It's been rather quiet on the art front in the studio over the last couple of weeks, not that I haven't done any art, I was away on holiday - but before I left, I actually did something that I had never done before, I actually packed a portrait in my suitcase to work on during the evenings, which actually turned out to be a god send as we were in a caravan without any internet connection for a WHOLE WEEK!!!! Can you even begin to imagine!!
The subject chosen was a 'double collared Sunbird' - a stunning image captured by Scotch Macaskill, a photograher living in South Africa. Having purchased a few of the new Derwent Lightfast pencils, I needed a vibrant composition to try them out, this subject was the perfect choice!
Throwing my standard pencil routine in the bin, I decided to trial out some additional products that I hadn't previously thought of using with pencils because I'm a purist and so instead of paper, I used a 3mm canvas called Pastelbord by Ampersand (usually used for my Acrylic paintings) which has a coarse surface, and my latest purchase of the 'Zest-it pencil blend'. I wasn't even sure if all these products together would work very well, but once I got started I found that they did - I was really enjoying the creative process, so much so that I decided to take it down to Torquay with me.
The 3rd night away, I set up my little studio in the small bedroom, plugging in the desk lamp I'd brought with me and the 4way adapter fell onto the floor, the switch bulbs all lighting up like a christmas tree which then knocked out ALL the electrics in the caravan!!! I was sat in darkness and heard my Dad, where seconds earlier he'd been watching the footy with my brother, shouting out "What's goo'in off!??" We had to call the security guard out who knew nothing about electrics and had to phone a professional up for advice before grabbing a butter knife out the drawer to remove the screws on the electric box outside the caravan and finally flick the electric back on..Hoorahh!! I still managed to get some art done though, being extra careful not to let the adapter fall off the table again, you can see in the image above that there was little space to work - the rest of the evening went without a hiccup thankfully.
Now I'm back in the studio, I am currently working on the Autumn newsletter for my www.stepbystepart.co.uk website and so time is limited for a while, however I had a spare frame that I thought I would store the portrait in until I get the chance to finish up which hopefully won't be too long.
Latest Articles at my Step by Step Art website
For those who do not know, I have a dedicated website for Artists with free articles covering different mediums and Art products. I have just completed 8 new articles for my Step by Step Art website which can be viewed by clicking on any of the image links below. These cover Coloured pencils, Acrylic paints, Graphite pencils & Pastels as well as Art Accessories, mini tutorials and guest posts by other Artists such as Welsh Oil painter Chris Chalk who offers advice on which 3 products you will need to start out with Oils.
Each article will open a new tab to the Step by Step Art website.
Karen's 1 day Art Workshops 2018 - From £42.00pp
My 1 Day Art Workshops are now available to book. There are 2 Coloured Pencil Workshops, a Graphite pencil Workshop and an Acrylic Paints Workshop all of which will be run over 2 weekends, the first in May and the second in August. Prices start from £42.00 per person or you can book a weekend Workshop together with prices starting from £80.00. Art Kits can be loaned or purchased and there are 10 places available on each Workshop. If you are looking to learn how to create highly detailed Art, these Workshops are ideal. Get in touch or click on any of the images below to find out more about the Workshop of interest.
Please feel free to share this article or any of the articles and Workshops over at the Step by Step Art website by clicking on any of the 'social' buttons.
I was approached by a returning customer from the USA to create a Coloured pencil portrait of a Barn Owl and offered to create a few mock ups of compositions before I began as I always do. As a lover of photography I have a large photo reference library of various animals and birds including Barn Owls and so put together 5 different compositions one of which was the 2 Owls on the wall which became the basis of the portrait. The second stage was creating a few mock ups of the Owls within different backgrounds and finally, with the Owls and background in place the last collection of mock ups made were with various walls for the Owls to stand on which were in focus and added interest to the final composition. Many of my Wildlife portraits are created this way.
I chose a tan toned paper to work on which matches the warm tones of the Barn owls as well as giving strength in colour to the lighter tones such as the whites. The tonal background will be created using Derwent's Coloursoft range pencils which are soft and blend well for great effect and the Owls & the wall will be created using the caran Dache Luminance pencils which are ideal for very fine detail and strength of colour. A base layer of tones and loose detail is first applied to the whole of the portrait before I then apply the stronger & finer details to completion.
The Barn Owl at Cresswell, Northumberland (UK)
This portrait is based on actual Barn Owl territory at Cresswell in Northumberland (UK). It is a 40 minute cycle ride from where I live along the beautiful coastal route of Lynemouth through to Cresswell pond, this place regularly has Photographers set up waiting for this little guy to make an appearance. Sitting in the undergrowth of the wide open field which connects to a lagoon where you can regularly see Avocets, Oystercatchers & even Otters on the rare occasion, is an area overlooking the coast and is ideal for field mice and voles. I wait patiently as I see him in the distance, flying silently and hovering on numerous occasions, not at all phased by the long line of photographers with their huge cameras on tripods waiting to get some great photos themselves. There is something breathtaking about seeing such a Bird in the Wild and feeling honoured that this Owl continues it's daily journey passing close by whilst I click the rapid fire button on my camera. Here are some of those photos.
Most people visiting my website would understandably think that I only take on Pet & portrait Commissions but I actually create various Commissions if someone is looking for something specific. The 3 images below were created using an editing program to cut and paste various sections of other photographs to create the one 'mock up' which becomes the reference photo for the portrait. As a huge fan of photography, I have collected thousands of photographs of various animals, birds & subjects that can be used for a bespoke portrait whenever requested.
composition and the Artwork, which will be completed in Coloured pencils for a returning customer from the US, will be created by balancing out incorrect lighting and generally offering a more appealing and balanced background. This is currently in progress and a link to the progress page will be applied to the image when available if you wish to see it come together.
If you have your own idea for a piece of Art that you would like to Commission me to create in Coloured pencils or Acrylics, you can drop me an E-mail direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org, fill in my CONTACT FORM or BOOKING/QUOTE FORM or even give me a call on: 07854 677416 with your own idea. Here is another bespoke Commission that was requested for a Wedding Day and another for a very special portrait that captured the moments of a romantic Engagement
Below are the Christmas commissions that were all completed and received as gifts for the special day - if you wish to see how they came together, please click on any of the images. If you are thinking of booking your own Commission with me and wish to know more, you can visit my COMMISSIONS page which explains the very simple process.
Printed copy $5.99 £3.87* Delivery (1 - 2 weeks) £2.96*
Karen M Berisford