Author Archives: thepaste

 

Time Lapse of Pastel Painting of Sandbanks, Poole.

I’ve been enjoying experimenting with pastels and seascapes, those that know me well will tell you that I’m happiest by the sea. The image below is it finished on my easel and the video below shows you how it progressed from start to finish.

 

I’m getting ready for Dorset Art Weeks  which runs from 28th May to 12th June, you can see this and my pastel portraits on display during the exhibition. I’m back at Stewarts Garden Centre, Wimborne, the directions are in the link, I have a couple of says out planned so whilst it’s open during the two weeks, if you would like to see me, please call to arrange a time, just in case.

Let me know if you are able to visit, it’s always lovely to have a friendly face to look forward to

Pastel painting of Sandbanks, Poole

Time Lapse of painting of Sandbanks, Poole

Beautiful Spaniels make lovely pastel dog portraits

Mostly, I’m working at my easel and my pet portraits are secret Christmas commissions, surprises by generous partners or family and friends. So I can’t share as much as I would like of my work in progress of dog portraits and horse portraits. I just had lovely owner reply with a ‘it’s beautiful, and again you have captured him!’. I am reminded that we, worked together before, six years ago I drew another dog for her and her partner. I’ve been drawing pet portraits for over 15 years in Dorset and the South West!

There is nothing more lovely that when someone loves your work enough to search you out years later. I’m always keen to make sure that we get the best possible result so that you have pet portrait to treasure forever.

Thanks for your support.

Nina

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Dog and pet portraits in pastel

Pastel of people and Pet portraits

Pet portraits, pastel seascapes and portraits of people

Pastels are a versatile media and recently I’ve been exploring different ways of working with both my dog portraits and Dorset seascapes. I have always enjoyed pastels for pet portraits, they have a natural quality that suits animal fur. I use the best quality materials and Jacksons Art Supplies have a great range of pastel cards and pastel pencils, which are my preferred media for getting detail into my work.

Pet and dog portraits in pastel

Dog portrait of a spaniel in Pastel

Pet Portraits

This is one of my recent spaniel portraits, the customer requested a background and, I hope you’ll agree, the end result is successful. I love working on Spaniel pastel portraits, they have beautiful eyes and I enjoy capturing the essence of their character within the final portrait. This one will be new addition to my online card shop.

I’ve recently been working on a commission of a Headmaster to be part of a permanent display in a school in Sussex. It’s not been presented yet so only a snippet for now. I love the way that hands capture as much of a persons personality as the rest of the portrait. Portraits of people are a lovely gift and especially portraits of people and their beloved pets.

pastel portraits by Nina Squire

Pastel portraits

My pastel classes and workshops start again on the 18th June, we look at a range of subjects but dog portraits are a favourite subject. It’s great learning the skills so that you can create your own pet portraits. We have also been working on Dorset Seascapes, here’s an example of what can be achieved with mixed media and pastels. It’s a fun and quick way of working and you are able to get good results quickly with a few tips and tricks.

pastel paintings of Dorset

Pastel of Dorset

Thanks for reading,

Nina Squire
the pastel artist

Pet portrait of a black labrador

Pet portrait of a black labrador

I’m just trying out time-lapse, what do you think so far? Drawing Black labradors are always a challenge I enjoy. I love creating the black shine of the fur and that sparkle in your dog’s eye. This particular pet portrait is one that I’ve been looking forward to. I was lucky enough to meet this character and spent some time trying to make sure we got just the right pictures and notes to work from. This is one of a few black labradors that I’ll be working on over the next few weeks, more time-lapse to follow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjWrjfjTN54

