Thursday, 31 January 2013

Double Portrait

Some time ago, around the middle of November, my very dear friend Ingrid (Ingrid Ormestad Art) asked me how I would feel about drawing a pencil portrait of her husbands sister and brother-in-law, Caroline and Ian. Caroline had sadly passed away some weeks earlier and this was to be a gift for Ian. I was honoured to be asked, and accepted with much delight, but I do confess to being somewhat apprehensive.

I knew I wanted to work on this drawing slowly, over time, and without frequent breaks away from it. Knowing what a crazy month December is, I decided not to touch it until the new year. Thankfully Ingrid was happy for me to do it in my own time and that helped a lot.

About two weeks ago I picked up the reference photo, sharpened my pencil and laid out a blank sheet of paper. As I progressed I took many Work In Progress photo's so that I could show the various stages to my forum members. I won't bore all of my fellow bloggers with them but if anyone would like to see them, and their accompanying explanations, they can be seen here. Work-In-Progress

Although not everything went as well as I would have liked, as you'll see in the WIP, I can't remember the last time I was so content with my art. Sitting at my desk with my favourite music playing and my mind totally absorbed in the movement of my pencil, I was in seventh heaven. The frustrations of trying to control watercolours often drive me to despair but a few minutes with my pencils and those frustrations just melted away.

I have been struggling with my art for some time, especially watercolours, and my confidence has been taking a few knocks, but this project was just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Wandering around with my camera, I often find myself pointing it at something I think is attractive without necessarily knowing what it is that I'm looking at. Such is the case with Cupola's. In fact, I didn't even know what they were called until I decided to do some research.

Cupola's are small dome-like structures on top of buildings. It would seem that they serve many purposes, some to provide light or ventilation and some to be used as lookouts. Some Cupola's have been built as small buildings in their own right, but those I've recently seen are fairly small sitting atop a modest, but old, building. 

Today I was suddenly taken by the urge to throw out a quick sketch or two. Nothing that needed too much preparation, thought or concentration, if you know what I mean. Opening my photo folders for inspiration I  came across a Cupola I photographed only a week or two ago, and it didn't take long to find a couple more. Square, round, enclosed, open, glazed, slatted ... all different, each serving it's own purpose but all attractive in their own right.

One other piece of news is that I have just launched a new "Artist Showcase" on my web site. This is something I do in connection with my art forum and consequently I don't always mention it here. However, this time I have succeeded in roping in one of my favourite artists, Sandra Busby, and since many of you are familiar with her work I thought you might enjoy looking at the Showcase on this occasion.

Though the prime objective of my forum is to provide a non-intimidating environment for beginners to show and discuss their work, through the blogs I follow I have come to appreciate that there is also much to learn in looking at the work of more accomplished artists. The "Showcase" is a way I can introduce them to the work of other artists. To this end, if any of my followers would like to be featured in a Showcase, please let me know.