Saturday, 30 May 2015

I saw a mouse... !

Well it is coming along,  the bricks are done, quite pleased with them.  Started on the boot, it has to look really worn, and I managed a mouse!   He can't be seen as yet, but he is tucked by the side of the boot,  as are the cigarette boots, and empty cans.   I've also begun shading the ground,  earth colours mostly,  I was thinking about a pool of water...  then thought that there was already enough in the picture. 

The bricks took ages,  lots of layering and blending, reds, browns, some blue.   Each one had to be done seperately, and then the cement inbetween was a mix of three greys, very pale, warm grey and a dark cool grey.   The grass is also a combo of greens, oh and some yellow.   Took about three afternoons to get to this stage.  Then I read in one of the art magazines that some chap took 3 months to complete a piece of work... !

Just about finished,  needs a few bits finishing off properly, like the cans, and more shadow.   And there is a mouse!  I had tried a few times to draw the mouse, and each time it looked awful.  I had nearly given up, but gave it one more go.   I also chose to hide him behind the boot.  He still needs to be a little darker,  and a little more definition around him.  

The cans were tricky,  had to really think about the light and shade,  more so with the crushed can.   The silver can needs a lot more work,  I was quite tired by this point,  well I'd been at from 1pm, and it was now nearly 4pm.  And you can spot the cigarette butts,  the tips were orange and a light brown, then I dragged in the grey with some cream to make them look grotty, but they could be grottier. 

Here's a close up of the mouse, quite cute really.  I would have liked him peeking out of the boot, but just couldn't get it to work.  

I was also watching the tennis, it is the French Open this fortnight.   Murray played a cracking match,  he's really in good form at the moment, just hope it continues into Wimbledon.    The other matches were a bit boring,  it will be more interesting next week when the going gets a lot harder for all the top seeds.  

I also discovered that I can now buy a week long sports pass for my Now box, which is great.  Before you had to buy a daily pass, which made it a bit expensive.  It also means I can watch more tennis, like the US open, and the golf! 

Still waiting for summer to begin,  not got any bedding plants yet.  But the garden is doing well,  the heather is looking fantastic,  the St John's wort survived its extreme haircut and is bouncing back, a few others are full of flowers.  The new tub is thriving, as is the replanted bush,  think it is enjoying having some new soil and compost. 

Was talking to an old family friend yesterday,  we discussed the weather, and that neither of us have yet managed to wear any summer clothes.   I took a risk and bought a new jacket for the summer,  managed to get myself a bargain from Cotton traders,  the jacket and sandals were half price, plus I had a voucher!   Now I just need the weather to improve.   I also discovered that a neighbour has been feeding Harvey!   She's agreed to stop now she knows he belongs to me,  though she said he was very cheeky and just wandered into her flat one day, then nicked her cat's food, he then proceeded to make himself at home.   No wonder he wasn't bothered about eating what I was offering!  

Got my PIP form filled in,  what a nightmare,  plus my hand was getting tired with all the writing.  Then on the day I posted it back I got a letter from them asking if I had completed the form, well I still had 10 days left to return it,  also they have taken nearly 2 months to send the form to me.  Just remembered, I didn't pay my bedroom tax,   oops, will pay it via the internet, plus I am in credit. 

Well got a new picture planned,  and it also includes a mouse, I am feeling brave now.   More tennis as well tomorrow, in fact it will be a tennis feast for the next few weeks. 

Thanks for stopping by...

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bricks, boots and a cat called Harvey...

New drawings, new challenges!    For me the challenge is to draw a mouse in this picture... tried twice!   Or maybe a can or beer?   The othe challenge was to try to draw, in colour, a realistic brick wall. 

I need to mess with this in Craft artist, and come up with a theme.  In the meantime I'm happy to just be drawing.  Usually after a successful piece of work I tend to dry up, which can be very frustrating.   So these are test pieces,  until I figure out what I want the picture to say. 

