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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!

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“Troy” pet portrait, and amur leopard in soft pastels!

"Troy" - 11 x 14inch commission in coloured pencil. Art by Wild Portrait Artist. SOLD.

 

troy finished low res watermarked for fb and insta
“Troy” – 11 x 14inch commission in coloured pencil.

This beautiful boy was one of my Christmas commissions. His endearing puppy-dog-eyes and sweet expression were so much fun to render  It was so refreshing to work with paint thinner again for my coloured pencil art too. I didn’t realise how much I missed it!

This piece was drawn using Caran d’Ache Luminance, Caran d’Ache Pablo, Faber Castell Polychromos and Derwent Drawing coloured pencils. The paper I used was Fabriano Artistico 140lb Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper. I used Daler Rowney odourless paint thinner to blend. Touch-Up Texture and Titanium White powder were used on the chest to pull out the white hairs and highlights on his collar.

My sped-up tutorial is available to watch on YouTube now. The 2 hour version of tutorial will also be available for my Patreon supporters at the $4 tier very soon!

 

I also completed my drawing of an amur leopard in soft pastels last week.

"Determination" - 30 x 40cm portrait of an amur leopard in pastels.
“Determination” – 30 x 40cm portrait of an amur leopard in pastels.

 This piece is now available for sale on my Etsy, so check it out if you’re interested! 

This was such a fun experiment. I may have started off a little wonky on the chin and mouth area, but once I got the hang of the medium it was as natural as riding a bike.

The tools I used to create this piece are Rembrandt soft pastels and Stabilo Carbothello pastel pencils on Clairefontaine pastelmat. Reference photo by Katerina Mirus from Wildlife Reference Photos, used with permission.

Soft pastel is a really enjoyable medium to work in. Expect to see more in this medium from me in the future! I can definitely see myself doing lots of little landscape studies in this medium.

The fully commentated tutorial video for this piece will be available this weekend! I’ll also be reviewing and discussing my thoughts on the brands I used to make this piece too. I might end up splitting it into two videos depending on how long it is. Stay tuned!

 

Last but not least I also started on a new coloured pencil drawing this week.

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“Mythical Beast” – work in progress. Coloured pencils on Fisher 400 sanded paper. I’m about an hour into this drawing so far.

I’m so excited to share this one with you. The concept to this drawing has been swirling around in my head for months now and I finally have a spare moment to start putting it onto paper! 😀 The subject for this drawing is my absolute favourite animal – the okapi. They are an endangered species native to the Congo and their closest relative is the giraffe. When they were first discovered they were so strange-looking that they were thought to be mythical creatures – hence the title of this piece – “Mythical Beast.”

I’m trying to get a sense of mystic surrealism in this portrait so I chose to have the okapi looking up at the aurora borealis – something you would never normally see in the tropical forests! It also gives me the excuse to use lots of pretty blues and greens, muahaha!

I’m using Caran d’Ache Pablos, Caran d’Ache Luminance, Faber Castell Polychromos and Derwent Drawing pencils for this drawing. I’m using powder blender to blend the background, but I’ll also be trying out paint thinner when I get to the okapi itself as I’ve never tried using paint thinner on sanded paper before! I still marvel at how quickly I can get things done with the powder blender. I’m only an hour and ten minutes into the drawing so far, and my background is already almost finished!

I’m also trying out Fisher 400 paper for the first time for this drawing. The tooth of the paper is wonderfully consistent, and in my opinion is superior to UArt paper.

 

This is turning into a long blog post so I’m going to leave it here for now! I’ve got lots more in store for you guys so keep your eyes peeled 🙂

 

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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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“Companionship” – Coloured Pencil Tutorial

In this video I show you how I created my drawing “Companionship” in coloured pencil in a fully voiced-over format. Still getting used to talking to an imaginary audience but I guess I’ll get there with practice!

