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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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Christmas Update

"First Snow" Watercolour sketch

This is just a quick update to wish you all a happy holiday season regardless of what you celebrate, and to let you know what I have in store for you guys in the new year. Now that the busiest season of the year is over, I can relax and put my feet up! ;D

 

Last month I uploaded the commentated timelapse tutorial for my hyacinth macaw drawing on youtube – check it out if you haven’t already! Just one thing I would like to mention in addition to what I have said about UArt 800 paper in this video – it turns out that the weird rippling effect I couldn’t get rid of was due to a manufacturing fault from a faulty batch that went out in 2015. I have since got in touch with UArt and they have very kindly offered to send me a replacement. If you have been experiencing similar issues with this particular brand of sanded paper then it is most likely due to that.

Now that my top-secret Christmas commissions are complete I have time again to work on other things. I’ve sketched out a fox from a gorgeous reference photo from wildlifereferencephotos.com. I’ll be trying out the Derwent Inktense sticks and pencils on this piece for a review on my YouTube channel. I love the reference photo I’m using, the fox has such a cheeky sly grin, I just hope I can portray it successfully in my rendition of it. Can’t wait to get painting!

cheeky fox sketch

 

Another project I’ve just started on is an amur leopard in pastels! For this piece I am using Rembrandt soft pastels and Carbothello pastel pencils on Clairefontaine Pastelmat. I’ve never properly used pastels before (the last time I used them was the doodle of a red cardinal I did two years ago). It’s an interesting experience. I have no idea what I’m doing but it’s fun! Right now I’m laying down dark colours to act as the underpainting, and then I’ll draw in the fur in lighter colours on top. This could go terribly wrong but it’s all a learning experience! 😉 I’ve always wanted to work in pastel but have never taken the plunge properly before now. We all have to start somewhere!

amur leopard work in progress in soft pastels

That’s about it for now. I’ll have tutorials/product reviews for both of the above coming in January/February, as well as a fully voiced tutorial for one of my christmas commissions in coloured pencil, so stay tuned! See you all in the New Year!

 

 

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Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencils Review

"Suki" - 11 x 14 inches, Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils on Strathmore Bristol Vellum. Art by Wild Portrait Artist.

My review on Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils is up on Youtube now! In the video I discuss my opinions and experiences using these pencils and show you how I used them for creating a drawing of my cat, Suki. Check it out if you’re interested in trying out this brand for your graphite drawings!

And here’s the finished drawing! I was having a bit of trouble photographing this piece without losing details because of the graphite shine. This is the best image I could get of it for now. Graphite can be a bit of a pain to photograph! I drew this as the companion piece of my drawing Toto, my other cat. I hope to eventually get them framed and have them side-by-side on my bedroom wall ❤

"Suki" - 11 x 14 inches, Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils on Strathmore Bristol Vellum
“Suki” – 11 x 14 inches, Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils on Strathmore Bristol Vellum

In the meantime my hard drive is in need of a serious clearout. I’ve currently been trawling through 480gb of wildlife photos and deleting the bad ones. And I only got into photography in January! I wish I hadn’t been so lazy and had deleted them as I went xD
There are so many. Help me.

Speaking of which, I’ve been spending some time uploading my photos to WildlifeReferencePhotos.com recently. This site provides artists with high quality reference photos that are royalty-free and high in detail for you to use in your artwork. You can find the jackdaw photo below and more on there, so check it out! 🙂

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Caw caw mother cluckers.

After a bit of an uphill struggle the background for my hyacinth macaw coloured pencil drawing is complete! I was almost going to scrap this drawing but I managed to rescue it last night. Sorry for the bad photo quality.

The pencils just weren’t sticking to the paper in the top right corner so I couldn’t get the area dark enough or a smooth gradient into the browns no matter how much I sprayed it with textured fixative, and I kept getting these ugly vertical lines from the texture of the paper showing through. I managed to rescue it by burnishing with my Luminance pencils, thankfully.

