Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ozzy completed!

Ozzy, originally uploaded by impshlady.

finished him yesterday but was too tired to post him. here he is looking very smart and already winging his way across the Atlantic to his new owners.

Manx cat commission

DSC09827, originally uploaded by impshlady.

did this today and it only took five hours start to finish including sketches and everything.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

preparatory sketches

DSC09798, originally uploaded by impshlady.

these are a couple of prep sketches I've done before embarking on the next portrait. I've found this helps to loosen me up and get the anatomy sorted.

You might think "why havent i seen a sketch on here before then?" and there is one simple reason for that.

Previously I have transferred the basic outline of the animal onto the paper and then used my time to create the portrait and render all the fur and textures.

the method I used was printing off the photo and drawing over it, and then rubbing that drawing onto the paper, but the printer i have now is too inky to do that, so now, its back to Pet drawing class 101 for me!

I am really loving the chance to get in depth with the portraits and build them up from nothing, and the end results are actually warmer portraits than the previous ones (IMHO) but the knock on effect is they take much much longer to draw.

This portrait is going to be great just because the cat has such great character, and prep work like this reduces the possibility of me finishing the picture only to discover the head is to big or the eyes are too close together.

This means I will have more material to post on this blog, so if there's anyone still following it, or finding it for the first time, I hope it gets more interesting for you from now on! :D

Friday, April 04, 2008

New Etsy store opened today!

Its a great day in the world of pencilpetportraits, I have opened a shop on Etsy.com where I can sell my paintings drawings and other handmade crafts direct to buyers across the world. I can accept payment from all countries via Paypal, and buyers can leave me feedback for people browsing my store to see.
If there is a drawing on this blog that was not a commission, I will list it on Etsy for sale, along with other non pet related paintings and drawings.
Click the above image or go to www.impshlady.etsy.com and don't forget to bookmark it!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Who's a pretty girl? me!

This is my latest commission, for someone to give as a Christmas gift. I was nervous about dong this one as it's been a while since my last one, but i am really pleased with how it turned out.

Prettygirlcropped.jpg image by Impshlady
This is the reference, i cropped it and upped the contrast a bit just to make it bolder.

December2007003.jpg image by Impshlady
This was the first efforts and to be honest i thought I'd ruined it already.

December2007004.jpg image by Impshlady
More progress here but not much.

December2007005.jpg image by Impshlady
Getting more confident filling in the fur and the molding of the face.

December2007006.jpg image by Impshlady
Still the same pencil (which is much shorter now i have done the portrait) but turning into a dog finally.

December2007007.jpg image by Impshlady
More of the neck and the funny fold of fat dogs get above their collars.

December2007008.jpg image by Impshlady
Bit of a jump here, i got carried away while talking on the phone to my mum. looks good though doesnt it? The purple gums and eyelids and the pink tongue really make the fur recede back a bit. in fact the fur looks so washed out here its unbelievable...

December2007013.jpg image by Impshlady
So i go over the fur with darker tones and try and beef up the values a bit.

December2007014.jpg image by Impshlady
More darks on the fur and the red of the collar. I often switch to one of the minor colours to break up doing the fur a bit. if you go back to it after a different color you can see what needs doing more.

December2007018.jpg image by Impshlady
I reluctantly do the nose and eyes last because they are the bits that if you mess them up you are really in trouble. the fur and the ears and stuff are quite forgiving but if you mess up an eye...you pretty much have to start again. I do an undercoat of grey just to figure out the shape and tones before committing to the blacks.

December2007019.jpg image by Impshlady
A bit scary looking here, with only one eye. As soon as you get the blacks of the eyes in it makes sense of the dark shadows around the eyes, the purples, the gums everything. What looked like a dog in lipstick turns into a dog with naturally purplish black lips. whew.

December2007023.jpg image by Impshlady
And heres the end result. More work on the fur and the tags and other little bits and pieces of tweaking, but really once the eyes go in, thats it.

sadiesmall.jpg image by Impshlady
Scanned the two halves in and stitched them together in photoshop. The colours are better here than on the camera, so you can see the layers, and she looks a lot less yellowy.

