Rough Sleeper


After some contemplating and a small break from my art table, I made my decision on what my next subject would be for a portraait. The first thing I knew was I'd be drawing some kind of animal, after the bike portrait, even though I'd had fun drawing it, I just don't think my heart was into it as much as when I'm drawing an animal. That was the easy part, finding something to draw was way harder and took me a little while longer than I'd thought it would. I finally found my picture though after some thought and made a start. 

The next piece I'd decided to draw was to be of this beautiful cream/brown Kodiak bear lay in the grass relaxing.  However I made quite a few little changes to her, for instance instead of only being able to see one arm bent under chin I put both bent like she was using them both as a nice comfortable fuzzy pillow, I also did the piece on black Velour and left out any grass or snow etc. I think I just wanted to make her my own instead of a copy of the reference photograph.

Drawing her/him was very much the easy part, apart from the nose, however getting the coat right was a whole new ball game. I'd never done think fuzzy fur like this before and I found after I'd finished this piece I still have a lot to learn when it comes to drawing, not only using soft pastels and using velour but also when creating any other animal than a horse. I seem to be getting on well with creating a likeness to their fur, I would take a guess at saying its because its much shorter, but I still have to admit as lovely as the Velour is to draw on, it certainly doesn't seem to make life easy for me. I think it might be due to the fact that with Velour you can't get the crisp clean lines and sharp look on features that you get using other papers, something I'm currently looking into as I want my artwork to at resemble what I see in my mind when thinking of the completed piece. 

Talking about paper, I may (fingers crossed) of found some that is cheaper than Pastelmat but is of very simular making and you can choose how fine/smooth you want it to how rough/corse you want it, making it more like pastelmat. So I bought a large "latte" colour sheet to try and if its the one for me then I'll go on to use that and probably nothing else for quite a long time until I'm totally settled with it and with how my artwork appears on it. I've tried so many different types, colours and textures of paper and board since I started drawing, that I'm starting to wonder if the problem is that I'm just being to picky and I'm the reason I can't seem to settle with anything. Looking at this sheet though, I honestly have high hopes with it and know just what I'm going to use it for too. After I've completed my oil painting, I already have my next piece in my mind and it's going to be my first multi subject drawing of either 4 or 5 horses, from neck upwards, using portrait reference photographs from a lovely person I met online. I just hope it turns out how I imagine it because if it does I'm hoping to sell the original piece but to also have professional prints made in Giclee to sell on this page or my Facebook page etc. That part I've not put any final thoughts to just yet as until I've even finished the portrait I just won't know. That's about as much detail as I'm going to go into about that actual piece as I don't want to ruin the surprise for some. What I will say is if this paper is the paper for me (I have to admit I have a good feeling about it) then I think I'm going to draw another dog after my horses to test it out and see how I get on with longer wavey fur as I'm going to try my hand at collie then I hope all going well to try a Dog De Bordeaux at some point and try my hand at wrinkles again as it's been a long while since I drew Toffee our Shar Pei in pencil. 

So much for the future and plenty of time to complete them, all being well. I just have to stay away from that Covid long enough to get my vaccine and then hopefully life can start returning back to some sort of normal. 

On December 7th if finally completed my bear and happily named him "Rough Sleeper" too. I am happy with the final result especially his colour which was a bit of a nightmare to get right, certainly more than I'd anticipated, but I got there. I did struggle with getting enough layers of pastels on the Velour, but I think that was more down to me struggling to use pastel pencils on it than using the soft pastels and I almost damaged it in a small area where I just couldn't get a piece of fur how I wanted it to look. I persevered though and got right with just enough Velour. I do think that Velour works best with soft pastels though and not pencils at all for me. 

Whilst getting approximately half way through my kodiak I decided to try filming myself with my phone to make a short art video, I had also been bought a nice new phone and tablet holder so I could use it to either sit my reference photo on usj g my tablet, or to film from using my phone, I just had to find a decent video editor for my phone and tablet after my Viva decided to stop recognising me as a paid customer because I'd changed my phone and number. As soon as I'd done that I started creating a simple relaxing time lapsed video of me drawing away. It actually ended up being the longest video I'd made to date but with the clean opening and end plus the relaxing but encouraging music throughout I am super happy with the final result. I posted up the video just a few days after I'd announced the bear was complete and with it being quite a large video I posted it on YouTube this time then posted the reference photograph along with the link to the video on my other social media accounts. It might get others to use my YouTube more, it might not, but I think it's probably what I'll  continue to do in the future as I'm hoping with something hopefully arriving in mail sometime this month (a whole new post) that my videos will from now on be time-lapse videos that are made from start to end for the viewer so they'll get the whole vision of my art as it literally grows on the page. 

So here's my bear "Rough Sleeper" and I hope you like him.

Stay safe everyone and please have a lovely Christmas, even if it's not how you'd planned to spend your day, let's all try to enjoy it and hope for a better 2021.

Dee & Moomin 🐾

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Rough Sleeper
Rough Sleeper