Thursday, December 16, 2010

Still working.

Work continues on my commercial project which is nearing it's completion. this is good because I'm daughter has been off school all week with the same illness...which is actually a very heavy cold/cough virus which was very kindly brought into my house at the weekend by a very well meaning but clueless friend. It's been an awful week and promises to be an awful weekend...not enjoying life at the moment. Will recover my usual bounce eventually.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I feel I must explain my absence of posting material here over the weekend. you see a very dear old friend of mine died on Friday after a short battle against cancer. Someone who I valued highly. three years younger than I, it was a sobering experience to see such a strong, vibrant and active man cut down so cruelly. A hugely popular and well loved man, Geoff will be greatly missed.

today I have begun work on the commercial project I mentioned a while ago.I'm not able to show you whit is I'm doing, but I will eventually. Depending on the time it takes this week, I'll post more and let you know how it's going.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

White Ladies - 20

Along with almost every one i know...I have a cold..I feel lousy. ...and temperatures here have not risen above freezing all week.It's cold. I'm pushing on with the trees here, but I seriously need to set to work on a commercial project that is looming. It won't take long relatively, but needs my attention. Hopefully I can run it and this project side by on one in the morning and the other in the afternoon?

Monday, December 06, 2010

White Ladies - 19

More tree..more thigh...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

White Ladies - 18

Not much done today...Jan is away for yet another I'm in charge. But I managed a little while on white Ladies.started on middle Tennis girl's thighs....(I'm enjoying my work at present!). Incidentally, if you'd like to see yourself featured in a piece of artwork like this..I'm only too happy to bring you into my world. If you'd like to see a piece featuring an online friend...please feel free to see my picture called 'Spirit ' which features the incredibly talented and gorgeous Julie Schuler. I'm happy to produce a piece to your own specification and fantasy...dare you?...I'm waiting for your ideas!

Friday, December 03, 2010

White Ladies - 17

 Temperatures hit amazing lows here overnight. The lowest temperatures were in Braemar Scotland which was -20. Here in Derby we basked in relative tropical temps of -9 ! But I love it...I like the cold and the snow which puts me at odds with the majority of my friends. So wrapped up snug and warm, I spent the better part of my working day on the trees.

Below are two photographs I took this morning. I got up around 6:45am and looked out of my window to see the Moon and Venus blazing away in a crystal clear sky...I took quite a few pictures because my camera has only a small aperture lens and therefore the exposure is relatively lengthy...most of the pics were blurred, but these two looked OK. There was probably only 15 - 20 mins between the two photographs.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

White Ladies - 16

More work on the trees..the snow continued to fall today with record subzero temperatures expected here over night.
Below, bumble the tailess kitten is now 10 weeks old!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

White Ladies - 15

 Work continues on the trees..they need only to be in silhouette. The upward angle in direction of the branches and the low view point complements the lifting skirts and hopefully gives the overall atmosphere a more cheerful and happy 'feeling ' is a celebration!.

we've had yet more snow overnight here in the UK...Below is the sight greeting me this morning from one of my kitchen windows.I love it when snow has accumulated on top of the most unlikely things giving the impression I live in a world of giant cauliflowers!
Annie's school was closed due to the weather conditions so I walked her round to her friend's house. I snapped this photograph of this gracefully towering tree.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

White Ladies - 14

I have chickened out of doing the hands today..I'm going to find a some one to model for me so I can take some good accurate photos to work from. You can see a tree taking shape...they always look a little out of place at his stage, but one the sky is added in, it'll be fine. there will be a similar tree in the same place between each Tennis girl.

Below is a shot of my garden this evening. The UK is currently under the grip of a very unusual for the time of year, cold spell. some parts of the country are experiencing dramatic snow fall and subzero temperatures. some of which have been forecast to reach  -20 degrees tonight.My area has seen light coverings of snow, but a good fall was occurring when I took this photo earlier.The cold spell is set to last until the weekend at least.

Monday, November 29, 2010

White Ladies - 13

Pencil lines in the background will possibly give you some clue as to where I'm going (you'd be right to guess trees)...although it's not the whole story.My next objective is to have a go at all the Tennis girl's hands.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

White Ladies - 12

The fifth Tennis Girl; is now in place. Sorry I didn't post yesterday, we had a very dear old friend to stay.It was a special time of remembering times gone by. so today, i'm back in the saddle.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

White Ladies - 11

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

White Ladies - 10

Have had a nice trip out for lunch today with Jan mainly to spend some money I was given for my Birthday. I bought a book about Alphonse Mucha. I've loved his work since my teenage years and today found a book which does justice to his work. We ate at a Thai noodle bar and used chopsticks...which I like to call 'Knitting noodles'...
The fourth tennis girl is it starts to get interesting.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

White Ladies - 9

The third Tennis girl is coming along nicely. Her dress is based again on a design worn by Chris Evert.Today I had one of those eureka moments concerning other aspects of the picture. Can't wait to uncover my ideas for you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

White Ladies - 8

Excuse me for the absence over the weekend..I was celebrating my birthday.It was a lovely time which ended on Sunday evening with a big family meal for which my eldest son Sam came back from university for.It wasn't a significant landmark (apart from the fact that I'm still alive!). Next year I shall reach the grand age of 50 and even now am planning the proposed Moulin Rouge themed party I'm going to throw!