I kind of want this to be either the boot of a homeless person, or a builder,  or gardener...  still wondering how I arrived at this obsession with footwear!

Yep, more boots, and its morbid.  I came across a photo of a pair of cowboy boots and a lasso.  Not happy with this,  it isn't feeling 'right',  but I shall continue just to iron out the problems, then go back and do more with it.  As I am drawing it then more idead come to me, so I am calling this my 'ideas' week! 

Was looking at some mount cutters, saw one at a very reasonable price, but I kind of felt it was 'too' reasonable.  So back to the research,  and yes, it was way too reasonable for any hope of a professional finish.  The kit I do need is much more expensive, so need to save up.  In the meantime I found some made to measure mounts,  one allows you to upload your photos so you can see how it looks, all very useful.  I may buy the mounts for a couple of pictures, then make use of the stuff in Hobbycraft to make a frame.

Here's one I did a while ago, good to remind myself that I can draw other things when I put my mind to it!   Going back to the brick and boots pic, the first mouse I drew was okay, but was a bit too big! 

This is a hawk, can't remember its full and proper name.   I do remember how I enjoyed drawing this beautiful bird.   I love birds of prey, there is something so majestic about them.

Well my ambition to see these 3 magnificent Queens came to nothing.  I was partly defeated by my depression, but mainly by my physical disabilities.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to stand for any length of time,   which I would have needed to do in order to get a good vantage point.   I did, fortunately, find a live video link to the 'river dance', when the three queens sailed up the river and then turned together.  No mean feat in such a small river. 

I did pop into town yesterday and went to the cruise liner terminal,  so I did see the Queen Victoria.  The QM2 is coming back in July, so I may get a chance to see her then.  I have seen the QE2 and Brittania sail down the river, plus watched Concorde fly down the river, that was a sight to behold!   The Red Arrows made a brief appearance, our local paper said there would be a display,  er,  well there wasn't,  they dropped by on their way to Blackpool.   I was amazed to see how much coverage the event got,  it made most of the national newspapers, even those that hate Liverpool put at least one picture in their paper.  

And here is the happy cat,  full of fish.    He was being ultra fussy, all his own fault, he has been offered all manner of flavours of cat food and turned his nose up at most of them.  So today I got some frozen fish, just the cheap stuff,  he was snoozing in the airing cupboard.  Then he appeared, the smell must have wafted its way to his nostrils,   he couldn't wait for the fish to cool down... shades of Ms Mufti!   As soon as it was cool enough for his tongue he got stuck in,  ten minutes later there was a clean bowl.   Well he'll never be a fat cat,  far too fussy for his own good. 

And when will it begin to warm up?   I've just ordered a summer jacket,  will I ever get to wear it?  I'm still using my fleece!   

Let's all do a sun dance.

Monday, 25 May 2015

I saw three ships come sailing in...

 It's done, finished,  finito!   Though I need to add a  bit of shading round the feet, which I meant to do yesterday.

I finished the shoes off with pale and medium magenta pencils, yes I did go buy them.   Also picked up my art magazine, plus some posh paper, a frame, mount and tape.  Now I just need to get myself organised and start to mount the pictures and put them on the wall.

I'm tempted to have a go at framing,  hobbycraft have all the bits,  I may just try one and see what happens! 

Well with that picture finished it was time to start another, but what?


I wanted to show the pain that ballerinas endure,  I remember seeing a picture of a ballerina's feet, they were awful.   So I searched for a suitable photo that I could adapt, and having found one I set about creating this.

It is okay, the shading is a bit off,  but what I didn't like was the blood, it didn't look like blood.  The shoes simply looked as if they were stripey.   So,  I could make it bigger, or try with the original photo I had of the pink ballet, shoes but turn them black.   I did like the composition of this photo, I put in the skirt,  so I had a think, oh and a sausage butty...

And came up with this!   I used the pink ballet shoes photo, then searched for 'blood dripping',  trust me there are such photos!   Having found a few I liked, I downloaded them.  Now I was set up to do the picture...  then I thought I should perhaps tidy up the kitchen,  oh and get dressed!

