Alfie – Springer Spaniel Pet Portrait

Of all of the breeds of dogs that I have drawn in my lifetime, spaniels must be the most frequent, followed close on the heels (or should I saw paws?) by Border Collies.
Alfie (complete)smaller forblog
A couple of weeks before Christmas I was contacted by a very friendly gentleman, named Keith, who asked me if I could draw his daughter’s fiance’s dog. Within a few days I was being collected by Keith and taken to his home to photograph the dog, who turned out to be a highly intelligent and very active Springer Spaniel, by the name of Alfie. I love it when people arrange to have special and totally unique illustrations done for friends and relatives. There is usually so much thought behind these actions and it always speak volumes of how highly regarded the recipients are to those that commission the illustration.

It’s always lovely to draw people’s pets, but when you have met the pet and made their acquaintance it does make the illustration all the more special for me. Alfie had a lot of white fur, which was complemented by his dark chocolate fur and the amber tone of his eyes. He is a very handsome dog indeed and one that would be a lovely companion to a dog lover.

The illustration took a few days to complete and because of the large area of white on Alfie’s chest, I put in a suffused raw sienna tone behind him, to highlight the profile of his fur.

The commission was done in secret and collected by Keith, who was very pleased with the result… I heard later, that the illustration had been a big hit with the young gentleman, Marc, who had received the illustration on Christmas Day.

So, that is another spaniel to add to my collection…and he is soon to be followed by a Jack Russell and a West Highland Terrier. They do say that ‘variety is the spice of life’…

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Newsletter No: 3 – January 2015

Welcome to a few thoughts and some items of my work in this newsletter for January; I hope you enjoy it…  I’ve been doing some work at my previous workplace, so I have been splitting my time between there and my base at home.  It’s been great being back with some of my special friends and colleagues, but a bit awkward at times balancing work priorities on occasions.  I’m sure I’ll cope {sigh}.

I’ve also had a very interesting and fun-filled time at a local school on the 14th of January.  I was asked to go and talk about ‘my life as an artist’.  The teachers and the children were a pleasure to speak to, as they asked me all sorts of questions about my life and work.  I then showed them some work in my portfolio case and also did a live demonstration, sketching and colouring a ladybird with coloured-pencils.  I was amazed when the children went to draw their ladybird pictures; they had really listened and studied the techniques that I had shown them.  It was a very special morning and I enjoyed both their company and their enthusiasm.  Their parents must be extremely proud of them, I know I would be…QNA Newsletter(2)September2014

Thoughts On – My Resolutions

This year, I have decided my New Year’s resolution will be not to have a New Year’s resolution. For the last few years I have always been full of good intentions: not to eat too much tapioca, try and do some exercise, wake up cheerfully to each and every new day…but this year, I am not going to set any goals that I know I will have failed at by the end of the month. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’ve got no willpower, it’s more the fact that if something is important to me, I will make my mind up to ‘do it’ or ‘not to do it’ without an annual start date.  It’s easy to make resolutions, which will be forgotten by the end of the month, so this year, I am going to take a common sense approach to it and take each day as it comes: eat chocolate today, cut back on it tomorrow…Best wishes to you for 2015smaller
If there is one thing that I am going to set my mind to do this year, it’s to be more in-tune with myself to the best of my ability.  One aspect of New Year that affects me is the nostalgia that is created at this changing from one year to the next…thinking about people who are no longer in our lives, opportunities missed, times of pain and pleasure… One other thing, that is brought to mind, is that ‘time is fleeting’ and that one ‘new’ year very quickly becomes the ‘old’ one. It’s a stark reminder that time is not on our side and that the important things to us in our lives need to become our necessities not luxuries…