David J Shaw - Art : Blog

Blog 4Projects

Posted by David J Shaw Thu, August 07, 2014 22:15:11

When I'm out and about with my dogs walking in the vicinity of the River Wyre estuary I often pick up items of interest on the strandline for instance. The other day I noticed some seaweed (bladder wrack to be precise) and was taken by its pattern of branching fronds so I took it home, laid it out and did the pencil drawing below.

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The next day I found a number of, what I thought were, dead shore crabs only to discover that they were in fact sloughed exoskeletons. In other words these were the moulted body armour of the crustaceans but what took my attention on close examination was the fact that they were so complete and so colourful. I took a selection home.
I decided to investigate the possibility of combining some of the crab remnants with the seaweed in a pastel pencil composition.Blog image

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I am using complementary turquoise hues to show off the salmon pinks of the crabs while the more drab olive green fronds of seaweed contrast with the vibrant background.

Blog 3Projects

Posted by David J Shaw Wed, July 23, 2014 16:52:35

In my first post I showed a pastel pencil picture of a rocky seascape with seabirds from the Farne Islands off the Northumbrian coast. As suggested, I decided to develop this theme. The image below features a tighter, more dramatic composition with more emphasis on the birds and foreground rocks.
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I then decided to explore the subject in oil paint and the next image shows progress so far.Blog image

The painting is more stylised in the treatment of the blocky forms of the rock scape. The kittiwakes have been given more eminence while so far the sea deliberately lacks detail. In the past, I have felt that my work sometimes lacked vibrancy in terms of colour so I have used a good deal of saturation in the paint which, I hope you will agree, gives the piece impact. The work continues.

Blog 2Projects

Posted by David J Shaw Thu, June 26, 2014 11:15:57

Welcome, in my first blog I showed a picture in preparation of 'Millie', a border collie. Here is the finished pastel pencil drawing.Blog image
Depicting black and white fur or feather presents the artist with a challenge. The lustre of a black coat is achieved with blues and violets but you have to look for them.
Again with the 'white', there are many other hues to be seen which describe the texture of the coat. The fur on the dog's chest needs careful attention; if you feel that you could shove your fingers into it, you've succeeded!

Hello and welcome to my first blogProjects

Posted by David J Shaw Tue, June 17, 2014 14:19:50

I hope that you have enjoyed browsing the gallery and reading about the pictures.

In the blog my aim is to show aspects of work in progress while sharing ideas and observations which arise.

First of all I’d like to show you a picture which has its roots on a visit in May 2013 to the Farne Islands off the Northumbrian coast. (You may have already seen my picture of puffins in the watercolour gallery). Inner Farne is home to thousands of breeding seabirds; notably guillemots, kittiwakes and puffins. The first two species nest on precarious ledges on sea cliffs and stacks; the headland depicted below, drawn in pastel pencil, is ideal.

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This picture presented a considerable technical challenge, the sea particularly, but I did enjoy the rendering of the blocky forms of the rockscape. The birds depicted are kittiwakes which are members of the gull family. I may attempt another version of this picture featuring a narrower viewpoint, more dramatic lighting and less detail in the middle distance.

I would like to show you this ongoing pastel pencil portrait of Millie, a beautiful collie dog.


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I am blocking in the main forms of the body before going on to add detail to the head and feet and depth of colour and lustre to the coat.

Both these pictures will be appearing in the gallery soon.