I spent the afternoon on this,  it still needs a little more work on it,  the shoes need to be 'blacker'.  And there should be a bit more shading round the feet.   I used my silver metallic pencil for the 'floor' of the piece, doesn't show up on the photo, but it does in real life.  I used 3 different reds for the blood,  and the white pencil to pick up the highlights,  an oil pastel pencil will be used at some point to make those bits 'whiter'.  

It was also the day that the first of the Queens sailed down the Mersey.  My plan had been to get up really early and go see the QM2 sail in.  Well that was the plan,  at midnight some idiot decided to blast out music to entertain the whole road, around 20 minutes later the music stopped very suddenly - possibly due to another neighbour intervening.  Just what planet are some people on?   The music was so loud I could hear the lyrics!   Then a few hours later,  3ish,  guess who decided to wanted to play?  Yes, HIM, Harvey!   I think I dozed off again around 4 a.m,  and woke up at 6.30 a.m.,  too late to make it to see the ship come in.  Though the weather was awful,  and there was a lot of mist on the river.

Here he is,  still a bit bleary eyed from his early morning antics.   He was also the reason I needed to go to the supermarket, yes he needed food.   While I was there I got myself a couple of bottles of wine.  Paid for my shopping, and thought that the bill was a bit steep, so examined it and found I'd been charged the full price for the wine, which in fact was half price.  So off to customer service to point out the error, nice young man checked it all out, then gave me my refund... £20,  I was a bit confused but he said the other tenner was by way of an apology!  Result!

I did need a cheer up, and I got one.

Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday weekend.   I'm off to see some ships.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Hungry cat...

Is it the weekend yet?   I ask because it hasn't been a good week - mostly doing battle with the dreaded PIP form, oh and a howling cat, more of HIM later.

Inbetween all the stress I've enjoyed some light sketching, such as this little exercise.  Not quite as I want it to be, but next one will be better, or that is the theory!  I've been trying to capture glass with the coloured pencils, but find I am getting all muxed ip with the shadows.   I shall persevere! 

This is just plain old pencil, or graphite as the books insist on calling it.   A mix of H, 2H, HB and 3B, and a blending stump, oh and an eraser!   Much erasing went on,  at the first attempt the stems were wonky, then I got the order of the bases wrong..    doh.    Think the carafe is wrong, needs to be rounded. 

Onto what has been the main focus for the week - ballet shoes.   This is the forerunner of a new piece of work,  which popped into my mind today.   The main difficulty has been getting a decent photo as the colours I'm using are so pale.  I realised that I am short on the pale colours, no matter that shall be corrected soon.   It also gave me a chance to use the flesh coloured pencils,  I've used the palest one they do, and mixed it with cream.   The background will be darker, and there are more shadows to add.  I got to that point today when the picture began to 'pop',  amazing considering the stressful day.   I had settled down to draw, and watch the golf,  I bought a weeks pass to Sky Sports, but then encountered a few probs with my NOW box, it refused to recognise the new password.  After, just about, resisting flinging it out of the window I gave it one last go,  success!   So made a nice cuppa,  selected the pencils, got settled and...

Up comes Harvey wanting to sit on my knee.  No make that 'insisting' on sitting on my knee,  so he sat with me for about half an hour, lapping up the fussing.   He at least had a full tum, yep he's back to being Mr Ultra Fussy.  Last night he was so hungry, his own fault, that he wolfed down the food he'd refused all day.  This morning I got him some different flavours, mistake, he didn't like them...   luckily I had some frozen fish.  Cooked him a generous bowlful and it was soon gone.  

Here he is,  taken yesterday soon after his encounter with another cat.    The pair were howling outside for over an hour,  in the end I hauled Harvey inside.   He'd been most put out earlier when the other cat sneaked in,   Harvey went bananas,  the other cat headed for the spare bedroom where it got cornered.   I locked Harvey in the living room and rescued the other cat..   opened the living room door and there was Harvey, all ready to pounce, which he did, only to find the other cat had gone. 