Editing blooper! I didn’t notice there were repeated lines in my audio until after I had uploaded to youtube. Thought I had deleted them all before processing my video! Hopefully I get better at using Adobe Premiere with time xD

 

If you enjoyed this video please leave a like and a comment, and subscribe so you don’t miss out on any art tutorials, discussions and product reviews!

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The Home Stretch

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Just a small update this week. I’m on the home stretch with Jack and Jess’s portrait now! I should hopefully be finished by the end of next week. Still recording my progress on this drawing, then I’ll have over 116gb (20+ hours!) of footage to edit down for youtube. I will be uploading my first vlog this coming week too, a studio tour of my art desk. Stay tuned!

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Jess and Jack: Coloured Pencil commission work in progress

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“Jess and Jake” (working title) – 30 x 42cm coloured pencil commission on Fabriano Artistico HP Watercolour Paper.

Today I started work on a coloured pencil commission of two very sweet and loving dogs, Jess (on the left) and Jack (on the right). These two sweethearts belong to a friend’s mum so I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them multiple times now! I’ve been looking forward to this drawing for a while! Just look how snug and adorable they look!

One of my favourite coloured pencil artists, Lisa Clough, inspired me to do youtube video recordings, so this is my first ever piece where I’ll be recording my full process on video! Stay tuned for the video soon after I complete this piece – it will be a fully commentated tutorial of my process and the techniques I use. I hope any artists out there who see it will find it helpful and I’m sure it will be interesting for commissioners as well to see how I create my artwork 🙂 Really looking forward to it!

Being on camera forces you to focus on what you are doing. This is amazingly useful! I’ve been struggling to concentrate recently and keep getting distracted by other things. But while I’ve been working on this drawing under the camera’s lens, I’ve been able to keep going for 3 hours straight without break – an extremely long time for a fidget pot like me!

This piece is A3 sized (30 x 42cm) so it’s quite large. I’m three and a half hours in so far (not counting the time it took to do the rough sketch). It’s probably going to take around 18 hours to finish.

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“Mini” portrait commission in graphite and process

mini finished watermarked
“Mini” 11 x 14 inch commission, graphite on Fabriano Artistico HP Watercolour Paper.

I’ve been in a bit of an art slump recently after accidentally throwing tea all over this commission and having to start on it all over again! I hate it being so delayed (It was meant to be a Christmas gift! D: ) but now that I pushed through my slump and finished it, in a way I’m glad I spilt tea on the old version despite my embarassment. I think the portrait turned out for the better in the end! I really love this piece, I think the sheen on Mini’s fur came out really well without being too obtrusive. 🙂

Tools used: Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils, AIN 4B 0.5mm lead, one Faber Castell 9000 8B pencil, Fabriano Artistico HP Watercolour Paper

 

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I also have something special in the works – quite possibly the biggest coloured pencil piece I’ve ever worked on! I’ve not drawn anything for myself for a while, and I’ve also not done any works in coloured pencil since November. I’m really looking forward to starting it. Stay tuned!

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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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Work in Progress: “Mini” Portrait Commission in Graphite

 

I’m currently working on an 11x14inch graphite portrait of a very cute dog called Mini. This is where I’m up to so far:

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“Mini” work in progress, 11 x 14 inch commission in graphite

 

Below is a little progress shot I took a couple of hours back. All three stages of my artwork process are pretty much visible in this WIP shot! On the muzzle I have just started adding the lights and darks with a 9B pencil. On the right hand side of the face and ear I have smoothed it all out with a blending stump and roughly added the fur direction with a Mono Zero eraser. On the left hand size is what it looks like when (mostly) finished, most of the details have been added and the values are just about right. I’m constantly adjusting the lights and darks throughout the whole process.

mini 3.jpg

 

For those curious I use Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils for all of my graphite work, they are my favourite graphite pencils ever! I also use a 0.5 mechanical pencil with AIN Stein 4B lead for the detail work such as hairs and whiskers.