Wednesday, 11 January 2012


It's been a long time since I posted!  This is not to say that I have not been lazy - and not producing anything - I just got waylaid by life..!  So..... over the next few days I shall now try and update this blog with a few works that I have produced and one I am working on.  

Monday, 20 September 2010

Horse Portrait

This is th finished portrait of Diejanah Al Naif.
I had had advice from water colourists on and from a superb portrait artist called Nick Beall of  I finished the painting off with pastel as I had difficulty getting highlights and shadows along his nose and muzzle.  I also used pastel pencils to tone down the coat and the highlights on the mane.  Hope you like it and I hope my friend does too..!!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Horse - Day 6

Posted by PicasaDay 6.  Had a better day today.  I got some great advice from my Wet Canvas watercolourists friends regarding the problems I was having yesterday with his head, and I think it is getting there now.  I am coming to a stage where the real detail on his nose is required and getting the shadows on it correct to acheive the molding of his nostrils and mouth.  This is not an easy painting!! Whew...c/c always welcome!!

Thursday, 16 September 2010


Posted by PicasaDay 5.
Am struggling with this today.  Can't seem to get the smoothness of the horse's nose.  I have painted then taken the paint off, painted then taken it off  but still not satisfied with it. The bright highlight is the cause of concern as it defines the edge of her nose to her cheek.  I left it and did more of her coat and her eye lid, plus started to define her nostrils a little bit more. Then added more to the harness.. but feeling VERY frustrated !!  If there are any watercolourists or any artist out there who can help me.. please comment!!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Day 4

Posted by PicasaI have had 5 days away from the painting due to the end of Ramadan and the Eid holiday. I think it has been good for me as I took a fresh look at it this morning and saw the squint fence.  So today I have tried to rectify it without the fence becoming too realistic. Having done that, I decided I needed to add more colour to the harness, the mane and the neck and also to remove all the artist's glue from the painting.  This would enable me to start adding colour all over and to add more detail to the horse in general. Also removing the glue would force me to cover all the white from the horse  and help me to work out the depth of shadows required to enhance the details.  So basically today I have been using my No 1 brush adding detail (hair strokes, eyes, nose and ears) and depth (the occassional colour wash) to the whole of the horse.  I even touched on her nose and mouth... scarey stuff for me!!  I spent just on 4 hours painting to get to this stage. I keep telling myself not to get bogged down in the detail and to look at the overall effect!   C/C welcome. 

Day 3

Posted by PicasaDay 3.
I started day 3 with trying to work in some details to the painting. I also removed the artist's glue from the mane which when removed clearly shows where the water colour has not taken.  I painted in more shadows and hair stokes. This is the point where I start using a medium size brush to give the allusion of hair. Once the paint is dry I take a finer brush (1 or a 2) and add layers apon layer of little brush strokes to give depth to the horses body and mane. I also added a couple of washes on top of the fine strokes to add a depper colour. I also added more colour ot the eye (always the most difficult to do). I also added a wash on the harness with a little deeper colour to add depth and try to attain the perception of 3D....!!.  I can feel the difficulty beginning to set in ... but tell myself it's all in my mind! I can do this ..!!  I have spent just over 3 hours today on the painting today and although there is a long way to go .. it's coming (I think!)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Commission Horse

Posted by PicasaI have been asked my neighbour who is leaving Qatar at the end of the month to do a painting of her favourite horse . O.M.G. I thought! I have only done one in my whole life and that was the pastel (found below in this blog). However, once I saw the photographs I thought .. OK! I'll do it... or try to do it! It is a race for time but ...
Day One: After 4 attempts at trying to stretch the paper for water colour painting I finally managed to do it and the paper stayed flat. Not an easy feat in these Qatar temperatures with a/c blasting away. Plus the board I usually use for stretching paper has warped so had to find a new one. My dear husband did his bit and found me a board that would not warp easily when the wet paper was put on it!! I left it over night and the paper became lovely and smooth.
Day 2: I put the pencil to paper and did a basic tracing of the head to ensure a true likeness and and transferred the traced image onto the lovely flat paper. Whilst I had been waiting for the paper to truly set, I was rummaging in my Art cupboard for my water colour paints, I came across my Artist's gum. I haven't used this before and had no idea how to use it! So I went on the internet and found how to use it (thank-you Windsor Newton - such a great sight for tips on any kind of painting!!) and practised on a spare copy of the painting. Cool stuff for keeping highlights and other fabby things. Anyway, I marked out the places where I did not want to paint and to keep white and started the painting! After 5 hours of work today this is the progress I have made.