Shirley Lawrence Bellows' Fine Art
Watercolours, Coloured Pencil Art, Acrylic Animal and Floral Paintings, Pacific West Coast art, Vancouver Island art, British Columbia Art, Graphite art

Blog for Shirley Lawrence Bellows

(posted on 27 Dec 2013)

Hi Everyone:

I am so grateful to a cat that posed for me in Victoria one day. I just loved his black chin and white mustache. Here is the sketch on black paper.

I always start with the eyes on a portrait and after a few test ones, I have the eyes nearly complteted. For the coat, since I am doing it with Coloured Pencil and started with just some gray and white pencils:

However, the look seemed so boring that I put this away for a few months. Then there was a post on where a lady was doing a Dachshund portrait and she was using multiple colours for the black of the coat. It really inspired me so I did some testing on black paper and then decided to use the colours on this cat portrait. Have a look here:

You can see how the colours liven up the entire cat! In person, the colours seem to shimmer and given an iridescent look to the coat. I am now working on the rest of the cat in the same way.

I have now continued with the multiple colours and here is the next stage:

To continue with this work, here is the next stage:

(posted on 27 Apr 2013)

Here is a photograph taken of yours truly and her setup for the Coloured Pencil demonstration at the Loft Gallery.

Thanks to everyone who attended! I hope you picked up a few tips about the pencils, techniques and the types of papers that can be used for this great art medium.


(posted on 26 Jul 2012)

This was a portrait that I did a few years ago of a Wire Haired Miniature Dachshund named Annabelle. One challenge was that the photo was taken with a flash so her eyes were just white blanks. Also, her coat colour was completely washed out so that was one reason why I went with a graphite drawing instead of a colour one.

Here is the start of it:

I wanted to show that she was on a floor so I put some shadows under her legs and tail.

Here is the next stage:

Getting the wiry coat to look that way was also a challenge.

Most animal coats that I paint are glossy and soft.

I didn't want the background behind her upper body to be a stark white so I just used tissues and smudged them

with graphite dust and then moved them around.

Now I started doing more definition on the darker hairs especially on her ears, face and muzzle.

That nose had to be made nice and wet and shiny!

Here is the final version:

You can see that there has been more definition added on hairs throughout her body. Her tag on her collar

has been finished as well. It was challengin to do as well. I hope you enjoyed this demonstration.

See a larger image of Annabelle in the Graphite section of my Portfolio.

I started this Coloured Pencil piece for the March demonstration I did at our local art gallery, The Loft Gallery.

The pencils are Prismacolour, which are wax based and the paper is black Tiziano.

Here is the first pencil sketch on the paper:

Next I started putting on the white pencil where the image was going to be the lightest whether it would stay completely white or not. This is a base layer that is necessary to cover the black otherwise other colours will not be vibrant.

Note that any areas that will be shadowed or not bright colours are only lightly marked with the white pencil.

Now I have started to add some colour over the white and even into the plain black paper. Note that the colour on the black paper stays rich and darker for contrast.

More colour continues to be added: The first greens and browns are added to the stem and the first white layer is put on the leaves.

Now I am starting to fill in the eye area:

I have purposely left the one petal blank so you can see how it all started. It is so much fun seeing the pansy come to life.

Here it is with some more colours added:

Now all 5 petals have colour on them: It is amazing how bright the white is here especially considering that it started on black paper. The contrast is what makes it appear so bright. I have this pansy blooming in my garden again this spring as it wintered over in my garden shed. The blossoms even look exactly like this again.

Here it is finished! A larger image is in my Portfolio. It is called, 'Pansy Face'.

(posted on 25 Mar 2012)

I had a wonderful time doing my art demonstration at the art gallery. I hope everyone who attended is inspired to try the coloured pencil on black paper. It is so much fun! Here is a photo of me with my setup.

If anyone would like information on using Coloured Pencils, please feel free to e-mail for my information sheet.

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