Cat On Steps

This is the last cross stitch i finished, please excuse the creased fabric as it hasn’t been ironed yet. I enjoyed the colours on this one, although i’ve decided i prefer designs where the whole background is stitched. It was quite an easy piece to stitch, although i managed to count the stitches wrong in several places so it’s not exactly how it should be (but i hope you can’t tell!) I think it looks really summery and peaceful, and it’s going to look really nice on my wall.

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Eye

This was just a bit of practice at drawing a cat’s eye (and i managed to get my boyfriend to have a go at drawing one at the same time). This is just Prismacolor pencils on black Winsor and Newton paper. I’m pleased with how the eye turned out, although i didn’t spend much time on the fur, it’s just to frame the eye really.

I went shopping this morning at The Range (amazing shop!) and bought some new drawing paper pads. I was so impressed with the Winsor and Newton black paper that i bought several different types of white paper which i am looking forward to trying out. I also bought one in a larger size than anything i’ve got so maybe i’ll be brave enough to try out a bigger piece. I’m working on a tiger cub drawing at the moment so hopefully i’ll be able to show you that one soon. If you want to see my tiger cub WIP as i work on it then you can visit the thread in my forum here: Tiger WIP Thread

Woman

This is something a little bit different, from the days before i discovered coloured pencil.  I really love fantasy art, and this piece was inspired by the work of Amy Brown.  It is done with gouache paints, and although i could have done better with the shading, i like the feel of the finished piece.  I haven’t painted for a long time now, i wonder if i should go back to it and try again, but i feel i should concentrate on the coloured pencil now as i’ve actually found something i feel i can do.

I never felt as comfortable with paints as i do with coloured pencil.  I found paints harder to work with as you constantly have to mix colours, and use them quickly before they dry out.  It’s also easier to do small details with a sharp pencil than it is with a small paint brush.  I do like the way you can easily cover large areas with paint, and the bright, bold colours.  Perhaps i will go back to painting sometime in the future.

Curiosity

This is a cross stitch piece i finished several years ago. I started it a long time ago, and then came across it again and it made me remember just how great cross stitch is, and i’ve been stitching regularly ever since. I love cats, so this piece was perfect for me, and i love all the detail in it. It does have quite a lot of backstitch, but it really helps to bring out the design. The kit is by Janlynn, is called Curiosity and is 8″ by 10″. It was really easy to stitch, and the chart was very clear. Anyone who loves cats should definitely give this one a go.

Rose

Although i usually draw animals, occasionally i try something else, and for this piece i decided to draw a rose. Like most of my artwork this is in coloured pencil, and i did it just over a year ago. It was really good to look so closely at all the details of the flower and see what a rose really looks like, rather than what we tend to think one looks like. I also loved the colours i used for this piece as they are all so bright and colourful, it makes a change from the browns and greys of animals.

Cat

This is the first piece i did after i bought my set of Prismacolor pencils.  I decided to go for the set of 72 as that probably included all the colours i could ever want, and was very good value.  Unfortunately these pencils aren’t actually available in the UK, but i managed to find them on Ebay at a reasonable price, and decided to get them as i’d heard so many good things about them.  They were even better than i expected, the colour is bright, and lays down smoothly on the paper.  They also blend together really well when layered.

I really enjoyed experimenting with my new pencils on this piece, and i’m pleased with how it came out for a first attempt.  I knew i still had a lot to learn, especially as far as fur was concerned, and techniques for creating areas of light and dark.  The whiskers i added on at the end, by painting them on with white gouache, after discovering that the white pencil would not colour over the darker colours of the fur.  I know this is not my best work, but i find it helpful to see the past pieces of work of an artist to see how they have improved, so hopefully this will be helpful to someone else.

Baby Tiger

This baby tiger was the biggest cross stitch i have done, and it took me around a year and a quarter to complete. It’s called Baby Tiger and is made by Kustom Krafts, and it’s quite big (13″ by 16″). I really enjoyed doing this one as it was great to see the picture emerge, although the colours did get rather boring after a while as they are all very similiar (although you’d be surprised just how much green a tiger can have in it!)

I started in the centre with the nose and eyes, then worked out to the right and around the top of his head, before coming down the left hand side. I worked by finishing a whole thread of each colour at a time, which did mean i had to travel some distance over the back of the fabric, and as a result the back is quite messy, but i don’t mind because no one is going to look at that part.

I then worked further down to the bottom of the piece, and although this part wasn’t as interesting as the rest because it was just a patch of colours with no real features, it found it enjoyable because by this stage i could really see the piece coming together and couldn’t wait to get it finished.

And finally after hundreds of hours of hard work, it was finished! The whiskers and detail around the eye was added at the end with backstitch but the whole of the rest of the piece is in whole cross stitches, which made it a pleasure to stitch. The finished piece is really beautiful, and has a quality almost like a painting thanks to the clever design. I’d recommend this design to anyone who wants a piece which is fairly easy to stitch, but will take a long time and give a really amazing result.

Black Cat

This black cat is my latest coloured pencil piece. I’d seen a lot of coloured pencil artists use black paper and their work looked really good on it, so i thought i’d give it a go. I bought a black Winsor and Newton sketch book and decided black paper would be perfect for a black cat. I was really pleased with the way the colour went on the paper, and could instantly see that this paper is much better quality than the white paper i have (so i might have to go and get a new white sketch pad too!) I’m really pleased with the cat, especially the nose and the eye.

On a side note, i recently bought a book called Realistic Pet Portraits In Coloured Pencil, by Anne DeMillie Flood. This book is really useful, it concentrates entirely on coloured pencil, and has many step by step instructions for drawing cats, dogs, horses and birds, as well as pages on smaller animals like rabbits. I was really pleased to see she uses Prismacolor pencils, which are the same brand i use, so it was even more helpful as she gives details of the exact colours she uses. It also has sections on how to draw specific features such as eyes and noses, as well as instructions on how to draw different types of fur. I’d really reccommend this book to anyone interested in animals and coloured pencil.

Woodland Enchantress

I was very lucky to receive the Woodland Enchantress cross stitch kit from my boyfriend for Christmas. For those who are unfamiliar with this kit it is one from the DMC Gold Collection, and the finished piece will look something like this:

I’m really loving the colours of this one, there are so many beautiful threads, and i’m really enjoying it so far, although i think the stitches using multiple coloured strands and more than 2 strands will probably get annoying after a while. Anyway this is the progress i’ve made so far, i’ll update again after i’ve done some more.

Welcome

To anyone reading this, welcome to my new blog.  I’ve never had a blog before so i don’t know quite how this will turn out, but i’m hoping to be able to share my artwork and craft with you as i do it, so that you can see the work progressing as well as the finished pieces.  Feel free to comment on any of my future entries.