Lilly – pastel pencils WIP

I had forgotten how much I truly love creating with pastels. Back when I started to really get into portrait painting all I ever used was pastels – for years! To pick them back up again has re-ignited my love for them!

I’m working on a portrait of Lilly, beautiful kitty! Utilising a photo by Bananenbrot. Here are my beginnings – using Faber Castell Pitt Pastel pencils and CarbOthello pastel pencils, more to come soon . . . .

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Gothic Cardigan WIP

I love all things gothic, the old worlds, Vikings and medieval times. And I have come quite accustomed to watching Netflix and the abundance of series’, who knew that would happen, I normally hate tv, especially normal channels with the damn adverts that repeat continuously does my head in! But Netflix is ‘it’, I think I’ve watched majority of the Marvel series – I loooove the fighting, a decent Kung Fu series/movies like IP Man, and I’ve just recently finished watching all of The Last Kingdom which I loved!

Anyway enough of the review haha, I have this awesome project saved of a Gothic cardigan and thought I would jump in and give it a go. It has a pattern that runs down the middle and is joined with cloak clasps which is one of the reasons I want to make it, but I’ve yet to source these clasps. It also has a large gothic hood, its fabulous!

Its a crochet pattern of course, I don’t know how to knit and you would have seen by now if you follow my work that I am addicted to crochet – I mean how can you not be!!

So I bought the pattern (ravelry.com), looked at my stash to see what I could use to get started. The pattern calls for Scheepjes yarn but I don’t have any on hand and I am too impatient to wait for stock to arrive in the post. I did however have 4 balls of starlight 8ply, it has a sparkle throughout, I’ve used this yarn many times now and I know its easy to get and inexpensive too. So with the decision made, I’ve jumped in.

Starting with the back and working my way up to the sleeves. This project is made mostly in one and it looks fairly easy. Lets hope I can do this and stay on track, although it will take me a while.

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I’ve taken a photo every time I finish a ball, not sure what the colour is called but its a purply pink, can you see the sparkle in the photo? The pattern is by Annelies Baes, I am using a 4.5mm hook.

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And here we are at 5 balls down (50g balls). The sleeves are a bit short currently but the pattern in the middle will be added to the sleeve ends later. It has taken me several weeks to get to this stage, continuing on and progressing well so far, lets keep it going ……

‘Prince’ Peacock

A new creative drawing in coloured pencils of ‘Prince’. Photo reference of the peacock from Ainslie Gilles-Patel (although I cant share this reference you can find it over at the PMP website). I printed out the reference and had a scribble to see what would come out in a creative form, I really wanted to add another element to just the head and I could see flowers included. Here is the outline of the idea I came up with …
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Because the peacock has a striking blue and some teals I knew I wanted to keep the remainder of the artwork in more subtle colours to keep the bird as the focus. Purples, pinks and other shades of blue will work well.
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I found some photos of some purple flowers as a reference to utilise for colouring and made up the flowers as I went along. To keep with the background reference I utilised some of the placement of the shadows but used my own colour choices to compliment the bird.

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And so I work around and all over the place working my layers and building it up as I go. I am using Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper and Faber Castell Polychromos pencils. My photos aren’t the best for light but you can see the progress stages.

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The peacock has a lot of detail in the head area so it takes me some time to work on this part. I am pressing harder for more solid areas of the darkest shadows and the deepest blue. When I sketched my idea I wanted to add some flourishes to the design. As I began colouring I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to approach these areas but then decided to utilise the background colours to portray the flourishes without actually going into a full flourish effect. This keeps it more simple and still works within the whole design. I love it when I don’t know how something is going to end up, I have an idea of where I want to go with a piece but sometimes things change as I go along and new ideas come about and make the whole process for me more fun.
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Still some more work to do on the head area and at this point I am really not liking the dot curve of the oval on the right side. I need to re-assess my whole idea and find something that is going to make that area work better. I decide to deepen my background which it needs and blend in those dots.

EPSON MFP imageThis is the final artwork of ‘Prince’. I’ve used odourless turps to smooth out the whole piece. Always makes a better photo to share when I scan it in directly rather than take a photo.

If you like ‘Prince’ you can buy apparel, cases and skins, home décor, wall art, bags and stationery of him here

Shawl Finished

It has been a long journey making this shawl and finally I am done! Hooray!! I had many distractions during the process and found myself putting it down several times to have a break from it. You can see my progress on previous blogs. Mostly I don’t crochet larger projects for that very reason – I doubt I will ever finish them. I was determined with this one, the last row of picots took me some time because I had some trouble getting my hook into the popcorn stitches from the previous row. Super happy with the outcome and the gradual colour changes, love it! I’m keeping this one!! Although it is suggested to block the finished item I’ve decided I will keep it as it is. Looks fabulous over my rocking chair!

Crocheted from a free pattern by Frostvirka made with Watermelon Hellraiser Scheepjes Whirl, 3.5mm hook.

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My son Levi

Yay, I’ve finished my portrait of my son Levi! I’ve taken some photos along the way and here is my progress from start to finish. I wanted to do a portrait in a similar style to the one I did some months ago of my eldest son Raine. Different colours this time. Levi is 14 years old, he is my quiet boy, he is taller than me already and I am tall so with some years left of growing I am sure he is going to be a very, very tall boy.

So lets begin … The bonus with this particular piece of art is I can share the reference photo because it is mine. This particular photo was from New Years Eve, such a nice pose which is why I chose this one, the downside to this photo is its quite light for shadows which always makes portraits harder, to work with this I utilise photoshop and work from a darker print. Below you can see I’ve drawn over the light photo print reference (left) with graphite pencil for knowing where I need to work my shadows and lines for when I trace it. The right reference shows my rough idea of colour placement. I am using Faber Castell Polychromos for this project, they are nice pencils…
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I prefer to trace my subjects to get a more accurate piece of artwork, this saves a lot of heartache at the end, its no fun having a piece that doesn’t look in proportion when you’ve spent so much time making it so to avoid that I just go with a more accurate outline. If I am doing a larger piece I would use the gridding method, but when I can now I utilise a projector. The three picture sequence above shows how I trace my reference to paper.  I use a stylus along with some graphite tracing paper. I trace as much of the reference as I need onto my paper, I’m using Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper. Then I rub it out to make the lines less visible but still enough so I can see where to go.

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Then comes the fun stuff!! I begin, always slow at the start trying to get a feel for the artwork and the colours, the watercolour splash effect is easier than the whole face and I want to incorporate some of that splash into the skin tones but not too much, I work all over the place building it bit by bit.

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I lay my pencils down light and build them gradually by pressing harder as I go. Levi is such a pale boy and his photo for this piece is hard one!!

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Sometimes I blend with odourless turpenoid as I go, this time I’ve decided to wait until I’ve almost finished to smooth it out. I find this process just makes the pencils look a lot better. Below is a short sped-up video of brushing the turpenoid over some of the artwork.

EPSON MFP imageLastly I’ve added some white dots with some acrylic paint, this final photo of the finished artwork above is one I’ve scanned in on the computer which shows the colours and work better than a photograph does. I have 3 children so have one more of this style to create of my daughter, I can then hang all 3 of them on my wall together! Stay tuned for progress on hers…. 😀

Levi in coloured pencil WIP

Currently I am in the process of working on a portrait of my son Levi in coloured pencils. Similar style to the one I completed of my eldest son Raine some months ago. Using shades of red, orange and golden yellow with shades of light and dark blue this time. Levi has approved the colour choices lol. Here is a progress shot ….

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Still lots to do, will post more photos when I can get it finished hopefully soon ….