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Look out – it’s summer time! Busy day job, ACEOs and Product reviews.

I’m still alive! It’s been a busy few months for me lately. I probably haven’t mentioned this before, but my day job is working at a boarding kennels. During the summer months we get very, very busy which has been impacting both the time I get to work on art and the carpel tunnel in my hands. Unfortunately this resulted in me missing the dealine for the UKCPS Keswick exhibition which I was hoping to enter my hornbill piece in… but there’s always next time! In the meantime I’ve still been working on the painting bit by bit and have been thoroughly enjoying myself along the way.

The wrinkles on that vocal sack were so daunting but I'm really pleased with how it came out.
The wrinkles on that vocal sack were so daunting but I’m really pleased with how it came out.

I’m very conscious that I need to build up my portfolio at the moment as there’s very little there for people to go by, so I’ll be ramping up my art output (especially my pet portrait examples) once the August rush at the kennels comes to an end. In the meantime I’ve been working on smaller, fun pieces to hone my drawing skills. Specifically, I’ve been making ACEOs! In case you don’t know what they are, they are small, highly collectable playing-card-sized drawings that you can either swap with other artists or collect! Because they’re so small they’re quite quick to make and really fun to do.

Here are two that I’ve been working on. The graphite one is not yet finished, I still have the background to do and the details on the dolphin to refine. A huge thank you to the wonderful photographer Tory Kallman for allowing me to use her photos as a reference.

ACEO - 2.5 x 3 inches. Reference Photo from Tory Kallman.
ACEO – 2.5 x 3 inches. Reference Photo from Tory Kallman. Graphite on Strathmore Bristol Vellum.
Wavemaker ACEO with watermark
ACEO – 2.5 x 3 inches. Reference Photo from Tory Kallman. Coloured Pencils and white acrylic paint on Strathmore Bristol vellum.

I bought some Stonehenge paper (a very popular paper for many coloured pencil artists) and decided to test it out by making an ACEO of a tiger in coloured pencil – and it ended in disaster! I messed up the blending really badly so I went straight back to using Strathmore Brisol Vellum with my tail between my legs. That said, I’ve heard so many good things about the paper. Maybe I need to give it another chance. I’ll possibly create my next full-scale artwork on Stonehenge to see how it fares on a larger scale and then I’ll be able to determine what I really think of it.

Another thing I have in the works is product reviews detailing my thoughts on Faber Castell Graphite Aquarelle watersoluble pencils and also Caran D’Ache Neocolor ii watersoluble wax crayons (those names are quite a mouthful!). I am not affiliated with these companies in any way and have not been sponsored to do reviews, but I do love to talk about times when I try out new things so expect me to post about them both soon.

That’s about everything that I can think of for now! I’m going to try to keep these blog posts at least a weekly thing – so see you next Sunday for my Faber Castell Graphite Aquarelle review!

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