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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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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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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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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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“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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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!

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Until next time, see ya!

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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!