting in that area is done! Started off with just blues and greens and black, but I added some reddish browns and bright purples into the shadows of the fur afterwards as an experiment, and WOW did it bring the animal to life!

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There’s still a lot of work left to go on this guy but I’m having so much fun with those green and blue pencils that the time is flying by. It’s kind of hard to even tell what you’re looking at at this stage as none of the fur or fine details have been blocked in yet (!) but hopefully it’s going to start taking shape and start looking a lot more tangible soon.

Until next time!

 

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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!

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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!

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Yum yum! My preciouses *strokes box*

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

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“Afloat” – Finished Grebe Drawing

"Afloat" 38 x 28cm, coloured pencil on Fabriano Artistico 140lb hot pressed watercolour paper. Art by Wild Portrait Artist. Available for sale.

Been a long time since I made a blog post…. whoops! We have a lot of news to catch up on! But just for now, it just came to my attention that I had posted my finished grebe drawing to my social media pages, but not my art blog!

"Afloat" 38 x 28cm drawing of a great crested grebe in coloured pencil
“Afloat” 38 x 28cm, coloured pencil on Fabriano Artistico HP 140lb Watercolour Paper.

On the lake near where I live there is a mated pair of grebes whom I have been watching and photographing since January. I’ve grown rather fond of them!

I used my own reference photo for this piece. It was a rather poor photo that was a little blurry, but I just HAD to draw that pose.

The white fluffy down, and the white reflections in the water were created using a really cool technique that Lisa Clough – Lachri shared last week, by mixing Brush and Pencil titanium white and touch-up texture together into a kind of paint and then applying it with a liner brush onto the paper. This technique is remarkably useful for getting white areas back! I had accidentally burnished out the white fluff by that point so this technique was a lifesaver.

You can now purchase high quality prints of my latest work, “Afloat” in my Print Shop. A large variety of print types are available as well as worldwide shipping. The original work is also for sale for £130.00 unframed including postage. Email me at wildportraitartist@gmail.com for inquiries.

I’m currently working on a commission, a couple of new youtube videos and a few other little tidbits which I’ll talk about in the next post! And I definitely won’t leave it so long this time!

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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

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Grebe drawing WIP and Staying Organised With Multiple Simultaneos Drawings

art tips video #1 how to keep track of which pencils you've used between drawings
"Grebe Preening" (working title) 11x14 Inch work in progress drawing in coloured pencil
“Grebe Preening” (working title) 11×14 Inch work in progress drawing in coloured pencil

I recently started this drawing of a Great Crested Grebe using my own reference photo. This grebe is one of a mated pair on a lake near where I live. I’ve spent a lot of time watching them both throughout winter and have amassed a lot of photographs of them! They are such beautiful birds and I’ve been really looking forward to drawing them.

I walked down to the lake yesterday after not going for a while and they have sucessfully had two chicks! Exciting times!

A new Art Tips video has just gone live on my YouTube channel. In this video I show you how I keep track of which pencils I’ve used in my coloured pencil pieces. Please do check it out!

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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!
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New work-in-progress wildlife piece!

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This week I started on a brand new wildlife piece! I am so excited to finally begin this one. I’ve really missed drawing birds and have had my sights set on this reference photo for quite some time. The title of this piece will be “A Long Way Down”. Reference photo used with permission from Gary Jones on wildlifereferencephotos.com!

This is the largest size I’ve ever drawn at – 53 x 37cm – so it’s a little daunting. I decided to paint the background in using Neocolor IIs just because I’m able to get a much smoother look than with coloured pencil, and it saved time too. I got to play with low-tack frisket for the first time, and while it is a pain in the butt to apply, it can be quite handy for keeping large areas of the paper protected and white while I paint around it with Neocolors.

Here’s a little close-up on the puffin so far. His face and beak are finished but I’m still working on the rest of his body.

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Be sure to keep checking my instagram and facebook pages if you want to stay updated on what I’m currently working on! See you next week!

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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!