After that came the howling...    I supposed it was better than late at night.   Which they also do. 

Looking forward to the weekend, it will involve a few early starts.  I hope to see the 3 Queens, Elizabeth, Mary and Victoria, come sailing down the Mersey.  I think there will be no chance of seeing the three of them leave on Monday,  but I might get to see them come in as it is so early in the morning.   Let's hope the weather holds,  not been too bad today, started off sunny, then went very grey and tried to rain, but the sun won the day.  

Was a tad annoyed with the checkout assistant,  the lady in front of me was struggling to pack her bags,  mainly because the assistant was going so fast.  Then I heard this lady say she has Raynauds, so do I and I know how painful it can be,  little wonder she couldn't pack her bags quickly.  Then it was my turn, the stuff came flying at me, I couldn't keep up either,   then I stopped trying to.  There is no need for these assistants to be so fast,  it getting ridiculous, they're not all like that, some pause while you catch up, but a few just don't seem to care. 

All for now...  

Sunday, 17 May 2015

One down, and two to go

This is Blood, boots and bullets, the finished piece, but not yet framed.  This took me over 24 hours to complete, working with pencils is not a fast way to produce art!  Yet I find it immensely satisfying applying the layers,  and watching as the picture slowly emerges.   There is a point at which it suddenly 'pops', which is the only way I can describe it, the moment when it comes to life.   I know I'll probably return to it at some point and do more colouring,  not quite happy with the flag or the blood, which is too flat at the moment. 

I've since gone over the boots with a pastel oil white pencil, just to lift the shiny bits on the boots, and blend them in a little more. 

So onto the next project, these are exercises.  This is a shell, no honest it is, or will be!   This section pretty much took a couple of hours to do.  I used reds, and blues for the top bit of the background,  oh and some magenta.  For the lower bit I used a pale, sky blue.  For the shell I'm using blues and pinks.   This requires a really light touch, the pencils need to be super sharp also.  At the end I'll apply some white all over the shell,  this will help blend the colours,  and maybe a warm grey.  It looks like nothing right now,  there are shadows to be added,  more highlights as well.  

I needed a break from the colouring, and I am desperate to try to capture glass.  So I searched for a pic of some wine glasses, found this one, and got out the plain pencils. I used my T square to make sure the glasses were even, and to ensure that the stems were straight.   This is all down to shading, I'm using a H, 2H, 2B and 3B, plus a blending stump.  And the all important eraser!   I discovered that the brush at the end of my pencil erasers fits the plain ones, which are cheaper...    The brush is also essential to keep the surface clean, the coloured pencils sometimes leave a little bit of residue,  which you must clean off.  Same with the surface you are using to hold your paper,  I'm using an A3 sketch board,  which is great,  but I always give it a wipe over before beginning any new project.  Oh, another tip, make sure you wash your hands, well you don't want grubby prints all over your work. 

It's been an up and down week,  more down than up.   Things weren't helped by getting my new PIP form,  the one that was promised some 6 weeks ago!   That must be filled in this week,  then a confusing letter from the council mentioning an overpayment of HB, but no demand for it back, which must mean it is their mistake.  I've kept them fully informed, and they did make a hash of things right at the beginning, which is when this mistake occurred.   I'm also in a dither whether to buy a dolls house,  I've seen a small one which I can afford, just,  it's very pretty and I know I'd enjoy building it.  I had one as a child,  my uncle made it for me and my sister,  it was a double fronted pre watched detached house.  He'd wallpapered it, and had put in working lights,  I loved it and wish now we'd kept it :-(     I went to a few Dolls House shows a few years ago,  mum went with me and encouraged me to buy one, but I couldn't decide which one to buy.   I shall dither a bit longer. 

I got out the summer togs, so of course the weather had to change!   I was pleasantly surprised to see that I have plenty of tops,  what I really need is a summer weight jacket,  and some shoes, oh and one pair of trousers.   I also got rid of some clothes,  a charity bag popped through the door, so I took advantage. 

