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I write this whilst the world is under threat from the coronavirus, it feels like I am watching a movie which can’t possibly be reality but unfortunately there seems no way to wake up from this nightmare.
Currently I am in Dorset with my daughter, my husband (and cats) are in Qatar and we aren’t allowed to return back there as the boarders are closed; my husband could fly out but then wouldn’t be allowed back, which wouldn’t be good for his work. Qatar hasn’t even reached its peak yet, so I can’t see them opening their boarders anytime soon (a sensible decision really) but makes me wonder when we will all be together as a family again, September….
It is hard to find a positive considering all the deaths and uncertainty, however, I am spending spring in the UK which I haven’t done for quite a considerable time, and what a wonderful time of year it is! On my once a day allowed walk I have discovered so many different footpaths, love watching the lambs galloping around the fields and the calves curiously approach me as I stand by the gate taking photos. When do we generally have time to just stand and observe? In our garden there is a blue tit making her nest in one of the bird boxes, I literally spend ages watching her and am almost at the stage of naming the blackbirds who come in the garden – my daughter thinks I am slowly losing the plot, actually though, I am just so appreciating being amongst greenery and wildlife after years of life in the desert, makes me realise how much I miss England.
During this lockdown I have been very productive art wise – there is only so many times you can clean the house! Serenity the deer and Dillion the donkey both got finished.
Plus a new drawing calling “Motherhood”, of course inspired by all the lambs and how they interact with their protective mums.
I am now starting a calf drawing, fortunately I have so many great refence photos to choose from.
Hopefully by the time I write my next blog post we will have come out of this situation and even more importantly, have a vaccine. Very worrying times at the moment, stay safe everyone.
At the moment I am living in Kuwait but my hometown is Poole in Dorset. It is so nice to visit there and get a good dose of greenery before returning to the “dust bowl”.
Whilst in Dorset, Poole park is a favourite place to visit, not least because of all the feathered residents. As I will be returning to live in Poole in the summer of 2016, I thought it was about time I drew some creatures from my roots – there have been a lot of camel portraits lately! Having taken loads of photographs I decided on this Canadian Goose, little did I realise how long all those feathers would take, they were painstaking to do. It was worth it though, I am quite happy with the result. He will come with me to the UK to be framed and I hope to take place in the “Art in the Park” exhibition this year in Bournemouth. Will be so nice to be living back in England, even though the umbrella I am sure will be used a lot!
Look at this cutie! Can’t help but smile when I look at this face. Nicknamed him “Elvis” because of his lip curl – hope he isn’t a she…..
A trip to Wafra at the weekend resulted in this camel photograph; one of over 50 I took in my attempt to get the perfect shot. I am always unsure how to act around camels, I know nothing about them and can’t read their body language at all (give me a horse any day). They also tower above me which is a bit imposing however I have to say, the ones I met at the weekend were all on their best behaviour. At one point a camel walked right up to me and lowered his head to have a closer look, he looked so sweet I scratched his nose which he seemed to enjoy; I did shove my daughter behind me though just in case I had read the situation wrongly! Their companion (not sure what you call the man who walks with them with his stick) did say something to me in Arabic, which unfortunately I couldn’t understand, I just hoped it wasn’t a warning that the camel wasn’t friendly!
This commission is for a lady in Kuwait, I emailed her a few of my better shots and she choose this very unusual and cute one. I am looking forward to the challenge as I have drawn a lot of camels lately (really popular with expats as keepsakes) but never one with quite such attitude and an usual lip curl.
Below is the initial sketch, starting to add the light and shade, all those little hairs take ages! No in depth detail yet, just working out where everything goes and building the framework.
Worked on finding the light and shade of that comical nose curl, now moving across towards the eye. Still just working on getting the structure in place.
All the basics now in place, have started working on the detailed layer left to right; at the moment he is looking like a two toned camel, will catch the right-side up soon!
Have added more detail on the neck area, now moving up to the right eye along the cheek.
Big jump here because I got inspired and worked non-stop! My favourite stage is when I begin to add the final detail, it suddenly starts to all come together. Here is the final scanned image.
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This adorable little monkey I photographed in Baguio in the Philippines. Unfortunately he was being kept as a pet and was on a long chain tied to the post that he is clinging to. At the time, Baguio was hosting a garden show/competition and somebody seemed to think he enhanced the look of their garden – as I expect you can tell, I am totally against keeping wild animals as pets!
In any case, even though this photograph doesn’t hold good memories for me, I do love the depth of emotion in his eyes. I always strife to show emotion in my drawings, therefore I wanted to attempt this one. My husband in the background is saying ” A frightened monkey, Denise no one will buy it”! However instead of being commercial, it is more important for me to draw what moves me, so a worried monkey it is!
Have now worked for a few hours on the sketch, am working from top left down. I am going to continue trying to get the face part more detailed before moving onto the rest. So far so good, quite liking the look at the moment, still lots of work to do on the eyes though.
Have now worked every area to get the basic structure. Now comes for me the best part, putting him on the easel, stepping back and working from a distance. At this stage I refine the light and shade to start to unify the drawing.
Here he is, the finished little monkey. I am so sorry I couldn’t help him escape the situation he was in.