Pet portraits and greetings cards

Pet portraits and greetings cards

Pet portraits and greetings cards

Pet portraits and greetings cards

My greetings cards have always been a popular part of my pet portrait displays. When I’m doing pastel workshops they work as a portfolio of treasured previous pet portraits. I find people often want a pastel portrait in a similar style to one of my characters. One lovely labrador, posed so beautifully I made him one of my first greetings card. It has led to a few enthusiastic owners becoming exasperated as an excited dog refuses to settle for us during a photo session, sensing the game but not realising that its all about looking relaxed! We have a few tricks to settle bouncy dogs, my favourite, a cuppa and a chat. That normally leads to that perfect relaxed pose as they sense the cuppa means they can settle in! Its always lovely to meet you and your animals and get a sense of their personalities before a portrait.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed over the last few years has been watching my greetings cards sell at popular venues locally. Stewarts Garden Centre have been generous in giving me a fantastic spot within their display, right next to The Coffee Shop! I’m in there regularly checking my stock levels with a freshly made coffee!

You can also find them stocked with The Basket Boutique, a lovely giftware company who travel the Countryside events in Dorset. Niss, the owner, has a beautiful black and white spaniel who has got a spot booked on my easel very soon. Updates to follow!

 

A new Etsy Shop

Etsy Shop

I’ve always admired Etsy’s beautiful website and the collection of artists and craft makers. Its the perfect platform for my updated card listing, for a limited time the cards are discounted to £1.99.

I hope you’ll enjoy visiting the display, let me know how you find it. You will need to create an account with Etsy but this helps with payment security which is why I have favoured it.

Thanks

Nina

I sell on Etsy - Nina Squire  - the pastel artist

I sell on Etsy – Nina Squire – the pastel artist

House portraits – a lovely gift

house_portrait

House portraits – a lovely gift

With Summer approaching it’s a lovely time to consider a house portrait as a lasting memory of your family home. More information here

We can plan for a birthday or anniversary and capture your garden at its best. Using new flowering plants as inspiration or perhaps old photos for inspiration, I can create your personalised house portrait.

 

Artist in residence at Larkhill, Home of the Royal Artillery

I returned to Larkhill, Home of the Royal Artillery Point to Point racing since 1947, for the first event of the season on 5th January. A beautiful crisp day and a great day for racing. I’ve been Artist in Residence at the racecourse for over 9 years and I enjoyed getting to know both the owners and riders. Its been a lovely opportunity to watch horses race and enjoy the view of Salisbury Plain. It’s helped my work develop enormously, you learn so much from watching the horses both on the track and as they prepare, you can find more about my pastel portraits of horses by clicking here.

I’ve completed numerous horse portraits in the South West, for owners and trainers including Mr J Barber, Mrs H Goody and Mr John Manners. Here’s one on display while I was working at Larkhill recently.

 

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Making wool felt with children

Little Green Fingers Art Workshops

In January I was invited for an art residency at Hillview Primary. We worked together to design a wet felt making workshop for the children to learn about the felting process through creating a flower meadow using merino sheep wool. It was a great team building experience and the children enjoyed working from one of my illustrations for inspiration to create a beautiful felted flower meadow wall hanging for the school display. Through  this collaboration the children are introduced to the fantastic work that Stewarts Garden Centre do to create a flourishing environment for our local wildlife and most importantly, bees, who are so important to our food chain. Stewarts are keen to support young gardeners and create an awareness of our natural surrounding. Stewarts have been supporting local schools and green art workshops for over 5 years through Little Green Fingers, a collaboration between myself and Stewarts, who fund art materials and offer a discounted rate for local schools to enjoy an art workshop. For a limited time, there are discounted rates available for local schools, please contact Nina for more information.

Art helps children understand the beauty of the environment that we so often take for granted.

For more of the workshops covered and bookings contact Nina on 07967 736762

Making wool felt with children

Making a textile out of wool felt is a great way of getting the children to work together

Kings Troop

An invitation to visit The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery

I’m artist in residence at the home of the Royal Artilery, Larkhill. I’m lucky that my easel looks out on some of the most fantastic view of Salisbury plain whilst I work on my commission work. Whilst drawing at an event earlier in the year I met The Commanding Officer of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, Major Mark Edward, who was visiting the event and was generous enough to admire my work. He very kindly invited me to visit the Kings Troop at their new home in Woolwich – could I capture a little of The Troop to bring back to Larkhill, their home? The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is a British Army mounted, ceremonial unit that fires Royal Salutes on royal anniversaries and state occasions, and they provide a gun carriage and a team of black horses for state and military funerals.

