Sunday, 13 June 2010


Here is Ruby, completed but for the mount and frame, ready to give to my sister. I have found drawing Ruby quite emotional - my sister is in residential care and it is unlikely that she will even recognise Ruby. I will just be glad if the picture can give her even a small amount of pleasure.
In the end I used pastel pencil for the background on the reverse of the drafting film - which nearly ended in disaster. The first layer went on fine, I blended it with a tissue and then attempted to add a lighter colour on top - it wouldn't blend! I eventually rubbed hard with my finger and it blended enough to not look too bad.
I shall have a break for a couple of days before starting my next piece. I think I'm going to do a snow leopard, using a photo I took at Marwell last year. The plan is to use pastels on velour paper which I haven't tried before.

more of ruby

Several hours yesterday and an hour or so this morning have brought me to this stage and I'm relieved to say that it is going quite well. It actually looks better in reality - even my husband says it's looking good and I don't often get praise from him!
Now onto her neck and chest, then the background, then mounting and framing ready for my sister's birthday.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Ruby wip 3

I've made reasonably good progress today and I feel that Ruby is now coming along nicely. I'm working on both sides of the film which I hope will add a bit of depth to the fur. As I work I am making small changes here and there to the work I've already done, a bit more colour on the inside of the ears, a slight darkening of the eye rims.
I have given some thought to the background - if I decide to do one I think I shall use Prismacolors as they blend easily and I will add it on the reverse of the film.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

ear ear

Ruby is making very slow progress but at least she now has both her ears! It is a long while since I have worked on drafting film and I don't remember struggling with it like I am with this portrait. Maybe it is because I am using different pencils - polychromos - I don't know but it is frustrating. I can't give up and start over for the second time as my sister's birthday is fast approaching. Fingers crossed I will make better progress tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Ruby 1

After a few busy days I finally got back to the drawing board. I began this new version of my sister's cat a few days ago, I was busy on it this afternoon when I remembered I hadn't done any scans. So you are seeing it a bit further on than my usual first wip - probably about 6 hours work so far, excluding the line drawing.

This is on Polydraw 050 double matt drafting film, using Faber Castell Polychromos. Black paper behind the film as I work and for the scan.

Already I am finding it difficult - with the polychromos I am finding it hard to get more than a three layers which isn't giving the depth of colour I would like. With the eyes I have worked on the reverse of the film to overcome this. Now I'm getting to the part I dread; choosing which colours to use for the fur. The colours in the photograph I had printed look way too bright and garish so I am toning them down quite a bit, referring to the computer for the colours and the photograph for the precise detail. I am using my new Optivisor for the first time, it is very helpful but at present gives me a headache after just a short time. I guess it is similar to having a new pair of glasses!