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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!

 

 

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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!

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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

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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!

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!

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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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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

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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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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!

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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!

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Colored Pencil Magazine and Colors of Humanity Winner!

I’m so excited and proud to announce that my artwork “Knobbed Hornbill” came 7th in the Colored Pencil Magazine Annual Competition! You can find me in the November 2015 issue of the Colored Pencil Magazine and in their 2016 Calendar. I’m so unbelievably happy right now! 😀 Congrats to all the other winners!

My pieces “Faith” and “Giraffe Portrait” also have been accepted into the Colors of Humanity November 2015 show! They’re not announcing where and if people have placed until 1st November. I can’t wait!

In the meantime I am also currently working on my Christmas commissions. One down six to go! I’ve been waiting weeks for my new drawing board (which got lost in the post and had to be resent) and it finally arrived today. At last I can work on one commission and one personal work at the same time!From tomorrow I’ll be continuing with me “Sun-Kissed Cosmos” drawing along with my commissions (which I can’t share until after December 25th). Busy busy at the moment! But I’m loving every minute of it! 🙂