Sunday, 26 December 2010

Couple more dogs added.

I obviously haven't updated the blog for quite some time now. This is partly due to not having any new work to show you, and partly due to 17 days of shows in the run up to Christmas leaving me with about as much time on my hands as Santa on Xmas Eve.

Anyway, with shows (and Christmas) over with for a short while, I can get back to drawing - I need to as I have no original drawings left and an exhibition in less than a month's time!!

The shows were slightly affected by the weather, with the first week being very, very quiet when compared with last year - fortunately, it picked up from there. The 17 days of shows have been extended to 25 days for next Christmas, so that'll be fun!!

Here are a couple of drawings completed back in November which will be added to the dog collection. It is actually the same Schnauzer, Charlie, drawn from two different profiles. The owner should have received the original for Xmas yesterday, so I hope they like them.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Swaledale Profile Complete

'Swaledale Profile'
Size approx 14x12"

I said in my last post that i'd be working on the Swaledale over 3 days at the Harrogate Flower Show. The show turned out to be way too busy and successful for me to get much drawing done, so it was completed at this weekend's Hawes fair.

I think I need a break from sheep for a short while now, so it's either onto a dog commission or time to revisit the Hares! Time will tell which...

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Westie complete

After a very busy and very successful 7 days of shows, plus the ending of a 5-week exhibition, I have finally got this Westie drawing complete.

Time to get ready for the next set of shows!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Printer issues

I guess I can't really complain, having owned my Epson R2400 for about 5 years now, but it recently began spewing ink out of the front every time I changed a cartridge or it went through a cleaning cycle. It was still producing excellent prints, so I was reluctant to spend £600+ on replacing it.

I contacted Epson to see what they could do - they could collect it and service it for £200, but that seemed like a lot of money to spend on a 5-year old printer. After a bit of online searching, I decided that it must be the waste ink tank that was full. Rather than spending £600, or £200, I ordered a waste tank kit for a tenner that essentially bypasses the internal waste tank.

The printer is working fine again, but the really worrying thing now is, since the waste tank is now outside the printer and visible, I can actually see how much ink is wasted every time I have to change a cartridge! For what is said to be the most expensive liquid on the planet (mine works out to around £1 per ml), that's a lot of waste!

Do you think I can bottle it and sell it back to Epson?

Monday, 9 August 2010

Commission completed

As expected, I didn't have chance to scan any further stages of this during the last 5 days of shows, so here we are at the finished article.

It's been a very successful 5 days, beginning with Thornton Le Dale Show on Wednesday, which was much busier than I was expecting, then 4 days at Hawes, which gave me chance to get this dog finished.

So that's it for commissions for this year (having done 2). I now need to get my print stocks back up for the next set of shows and to replenish the Harlow Carr Exhibition that is still going on.

Monday, 19 July 2010

"Tawny Owl"
Image size approx 14"x11"
A bit of finishing off this morning after a very quite 2 days working on this at a fair over the weekend, and the Tawny Owl is finished. This one will be off to the Harlow Carr Exhibition on Sunday.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Barn Owl number 3 complete

"Barn Owl II"
Size approx 10.5" x 14"
Finally got this one complete today. starting another drawing in the middle of working on this one has made it feel like this drawing has taken an age to get complete, but we're there now.

This will be mounted and framed ready for the RHS Harlow Carr Summer Exhibition at the end of the month. Just a couple more to get done before then!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Little Owl Completed

'Little Owl'
Size approx 11.5"x15"

Monday, 21 June 2010

How good does a marquee need to be?

As mentioned in my last post, I was at the North Yorkshire County Show this weekend, but it didn't quite go to plan. Although, in the end, the day was a very sunny success, it did cost me my marquee!

I went to set up the marquee the day before the show and it wasn't particularly windy. It had started to rain, but that is always a guarantee when i'm putting up a marquee. However nice a day it is, the Weather Gods spot my marquee and decide it must pour! Just as I had opened up the marquee but not got it fully pegged down yet, suddenly a gale started, pulled out half the pegs and flipped the marquee straight over, buckling it in a number of places. With the help of some other traders, I managed to get it upright and standing with a lot of Duck tape and steel poles so it stood for the duration of the show (as you can see from the image), but i'm not sure it will live to trade another day!
I've had cheap pop-up gazebos that have blown to bits within minutes of going up, but this was a heavy duty pop-up marquee... I guess not heavy duty enough! Luckily, the rest of my outdoor shows this year are within other organisers' marquees, so I don't have to do anything about it until next year.

A note to anyone out there that is considering their own marquee for events like this, the good ones aren't good enough. You really do need to go for the full commercial grade marquees.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Swaledale Completed

'Swaledale Ewe'
Image size 14.5x10"
Managed to get this one complete yesterday, and it seemed to get quite a bit of attention, so we'll see how she does!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

New Card packs

I haven't managed to get back to the Swaledale drawing since the last show almost 2 weeks ago, as i've been busy getting ready for the bank holiday weekend.

I have been working on a couple of new greeting card sets as shown. They will be two boxed packs of A5 greeting cards, one 'British Wildlife Collection' and one 'Yorkshire Dales Collection', each containing 6 fine art cards with envelopes.