All i have to hope now is that it gets to Canada in time for Christmas!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Booboo the akita

wow its been a long time since i posted on here, but then its been a long time since i drew any pets! I have done a couple of commissions of people for family members but i didn't think it was appropriate to post them on here.

now i get to post booboo though. he was lovely to draw thanks mainly to the great picture i had for a reference.
I am so pleased as this is my first non cash portrait commission. I post on a site called www.craftster.org and people on there are really into swapping things they make with each other. Its a great idea as it means people can get handmade items they wouldn't be able to make or buy otherwise, and to craft things for other people and make friends. its fab! I had no idea what to offer to swap as my knitting is good but not great, my sewing is about the same and i don't have any skills in other crafts to speak of really. The only thing i hadn't thought of was my drawing...i know its quite obvious isn't it.

i posted my portraits and was inundated with requests almost immediately. the first one i have done is booboo, which i am swapping for a supercool weekend bag. i am so excited! :D

anyway enough of me blathering here he is!

I am going to wait and then organize my next personal swap, as i have a lot to do at the moment. but as soon as i do it'll be posted on here!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Golden Lab and Collie

These were my reference shots, excellent poses with lots of detail. I photoshopped them together and put the dark back in the eyes, its really hard to draw a dog or cat if their eyes still have the flash in the them, dont know why.

I got the images drawn out in fine pencil lines and started on the Lab's fur, i havent done this breed before but i found it went on quite easily, with the white of the paper providing most of the highlights for me. The nose was a lovely caramel colour so i built it up slowly to get the contrast right. The pink tongue was lovely to do, really nice to have some bright colours ona portrait.

I put in the chain and the tag early so i didnt forget them and get carried away with fur too much.

I worked onthe muzzle with all the hairs pointing back up the slope of the face, luckily this bit of the dog is quite dark so there was plenty of contrast to work with. its hard whe these areas have a highlight down them because you lose the definition. I also put the dark purple on the gums and lips and the same purple on the collar.

I did the other ear, more on the nose and mouth and more on the fur. for some reason i was putting off the eyes.

I popped the eyes in quite easily and they seemed to look right, although its hard with camera flashes to know what the dogs eyes look like in person. This is about done, but i can always add a bit after i've done the other dog.

This was the nightmare stage. I thought i'd ruined the whole thing! the coat is brindle not black so i had to put more light colours in. Also the coat is fine and wavy and long so building it up took ages. The trick is to keep each pencil stroke as one hair or one shape in the hair. that means however rough you make it, the overall impression will be of fur running in that direction and not of a flat piece of colouring.

I put the eyes in early on this one, just to see if it was easier. it gave me the alarming feeling that it had come to life sooner than normal, so it watched me while i did the other bits. quite unnerving really. The highlights make the fur look so soft, i dont know how, but i'm always amazed.

This is almost done, just the muzzle with all those little black hairs and white whiskers and the nose being quite hard to draw.

I had to put paper under my hand at this stage as it was getting late and my hot hand kept transferring the black onto the white areas. This is a frightening thing to start happening so late on in a portrait as its hard to erase the black marks properly.

Here they are in all their glory. I really like the contrast in personalities and coat colours and textures. You couldnt have two less similar dogs really but they work as a pair!

The whole thing took me over eight hours but i'm very pleased with the result.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Don't panic!

you might have visited this page only to find it very white very plain and quite different to what it was, don't worry, it had just been a while since i'd updated it last, and i thought it could benefit from a bit of a revamp. I'm going to make bits and pieces to put on it, so if you find it changes a bit more over the next little while then thats why.

Other news is that i finally had to buy new pencils, a black and a white as mine had worn down to stubs, so i found that Rennies in Liverpool sold Derwents as open stock. I bought the two i needed and they seemed to be just the same as the ones i had used previously albeit in jazzier coloured outsides. When i came to use the black it went on very much like eyeliner, with gooey black fudgeyness which smudged, was impossible to rub out or blend and was generally horrible. The white seems alright, but then how wrong can you go with white?

In desperation i have been using a makeshift pencil holder to support the stub of my old pencil, but then last night, my mum mentioned that she had some very very old derwents and that there might be a black or a white among them. I had a look and hoorah there were two blacks and one white!! Now to get all worked up about pencils might seem a bit sad, but if the things which make a portrait (eyes, nose, highlights, shadows) all depend on using black and white, its crippling not to have them to hand! So if you are about to order a portrait then fear not...i have good old fashioned pencils with which to draw it, and it wont end up looking a dogs dinner! :D

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Horse commission finished.

Here he is all matted and finshed. He took seven hours and i'm very pleased with him.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sparky the wonder horse!