I'm becoming more and more annoyed at how Sky report on Labour,  the press review this morning was so tory biased.  The businesswoman made the comment that the 'living wage' was a socialist thing!   How could anyone label the living wage in such a way,  it is a moral thing,  stuff the minimum wage, it is not enough to live on,  hence billions are given out in tax credits, just why should we be subsidising employers?  Now they're moaning about the unions link to Labour, but they never mention how the Tory party is funded by big business - do they?    Funny that.  Labour was born out of the unions,   and I am sick of the unions being given such a bad press.   I once went on strike when I was in the ambulance service, it wasn't about money, it was about our equipment,  I'd spent many hours trying to either repair or build a new stretcher, most of the stuff we had was second hand, meanwhile our bosses were busy refurbishing our control room,  all very fancy, chairs costing over £200 (that was back in the eighties).  Finally we, the crews, snapped,  issued our ultimatum, new equipment, and an end to bullying etc,  and we ended up walking out.  We did staff the stations and were prepared to attend any emergency.  See, there is often a lot more to a call to strike,  and never believe what the press say about pay,  they always average it up.  People who work on our railways do a very important job,  our lives are in their hands, so why shouldn't they get a decent wage?    I don't hear anyone moaning about the golden goodbyes that all those ex MP's are entitled to,  plus their gold plated pensions...   oh and their subsidised restaurants and bars, and why the hell do we need over 800 idiots sitting in the unelected House of Lords?   A hundred would do,  all cross benchers,  and they'd be replaced with each parliament, and no titles either! 

I'll get off my soap box,  carefully mind,  my bilateral sciatica isn't helping improve my mood. 

Enjoy the week, thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Paper, pencils and a cat!

Now on the home stretch with the latest piece of art.  Still got a long way to go.  I finished the boots,  though I felt that the left boot needed to be darker.    I was starting to go cross-eyed at this point, so decided it was time to stop.

Still wondering what to put in the background.  I made up another composite using a Union Jack, which seemed to work,  want a mud like look in the front.  I know I'm giving myself a lot of work, but I'm really enjoying this.   It's been a challenge on a few levels, first to put the idea into action.  That stumped me,  I had no way of getting all the materials together,  that's when I had the light bulb moment of using Craft Artist Pro to make up a composite, which made life so much easier.   So this went away for the evening yesterday,  time to make dinner,  and enjoy a nice glass of wine.

Nearly there!   To some it may look finished, but there is plenty of work still to be done, the shading on the blood,  and the Victoria Cross needs tidying up, as do the bullets. Both require the pencils to have a super fine sharp point.  Not sure if you know but the VC is made from bronze taken from two captured cannons during the Crimean war. 

I've darkened the left boot more, I'll probably keep on adding more shade to the boots.   I've faintly drawn a Union Jack at the back,  with lots of folds, which will probably drive me nuts!    I've shaded the foreground of the picture with a light brown, using the side of the pencil,  it will get darker, plus it will also define the edge of the blood more.

Now it is Wednesday...  a lot of work to do on the picture.  First was to darken the blood,  then the floor, and do something with the bullets to stop them looking like lipsticks!  

It is now starting to really come together,  I went over the boots again to give them more definition.  Used the burnisher on them as well to blend everything, now they have a smoother finish.  I began work on the flag,  I had marked it all out, but then decided to go free hand!   The floor needs to be darkened further,  but it is all looking much better.  

Had a bit of a lie in this morning,  thanks to Harvey's early, very early, morning antics!    He didn't come in till nearly 11, I don't like leaving him out all night.   Finally he trotted back home, then started howling to come in.

