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Friday, 18 June 2021

'Bailey' by TR

 A Thursday Nighter pastel

Thank you TR for sending me your great pastel canine work of your dog Bailey, the Irish Setter. TR has told me that Bailey's coloration is the original IR colors of red and white and is now rarely seen. He is a very sweet pooch!

TR has done an excellent job with the proportions and features. The eyes are very soulful and expressive, and the nose is perfect. I like how TR has used complimentary cool colors in the red fur and carried that blue into the whiter fur shadows. I would suggest also building up the background to a darker hue, maybe adding more of that same blue and some mid grey tones. A darker background would make the white fur stand out better. The top of the head should possibly be a bit taller and pointier - and could possibly be amended by working the background darker - but its not a big issue.

Lovely work TR - thanks for sharing!

'Bailey' by TR

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Chops, by GW

 A Thursday Nooner drawing

GW has sent me her drawing of 'Chops' the beagle that she has been working on during Thursday afternoon classes. Chops has a strong graphic feel to it. Instead of trying to create photographic realism in the fur she has been clever with her use of tonal ranges creating blocks of linear tones to indicate dark and lighter fur. I think this works very well and has a good effect. GW has handled the proportions well, paying especial attention to getting the size of the feet correct and accurate drawing of the claws. Chops has a pinkish nose from memory and this translates well in the mid tone range. The nose is slightly lopsided, but Chops is in a pose that would smoosh the nose sideways so I think it works.

I would like to see some indication of the body of the dog on the right hand side of the work. It does not need to be realized fur, I think GW could use simple line outline to indicate the form. GW has done this already with the right side of the nose and this could be continued in the body form to complete the shapes. See my mock below GW's drawing for my suggestion.

Overall a very pleasing drawing of a soulful looking beagle. Well done GW.

'Chops' by GW

Suggested addition of linear form to indicate the body. Note that I probably have the 'elbow' in the wrong position/too short, but you can see how this will help to finish the work.

Monday, 14 June 2021

Classes Update: Covid

 Monday evenings at VAS resumes June 21

Hope to see all you Monday-Nighters next week! And make up classes will be on June 29 and July 5. Face masks will be mandatory. We will resume working on your canine portraits in pastel pencils.... unless you have finished your work over the lock-down. If you have completed something over the break, please bring it into class for discussion and critique. Those who have finished the pastel work  have the opportunity now to do another canine drawing in your choice of medium, or return to your unfinished graphite canine and complete it.

KMD has worked on her drawing over the period and has created a work in her distinctive style. She has used pastel pencils as well as a few soft Rembrandt's. There is a bit of shadow on the work cast by her phone which makes it difficult for me to tell where her light source is, I am assuming from the top right. I know I am always banging on about eyes not to have pointy ends, but they really seem to work in KMD's drawing - the eyes have real life and personality.  I would have avoided black outlines around the teeth myself and used a softer grey - but they are effective! The body and collar are flat and KMD should work to build up more shadow tones on the left side. Maybe include some more of the oranges and dark blues in those shadows.

This dog has a lot of character and is a fun drawing.

'Dog' by KMD

 All Term 2 Thursday Classes at MMAG cancelled

Well it appears our Kingston Council has decided to err on the side of caution and have shut up the building until Term 3. 😥 Sad, but that is no reason not to keep up with your drawings!

Thursday nighters... come on! Do some work and send it to me!

Like the Thursday nooners have been doing:

'Indy' by S🔔

Oh! This is nicely done SB! Really good proportions and attention to detail. Well formed and accurate nose. Eye well observed and drawn. Indy was a dark coated dog from memory and you have tried to indicate this and mostly succeeded. I know it is your first time drawing fur and I think you have done quite well, paying close attention to the direction and how the fur falls over the body. As you develop your technique you will begin to refine this and learn how to layer the strokes so the don't fill up the area too much - very sharp pencils and a smoother paper can help with this. How you have done the fur around the nose area is very, very good. As you progressed over the head area it seems to fill in a bit and you lose some detail - I can tell you had difficulty understanding the interior of the ear somewhat. But overall you have done very well and you should be really pleased and proud of this work SB.

'Cookie' by Em: WIP

Another fine work in progress by EM. Don't overwork it EM! It is pretty close to finished here. Drawing white hair on white paper is really tricky but your are working well with it. Your overall shapes and anatomy look good. The nose is well done and accurate. You could benefit from from soft shadow areas on one side of the face as I cannot really tell where the light source is coming from so Cookie's face is a bit flat. Try using a soft, blunted F pencil and add shading and tone over the linework. Then, freshen up the linework over the top of this area with a very sharp 2H and HB pencil. Work softly and slowly to build it up further - stop before you think you are done and consider the progress.

Keep going, it's looking great!