Here's my new commission reference picture...handsome isn't he?

Okay, heres the pencil outline, i transferred some of the major lines in, but to be honest it can be confusing to do that unless you know what they mean, so anything that didnt make sense to me got erased pretty quickly. It took me about an hour to get the outline done to my satisfaction.

I did a watercolour background to save time, the client said he really wanted the horse to stand out as the detailled thing on the picture. i ususally do this in pencil crayon but often i have run out of patience/time and the backgrounds suffer as a result. I put blues at the top of the background and in his eyes and his mane for the sky and reflections and i put a brown over his fur, and green in the bottom of the background. hopefuly this will give the suggestion of outdoors without me having to draw it in. The watercolour and this amount of pencil work took me another hour.

I'm using Derwent Studio pencils by the way. I used golden brown above his nostrils, sepia as an undercoat, and chocolate over the top. This was after another hour.

I used french grey for the areas around his eyes and his nostrils and mouth. i burnished all the light areas with white, and then went back over putting in the darks with chocolate again. I suppose another half hour. its hard to keep track!

I have to do his neck next as i worry that I wont be able to match it to the face if i leave it too long. I'm glad to see the background is receding nicely the more work i do on the horse.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

okay so the cats still havent been done yet..but i did do this....

its another staffy sorry about the terrible image quality i crammed the drawing into the scanner and it cropped off all the background so it looks more cramped than in real life.

Its 12x 16 in Derwents again. I'd run out of back and white, the two colours i use to finish every drawing (which is why i havent done the cats yet by the way!) and i had to rek into town and go to Rennies and get more and they were£1.10 each! blimey. ANyway they worked exept for the nose which i bodged slightly. The client was very happy with it though and thats the main thing.

i mounted it up in a nice orangey brown mount to match the dog.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

next commission, a freebie to say thankyou to a friend.

Here are my next subjects, a handsome pair and even nicer IRL, so all i need now is a black Derwent pencil and i can get cracking! Also i have seen somewhere people scoring the whiskers in before putting the black over it, so they are really white grooves. It seems hard to me, and what if the groove goes wrong? you'd surely have to start again? I dont know.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Double dog update...

i dropped it off yesterday and they were very pleased with it indeed! (she had a baby in January hence the delay in delivery, mine not hers...) I did a picture of her newborn as a present and she was delighted. (i'd show it to you but i couldnt get a good enough scan of it to post. )

Friday, February 03, 2006

Latest Comission...Jade the mongrel in coloured pencil

Here's the latest commission, a lovely old mongrel called jade. Coloured pencil on 100lb smooth W+N paper. Took almost 4 hours! long haired animals...when will i learn? not sure about the background, might need toning down a bit.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Zazzle pet portrait gift store!

Click to visit the new Zazzle store! Posted by Picasa

I've created a Pet portrait gift shop on Zazzle, which will sell gift items such as prints, greetings cards and even U.S. Postage with Pencil Pet designs on.
I only use images if the owner gives their consent, or images that are still in my private collection.
I will be adding new products with each new design i create so be sure to check back regularly and browse the store.
If you have already had a portrait drawn then why not get matching notecards to go with it? I can place your drawing on items and send you the link so you can order them yourself. I can even make them private so other visitors can't order them, which would mean you had a truly unique gift.

If you are thinking of commissioning a drawing but perhaps havent got the budget yet, the zazzle notecards and prints make affordable gifts.

If you have any requests of dog types youwould like to see drawn and in the zazzle store, then let me know. I'll still have the drawing, but you'll have a specially designed gift item.

Click here to start shopping!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

business card promotion...

hi everyone, just a little post to welcome anyone who is looking at my blog as a result of being given one of my business cards...As you can see below i did make a wide selection of cards as examples of my work and as a kind of mini portfolio. The cards feature fifteen different designs, all previous commissions or gifts.

If you are baffled as to what to do next, its easy, find your favourite picture of your pet, or sneakily find a good picture of the recipients pet, and drop me an email with the details of what you want, with your phone number and i'll call or email and give you a quote. Once thats out of the way you can email the picture to me, or post it snail mail and i'll get cracking.
I send commissions unframed and unmounted in a tube for protection, unless you reqest otherwise.

If you have one of my cards it means you are in the UK and so can ring the mobile number on the card to talk about the commission.

Now...which photo to use? thats the question...