Eyes Of.. Owl 1 and 2

Pressing on with the eyes theme, i did one owls eyes from an online web instructor and the other i did for myself shortly afterwards.

On starting these pictures which are A4 in size, i decided to use Conte Pastel sticks simply because its quite an area to fill in when using just pencils. I also use Pastelmat paper which is similar to sandpaper, great for holding pastel but it can eat pencils, the Conte sticks are quite a solid stick unlike soft pastel sticks so therefore dont wear away as quickly and makes it easier to get several layers on, soft pastel fills the tooth of the paper quickly if you are not careful.

Owl eyes 1

Another nice thing about the conte sticks is you can get a good sharp edge should you need to create thin lines or get into tight corners. There is also several different types of blending stumps from rubber ended to paper, but sometimes nothing is finer than ones own finger.

One of the few times i use a sharp point on my pencils is when creating the finest wisps of stray hair, fur or feather, every other time i find with this paper there is no need for it. The Eyes above are from an online tutorial, although i watched it then did it from memory.

Owl 2

This picture is one i created for myself but basically followed what i had learned from the previous tutorial, even though they were some months apart. The basic principle is get the under colours on first and make sure that they are dark enough to take layer on top but still remain visible, without the darks the top layers will look flat and lifeless, and by adding over layers it makes the fur or feather look thick and plush.


Tomatoes in Oils..

This is from a reference photo found on one of the free image sites out there on the interweb, the composition took my fancy so i had a go.

As far as the challenge of this piece went , it had all the elements i needed at this time of my painting experience, smooth skin, reflections from glass and pottery, cloth and metal. Looking at it now i  see this as naive art, out of my depth for the time, but i suppose that as a part time hobby painter one cant be too judgmental or we wouldn’t bother at all.tomatoenoil

To some folks that have seen it, the picture holds a kind of charm and simplicity about it, although on painting it there was nothing simple at all, i found the different disciplines needed to make it look like what is should be, were quite hard, i remember. Its funny because i have just noticed after all this time i havent finished off the garlic in front of the oil bottle, well there you go, maybe something to attend in the future..

Tiger eyes

Have you ever had the feeling that the portrait on the wall is watching you walk about the room, their stare is looking wherever you are standing, well you know then that the eyes are right because thats what they should do..

Its all part of an illusion of a 3 dimensional subject on a 2 dimensional flat piece of paper, it makes you believe. Although the eyes i have drawn are only eyes and not the full face i still get the feeling that if that handsome creature was hiding behind tall grass staring at me like that i would want to run, i dont need to outrun the tiger, just the person with me..


This is a subject i really like doing, we all have eyes but the difference is outstanding,  we all have our own personality and individuality and thats what makes us different, but the eyes are the soul of that person or animal and need to embody the whole being, therefore they must be correct or the illusion is lost. This is again one i did some time back, i believe i did about 4 different ones but this is on my list to continue doing, painted using Conte sticks and stabilo pastel pencils..

Teal Jug and pears..

So, carrying on from the my first attempt at oil painting i chanced apon this picture and decided to give it a go.

The jug in the picture i used as reference was a bit more teal than mine, this is my made made up version of a colour i had to search for and to find out how to mix it. Having watched a few videos of artists painting fruit, i soon realised its not that easy to get them looking ‘real’ , i know people say its more an interpretation, but i would love to paint realistically, as yet this alludes me.tealjug

I have however over time gotten better at it, and you will see (hopefully) as i continue to post my art journey and get myself up to date with where i am at the moment. I also used to use Griffin alkyd paint because it dries so quickly, but i now combine this with Georgian Oil paint, dries slower but i just love it..

After using lots of brushes that are not right for the job in hand, i have decided that to make a decent go of it i must buy better brushes, i opted for Rosemary Brushes and i have never looked back since.

More to follow…

‘Eyes of ‘ series..

So i thought i would begin to show the next phase i went through drawing animals in soft pastel and pastel pencils.

This was something i came across on the internet where several people were doing animal eyes, as they are the soul of any painting or person for that matter, i thought, why not. let’s give it a go.cougareyes2

I began my little venture with a set of Cougar eyes, you can find plenty of free images out there to use on sites or just cut them out from a full head. I find it quite hypnotic when you look into eyes, the colours and shapes in there are amazing, and trying to replicate them is a challenge, but exciting, go on , give it a go…

Early Oil Work

When i first started going to tutors for art lessons, i went not knowing what was going to happen or if i even wanted to be there, one thing i did know though, i didn’t  want to paint in oil, thank you..

After going for several weeks and slowly building up pictures in coloured pencil my tutor asked if i would like to ‘have a go’ at another medium, being the ho-hum type of person i begrudgingly said ok, and she said ‘Great, you can have a go at oil painting’…

This is one of the first things i painted, but i really enjoyed it..pearnjug2

I think i will have a  go with oils I thought, so i did and produced this picture, although it isn’t  brilliant, i felt the ease of application of the oil as opposed to hours and hours of pencil blending was fantastic, and definitely worth another punt.

I felt the urge to explore this medium further, so i took to watching youtube  videos containing oil painting, its amazing really just how many friendly people there are out there willing to share their knowledge with you, so with renewed vigour i set about another picture, i still fancied carrying on with the still life side of things as  they didn’t have hair or fur to worry about and mainly supported smooth round or flat shapes containing various colours, with look and a fair wind i will continue to add more pictures shortly..



Lions Head

This is the last ‘ head of’  paintings before i began with the ‘eyes of’ series. I think its a good way to get into animals without painting the whole thing, so to speak. 

What you do get is a grounding into battling with fur or hair, the colour, thickness and whether its straight or curly as there are set rules to follow regarding these matters. Although when applying strokes onto paper, trying to make an impressionistic but believable crop of hair or fur, it has to be said that careful notice of direction has to be observed. The more the hair flows in the natural direction the better it will look as you get nearer the end of the painting and the thicker it alludes to be.

One other thing, when finalising your painting with the finest of stray hairs or whiskers, the sharper your pencil point has to be, this can be the difference between  a good painting and a mediocre one.

Lions Head in Pastel