** Sale ** Bear & Cub Original Drawing!

This Brown Bear and her cub is an original A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) Colour pencil drawing which is up for sale. To make room for my upcoming wildlife paintings I have a sale on a couple of my originals. Follow this link ‘artwork for sale’ for more details and to see a couple of other pieces at a reduced price!

Upcoming pieces..
Not wanting to give to much away but I have a real variety of subjects planned for my next few wildlife pieces. Another mother and her baby captured beautifully by the photographer, some creates used to sub zero climates, and others on a much smaller scale which are very cute and here on our doorstep in the UK. Can’t wait to share πŸ™‚

My next pastel piece.. and paper talk :)

Back in June this year I purchased 2 full sets of pastel pencils and a full 120 soft pastel stick set. About 5 years ago I bought the full set of Derwent pastel pencils and only used them once and never finished the drawing. It was of a Zebra and for whatever reason, which I cannot remember, I never completed it. This wasn’t unusual as I did used to start a wildlife piece and start another before finishing the last. So therefore I never really finished anything. This was a rule I made to myself when I went full time 2 years ago… Any piece I start I MUST finish before starting the next.

My difficulty with pastels…
When I bought these sets it never entered my mind the difficulty I would have using them.. If I would have know I would probably not have invested in them! Turns out .. I HATE the feel of the pastels on the textured/sanded paper that pastels require. The gritty feeling goes straight through me like nails down a chalk board! Weird I know πŸ™‚

The howling Wolf was my first pastel piece I experimented with and finished! I was delighted when the next day it sold! So that was a real confidence booster for me and made me want to work through the medium to a point where I am as comfortable using them as I am my other mediums.

Wolf reference by Paul Fine. Background is my own.

New paper…
Every so often I buy new materials to try out. When I was first using my colour pencils I bought sooooo many paper types and brands. I dont want to know how much I spent haha! But this is part of the process of ‘learning your trade’. What works for others may not be suited for your techniques. I personally like a smoother paper than hot-pressed watercolour paper which majority of colour pencil artists use. It just falls down to personal preference and what works best for you.

The new pastel paper I have bought can be used with colour pencils as well. I don’t think I will be changing my colour pencil paper however I do want to be able to incorporate my pastels and colour pencils together. So this may be a happy medium. The bonus is that it comes in so many gorgeous colours so if I like it I will be experimenting with a variety of colours for various subjects!

Keep updated…
Follow me on Facebook for here on my blog to keep up to date with how this new material venture turns out πŸ˜€

‘Purrfection’ Limited Edition Prints!

I picked up more limited edition prints of ‘Purrfection’. My framer always does such a wonderful job and I just love them!

If you order now you can still get them for Christmas! They can be purchased over at my ‘artwork for sale’ under limited edition prints or feel free to contact me at zara.toms@hotmail.co.uk πŸ™‚

Limited edition run of 150
GiclΓ©e prints on 300gsm on fine art, archival quality paper.
Each print will come professionally mounted/matted.
Image size: A4 (8.3β€³ x 11.7β€³)
Mount size: 14β€³ x 16β€³ Ready to fit in a standard size frame

As are all my pieces of artwork from pet portraits to wildlife I only use the highest quality materials that are lightfast and made to last. The prints will be of the same excellent quality. Each print will be hand signed and will come with a certificate of authenticity.

Β£35 (FREE P&P within UK)
– – – –
Reference photograph taken by
Stephanie Swayne @ Wildlife Reference Photos

Tilley & Cresta Video

Here is the full time lapse video of the recent Shetland and cart drawing I have recently finished.

There were so many elements to this portrait. It could easily become very daunting and not know where to start. I have never drawn this much leather work on one portrait but I approach it as I would any other … Break down into small sections.

When you watch the time lapse video you will notice how I work on small areas. The parts where the leather over laps and creates shapes I use to my advantage and focus on these ‘shapes’ one by one.

See my previous work in progress post for tips on capturing movement. Focusing on the lights and darks πŸ˜€

Shetland and cart finished!

Meet Tilley and Cresta :D.
I have said it on each progress update here… But this has been such a fun portrait to work on! All that leather work was a great challenge. I adore capturing movement in portraits. I did a Jaguar that was walking towards the camera as one of my first wildlife drawings as it’s always been a favourite. This is certainly at the top of my list as well.

The full time lapse video will be uploaded here tomorrow morning. On that blog post I will explain certain aspects of how I tackled elements etc.

First attempt at Digital Painting!

There was a few days where I was unable to sit at my easel. I hated that I wasn’t creating something so I downloaded a free app on my tablet and used my phone stylus and had a go at a digital painting of my horse Jack.

I was pleased with how this came out for my first attempt. I did then start a Red Panda digital painting but haven’t got round to finishing that yet.

Digital painting is done just in the same way as traditional painting. You have the different brushes and you can adjust the settings of the ‘paintbrush’ so you can achieve narrower, lighter strokes etc. Of course it does help to have an UNDO button and the option of working in layers so if you make a ‘wrong layer’ you can scrap it entirely and go back to the previous stage!

Shetland cart update

Fun fun fun!
This portrait has been so much fun to work on. I cannot wait to share the finished photograph with you. I wish I could take good scans of my artwork. Getting the lighting right for the photographs isn’t an easy task. But the scanner doesn’t pick up the lighter details and it can make the drawing look really bleached out. It may be that I don’t have a scanner with a high enough resolution or I am not using it right … The latter is more likely!

Capturing movement..
The various shadows and highlights on their body is what creates the sense of movement. Capturing where the light hits and reflects gives the bone structure and flow to the piece.

If your shadows are not dark enough your highlights will not seem bright enough. Sometimes you need to go darker in some areas rather than trying to make the highlights brighter. Take a photograph of your artwork, open it up in a photo editing programme (doesn’t have to be anything special – any free programme will have the same adjustments for this) and adjust the contrast. If you like the look better than your art make these changes. They don’t take long and it can make all the difference to the finished piece.

The full time lapse video is coming soon! I upload to my channel regularly so head over and subscribe if you don’t want to miss out on any new content I am sharing πŸ™‚

Beautiful sky colours

Although I am not a fan of the shorter days and dark evenings we do get some really pretty skies this time of year. Every morning as we come back from feeding my horses and sheep there is usually a lovely pink sky. It reminds me each time of my recent Barn Owl painting ‘On the pr-owl’.

Limited edition prints and the original are for sale :). Head over to ‘artwork for sale’ for more information.

Barn Owl reference Craig Maisfield
Sunset and foreground are elements used to create a unique piece of art.

Bella & Molly

Last week I completed this A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) colour pencil drawing of Bella & Molly. They have such expressive little faces and they were a real pleasure to draw.

Their mum who commissioned the portrait was intending it to be a surprise gift to their dad for Christmas. Once she received it she was to excited to wait so gave it to him straight away :). The full time lapse video will be uploaded very soon!

A4 (8.3″ x 11.7″) Colour pencil drawing