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.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Oil painted background scene; artist's modelling paste and acrylic inks. 16 x 14 canvas.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sunflower 3
Sunflower no 2

Saturday, 24 July 2010


Posted by PicasaFirst attempt at using acrylic ink on water colour board - 8"x 5". This painting is to be the first of 3.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Posted by PicasaForth Rail Bridge Blossom
A wee reminder of home in Oils. I thought I'd mix my liking for Monochrome with colour.. does it work?? This composition is devised from 2 photographs and produced for a monthly inclusion on

Monday, 24 May 2010

Posted by PicasaI had this idea to use pastels on an oil board canvas. However, it wasn't quite working so I started to use acrylics on top of the pastel and then when the acrylic dried I used pastel on top of the acrylic. With the acrylic paint I started off with a brush but it wasn't getting the effect I wanted and I got so frustrated that I took my palette knife out and went went for it (at 1am in the morning!). I think it generally works..!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

In Loving Memory

This is my 3rd pastel painting. It was painted in the middle of the night after hearing of the passing of my sister-in-law, Margaret. She will be greatly missed.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gemma - the finished pastel painting. I am now looking at the Internet at different tools to use to get the final effects I want to achieve. Am waiting for them to arrive so I can start "playing" with them..!!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

My second attempt at a pastel portrait. Am not totally happy with the final result.. lots of practice required me thinks!! When I look at the photograph I can see the mistakes or the bits that need changed... !! Guess I have to think about this one!! :-)
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Posted by PicasaThis is my first ever pastel painting. I was inspired to try pastel by a fellow artist Alicia Sotherland who makes amazing pastel portraits. This particular portrait is from a photograph of an Irish fiddler taken by another artist friend Deborah O'Keefe - another very talented pastel artist.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

New Painting

I started this painting this afternoon and painted solidly for 3 hours. I am quite pleased with the outcome so far. it is the largest painting I have ever done (36" x 24" ) and is on oil on black gesso board. Still along way to go to the finished piece but hope to have it finished by the end of the week.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Woman with sheet

Posted by PicasaI think this is the finished painting without over working it. Now I will leave it to dry, however I will keep going back to look at it to see if I need to touch up anything.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Woman with Sheet - work in progress

I am trying to be adventuress and moving up in scale with my Monochrome paintings!! This one is 46cm x 33. it is no less easier or difficult that a smaller painting but I like the feel of using a larger brush and so far have only used 2 different brush sizes and one dry brush to get the effect I am looking for. I have worked on this over two days for about 8 hours and I feel it is "coming together"...

Friday, 12 March 2010

Thursday, 25 February 2010

I decided to do something simpler and the image of the Cala Lily had been floating around in my head for months. I only had 2 canvases this size (8" x 24") however, these two paintings are to be a set of three. They are painted in acrylic on black gesso.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Katie 3

I think this is now a finished piece of work. I shall leave it to dry - the oil paint takes ages and hopefully it will be ready to take to London at the end of March.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Katie 2.

I have changed the material at the back left of this painting. The original was bugging me!! I am still not totally happy with the right shoulder but am not sure what the problem is..!! It looks as tho' she has a dent in her right shoulder and the shadow on the right shoulder is not right.. Anyone out there who can advise me - please do.

katie 3 Work in Progress

This is the final painting for Katie and I think it is nearly finished. I refined alot of the heavy shaddows and added more detail to the hair, face, hands and feet. I shall leave it for a couple of days to dry and finish the hair and possibly try and sculpt teh arms more as I htink they look a bit "sausage-like". I can't help but re-look at my drawings/paintings and find bits that I am not happy with! Therefore I always go back to it and try and adjust the parts that niggle me. Often I look at a work and it takes me ages to suss out what is bothering me about the work..!!! I always hope I find the problem before something is framed!!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

This is another work in progress of two of our cats when they were younger. It is to be a birthday present for my husband, (Jan 2010) but I got "stuck" so I have put it away. In this painting, I have used a palette knife for the background and much of the hair. However, to get more detail I started using a brush and will continue using brushes to finish the painting. Hopefully I will finish it and he will get it before his next birthday!! :-)

Katie 3 (work in progress)

My friend Doreen came round this afternoon and we painted for 2 hours. it was nice to have company and to chat whilst we worked. I tried to work on Katie (3) yesterday but I couldn't get into the painting. Plus the paint was still rather wet and it just wasn't working for me!! however, I got on well today and hope to finish this in about a week.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Mother seal and pup

This is another pen drawing I did approximately 20 years ago. It is done in pen and is done in tiny little dots to form the shapes, shading and contours of the seals. I really enjoyed doing this but it takes a long time. My apologies for the quality of the photograph.

Katie - Pencil Drawing

This is a pencil drawing I did years ago of my daughter age 3 - she is now 25..!! As you see from this drawing and the painting (mixed media) she has grown up!! Hee hee... She has a great face to paint tho'..

Katie 3 (work in progress)

Today I awoke early again and I decided to continue on this painting, before hitting the computer!! I worked on the figure for around 3 hours. It's coming together I think.. slowly but surely. I thinned out the oil paint with linseed oil (sometimes I made the paint too thin) and worked the brush strokes as though I was drawing - trying to feel the contours of the arms, legs and feet. It is time consuming but it's the only way I know how to get the depth and molding within figure painting. As I look at the picture I can see there are areas where it is too dark and areas where there is not enough light. The hands need softened as they are looking rather masculine at the moment!! So far so good...

Friday, 12 February 2010

Katie 3

Posted by PicasaThis is my latest work in progress and it is the 3rd monochrome painting in oils (8" x 10") for Katie. I hope she likes them all .. watch this space..!!


Posted by Picasa

For Katie 2

Posted by PicasaThis is the second in a set of 3. I still think there needs more work done as it appears rather "rough" and not as smooth as I would like it to be.

For Katie

Posted by PicasaI did this oil painting as an experiment in using monochrome colours. My daughter liked it so much that she asked for it. I sent it to her and she asked for 2 more to go in her bedroom. So this is the first of 3 monochrome paintings. They are small canvases (8" x 10") and took some time waiting for the paint to dry after putting on each layer of paint to build up the colour in an attempt to get the 3D effect - particularly as the painting is small.