Leafy Green

Another tree for the collection.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the materials I use. I’ve got quite a few, each with their own particular purpose either singularly or when combined with another material. I’ve also tried quite a few over the years. The addition of acrylic painting has certainly made me think about whether the materials I’m using there are appropriate or not. There’s always the (very likely) possibility that I’m none too skilled with acrylic painting, but there’s also the possibility that the materials I’m using aren’t working for me.

But I’m not one to give up on something that quickly.

I’m also unsure as to where to go regarding the canvas paper (or actual canvases). Winsor & Newton have some fairly inexpensive, high quality, varying size canvas boards which could become my favoured painting surface. That said, I don’t really have a lot of space for storing canvases and the like. Hence the reason I don’t use them already.

But what I do have is paper. Lots of paper. But it’s not like you could use any old paper, you need something heavy that’s as absorbent as it is rigid so it doesn’t cockle under the liquid media. Bristol board may do it. On the other hand, I doubt either of my pencil and ink cartridge papers would suffice. So it fell to the recently purchased mixed media cartridge paper to actually become useful (for the first time since I bought it) and off I went to paint a tree. It seems like a fairly simple thing to paint. It’s also something that features a lot of layers of paint, so I was able to see how it held up to heavily layered paint and the general rigours associated with that. It went pretty well.

Closer to a balanced technique.
Closer to a balanced technique.

It also allows me to narrow down my selection of paper even further. If I don’t want to continue with my current acrylic canvas paper, I have a replacement already waiting which can easily take on the same material. It may also have some application for a textured marker style. Otherwise, I’ve got the two pencil and ink cartridge paper types and the singular watercolour paper type. So I’ve covered all of the materials I regularly use. Likewise, I’ve even invested in a new palette which is much easier to clean.

I love my old palette and I’ve had it for something like seven years.

But it’s cumbersome to clean, it’s difficult to slot together (as it comes apart), and it’s getting a bit worse for wear after all the years of painting. Surprisingly, that was among the very few purchases I made as I really didn’t need much else. Most of it was just replacements or spares for things. So that, when they run out, which they will, I won’t be without until I buy more.

It’s comforting in a way to not have to worry so much about the materials I’m using. I’ve got a selection I’m happy with. Besides the possible change to the acrylic tubes I use, I doubt I’ll be investing in anything entirely new for a while. I’ve got many more hours of learning how to make the best use of these materials ahead of me, though. It also means I’ll spend less money in the future on art-related activities. Which is a bonus. Not that, as a traditional artist, you’ll ever stop spending money on your art unless you stop doing it. Or someone invents a bottomless tube of paint. Or a pencil that replenishes its point. Such things would be amazing- but equally as unlikely to ever exist.

Have a nice week, all!


Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Warming up the Bird

Birds are a funny sort. They have some incredibly unique features, a multitude of textures, and are fun to paint or draw. They also require warmth for optimum operating conditions.


I know what you’re thinking, “Moggie, you think you can just turn up after four months without so much as a peep and expect everything to be okay?” Hey- it worked for my ex-girlfriend and if it can work for her it can work for everyone. Right? Right!

It’s a little known fact that I’ve recently become more interested in digital art. Well, no, that’s inaccurate, I’ve always been interested in digital art. In late 2006 when I joined my first art community site that was my thing, but as time went on I realised that I didn’t have the tools for it and the motivations behind traditional art were much stronger.

That said, digital art has a charm all its own.

So I bought myself a Wacom Bamboo to bridge that gap of not having good tools for digital art. Not the best, nor most expensive, tablet out there but I’ll consider getting a more expensive one once I know I can actually achieve decent results with it.

Now, what’s with the bird? Wouldn’t you say she’s charming? Well, the above is the latest work in progress of this particular piece and features a striking difference to the previous work in progress in that it has a solid colour background. I wanted something rich and dark, but also warm, as the colours are fairly warm and the beak has a good level of contrast with it.

As you can see in the below piece, the first work in progress, there was less going on and it was a lot colder. It didn’t convey that same fullness and depth. It was more rough ’round the edges. It also would have proved impossible to see all the work on the white textures around the beak, so this wasn’t a purely aesthetic choice- it was functional too!


This isn’t the only thing that I’ve been occupied with in the last four months. I’ve been looking at my art as a whole and asking myself if that’s where I want to be, and, if not as the case seems to be, where can I go to get better?

I think a lot of my personal frustrations come from lack of consistency. I was cleaning my art desk recently and realised the last time I used that regularly was 2010, I’m not entirely sure why that is or what has made it less appealing since… I just don’t use it that much. So I’ve been thinking about what I want to do.

Not “what do I have the capability to do?” as I feel every artist has the capability to do just about anything if they focus on it. But “what do I want to do?” and actually aim to get some of the things I’d love to do down on paper. Digitally or traditionally speaking.

Speaking of the traditional, I do have one work in progress (or as I like to call it “probably half-finished but unlikely to actually be fully finished so resigns itself to the corner of shame for the foreseeable future”)- Davros!


That insanely evil yet devilishly intelligent genius behind the creation of the least emotionally inclined race of all time- the Daleks. I’ll be honest and say that besides a few old episodes with Baker or Pertwee as The Doctor I don’t really care for Doctor Who as a whole. A bit like tea, really. Or fish and chips. I am actually quite a failure as an English person.

What I do like is people with interesting faces and Davros sure has one of those. I would say it’s kind of creepy how he has no eyes but I find that pretty awesome. How often do you get to draw someone with no eyes?

Enjoy your Saturday afternoon all.


Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Davros, Daleks, Time And Relative Dimension In Space, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Terry Nation and the BBC.