I think this is more an issue with Uart 800 paper than anything else. The sandy texture is so fine that it just can’t hold much pencil. The vertical lines are not something I’ve really noticed before in my previous drawing with this paper but I can see it being a bit of an issue. I’ll be trying out Fisher 400 paper soon and seeing how that compares.

In the meantime, I can’t wait to start colouring that macaw! I’ve been itching to draw something blue for ages!

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Sorry for the bad photo quality, it was kind of late at night! Or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it! Hehe 😛

Until next time!

 

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Finished cheetah drawing and tutorial

"Relaxed Afternoon" 42 x 29.7cm coloured pencil drawing on UArt 600 Sanded paper using powder blender. Own ref photo used. Art by Wild Portrait Artist. Available for sale.

Whew! It’s finished! Up till now the only things I had drawn using the powder blender were invertebrates, which are generally very shiny and easy to shade. I wanted to see how easy or difficult it would be to draw fur using the colored pencil painting kit, so I decided to draw this!

I discovered that it was so easy to draw in light hairs over a darker base colour, which made drawing fur miles easier! I used Uart 600 paper for this piece, instead of the Uart 800 paper I used in previous pieces, so it had a little more tooth. I found I could layer a lot more before running out of tooth, however the tradeoff for this was that I had difficulty in getting fine details and thin pencil lines. It was a fun drawing! It took me around 20 hours in total.

"Relaxed Afternoon" 42 x 29.7cm coloured pencil drawing on UArt 600 Sanded paper using powder blender. Own ref photo used.
“Relaxed Afternoon” 42 x 29.7cm coloured pencil drawing on UArt 600 Sanded paper using powder blender. Own ref photo used.

 

You can watch my commentated tutorial on how I created this drawing here:


Last but not least I just started working on my next graphite drawing! This time I’ll be drawing my grumpy old ragdoll, Suki this is the second in a pair of portraits, matching the one I did last year of Toto. I’ll be using Mars Lumograph pencils for this portrait for a product review video, and will let you know what I think of them next week! 🙂

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Meerkats in spaaaaace! (speed drawing, art tips video, and update on my Cheetah drawing)

Work in progress, coloured pencil and powder blender on sanded Uart 600 paper.
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“Asteroid Runner” – 9 x 12 pen and ink sketchbook doodle

 

I’m still working on my cheetah drawing in coloured pencil so this week’s update is about a sketchbook doodle I did recently! What made me put a meerkat in space? I have no idea. Kind of works though! Reference used was my own from one of my trips to Chester Zoo 😉  I used Rotring fine liners, waterproof calligraphy ink and a sword liner brush for this drawing. My sketchbook is a Strathmore Bristol Smooth 9×12 inch Visual Journal.

You can see the sped up video of me drawing this here:

 

In this week’s Art Tips video I show you some very easy and quick drawing exercises that will help you to become more confident and accurate with your drawing skills!

Last but not least I’ve progressed a little further with my cheetah drawing. I’m using powder blender and drawing on UART 600 sanded paper for this piece. I’m really enjoying how easy it is to draw fur with the colored pencil painting kit! You can go light to dark or dark to light, it doesn’t matter! So fun 😀

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Work in progress, coloured pencil and powder blender on sanded Uart 600 paper.

 

Busy bee! Hoping to have the cheetah finished by next thursday so that I can get the video tutorial for this drawing out on time. See you next time!

 

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“The Woolly Wonder” completed portrait commission

"The Woolly Wonder" 29.7 x 42cm coloured pencil commission on Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed 140lb Watercolor Paper. Art by Wild Portrait Artist. SOLD.
"The Woolly Wonder" 29.7 x 42cm coloured pencil commission on Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed 140lb Watercolor Paper
“The Woolly Wonder” 29.7 x 42cm coloured pencil commission on Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed 140lb Watercolor Paper

I’ve been looking forward to drawing this gorgeous girl for ages! Pearl is a sphinx but she has a genetic mutation causing her to grow curly, silky fur and curly whiskers!