I've started work on Tennis girl 3 today...believe it or not there will still be room for half a tennis girl on the left and right of these three! will all make sense eventually. Planning the rest of the picture is fun and is presenting many variations all of which ill be good. I've plenty of time to make the right choice. I also have to work on a commercial commission which needs to be finished before the end of the year. I can't show you what it is yet, but will be very pleased to reveal all next year sometime!

Friday, November 19, 2010

White Ladies - 7

Had a very poor nights sleep last night so had a slow day. Couldn't concentrate fully. but worked on second tennis girl. Her hair, ribbon and dress are based on dresses worn by Chris Evert in the early 1970's. the extra frill around the neck is not authentic for Chrissie but was seen in a Virginia Slims tournament video being worn by an unidentified player.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

White Ladies - 6

It's least to me, that the original concept for this piece has changed so much from the beginning. Probably not just yet, but I will return to the idea with me sitting on the park bench...that's for next year. Today I've begun work on the second tennis girl..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

White Ladies - 5

The day's work is not that apparent, but if you compare to yesterday, you can see that I've added deeper shades to her skin and buttons to her dress.What I haven't shown is the two tennis girls either side of her which have been roughed in..The complicated work on rendering the hands is looming ominously!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

White Ladies - 4

I'm still hovering in the area of "Oh Matron" and 'Carry On Nurse', that is until I add in the surreal  elements at a later date.I've worked on the folds in the material of the girls bodice here after the photo was looks like she is being accosted by two demonically clawed hands! On a more personal note, it's good to be back in the groove of dotting on a piece after so much dithering and sketching.

Monday, November 15, 2010

White Ladies - restart3 - 3

Slowly proceeding with this now...notice the DNA Double Helix necklace and Shuttle pendant!

Friday, November 12, 2010

White Ladies - restart3 - 2

Not done an awful lot on this today because it's been Jan's birthday, so we've been out to buy her a nice party dress and to have some lunch. But I have tentatively added in a bit of hair....did I tell you I love Bob hairstyles?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

White Ladies - restart3 - 1

You're going to wish you'd deleted my blog....but hold still dear reader, I've not trashed Restart 2, but I so love my 'Ooops Girls' that I couldn't carry on with out trying another face...I like this one. Who knows, maybe I'll treat you to restart 4 tomorrow!hahaha. I don't think so...I'm of the mind that if this doesn't work, I'm going to give up on the composition and mothball it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

White Ladies - restart2 - 2

It's almost comical hat I should settle on this face.You won't believe the difficulty I had resisting the desire to make her one of my 'Oops Girls'..I wanted a certain amount of attitude, and I think I've got it here.Sweetness and light she ain't...lets see how it translates to the rest of the composition!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

White Ladies - restart2 - 1

 Another's the development from the pencil sketch to the dotting stage. You can see I decided to go with the bobbed hair style again...hopefully this time I'll be successful.

White Ladies

Well...I'm such an idiot. So this time I've decided to hold back my progress photographs for a short little while , because every time I show them, it results in me making a mess of them! So, just to keep you up to speed, I've settled on a face for my main character and I've begun dotting at last. Things have progressed well today so far. I shall show you what I've achieved tomorrow....hopefully!

Friday, November 05, 2010

White Ladies - update

After producing over 30 drawings of faces, I think I might have settled on one that I'm just about satisfied with. There's no point in rushing these things, I'm counting on spending the next couple of months working on it , so I need to be happy to do so. I know you've heard all these things before, and I'll probably say them again!

So a big thank you for your continued patience !

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

White Ladies - AARRGGHH!

Guess what?...another day, another failure! ( Readers should disregard any hysterical and negative nihilistic vocabulary used in this post, but it's a means of release!) I hate days like today, I seem to have been wrestling with treacle and gas. I have a very clear vision of what I'd like to achieve, but the process of realising that vision is hampered by my total; lack of ability in doing so. Always just out of reach, the face of my beloved Tennis Girl is enigmatic and judgmental...calling forth a response. so far I've created a murderess and a goody two shoes....and I need to be happy with what I'm working with. It's a times like this that a real model, a muse with the special something I'm looking for would be what is needed. however, I'm used to spending hours sketching and re sketching...I know I'll arrive at the correct features eventually.

You see, even after nearly thirty years of  dotting, thousands of hours working, looking, seeing ( yes the two are very different!) and creating...the technique gets easier, but the representation of the content becomes harder and more complex. But sometimes I wish I could just fall asleep and wake up with a different life...maybe I could be a brick layer or someone in local goverment...maybe finances......but who am I kidding? I'm stuck with what I am and I suppose I'd better make the best of's a curse and a joy!

See you tomorrow with hopefully something better to show you!...or not....

