Saturday, 28 November 2015


We were out with a large Group of friends yesterday for a leisurely Tapas Lunch to celebrate hubby's birthday.     

Just before leaving our villa to meet the others I checked FB to find that Jackson's judges had awarded me first prize for my drawing 'Senor Molina' .... I still can't really believe it now.    

I had lots of votes from lovely people and it had made the top three in the People's Choice section so I was looking forward to receiving a runner's up prize of 12 pencils (randomly awarded by Jackson's).  I've actually won a Limited Edition Designer set of 120 Supracolour Caran D’ache Soft Aquarelle Coloured Pencils in a red box designed by head of fashion house Lanvin, Alber Elbaz.  This set is worth £500.

Wow wow wow!!!

Jackson's Art Coloured Pencil Competition

Sunday, 15 November 2015


I don't really like FB competitions where prizewinners are those with most friends who can generate lots of LIKES.

However, Jackson's announced a FB coloured pencil competition recently where they will select the winner of the main prize and then 5 smaller awards will be based on the people's choice/votes ... so I entered Senor Molina (Mr Windmill) - the homeless man who lives near a windmill in Corralejo/Fuerteventura.     I'm pleased to say that he has been shortlisted along with 42 others and voting runs till 26 November

Although it is described as a coloured pencil competition, you will see some pastel entries which I was surprised about but it appears they have classed pastel pencils and coloured pencils

If you'd like to vote for Senor Molina (or any other picture of course) here's a link to the relevant page.   Entries are on 2 pages and mine is on the second page so you need to scroll down and click on 2/Next

You need to have a FB account to vote

 Jackson's Coloured Pencil Competition . Shortlisted entries

Monday, 9 November 2015


I'm not going to be able to draw for a while so wanted to get the Christmas orders as far advanced as possible.   Clients have been told that I'll be back at the drawing board early December and will just have to make final tweaks then.     I don't know whether I'll get enough time to paint roof tiles and rocks to sell at the exhibition I'm participating in Mid December .... time will tell

So ... this is where I've left the Welsh Springer spaniel..   Although she's portrayed on Pastelmat paper which boasts that pastels don't need to be 'fixed' I did give her a light spray and the usual horrible thing happened when the whites threw a 'hissy fit' and sunk into the paper so I spent a while reworking the highlights.    Still needs a bit more detail added and lots of whiskers etc

the cat is outlined but no real work done on it yet so nothing to show here

Friday, 6 November 2015


I've done quite a lot of work on the Welsh Springer today but admitted defeated this afternoon when it got very dark at 3pm (now thrashing down with rain again).   So here's a couple of progress pics - from which I can tell that I need to deepen the colour of her ears.   I'm working from two ref. pics and her coat colour differs slightly but I can see she is too blonde ... needs to be more brunette (just a tad, nothing major)

Most of the face colouring is in place, she has a nose and one ear 

I made inroads on the 2nd ear but will wait for better light before completing it.    Having 2 spaniels in a row has been a test of patience ... all those curls.... but I hope to get this one (almost) finished at the weekend and put to one side for a while.  

Both the Spaniels are required for early/mid December so I plan to just get them almost completed, find out what adjustments (if any) are required by my clients and finish them when I'm back from holiday.     It will be good to see them with 'fresh eyes' after a break - makes the 'tweaking' so much easier I think.

I then have a cat to finish by Christmas and that's the last of the commissions - I deliberately haven't taken on many this year as we've had a stressful Summer and I didn't want to get into 'production line' mode and be battling against the clock to get portraits finished

Thursday, 5 November 2015

05/11: REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 5TH OF NOVEMBER, Gunpowder Treason & Plot

Well, Bonfire Night is going to be a bit of a 'damp squib' , here in Kent it is 'peeing down' with rain so I guess most families will postpone fireworks till the weekend where the forecast is for light rain in the daytime but drying out for the evenings .... I hate fireworks anyway (except for the special ones at organised events)

Its been a struggle to see well enough for detailed work today but I've put the black Cocker Spaniel to one side for now.   My client doesn't use a computer so I've got to work out how to send a progress picture to his phone to find out if he's happy with the portrait or wants any changes made.   I'm a dinosaur and have a very old, basic mobile phone - pay as you go for emergency use only.   I don't have data/internet on it.    Hoping hubby can send the picture via his phone when he comes home later today.

I've made a start on the next dog.   This is a memorial commission as the dog passed away recently at the great age of 16 so she's left a large hole in the family's life:

Pastel on Grey pastelmat.    As usual, apologies for the poor photo as it was taken in artificial light

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

03/11: COCKER SPANIEL .... slowly, slowly

I'm slipping behind schedule again. 

Saturday was Grand-daughter Sophie's 5th birthday, yes she's a Halloween baby.   She had a Go-Karting party so I was roped in to be official photographer and so that ate up most of the day.   The weather was brilliant, unseasonally warm and sunny, and everybody had fun - including the parents so all went well.

Since then the weather has been gloomy and we've had thick fog every day so it has been difficult to work, particularly on black fur.   I've also had some problems with my drawing hand as I have early stage Dupuytren's contracture which doesn't usually bother me too much but has been aching a lot recently.  So I'm taking it easy with the pencils

A little more progress here and hopefully she'll be finished tomorrow (before I head off for yet another dental appointment mid-afternoon).   Then I'll crack on with the next dog (also a Spaniel but a Springer this time) and the cat will follow afterwards as I'm not sure which ref. photo will be used yet