Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Well Done Juno

On Sunday I was showing Juno and Jorja at Bath Championship Dog Show under one of the top UK Judges.
The showground was rather muddy and Juno who was in the ring first, took a bit of cleaning to restore his paws to their natural white.
But he was on his very best behaviour and didn't put a paw wrong in his class, which he won.
He then returned to the ring to challenge the other class winners for the Dog Challenge Certificate and again behaved really well. To my absolute amazement the judge awarded him the Reserve Challenge Certificate, meaning he was the 2nd best dog on the day. He is only 18 months old and still quite immature and this was my first RCC, so it was a really special win.

The day did not finish on such a high note, as while running Jorja in her class I tore my calf muscle and had to limp out of the ring. It is not often the owner retires with faulty movement!. Jorja went on to get 3rd in her large Limit class handled by my husband who can not run either due to knee problems, but he did manage a better pace than I would have done.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Knowing when to Quit

I've just abandoned Norwegian Forest Cat 3, but I really should have done so a couple of days ago.
Early on I realised the wall I had painted was too high in contrast, the cat could not have competed with it and as the cat was the focus of the painting, well, end of story.
So why did I carry on when I knew it wasn't working, I don't know the answer, the only thing I can think of is that I really don't like to be beaten. However I could have saved myself two wasted days if I'd given up earlier, next time I'll go with the gut feeling.

This then, is version 2, same cat but different pose.
I think another thing bothering me about version 1 was that the cat was very static, so in this one there is some movement.
I am using my favourite drafting film and so far it is all worked in coloured pencil. I have added some water to the sky using a water brush. On drafting film you can move ordinary coloured pencil around, and blend as easily as when using water colour pencils.
I apologise for the poor quality of the scan, the light here in West Yorkshire is too poor for a photograph, but I will update later today if the weather improves.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Colour Choices

Because drafting film will not take many layers, initial colour choice is even more important than when using paper for coloured pencil work.
Therefore, although a little after the event I have to admit, I have decided to create myself a colour wheel for drafting film.
To start with I am using two brands of coloured pencil, Polychromos and Prismacolour.
I tried to select a true colour for my primaries, these were as follows:-
Polychromos, Cadmium Yellow, Cobalt and Deep Scarlet Red
Prismacolour, Canary Yellow, Ultramarine and Scarlet Lake.

I then layered these, keeping the brands separate to produce my secondaries. Without fail I found the Polychromos blended together better on the drafting film.
The outer layer are polychromos, the inner prismacolour.

I am going to add to the wheel but will be concentrating on fur colours initially.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Norwegian Forest Cat

With Jorja's continuing antics I have not been able to motivate myself to start any new artwork for the last few days.
However, I had to get up at 4.30am this morning to ensure my youngest son got to school by 5.15am to catch the coach for his trip to Belgium. Jorja was convinced I could only be getting up that early because her time had come. So the usual choas ensued with a lot of groaning from eldest son who did not have to emerge at that hour and did not appreciate Clinton moaning and groaning, and Jorja huffing and puffing from opposite ends of the house.
So, having extra time to spare I started my third Norwegian Forest Cat painting.

I wanted to try something different on the drafting film so I started an underpainting in acrylic.
For the rocks I put some Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey down and then dabbed it with crinkled cellophane to give texture. Because I personally find acrylic a little bright, once the paint was dry I covered the rocks with a thin layer of white gesso . I can now work over this layer with coloured pencil to add as much detail as required.
For the moss I used Hookers Green & a touch of Paynes Grey left it to dry. I made the same mix again but this time but added a touch Yellow Ochre and then dabbed it on using a natural sea sponge, once dry I used my gesso again. I then mixed Cadmium Yellow, a tiny touch of Hookers green and alittle gesso and painted in some highlights. Again I will work over this with coloured pencil.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Spring is in the Air, and not just the Air!

I have had to put my painting slightly to one side due to organised chaos in the Mason household.
Last week I had a new kitchen fitted and Jorja came into season. Now on their own neither of them would have been a big deal, but taken together chaos was created.
Imagine the scenario, two strange men take up residence in the kitchen for four days, removing access to water, cooking facilities and more importantly the outside world, unless I went out the front door and round the side of the house.
If Roma had come into season it would have been no problem and Saska decided puppies were not for her long ago, but Jorja encourages the dogs for almost her whole season and we don't want her to have a litter this year. We are only just getting over her last litter, and Roma and Juno are 19 months old.
Clinton and Juno don't like one another when we have a bitch in season and neither can be left with Jorja so I have spent four days moving animals from one place to another with Jorja encouraging the dogs at every turn. She's done an awful lot of turning, usually to position her rear end invitingly for anything that moves.
She was due to go to a show on Saturday under a judge that I thought would like her but she obviously had to stay at home, the score so far is Jorja 10, Gayle 0.
Anyway peace is returning, the kitchen is finished, and Clinton and Juno are finally stopping pacing round the room, Jorja however is still hopeful.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kittens now Printed

I've come to the end of the Norwegian Forest Cat kittens painting, I made the deadline for taking it to be printed, just.
I decided I needed to add something to break up the large space at the bottom left and decided on a rock. I made the choice because I wanted something to fade into the grass and I could use the same colours as the larger kitten to bring unity to the painting.
Here is the completed print, which is avialable from my website. I have chosen the title 'Sitting Pretty' for the print.