The sketch book

sketch book

Today I’m letting you lucky people delve deep into the scary place that is my sketch books..
My books are full of crazy little animals, odd random faces and just the general junk that spills out of my head…if it doesn’t get out it sits and waits churning around my brain driving me slowly insane. *twitch* So I carry a pen and little book around with me (most of the time) just incase an idea comes along that needs purging.

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The making of…..portraits

I love painting portraits and faces are such interesting subjects. Obviously the most challenging thing is to get a flat image to resemble an actual person.

In this blog I want to show you how I developed my latest painting, which happens to be a collective portrait of my sisters children.

1. The first step was to mark out the basic shape of the faces and to set the composition. I decided to have the two eldest on the outside framing the youngest placed in the middle. This part of the picture is never very accurate and is just a rough guide, as it will all be covered in paint anyway. To be honest a very few of my paintings are started in this way. Normally I cover all the white areas in colour first, then directly mark out the shapes with paint and brush on top. But for this painting I tried something different and felt that this was the right way to go about this portrait.

2. Secondly I start to add very basic colour and tones to face, hair and clothes. This isn’t neat or controlled. The paint is added with a large loose brush, with quick strokes. If a mistake is made in this stage it doesnt matter as the painting will be refined in a later stage.

3. Once basic colour has been added, now some level of detail can be applied to move the painting on to the next stage. To do this part I moved down to a medium paint brush. Again it doesnt matter if any mistakes are made as mistakes can always be painted over. Half way through the painting I realised that some of the proportions where out and that the faces didn’t look quite right. So I positioned the eyes slightly lower and changed the shape of them. After that repositioning the painting looked better and I was happier with it.

4. Next I add back ground colours, again going back to my large brush. The effect I was going for, I achieved with a drybrush and very little paint with no water mixed in. I like this affect as the brush goes over the canvas it picks up the texture underneath. I also like to dry brush a darker colour in from the corners to frame the faces.

After a bit more working on the details, colour and shape of the faces…..

5. The last thing I do is add a light highlight to the eyes to make the subjects come alive. Then add high and low lights on to the picture with pastels. Pastel on a painting adds texture. It is really good for hair and fur on animals.

And here is the finished painting.

Hope you have enjoyed reading my blog. if you would like more information please get in touch.

Syd 🙂

Sydmuncy@live.co.uk

http://www.bigeyestuff.co.uk

Illustration Friday….HIbernate

Hey this is my post for illustration friday…Hibernate

I havent done this for a while, but im glad to  be back. Autumn is coming so i wanted to portray this with all the autumnal paraphernalia ie. conkers crusty crunchy leaves and a sleeping hedgehog. hedgehogs are one of my favorite animals and it is such a shame that they are dying out, partly because people  are not leaving them places to sleep. Come on people think of the little hedgehog!

hope you enjoy my picture.

zzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz

What Doin?…………Frenchin’ Day 8

Syd and Jim’s Diary

Day 8 (cause yesterday we didn’t do one!)

Jim – Oh hell its nearly time to go its gone so fast but during the time we were here we have done so much and seen so much that no one can say I have slept through this holiday! This diary is an amalgamation of the last two days as one day was not quite full enough to hold your attention! Now however we have seen things that will interest you, make you laugh and maybe even cry! The BBQ we had, had a few differences in as much as we didn’t have a bbq at all it was more of a pan and an oven affair! I had my own keg of beer and was in man meat heaven!

Syd – The BBQ stroke oven affair was really nice we had a variety of meat that we bought very cheaply from L’Eclerc. Jim excelled himself in the kitchen department as always. He also wouldn’t leave his keg alone hugging it at every opportunity and drinking out of its funnel!

Jim – We went back to the truck stop for the next lunch we had! Remember the Ostrich? This time it was a little less of a shock to hear what we were eating it was either porc or poulet and I chose le porc! It came in a huge vat and was massive bits of pig that had been boiled in a rich stew on the hob for a month! This time I didn’t have any truckers staring at me either which was nice but there was a large mammal from the sea on the opposite table. In fact he was there both times and because I saw him again I looked a little harder! He is a walrus he has the tash and the girth both and seemed to be speaking in a walrus type of French even my dad and Mary didn’t recognise! He waddled out with his walrus wife half way through!

I paid the bill with our money and the owner was suitably impressed that I knew how much he had asked for and gave him the exact change instead of leaving a wadge of notes and telling him to sort it! I was very proud I felt all grown up paying the bill and conversing avec le proprietor!

Syd – Once again the truck stop was an interesting place to eat though the food wasn’t as exciting as last time no large weird birds for dinner just a normal chicken done very well. Because of last times experience I knew I had to be quick on the cheese board my naivety had gone and as soon as I saw that plate of squidgy mould make its way to our table I was on it like a fly on shit!