I had so much fun rendering her fur and got to try out a couple of new techniques while drawing. I used Coloured Pencil Titanium White and Coloured Pencil Textured Fixative by brushandpencil to help create this piece. The titanium white especially was very useful for this drawing especially as it allowed me to go darker than I normally would with the fur on Pearl’s body and then lighten it back up again to create a silky look.

This coming week I will have a full product review and tutorial of the Coloured Pencil Painting Kit, including the powder blender and textured fixative by BrushAndPencil, as well as a smaller tutorial on how to spray fixative correctly, so stay tuned!

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New Drawing and Art Tips Video!

pearl cat sphinx coloured pencil portrait colored pencil drawing art commission pet portrait

pearl cat sphinx coloured pencil portrait colored pencil drawing art commission pet portrait

 

Here’s a little close-up of the beginnings of my latest coloured pencil commission. This is Pearl, a beautiful sphinx with a genetic mutation that caused her to grow beautifully wooly, soft fur.

My favourite part is getting the base layers of pencil down and blending before adding detail and hair over the top ❤  (who am I kidding, it’s all my favourite part!)

I also uploaded a new Art Tips video today! In this videoI show you how to use touch-up texture and titanium white powder by brushandpencil.com to create archival white highlights on your coloured pencil artwork.

 

 

 

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Meow! “Angie” commissioned portrait in graphite

Another Christmas commission to share with you all! This one is of a very sweet and cheeky cat called Angie.

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“Angie” 14.8 x 21cm commission, graphite on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper.

It was quite a small portrait (A5 sized) so it was a challenge to get all the little details in but I really enjoyed making this one.

No step-by-step for you to see this time I’m afraid, I was up to my usual bad habits of working through the night in relative darkness again to get this one finished so I couldn’t get any good photos! 😛

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“In Loving Memory – Myah” Christmas Portrait Commission and Process

Back in October a lovely lady over on the Siamese and Oriental Cat Chat group on facebook commissioned a portrait off me of her absolutely gorgeous havannah, Myah. Myah had sadly passed away after an illness last year and I was asked to create a portrait in her memory.

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“In Loving Memory – Myah” 21 x 30cm commissioned portrait, coloured pencil on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolor paper.

I was so touched to hear back from her on Christmas day when her husband recieved it –

As expected my husband absolutely loves the portrait of Myah. When I gave him it on Christmas Day it actually made him cry, and then of course I cried! We miss her dreadfully but he agrees it is a most fitting tribute and it has pride of place in our house. Thank you again, you captured her spirit perfectly.

This is exactly why I love making pet portraits- they are a lasting, tangible snapshot of your loved ones’ lives that stay with you even long after they are gone and I feel so privaliged to be a part of it.

 

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“In Loving Memory – Myah” step-by-step process.

I hope you all had a happy, warm and wonderful Christmas and New Years! See you next week!

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Toto Portrait and Process

It was a productive day all around on Friday! Not only did I finish my Knobbed Hornbill portrait in coloured pencil, but I also finished my graphite portrait of Toto, my siamese cat, too! I’ll be getting it framed soon and will be hanging it on my bedroom wall 😀

Portrait of Toto, my siamese cat. 27 x 33cm, Graphite on Strathmore 300 Bristol Vellum.
Portrait of Toto, my siamese cat. 27 x 33cm, Graphite on Strathmore 300 Bristol Vellum.

Here’s the original photo I worked off just for comparison:

If you’re interested in commissioning a similar bespoke portrait of your pet(s), then feel free to check out my commission information and prices here.

All I need to do now is make a portrait of my other Cat, Suki, and I’ll have a matching set 🙂

This is Suki. She's a cutie but don't be fooled by that look!
This is Suki. She’s a cutie but don’t be fooled by that look!

Lastly, I’m about to hit 100 followers on Facebook and on Instagram. I feel so humbled that so many people are enjoying my artwork.Thank you so much for your continued support!

Please do check out my social media sites if you haven’t already, as sometimes I post little tidbits and drawings that I don’t post in my blog 😉

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | DeviantArt

See you next time!