I am currently producing the cards myself as I do with my A6 dog greeting cards, but due to the time involved and depending on how they sell, I will be outsourcing these to a professional printer in the future. They are printed using the same Giclée printer as my fine art prints, so each one has to be hand fed and takes over 2 minutes to print - if they sell well, there's no way I can continue printing them myself!

Anyway, I hope to complete the Swaledale whilst at Hawes for the 3-day bank holiday, so should have an update on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Barn Owl - Hunting at Dawn

Barn Owl - Hunting At Dawn
Image size 10x14"
Finished this one up over the bank holiday weekend. It'll hopefully sit well against my earlier drawing of the perched barn owl.
On to Swaledale sheep next!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Books back in stock!

I finally have my books back in stock! All 3 books are now available to purchase directly from my website, and come signed by the author.
There is 'The Art of Drawing Animals' (pictured), 'Drawing Made Easy: Dogs and Puppies' and 'Drawing: Dogs and Cats'.

Click here to view details on my website.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Otter Study finished

"Otter Study"
Image size 12x8"

After a couple of weeks of ignoring this Otter drawing, I finally got back to it at this weekend's show. It was a fairly quiet weekend (everyone out enjoying the sun), so I had plenty of time to finish this up.
I don't come across many otters in the Dales, so the reference photo used for this drawing was kindly donated by an excellent photographer, Jeff Hawkins. You can view more of his photographs at
I'm exhibiting at the Harrogate Flower Show this weekend, so I need to get my stock levels up and get this little one printed and mounted .
Oh, and a note for future reference - NEVER draw wet fur again!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Black Labrador Head Study
Size - 12"x8"

Finished this Lab yesterday and straight onto an Otter today. I should have an update of that to post tomorrow.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Fox Study complete

'Fox Study'
Size 11x15"

I got this finished today as I hoped. This has been a bit of an experiment for me as i've been using a completely new paper, Arches Aquarelle Hot Press watercolour paper. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the manufacture of the paper I used to use (Langton Hot Press) has changed completely and now has too much surface texture for my taste. Arches is maybe still slightly more textured than Langton used to be, but I think it has passed the test.

How I approached this drawing was somewhat interesting also. Usually I would either complete the background and then move onto the subject, or complete the subject and then move onto the background. I have no idea why I worked in the surrounding background as I moved around the fox - when things like that happen during a drawing, I tend to just go with it.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

New website now live

My new website is now live if anyone out there would like to take a look. The URL is still the same or you can click the homepage image below. Hopefully it's a little slicker than my last site. There may be a few alterations to come over the next couple of weeks, but it's essentially done. I'd love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

New website coming soon...

I have been working on a new website for quite some time now. For those of you that noticed that I recently updated my old website, I knew it would be a short while before the new one went live, so wanted to iron out some of the issues with my old site.

The old (current) site was built using a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) web builder. This meant that it was limited to what I could do with it, and had a lot going on in the background which slowed it down a little.

The new site is built using Clikpic, an Artist/photographer specific site whick uses templates rather than having to build from scratch. It also has a built in shopping cart, making the buying process much smoother.

Anyway, here are a couple of screenshots showing the homepage and gallery section. I have gone for a similar style to my current website, simple and minimal. It should be live within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Barn Owl Complete

Finally got this one finished. Full size approx 15"x10.5".
The blurred background didn't take too long today, but drawing the owl first, meant a lot of work was needed to 'freshen' up the owl once the background was in.

I haven't had time to tweak the scan as yet. I usually produce a couple of prints to ensure that the scan is as close to the original drawing as possible. It should be about right, but may need a little darkening.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Taking a break!

As followers may have noticed, I haven't posted anything for a short while, mostly because I haven't had anything to post. Once the Christmas shows are over, very little happens (for me at least) until Easter. There are very few shows to attend and, the ones that are on during these early months of the year, usually aren't worth attending. The only exception is three weekends at the Art and Craft Fair at Hawes (once in Feb and twice in March).

With all this time you'd think I would be off travelling the world (didn't earn enough last year to do that!) or at least filling my days with drawing. In reality, this time of year seems to becoming my 'sorting' time of year. My stock levels are so low after Christmas that I have around a month's worth of printing, mounting and framing to get done. My website is so behind schedule that I have a good few weeks of work there. And once that is all done, I find myself frantically trying to get 4 or 5 drawing complete (which isn't going to happen this year).

Which brings me to the website. I created my own website but, knowing nothing about HTML, I used a WYSIWYG website creator, Bluevoda. It still took me close to a year to design and create it. Last year I made the switch from Windows based PCs to the Mac (best move I ever made), only to realise that Bluevoda doesn't work on the Mac OS platform. It has meant that there has been very little updating going on. I have now purchased Parallels, software that allows you to run Windows on the Mac within its own window....fantastic!

So my website has had a spring clean. My prints are now only sold mounted/matted (people seemed to be confused thinking loose prints came mounted and mounted prints came framed!), my 2010 show programme is updated (with more dates to be added as I book them) and it is all generally a little tidier.

I can finally begin drawing......