Here he is, looking like butter wouldn't melt!  He had several tantrums yesterday over his food, started to refuse to eat it, so I removed it.  Guess who won, me of course, he soon ate the food once he'd realised I meant what I'd said.   It was the same this morning, so once again the food was removed and covered up, to stop him sneakily eating it.  He went off in a huff, and roamed around for a while outside, came in, looked for the food, I put it down and he ate it.   He had a long sleep today,  then got up around 4.30,  so we had another play.   He's now wandering in and out, he prefers to go out when it is dark.   He's also got a twin,  who has fooled me a few times,  his doppleganger has a collar of white fur,  while Harvey doesn't.  He's been trying to catch a fly all day,  his attempts so far have been pathetic.  

Joy of joys I have a PIP form to fill in!   I did keep my notes from the last one.  Also got my carers magazine,  and there is an art therapy class at the centre,  will have to check that out.   At the moment I am full of aches and pains,  my hands suffered when I defrosted the freezer,  so had to leave the hot water to do the work.  I just get frustrated at not being able to do stuff. 

One task that I did manage to put a tick by was getting rid of some unwanted clothes, one of the charities shoves a bag through the letterbox, so I had a good sort out.  Now I need to get out the summer togs.  Oh to be a cat,  I mean they don't have to think about what to wear, or getting a hair cut, or when to tone down the grey...    I keep asking Harvey to do the dusting, but he doesn't seem keen,  he's good at making dust! 

All for now folks.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Putting the boot in... ?

Today it was time to turn the various sketches into a picture.  My first task was to make a composite, I used Craft Artist Pro, as it has a super easy cut out element to its photo lab.  A couple of clicks and I had all my elements cut out and ready to position.  The beauty of this was that I could also resize things. I had used the Kindle to HD the photo of the boots.  So after about half an hour I was happy with my layout, time to add the grid using the grid tool (click on it to link to it).   It is so easy to use,  simply upload your photo, apply the grid, choose how many squares you want, what colour the lines should be and that's it.   Simples?    Next...  a sausage butty,  take a couple of sausages, grill them,  cut two slices of bread, lightly toast,  a good dollop of ketchup, eat!

Right, next... I got a piece of smooth paper,  drew my grid and completed the sketch.  I'm not worried about it being exact at this stage,  just need the various components in the right place, they can be tidied up later.  This stage took about 45 minutes,  not too much erasing, you can damage the paper and cause the coloured pencils to jar on the paper.   With that complete it was time for a cuppa...   and feeding time for Harvey.   I was happy with my sketch, and ready to start the colouring. I got out my coloured pencils,  Faber Castell Polychromos,  an oil based pencil.  They have a good depth of colour,  any pencil needs to be super sharp.  So alongside my pencils is my manual pencil sharpener,  it doesn't have blades but to rotating grinding tools, but the pencils come out sharp.  A good piece of kit to invest in, as is a good eraser.  I use a few, a pencil type eraser for fine erasing,and a normal type eraser. 

Now the colouring begins.  First I have to note where the light hits the boot,  I use a cool, dark grey as a base colour, then add some black and indigo blue.   I leave the highlights in grey,  it is a nervous time, because at the start of the picture it look very amateurish.  You have to trust that as you add more colour the definition will show through.    This is needs super sharp pencils, some of the highlights are thin,  a sharp pencil is essential to get that effect.    I use an ivory,  white or cool light grey to help blend the colours.    You also need to watch the direction of the pencil strokes, these will define the shape of the boot.  All this takes time, and you can become down-hearted as it looks like nothing to begin with.  But as you keep adding more layers, suddenly it starts to come to life.  You have to watch also for stray bits breaking off the pencils, they will ruin the look if left.   

I stopped at this point,  part way through colouring the second boot, and adding some of the 'blood'.   One boot is semi complete, still needs some work.   Using pencils takes far longer than paint,   you need to build up the layers, and then blend them.  I'm also considering what should be in the background, possibly a flag, I'm not sure yet. 

I was tired by this point,  a sure sign that I need to stop. This will take me the rest of the week to complete.   I've learned not to rush these pictures, if you do then you ruin them.   There does come a moment when suddenly they 'pop' which is quite magical.   I feel that I am connecting with my work, far more so than I ever did with my paper craft, or mixed media work.  I've not yet decided on a title for this piece.  That will happen when it is complete. 

