New York Fashion week

It’s fashion week again and I have packed up my watercolours and brought out the colour pencils. My first piece is from the R13 collection. I couldn’t resist the combination of camouflage and leopard print. I love this drawing! I never say that but I am actually really pleased with how it turned out in the end. (Leaving part of it “unfinished” IS intentionally in case anyone was wondering 🙄)

‘R13 – Spring 2020 – Ready to Wear’

I was feeling pretty cocky after my first drawing turned out to be such a masterpiece, I thought Id try out some toned paper. Judging by the amount of toned paper I have in stock I must have had this thought numerous times before but have obviously never followed through! I have three unused pads of the stuff! For this one I chose the Toned Gray from Strathmore. For my first toned paper attempt I am pretty happy although looking at this now I may have got a little carried away with the white pencil highlights in the end.

‘Jonathan Simkhai – Spring 2020 – Ready to Wear’

And just to prove not everything goes to plan here is unfinished drawing number three from the Kate Spade collection. This one just didn’t work for me from the very start. I had so much trouble with her skin. I think I am just not well practiced in drawing dark skin tones. Admittedly it doesnt look totally horrible, I just personally don’t like it and have no appetite to finish it. I think I was trying to do too much and too many things in one drawing and now I feel a bit lost. Maybe I will go back to it one day!

Pet Portrait; Jackson


This is Jackson.  He is super cute and my most recent pet portrait commission.  By some odd karmic coincidence this request arrived a few days after we had to put our own dog down.  Dusty has made an appearance a couple of times in this blog so you might be familiar with him.  We got Dusty whilst living in Abu Dhabi.  He and his eight siblings had been found abandoned in a flooded building site as tiny, very cute, pups.  After three years in the UAE he made the long trip (💰💰💰) back to Australia and enjoyed another three years with us here.  Dusty was the best-worst dog you could ever have.  Those who knew him will know what that means! 😢


Anyway I had loads of fun doing this commission of Jackson.  I haven’t drawn anything but people for such a long time I’d forgotten animals are a whole different kettle of fish (so to speak).  In some ways they are a little easier as you don’t need to worry about creating a smooth surface like you do with human skin but the flip side is you have to be super careful about inadvertent ‘blending’ (aka smudges).  All that work to create tiny little individual lines of  hair only to lose them by smudge them all together …ahhhgg!

wip 1

The number one thing I re-learned doing this piece was the importance of figuring out the direction of travel of the fur BEFORE you start each area you are working on.  You might start thinking the hair goes one direction only to discover it is actually a different direction and it is not always as instinctive as you think!.  It can end up looking a bit unnatural if the hair is going the wrong way or you change it part way through and create an odd looking transition.

Weird Wikipedia fact? thing: where the hair changes direction is called a hair whorl.  It’s claimed there is a correlation between the location, number, or type of whorls and behaviour or temperament in horses and other species.  Apparently the Bedouins believe different whorls mean different things.  A whorl between the horse’s ears is a sign of swiftness and a whorl on the chest means prosperity!  But beware the horse with a whorl above its eyes, it’s master is going to die of a head injury… (that is a fairly specific way to die so it must be true!)

But I digress…. Sometimes it can be quite hard to tell the direction of the hair from a photograph. Just a quick tip; I find it helpful to actually draw directional arrows on my reference drawing before I actually start.

wip 3

wip 5


jackson framed


I don’t know much about Jackson but I like to think that maybe he and Dusty are having a great time playing together wherever it is that dogs go after they leave this world.

img_1481RIP little man xx


If you are interested in a pet portrait of your bestie please check out my Etsy store. AUD $60 (an absolute bargin!) for an A3 portrait plus postage.