'Cookie' with added shading done in 3D Paint program for demonstration only

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Your Canines

 Thank you to the three artists who have sent me their Pastel Pencil Canines!

'Monty' by C

This is the first time 'C' has used pastel pencils - at first she says she found it very annoying and different to use, but she has persevered to create this nice drawing of the dog Monty. She has used Canson MiTiens and various pastel pencils with some additions of charcoal.

The head shape is very good - maybe C could have tilted Monty's head back a bit more but she has captured the inquisitive pose well. I like the way the background color of the paper is used to create the darker shadow areas of the curling fur. Maybe a big of French Grey or Sepia or Light Umber could have also been used as a first layer to really get darker shadows like on C's reference. But as a novice to this medium and the first time using it I think C has created a very creditable drawing of Monty.

And well done for persevering with this C, I know it was very new territory for you. And I hope you enjoy trying the medium out on that  Art Spectrum sanded paper. I think you will find it more enjoyable to work with and very forgiving.

Red Fox by K

'K' has drawn for us a Red Fox. K has used pastel pencils before and this is very evident in the beautifully rendered eye of her fox. She handles the pencils confidently and understands how they work. The fur coat is thick and rich with color - it looks soft and furry.

Some aspects of the head structure need to be considered. I couldn't find your image online, but have pulled a comp grab from Dreamstime Stock images to explain. First, the mouth, note how the line of the mouth is not straight line but has a flattened 's' shape? As well, see how that mouth corner lines up with the outer edge of the eye? The shape of the head should be long and narrow. I don't have K's reference, but I think that she has made the top of the head too bulbous and it sticks up too much. And the end of the nose is more of a wedge shape than pointy.

But, not to get too nit-picky, K, your fox is very 'foxy'!


WIP Wolf by J

Like K, J has had a bit of experience with pastel pencils.  You can see this by the way she layers her pencil colors, working through the darks and building up to the lights. She is also not afraid to add warm red/violets and cool blues to enhance the grey tones of the wolf. She is still working on it and the right hand side is as yet unfinished. If J keeps working on that side in the same way as the left she will end up with a very good result.

Her nose and eyes are well done. The nose has just the right amount of soft highlights on it to create a leathery texture. The eyes are also nicely rendered.

One thing that concerns me is that I feel that either her nose is too long, or the eyes too close together. Face forward is always a difficult angle to draw a canine and there is nothing J can do about the proportions now. The nose also seems to have a slight bend to the left to it, but that can be fixed once she completes the right hand side and can fill out the whites to fix this. I have cut out a section of your drawing J to show you what it would look like if you had taken out a bit of the nose length.

Again, it is a good drawing and thank you for showing to me.

If anyone else wishes to show me your works, completed or in progress that you have done during this lockdown, send it to me via email - or use the contact form on the right to get in touch with me.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Covid Drawing...

 Yellowstone Wolf in Pastel Pencils

Well guys, here we go again. Currently we are in Day 4 of our (maybe) 7 day circuit breaker lockdown and it looks like it will be extended a week further. I can only hope they can get this under control soon and those currently affected recover with no ill effects.

As all classes and workshops have been cancelled for the duration, I thought I would show you all the progress drawing of the demonstration work I was doing with my Monday and Thursday evening sessions using pastel pencils.

The wolf image was supplied to me by Mike Sibley, an image he shot while in Yellowstone a few years ago - thank you Mike!
And I hope any of you who wish to show me your work will do so and we can post it again here on the blog for the others in your group to see. Let me know via email.

This was the stage I have reached on last Thursday evening class. Paper is Art Spectrum Color Fix Smooth 'Blue Haze'. The base blue color has been intensified with broad strokes of a Rowney indigo blue stick tonked back with a rag. I completed the eyes to a near finish and the added the darker base tones in dark sepia, deep indigo blue and chestnut tones using Staedtler and Carbethello pastel pencils.

Progressively building up the dark and mid-tone fur using chestnut, dark umber, gold and ochre with hints of a purple plum color. This is done with Carbethello pastel pencils - except for the dark umber which is the Staedtler. Some black Carbethello touched into the eye, nose and inner ear.

Adding lighter tones over the mid tones - golds, creams. Still only using the Carbethello pencils.

Light tones added - cream yellow, light grey, white Carbethello. Accents of indigo and black Carbethello. Some soft white Rembrandt pastel stick is used to add bright white.
At this stage I could call it finished, but I wanted to build up the lighter tones more and had nearly filled the surface textured. So I did what the pastel-purest frowns upon and gave the work a light spray fix of Windsor Newton fixative. This tends to darken up the pastel but it also 'sets' it somewhat and gives me another surface layer to work on.

The finished work. 
Building up more fur work over the entire piece, adding darks and lights as needed. Again, a soft white Rembrandt pastel stick was used to create the brightest whites. 

So... show me what YOU have been up to in this lockdown and I will post it here with my comments.
Stay well...


Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Grimm Cancellation

 It is with great regret that due to the Lock Down announcement at 11am this morning by the Victorian Government that the Grimm Visions Exhibition and Fantastic Creatures Workshop has been cancelled.

I hope we can rearrange this for a later date - I will advise.


Monday, 24 May 2021

Grimm Visions Launch this Friday

 Join me this Friday, May 28, 5.30pm for the launch of my exhibition of drawings 'Grimm Visions' In this exhibition I have taken a few of my favorite stories from the first edition and have tried to express some of the original or darker side to the story behind the fairy tale façade. 

This is a free event, but please register at for Covid requirements.

Fantasy Creatures Workshop
Saturday, May 29, 1 - 4pm is almost booked out! A spot or two is still open if you are interested - contact Blarney books on the above website.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Class Demonstrations

 Term 1 and Term 2

As part of my teaching method I like to demonstrate technique by drawing along with my students and create a smaller work. I often do not have time to finish these pieces in class, but when I can I complete in the home studio.

In our first term this year we studied birds. The focus was on composition and use of color pencil with graphite. The work also had to include a background of some variety. I chose to create a drawing featuring a family of blue wrens in different morphs (male and female adult, sub-adult, juvenile) on a winter bramble. All the birds came from personal reference shots and were positioned into a pleasing narrative composition. The background is a soft rendering of brambles and hatching effect.

'Family Conference' - Color and Graphite pencil on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press 300 gsm paper
by Linda Weil 2021

Second Term has been concentrating on canines. We began the term by looking at the features of a canine and studying the anatomy using graphite pencil. Using the knowledge gained from those studies I asked the students to draw a sketch of their chosen canine starting with the skeletal anatomical structure then adding the flesh/fur overlay. This was to encourage understanding of the underlying structure of the animal, proportions and relationships. Once the sketch was finished the outline of this was transferred to better quality drawing paper and a rendered drawing in graphite was done. Including a background was encouraged.

I used some photos I had taken of dingo while on Fraser Island and in a local wildlife rescue sanctuary in the Wide-Bay region. Currently there is a controversy over the proposed dingo fence on Fraser Island as there is concern over limiting the free range of the dog. The issue seems to be people interacting with the wild animal causing the dingo becoming habituated and losing their fear of humans. This has resulted in injuries to humans. The solution proposed is to fence out the dingo, greatly reducing it's range and ease of movement across the island. ABC News

I have conflicting views on this solution - while I don't want the dingo restricted, neither to I want to see people, especially children hurt. The people living on the island must make the best decision they can and I do not envy them their dilemma.

Anatomy study showing underlying bone structure with flesh overlay

Completed drawing 'Don't Fence Me In' - Graphite pencil on
Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Hot Press Paper by Linda Weil 2021

Both of these works will be on display at the AGRA seasonal Winter Exhibition 2-13 June, AGRA Galleries, 1 Inglesby Street, Camberwell Victoria.

PS: Don't forget to sign up for the FANTASY CREATURES workshop in Port Fairy May 29!

Monday, 10 May 2021

Fantasy Creature Workshop

Let your imagination run wild! 

Grab a pencil or two and your sketchbook, bring along your imagination and join me for an afternoon of fantastical drawing! Have you ever wanted to draw your favorite storybook character, myth, monster or whimsical critter? In this workshop I will show you a few basic tips and with a little bit of practice you will be drawing an amazing fantasy creature in no time at all.

Come view my exhibition 'Grimm Visions' for inspiration and then indulge your creative flight of fancy. Join me for an afternoon of drawing fun on Saturday, May 29, 1 - 4 pm at Blarney Books and Art, Port Fairy. No previous drawing experience is required and some materials will be provided. It is only $45 for the afternoon and you can register HERE.

Drive up for the day and return, or spend the night in Port Fairy and join me for a glass of wine at the local after the workshop - would love to see you there.

'Hans my Hedgehog' from the Grimm Visions Exhibition
Artwork by Linda Weil©

Monday, 3 May 2021

Upcoming Exhibition at Blarney Books and Art

 A heads-up for my upcoming exhibition opening 28 May at Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy, Victoria. I will send out emails or postal invites to anyone on my lists, but for those of you who follow my blog please also consider yourself invited!

Port Fairy is a beautiful seaside town along the stunning Great Ocean Road, about 3-4 hours out of Melbourne. You can do it in a day if you don't mind driving, but why not consider a weekend get-away and see some of the sights and the beautiful area. Bush and beach walks, lighthouse to visit, koalas at Tower Hill, great food, fresh air and of course, The Great Ocean Road. As well as a visit to Blarney Books and Art!

There will be a couple of weekend workshops with me on offer, during the first weekend of the exhibition and the final weekend. These will be confirmed in the next week or so, or you can enquire at Blarney Books and Art here