The King’s Troop also has a vital operational role. Their soldiers are trained as fighting soldiers, with six of them currently deployed in Afghanistan. When the Army mobilises, the unit provides heavy goods vehicle drivers who deliver ammunition to artillery units around the battlefield.

Visiting the Troop on one of the coldest April mornings didn’t dull the privilege of being given a ‘behind the scenes’ look at this fantastic new purpose built building. It is a fantastic piece of architecture and houses the 6 lines of horses alongside the gunners and officers. I arrived at just before 7.30am, long after the horses and soldiers had started preparing for the day of training in preparation for The Royal Windsor Show in May. They train twice a week, in all weathers.

Inside the Woolwich Garrison, just one of the lines The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery

Inside the Woolwich Garrison, just one of the lines of horses

Sketches were tricky in a working stable but some things seemed important to capture. Most important for me was the bond between the gunners and the horses.

My sketch of one of the gunners tacking up the horses The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery

My sketch of one of the gunners tacking up the horses

 

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery training for The Royal Windsor Horse Show in May

The Kings Troop forming ready to leave the barracks for a days training for The Royal Windsor Horse Show in May

Watching the gunners prepare the horses and tack for the training session I was aware of the speed in which this well organised Troop work. The horses and gunners line up waiting for the officers to lead the procession to the training ground. Its bitterly cold but there is no mention of the sleet that’s already falling.

I watch them form an orderly procession out of the barracks and then follow onto the training ground.

The Troop arrive and prepare the horses, the horses all have special studs screwed into their shoes to help them grip on the grass as they preform the ride.

I was given a spot to stand and was offered the cab of the army truck if it got cold. The officers took position on top of the cab to inspect the display. Nothing can prepare you for the noise of that many horses cantering past you; it is immense.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery thunder past me at a canter, during the Windsor Show they will be at full gallop.

The Troop thunder past me at a canter, during the Windsor Show they will be at full gallop.

 

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery

My position was the focus point of the ride. I sat where the Queen would view the ride from during the Windsor Show display. The horses and guns form two lines, head straight for my position and then split as they reach me. That image will remain with me for some time! The noise included, chains clinking, horses hooves and shouts from the officers but I was unprepared for the ground shaking as they passed by.

One of the gunners bringing the jackets for the officers after a cold practice drive.

One of the gunners bringing the jackets for the officers after a cold practice drive.

Back at the barracks the cleaning of the tack started.

Walls of cleaned tack glisten

Walls of cleaned tack glisten

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery - saddles in lines with highly polished leather.

Saddles in lines with highly polished leather – these are just for training, for the performance they will use the more decorated tack which has an even more glossy appearance.

 

 

I loved this instruction label! The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery swords

I loved this instruction label!

Visiting The Troop at Windsor Castle was just spectacular . I had just parked the car only to walk out and see them trotting up the main high street after exercising the horses.

Exercising the horses at 7 am - I see them as I leave the car park and know I'm in the right place!

Exercising the horses at 7 am – I see them as I leave the car park and know I’m in the right place!

I’m invited to see the horses and have a quick tour and then left to spend more time looking at the horses. The views of Windsor Castle are all made more magical as I was able to see from my privileged behind the scenes view.

My view of Windsor Castle

My view of Windsor Castle

The inside school at Windsor Castle - temporary housing for The Troop horses.

The inside school at Windsor Castle – temporary housing for The Troop horses.

 

The Troop entering the arena at The Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Troop entering the arena at The Royal Windsor Horse Show

A video view of Windsor Show Parade by SchmidtLondon

The Troop leaving the arena! A sound that I can't describe!

The Troop leaving the arena! A sound that I can’t describe!