Tag Archives: dogs

The Dog Had A Bath

14 Aug

 

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The dog had a bath and now she’s running around like a maniac! Husb and I are dog-sitting while her people are on holiday. She’s a Pomerpoo – a Pomeranian / Toy Poodle cross – very small with lots of black fluffy fur. When we bathed her it stuck up all over the place. She’s not too pleased about it. Sparta Puss thinks it’s quite funny though.

 

Sparta 2018

 

 

Drawing Black

16 Apr

 

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Drawing black is hard. So is drawing animals, well for me anyway. I’m pretty good at drawing cats now as I’ve had decades of practice and they tend to keep still. I haven’t quite got dogs though. Husb and I are puppy-sitting for a week, a little black Pomerpoo (Pomeranian Poodle cross). She has huge bat-like ears, big eyes and jet black silky fur, apart for a tiny smudge of white on her chin. I had a go this evening on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet using a free Markers app. I put in a dark grey ground to start with, then worked in light and dark on top with a variety of different digital brushes. Most of what’s black actually looks grey, silver or white when you analyse it. I drew from a photo, she’s far too excitable to pose for me.

Daisy Dawg

25 Aug

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Greetings apes. Sparta Puss here. The she-monkey that I share my house with has been cheating on me with a dog called Daisy. A DOG! They’re as smelly as apes and even more stupid.

 

 

The Greyhound’s Kennel

20 Feb

Twlc Y Filiast

This is the first of the ancient stone monuments I drew a couple of days ago when I was trekking around muddy Carmarthenshire with an archaeologist and a film maker. The Welsh name is Twlc Y Filiast which translates as the Kennel of the (female) Greyhound, but the monument is also known as Arthur’s Table or Ebenezer’s Table. It’s a Neolithic chambered tomb. There are a number of ancient burial sites associated with greyhounds. In Welsh, greyhound is milgi (female is miliast) and means a thousand dogs (or a thousand bitches) as a greyhound was considered to be as valuable as a thousand ordinary dogs because of it’s hunting ability, absolutely vital in ancient societies.

The setting is strange and ethereal. I’m used to seeing dolmen out in the open, often overlooking the sea or set on top of a hill and it was odd seeing this in a shadowy hollow by a stream just behind the now closed* village school in Llangynog. It’s well hidden and easily missed and the route was treacherous after the many weeks of torrential rain and awful weather.

Llangynnog 1

I had almost finished the drawing when I noticed the stone face in profile, looking towards the stream and the woods on the opposite side. I drew with willow charcoal onto a vintage British paper. I had a range of drawing materials but I instinctively reached for the willow charcoal; when I reflected on my choice later I realised that I had gone for an organic, natural material that had itself come from the woods and would have been used by ancient peoples.

*Many village schools have been closed by the Welsh Government, depriving rural communities of an important resource. A national disgrace in my opinion.

Cats And Dogs

14 Oct

book cover

I started a new sketchbook earlier this week, a Peter Pauper Press book called ‘The Cat’s Meow Journal’. That’s Sparta Puss ‘helping’ me to photograph it. Not!

The first scribbles are of the two little Patterdale Terriers belonging to Jane Simpson of Galerie Simpson in Swansea. I popped in a couple of days ago and just had to draw them. I used a biro.

Drizzly Dog

10 May

3 people and dog

Sometimes I work from photographs because I find it’s useful to be able to do a more detailed analysis of the image than I’d normally be able to do when I’m drawing directly from life. It gives me the chance to concentrate on things like perspective, proportion, foreshortening, reflections and composition. When I’m working with someone in a formal situation, a life model or someone sitting for a portrait study, there’s plenty of time to get things right, but drawing en plein air is way too fast to scribble down anything other than the most basic details.

Now and again, I pop down to the local beach to take some photos for drawing practice. This was a typical Swansea winter day, grey, drizzly with lots of dog walkers. I used a graphite stick into my A5 hardbacked sketchbook.

Distortion

10 Mar

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I’m doing some drawings from digital photos I took on Swansea Beach recently, to practice drawing detail and movement. Trouble is, when I downloaded the photos onto the computer and made them large enough to draw from, they have a lot of distortion. It’s not a problem, it just looks a bit fuzzy and there are some weird bits that I wouldn’t get if I was drawing from life. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’d be quick enough to draw these people walking, especially with the dog. I drew with a graphite stick into my A5 hardcover sketchbook, make unknown, it was a present.

 

Way Too Cute!

24 Feb

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I took my teenage niece with me to do a spot of puppy-sitting yesterday and I also took a drawing board, some beautiful vintage paper – Saunders from the Wooky Hole paper mill in Somerset – and charcoal, compressed and willow. I intended to do some portrait drawing of my niece, but I reckoned without the puppies! Way, way too cute and irresistible to a teenager apparently.

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I don’t know what she heard when I said,  “Keep still so I can draw you”. I think she heard, “Just roll around on the floor with the puppies then and don’t worry about keeping still so I can draw you!!!!!!!” So I did my best, but the little critters were a major distraction and I had to catch impressions of her as she cuddled the little tinkers. Ah well.

Beach Dog

16 Feb

beach dog

On the beach. A dog. And its trained monkeys. This afternoon, in glorious Spring weather, walking with Husb and little nephew along the promenade in Swansea Bay. It was beautiful and sunny and I snapped this little group at the water’s edge and scribbled from the drawing this evening with graphite into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook.

Canine Couture

13 Feb

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I spent a lovely afternoon at Galerie Simpson, Swansea’s newest arthouse, helping with the new exhibition which opens tomorrow. And I spent a half hour drawing the delightful gallery puppies, Sonny and Betty, in their couture puppy jackets.

The new show features original prints by contemporary artists including Gavin Turk, Jamie Reid and Gary Hume alongside work from local artists at Swansea Print Workshop. I have a large male nude monotype in the show and there are beautiful etchings, collagraphs, silkscreen prints and lino cuts from 2 dozen Swansea Printmakers. The show opens tomorrow between 4 and 7pm at 222 High Street, Swansea and runs until Easter, opening Tuesday through to Saturday.

The puppies were drawn with graphite into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook. They wriggle a lot which made sketching quite difficult, but it’s good practice to try out different anatomy for a change.

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