Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back to the Tiger

For some reason I can't get the colour right in this photograph, it is slightly too red, I'll have another go in photoshop later.
I decided it was time to work on the pastel tiger again even working on the missing bit on his nose.
I really want to get this finished and framed as pastel is not the best medium to have unframed with several dogs playing chase round the easel legs several times a day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Little Owl Part 2

I'm continuing to work on the owl. I tend to work on one area at a time building the depth by glazing thin layers of paint.
The great thing about using acrylics is that adjustments can be made as and when necessary. For me this removes the hesitation in getting started because I know if when I go wrong I can correct the mistake.
I try not to add any white to the colour I'm glazing with to keep it as transparent as possible. For the feathers I'm using a lot of burnt and raw umber with touches of paynes grey and alizarin to vary the colour.
I glaze over the white feathers with burnt umber then add more white etc until I'm happy with the result.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Little Owl in Acrylic

I wanted to try a small version of the Little Owl before attempting one with a full background.
This is a captive bird that I photographed at a game fair. I can see the plumage much better in this photograph than my wild owl one so decided it would be good to practice the feather structure.
It is 8 x 10 inches, acrylic on MDF.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Local Birds 17/04/2011

A selection of birds I saw yesterday either in the garden or on my walk.

I'm not sure what the first bird is, I think it's a Willow Warbler but if anyone thinks differently please let me know.

The second is a Pied Wagtail which is one of my favourite birds.

The third is a Goldfinch, one of several that visit the garden each day.

The last bird is a Little Owl, which is one of a pair that I see when I walk the dogs down a lane near home. I got up especially early yesterday hoping to photograph the owls before most other people were about. It isn't the best photograph but I was pleased with it, I managed to snap it just as the sun was rising.

I can now paint a Little Owl from my own photograph which is great because I want to paint an Owl series.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Permanent are Your Prints

'Blue Boy' 2.5 x 3.5 inches
Mixed Media on paper.

When I started producing my own prints I was very concerned about their longevity.

I bought a printer that uses Epson UltraChrome K3 pigmented inks and I always use an archival paper but I still had no definitive figures on permanence.

However I have now discovered that Henry Wilhelm has researched the longevity of different inks and surfaces.

The website is an absolute mine of information for anyone wanting to find out how permanent combinations of ink and surface are.

There are different ratings depending on how the prints are stored, for example:-

Prints framed under glass

Printsframed with a UV filter

Displayed prints not framed

Album/Dark storage

Tests have also been done on the following:-

Unprotected resistance to ozone

Resistance to high humidity

Resistance to water

Are optical brightners present

There is a lot of information how the tests were carried out and a note that in some cases they are ongoing.

The pdf file for my printer was 9 pages long.

I'm pleased to say that it very much looks like my prints will not fade for very many years however they are stored.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Persian Kitten Part 2

Very slooow progress.

I have a pair of Bluetits going in and out of my new nest box ( at least I assume it's a pair).

If they do rear a brood the baby birds will be sitting in comfort because the adults are lining the box with dog hair. Roma has decided to cast her coat so I've been putting handfulls of soft undercoat in the hedges for the birds. It seems to be popular because it soon gets taken. Roma makes sure there is plenty to go round, she helpfully leaves huge amounts all over the carpets which manages to spread everywhere.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Persian Kitten in Watercolour

This is part of my newest cat painting, a Persian kitten with tons of attitude. The kitten has a great deal of very soft coat so I decided to use watercolour to portray it. I thought that I could build up layers leaving them pale and indistinct in the areas where the fur is very soft and fluffy. I seem to have cropped the left side in the scanner but the whole body will be on the finished painting. I'm using Arches hot pressed watercolour paper as I wanted a very smooth surface that I am used to working on.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Spring Walk

I had a nice walk this morning. The sky was black in the West but blue in the East and there was a beautiful rainbow. Apart from a drop or two the rain never materialised. The birds were out in force including several species of tit, a fleeting glimpse of a Green Woodpecker and several Curlews. The best photograph I shot was this Dunnock because I like the colours in the blurred background. I haven't touched up in photoshop, just cropped in on the bird. There were plenty of lambs and rabbits in the fields but I'm still looking for the elusive hare. I really want to paint a hare from my own reference material but so far I've only spotted them in the distance at dusk. At least with the lighter nights there is more time for searching.