Well I had quite a rant yesterday about the election.  I have no regrets about my rant.   It felt good to lay it all bare.   I used to worry about what others would think, but I've come to realise that I am entitled to my opinion,  even if others don't agree with it.   That is called democracy,  I once heard a woman at Speakers Corner, describe democracy as dangerous.  She was right,  she was from the Baltic states,  so unused to such free speech.   There are some supporters of a certain party in the UK who need to learn what democracy is all about,  and that them shouting others down because they don't like their opinion is what the likes of Russia and China indulge in, ruling by fear.   This is the UK,  a country where we celebrate freedom of speech, lets keep it that way.

Have a good week all.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Black Friday...

I thought I'd reveal how my pictures develop.  This is the start of a picture with the working title of Blood, bullets and boots.  It is a template for an idea, so this is a kind of draft.   The trick is to try to catch the feeling of shiny boots,  which is done using different greys, black and some white.   I'm playing with what I will want on the final picture, so those red dots will become drops of blood coming from the boot, there are some crosses in this pic, but not sure they'll stay.  Also toying with the idea of the Union Jack in the background.  

So more shading,  trying to define the creases in the boots, and introducing the blood.   I came across a site that has pictures of pools of blood!   So now I have some examples to use, very handy...  if a little on the gory side.   I also looked around for pictures of bullets,  don't want to just guess. 

This is also helping me work out what colours to use for the blood, did I hear you say 'red'?  Well you'd be right, but not just one shade of red,  arterial blood is bright red, venus blood is darker etc.   All things that need to be considered. 

While doing this, and, I have to confess, getting rather bored with black, I felt the need to just do something different. So...

Blood and bullets!   A very early photo,  only just started this piece and I have a long, long way to go.  Using coloured pencils to create a picture takes a good few hours, if not days.   I had to create brass and copper,  the brass was achieved by using a green gold,  the brass by mixing some reds and browns,  the colouring was very, very light.  One bullet is a bit wonky!  But again, this is a test piece, so a bit wonky doesn't matter a whole lot.  When it comes to the real thing I'll use my T square and triangle to get straight lines.  The shiny bit is simply a strip of uncololoure paper,  it is all about illusion. I've also used a picture to base the pool of blood around the bullets, just working to give it a realistic feel, so it is necessary to think about curves, direction of lines etc.  

And finally...  for me yesterday was a day of gloom.   I had hoped that labour could at least get enough seats to form a coalition,   anything but a ruddy Tory majority.   The only bright spot is that that oil slick, Cameron, only has a slim majority.  I'm not keen on the SNP having all that power,  not sure how they came by their candidates, I doubt that they thought they'd win so many seats, so they installed a load of sheep/puppets to dance to Nicola's tune.    Let's not forget how she bragged about being the king maker, and so fell into a Tory trap.  I am sickened by the outcome of the election,  it seems to mean nothing to a lot of voters that food banks have increased over the last five years (and no, they are not like a supermarket,  you can't just turn up and fill up your trolley!  You get given a couple of bags of basic items,  they will last 3 days.  So stop swallowing the lies).   I knew someone who had used them, she as a single mum, but was working,  studying as well so she could better her self,  she was claiming tax credits,  they were stopped because of an error, in the meantime she didn't have enough money for food and bills, the error took 4 months to sort out!    You've read the stories of benefit scroungers, who get over £25k a year, no they don't,  what the tory press do is add everything up, that is the maximum benefit, HB etc, entitlement and come up with silly figure.   I pay bedroom tax,  I acquired my 'extra room' after my mum died, nice. I live in a two bedroomed flat,  the second bedroom is big enough for a single bed, small set of draws and wardrobe, and that leaves little room to move around in!    I cared for my mum,  during that time I had a bad fall, which left me disabled, but I continued in my caring role.  I only claimed carer's allowance as I had a small pension, so I managed on a little under £700 per month.   I have worked since I was 16, paid into the system in the belief that if I should ever need it I would get help.  I have served my country,  wore the uniform proudly,  has any government helped me, no.  Covenant, what convenant, it never covered those injured in Northern Ireland, who have been forgotten.    I hate that the tory press run down the unions,  time it was taught in schools how the unions came into being, and what they have done for the working classes and the poor over the last hundred years.   Torie say the wealth will trickle down, it doesn't, it gets stashed in offshore tax havens.    We have zero hours contracts,  who the hell benefits from those?  We used to have temp agencies, then it was a choice what hours you wanted to work, now the choice has been removed.   The tories want to sell off more social housing, so removing yet more houses from the rental market, or rather the reasonable rental market.  Maybe the rule that govern the building social housing should cover ALL housing,  so they would be built to a better standard.   The tories also intend to penalise carers, some will lose their carers benefit,  same with those, like me, who are unable to work,  I'll be hounded,  asked to attend medicals conducted by a nobody who knows nothing of my medical condition, or my mental illness.   The last time I attended a medical sitting in the room was a young man, around 20, he had Downs Syndrome,  and learning difficulties,  they were seeing if he was fit to work, and if so they'd stop his benefit.  What sort of country does that?   