The English In their droves have also found this obscure little eatery, we all love a truck stop!! I’m not sure that the owner is too impressed with his gaff full of English but there you go he is making money, so he cant complain.

Jim – The next day we went back to Bill’s bar my favourite eatery in France! Bill told us two stories one where there was a snake under his mates decking! He struggled for about five minutes to remember the word for decking ie “decking!” “The snake was from the lamp to here!” he said and looked a little scared! What? they have boa constrictors in France do they? Bloody hell its time to go home! The other was the fact that his wife Phil who makes the lovely food almost burned down the whole district by cooking in her garden! All we could talk about was whether the fire brigade needed to be paid in France? Do they? If you set fire to the world do you have to pay for it?

Syd – Ah Bills bar. This place is great. It makes me laugh very much. The food is good. Bills story about the snake was hilarious; he went on to worry about waking up with a snake in your bed laying next to you. I was trying to control fits of giggles as Bill seemed very serious about this. (Note: Our garden snake hasn’t reappeared since Jims last sighting, but there is something living in one of the bushes, every time I walk past it, it moves and the dogs keep sticking there noses in there)

………Jim’s beer keg I’ve just been told is empty…..he is now very sad……….

Anyway back to Bills bar! After the main course Bill goes and sneezes all over the bread he is cutting. The three ladies on the table behind us all stare in horror as he places that bread on our table.  Fortunately everyone had, had enough, except Jim who was un-aware of Bills nasal incident. He had some with his cheese, from the most uninspiring and depressing cheese board I have ever seen. I’m sorry but the cheese boards of France have become a little obsession of mine since being here, probably since the French pride themselves on their fromage so much.

Jim- Toad what toad why would you take a picture of that!!? Where was i?

Syd- I got a picture of a toad while Jim was sleeping (Please see slide show below) Cute little thing almost winking at us!

Jim – sadly there are things you have to do when visiting ones father in France! One of these is go meet his friends and usually this is fine but when the invitation came the air smelled a little of cow poo as the place was described to me! It all seemed to sugary a description! The best view in France, the woman is sweet and all is good! Yeah and it turned out to be a nightmare! Best view in France my ass Syd will tell you what happened there! The grandaughter was there with her American mother who both proceeded to pounce on me about tattooing and we found out the 20 year old protégé was seeing a 62 year old teacher of hers and she was all “oh no I don’t want to talk about it!” of course we did talk about it! All my father could ask was “does he have a beard?” I at this point said “Does he wear a fucking hat?” My father is so inane sometimes but I proper forgot where I was and launched the f word! Expecting to be chastised by the old and wise they all collapsed with laughter at the funny tattooed man who had sworn! We finally made our escape but was blocked in by the woman who had lent me her car with her other car! I know she did this on purpose!

Syd – Drinks at Whats its house! Mary and Richard invited us to drinks at there friends house in the next village. To be honest none of us wanted to go. But we did show our faces. We wondered into this very nice house which obviously cost a lot of money and was greeted by Cecelia who was the owner of such property and offered drinks all round. Then we were escorted to the terrace where we were encouraged to take pictures but the camera got bored half way through and decided to pack up. I don’t blame it!………….. Yawn!

Then we were surrounded by lots of people who decided to live our lives for us, by the end of this little drinks party we had moved to France, had children and they had graduated from a French school fluent in all languages. The rest of the time was endured with Cecelia ‘over egging the pudding’ about her darling Granddaughter going to a French university and becoming a distinction student in all subjects. Yawn! Double Yawn! Thank god for Mary who made her excuses and we legged it.

Jim – Now I have to look at the harsh reality of home! I love my shop and my job and my flat doesn’t make me want to kill people any more. I live a good life now I have the business to run and my wife to be with me! Sadly holidays are always better than real life and we must look at getting on the plane and dealing with the feeling of impending doom wondering what bill or summons is on the mat behind the front door! Watch out England Jim Distortion and Sydonia Muncy are coming home!

Syd- So thoughts now have turned to home. And I really don’t want to come home at all. I kind of feel like I should dig my heels in a bit and point blank refuse to go. But I’m sure Jims Dad would want his house back to as it was before we came. I have loved every minuet of being here. I can’t even describe how different life is to the people over here. It is so quiet and stress free compared to the same in England, no traffic, no bustling people. Even at the supermarket it is empty and you have space to wander and shop as you please. I will miss Richard and Mary too and thank them for looking after us and making me feel very welcome. Also Gemma and Foukey the two dogs that have lived with us for the past week I will be sad to leave them behind. Especially Foukey who is such a little dude!

I think Jim may struggle to get me on the plane. Though I only have three months to wait before I m back to see this place again.  Counting down the days already!

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