Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Shadow" Commissioned Work

This lovely American Bulldog was a challenge to do. She had so many folds in her skin but the result turned out quite good. The owner is very happy with the portrait. I haven't done very many dogs at all. I'm thinking perhaps I should draw my own dog just for practice and enjoyment. Not bad considering I haven't done a dog on over five years. I used coloured pencil on high quality watercolour paper for this work. I've learned a lot from it.

Friday, November 16, 2012


This was a bit of fun to do. Finished at last!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Flight" - Work in Progress State 8

My camera again is not helping this look wonderful where the light goes. I'm adding in HB, B, 2B and 4B gradient layers to bring out the details in the stripes and mane at this stage. I'm still working up the finer details with H pencil. There's some smudging across the white so I'll clean it up again with a kneadable eraser. Overall it's starting to come together.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Flight" - Work in Progress Stage 7

My camera is letting this artwork down. The rendering looks far better in the flesh than in this digital image I've posted. I'm continuing to add thin layers of H pencil and adding in the finer details into the tail hair and mane. It still has a way to go yet with the landscape details being added in.

Friday, November 9, 2012

"Flight" - Work in Progress Stage 6

My camera is not doing this drawing any justice. I'm continuing to add thin layers of H pencil and putting in more detail as the drawing progresses. Still a way to go before it is finished.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Flight" - Work in Progress Stages 3 - 5

 I'm continuing to refine the drawing by adding thin layers of H pencil. The photos of the work aren't that wonderful due to poor light conditions, but generally you can see the stages of each rendering I've done. I'll continue to refine and clean up the drawing and hopefully we will have a great result at the end. It pays to study the anatomy where possible of the subject being drawn. I've got horses which does help. Zebra are different in many aspects. Wonderful animals!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Flight" - Work in Progress 2

 I've added in the rest of the stripes and started to refine the shape using an H grade pencil at this stage I'm in no rush to see it hurried along. This is a large drawing on A3 Bockingford paper. So far so good.

"Flight" - Work in progress 1

In between doing the Africa Lion I started this Zebra in motion. They're a stunning sight in a gallop. Like all equid their hooves will come right off the ground at mid point in the stride. This was the early stage of the drawing. It has progressed since then to a more defined shape and detail.

Friday, November 2, 2012

African Lion (untitled) Work in Progress - Progressions

These are the progressions so far based on a Lion I photographed a year ago when I was still involved with Zion. This is a male named Aslan. He was only two metres away (with a fence between us) watching the pair of cheetahs that were in the enclosure next door. At the moment the last image looks like he's cross eyed. I still have to deepen the eyes then enhance the light shine so it gives the right effect. I was asked one time about which colours to use for these cats. Frankly I go on intuition. I haven't had any formal art training. The Lion Aid picture is on hold while I take another look at it then have a rethink. At the moment it's a bit of a creative disaster. It happens sometimes. You think you've got it ,then take another look and it's a complete botch up. I think the other project will be a complete redo, but Lion Aid will still end up with something they can sell on to raise funds for their work in raising awareness of the increasing decimation of these magnificent predators. I do this because simply I love it. Lions seem to me my strength. I had so much to do with them especially in the last couple of years. They were captive cats kept in enclosures so I could easily photograph them well aware of the safety needed even with a fence between myself and the cats. Lions regardless of what people think are first and foremost an Apex Predator, and should be accorded the respect they absolutely deserve. My Ultimate Goal is to one day get to Africa somewhere and see these stunning cats in a wild state.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Watching" (Working title) Work in Progress 1 for @LIONAID

This is in the early stages of development. It's been two years since I did anything for the great organisation Lion Aid who are a UK based registered charitable organisation who are bring awareness to the plight of the of wild population of African Lions. Once they were in the 200,000 range now there are less than 23,000 left remaining in the whole of the African continent.Lion Aid have been very effective in bringing about changes. They have a lot more work to be done yet. This work will be sent to the UK for auction with the proceeds going to Lion Aid for their continuing work. It's quite large the medium is oil pastel on canvas board. I'm still developing the eye structure and the area you can see now. The drawing is a rough sketch based on one of the lions I used to photograph at a local wildlife park. I'll post more as I go.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Australian Bell Frog

I sketched this little frog that was living in our pond behind the house. Frogs as a whole, are endangered. This species was introduced to New Zealand most likely by the Acclimatisation Societies that sprang up during the early part of European settlement in this country. I have quite a few living in the pond which is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Value your frogs, they're an indicator of how the local environment is health wise. No frogs, could mean the ecosystem is already affected.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kiwi Sheep

Even in dairy farming country where I live someone always has a few sheep. I don't know which breed this one was possibly Perendale but then again, it could also be the traditional Romney. This is the first sheep I've ever attempted. It's not bad considering. The colours are far better with the real thing.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Kiwi Sheep - Work in progress

 I started this yesterday. The quality of the image isn't very good. I've taken it in bad light which has made all the colours look rather strange. The real thing looks far better. I took a photo of this sheep a couple of years ago. I'm not sure which breed it is but it looked like a Perendale. It's well under way towards being finished. I'll post a better image of this tomorrow without the bad light to spoil the picture.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

King Lion

I think I've learned quite a bit from doing this study. This is a partial head study rather than the entirety of the animal. I can see faults already but that is what it's all about. Drawing and then learning from what is being done. I still like it even though it is a little dark in places and more lighter areas could have enhanced the features. It was fun that's all that matters.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

King Lion - Work in Progress 2

Still adding in the details of the fur with an H pencil. I'm not quite sure how this will turn out. It looks a little dark right now. I'll remove some of the layers with a kneadable eraser later on and see how it looks. One thing I do know. Cats, now matter how big or small they are aren't easy subjects to draw!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

King Lion - Work in progress 1

This part of a series of  drawing studies I'm doing on African Lions. I keep coming back to big cats time and time again. I've recently read that in Kenya there are only 2000 African Lions left now in the wild in that country. Overall the wild population for the entirety of Africa is starting to fall below the estimated 23,000 statistic. I had some issues with the lower part of the mouth and jaw area, after a couple of redos I think I have it in the right proportion. Cats no matter if they are big or small ones are always a challenge to do.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Walrus - Odobenus rosmarus

I have yet to see a walrus in the flesh. I did this today as a quick sketch of a photo taken by Mitswaki Iwago in Canada on July 21 2002. Walrus are listed on the IUCN Red List as a species of least concern. However they have also noted that populations are in decline with very little data available on the two subspecies.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Captive Bred Ostrich chicks

These little guys proved to be a bit of a challenge to do. I'm no avian artist. African Ostriches are farmed here in New Zealand as well as overseas, and of course on the African continent. I've been up close to a large male ostrich before and at over 6 ft in height I was glad he was well secured behind a very high deer fence. A bit more to do on this yet but they are fun!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Eastern Rockhopper Penguin - Work in Progress 1

I started this a couple of years ago and never got around to finishing it. Over the last few days I've actually managed to sit down and concentrate. The Eastern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome moselii) is declining in numbers. They are found along the New Zealand coastline. I'm hoping to get this one finished some time this week. You can read more about these beautiful little birds here

Jack Russell Terrier

I did this some years ago and never finished this little dog. I've managed to find the reference image I have for it. So when I get a chance I'll finish him.