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

White Ladies - 1 The restart.

Here we go again!

Monday, November 01, 2010

White Ladies

Went off into town this morning and bought appropriate watercolour paper and returned home to start work on a revised and improved version of White Ladies.All being well, i'll show you the progress tomorrow. But in the mean time, with apologies to m Face book friends who've already seen these photographs, here are a few pics I took on Saturday when Annie and I went for a walk around the historic Derby Arboretum.If you'd like to read up on the significance of The Arboretum and it's connection with New York, you should head here. So until tomorrow, enjoy the Autumn colours!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

White Ladies

Just a short note to let you know that things didn't progress very well with my work today on White Ladies, so I will be restarting.Sadly I had no more paper, so couldn't restart today, so I'm off into town early in the morning to buy some and then it all begins again. Regular readers will know to expect this chain of events.

So apologies if you're awaiting the next instalment. I don't mind admitting that I find restarts terribly frustrating,but in assurance, I can promise that when I eventually do find my way through it, it will be the best version! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

White Ladies - 3

There's always a point when I'm drawing a face that I've made up when it takes on it's own expression..she started off rather Myra Hindley'esque, and has now softened a bit..I'm trying not to make her into one of the 'Oops Girl's' as my friend DM wonderfully referres to them as. She looks a bit cheesed off here..lets see how she develops tomorrow!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

White Ladies - 2

 The pencil drawing above just prior to work starting on inking. Below you can see that some features have changed  in the process. This is usual and is actually fairly straightforward at this point. Many of you will remember that previous works have undergone drastic remodeling at this stage. I've tried to learn from those incidences by planning ahead and being sure of what I want to do. I've often hurried myself to go into production purely for the sake of being in production of a dotted piece. hope I've not spoken too soon, but things are progressing well at the moment!

Here you can see the forming of the hair...texture is important to me, and in this smaller format, i'm keen to produce something that will be appreciated close up and at a distance. I can see there is some unevenness in the arc of the hairband...things like this only become apparent for some reason when I want to show my work or if i've previously stated that i'm happy with it...I'll sort it tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

White Ladies - 1

I thought you might like to see the final pencil drawing before I do any dotting. Here she is, I hope to make her smile a little more 'knowing' and her eyes a little more guarded. But for now I'm happy with it..

Monday, October 25, 2010

Development - 8

I was out for most of the day earning money in my role playing guise.Again it was towards the training of benefits assessors who will ascertain the validity of Incapacity Benefit claims. I like to think it will help towards the training of astute assessors who will be able to bring help and support to the genuine claimants and prevent fraudulent claims from the greedy  and corrupt.

I have therefore not put in the length of hours I would have liked. but anyway, here's a poor resolution image of the individual drawings I have rendered for each of the tennis girls.I'm looking forward to starting dot work on the dark haired tennis girl first.See you tomorrow!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kittens again...!

 I've spent a really good afternoon drawing. work on 'White Ladies' is progressing well towards the dotting stage. I've been designing dresses and hairstyles today...they'll have to stay under wraps until tomorrow. Because I thought I'd give you an up date on the kittens. Above is's odd seeing a tailless cat. He's quite adventurous and has started lapping milk.
 Above is 'Wriggle'..she's going to move to her new home in a couple of weeks, and is almost as fearless as Bumble, but not quite. The last two are again of Bumble...they're a total joy to have around the house at the moment!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Development - 7 Giving beauty a face.

I developed one face, and then traced and retraced it until I reached the dark haired face in the middle...I'm not totally sure about her hairstyle, but I'm a step closer to a final version. I like to produce many faces on tracing paper so I can try as many in the composition to see which one works better.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Development - 6

A bit of a fragmented day...I had to go to Ikea this morning to help look fir various things. It was nice...especially the breakfast. But it interrupted the way I get ready for work in the day. I did manage to trasfer the tracings to the final paper today ( see above )...but this is only the you know there are probably months of work here. I've purposefully chosen a smaller format to work in to reduce the time involved. But in my heart of hearts, I just want to go bigger...who cares if it takes a year if I'm producing what I really want to? For now however...'White Ladies' will begin!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Development - 5

The time is drawing very near when I shall begin the actual dotting. Although I am at my happiest when I'm producing the final piece, I find great satisfaction from assembling my ideas in the way I've described over the last few days. It's a journey of discovery and  is all part of the process. Below you can see something that I like to do occasionally when I'm not sure about figure placings.I took a series of 3 photos of the Tennis Girl line and if you look closely, you can see various faces on tracing paper that I've drawn I try different ones out and also add in a cut out drawing of The Mad Vicar. I'll now be able to sit down with my pencil and fiddle about with each image adding in various details.

I shall be considering weather to have the Mad Vicar in front of or behind the girls...the looks on their faces will add to the story behind the characters . In the meantime, I've prepared a tracing f my drawings which I will use to transfer to the final paper.Below you can see the basic outline of the figures displayed against a white back ground....they are ready to be transferred. They will need feet adding at a later date...the faces can be added later too.