My hope is that the current government comes a cropper,  and Cameron will,  he said he won't serve more than two terms, well it will be more like one and a half, cos his own party will shove him out to pasture pretty soon and install the next leader,  Boris Johnson,  the tory press said that Miliband didn't look like a leader, do we really want Boris Johnson as our leader?  

Rant over...   hunting will make a return as well,  yes,  back to hunting animals and ripping them to pieces, so civilised are we!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Putting the boot in...

Apologies for going AWOL,  I felt low and ended up with cystitis which knocked me out for a few days.  Not had that bad in a very long time.

I made do with some doodling for art, this was an exercise in shading, which is best viewed from an angle. 

This was about all I felt like doing,  of course there was the news about the new baby... I was annoyed at how all other news, including the Nepal disaster, was shoved aside.   Was there really any need for such saturation coverage?

 Mind you I also came close to chucking something at the TV last Thursday during the leaders debate.  At least the real public got to put questions,  a relief from all the other stage managed stuff. 

It was what inspired me to draw this boot!   Not finished, I started it today,  should be done by tomorrow.  Then I'm going to do a set of boots, guards boots,  the highly polished kind.   I used to have bull my shoes in the army,  it was very relaxing.  Everyone had their own way of doing it,  some melted the polish,  other's used spit, I used water, and cotton wool balls, sometimes I did melt the polish.   It took ages to get that glossy shine, especially on new shoes!  There was a floor sealant that we all used to protect the shoes so that they stayed shiny for longer.  Other tricks were using vaseline on the peak of your cap, brought it up a treat.   We also had horrible shirts,  huge,  with all sorts of stupid pleats, which had to be right,  well when you were in basic training!   They had detachable collars, which had to be starched,  there was a trick to attaching it, with the tie inside,  then came the windsor knot, nothing else was allowed,  only the windsor. 

I'm using a HB, H, H2,  2B and 4B for the boot,  when it comes to the others I will be using the coloured pencils,  greys, black and white.   I showed pencil collection to my cousin, she was amazed,  more so when I told her that I only had half of the collection!   She was most chuffed with the meerkat sketch, and the one I did of my mum.   I'd started another, then on Sunday I managed to tip over a full mug of hot tea...   it went all over the small table,  books, memo pad,  and carpet, oh and that drawing!   Luckily I'd put all my other drawings in my portfolio.  I was definitely having one of those 'weeks'.  

Well all for now,  more pics to come over the next few days.   Oh and then there is the election!  Tonight we had the Green party canvassing for votes,   the only one so far.  I live in a very safe Labour seat.  Ah,  Harvey has at last agreed to eat his food,  now I have a content and full cat! 

Talk to you all soon...