Seeing the special in French Bulldogs

My seeing something ‘more’ like the shadowy hues of blue on white fur, appear as a classic almost Wedgwood tone in my strong-outlined and pastel-colored, new portrait of a Frenchie.

Douglas Rickard French Bulldog art print

Douglas Rickard French Bulldog art print

French Bulldog drawing in progress

French Bulldog drawing in progress

Just today I spotted one of these popular breeds chasing after, and retrieving a Frisbee; an exploit which makes me realize despite looking a little pug-like, French Bulldogs have a very different temperament. (The pug I know, would just happily watch a Frisbee.)

But what I’m also ‘seeing’ through the desirable personality traits specific to one dog breed and yet another characteristic nature always part of another breed, is something fun yet profound. As I explain in the video below, I like to think that the “Creator of all those reliable companions known as Frenchies,” inserted a touch of His nature in them, and that’s a reason why so many of us appreciate man’s best friend.

French Bulldog art

French Bulldog art

Lyceum Theatre, London

West End Theatre drawing in progress

West End Theatre drawing in progress

Lyceum Stage Door

Lyceum Stage Door

Have you ever meandered through the side streets of Covent Garden? These crisscrossing rows of London streets will take you past, what I find to be, fascinating back doors of West End theatres… stage doors of course. I wanted to draw one of London’s theatres, and held back from drawing the front. I thought the unassuming stage door in down-to-earth charcoal, could be an equally exciting piece of showbiz art as a colorful oil pastel of the opulent building front.

Lyceum Theatre exterior drawing

Lyceum Theatre exterior drawing

Whenever I have walked past a stage door, and I don’t know if you’re the same, I always take a look at anyone going in or coming out. I’m actually a little in awe of the talent and creativity that goes into the choreography, musical scores and performances I’ve seen in the West End. And I enjoy the idea of how actors for example, appear out of the city in their everyday clothes and slip into these stage doors and the vast, dark auditoriums beyond to come together and perform under the bright lights and whisk us away to another place. I hope my simple Lyceum Theatre drawing somehow captures a little piece of that wonder of London’s West End.

West End cityscape by Douglas Rickard

Summer of dogs, drawings and friends

Douglas Rickard with friend from art college and pug on Brighton Beach

Douglas Rickard with friend from art college and pug on Brighton Beach

Even dogs seem to prefer the summer – wanting double the walks per day. And I displayed double the art at my dog drawings exhibition in Muswell Hill, London. Halfway through, I changed out my charcoals to color, by unleashing some oil pastel art.

A vist to the dog art exhibition by Douglas Rickard with friends and 'niece' Grace

A vist to the dog art exhibition by Douglas Rickard with friends and ‘niece’ Grace

German Shepherd, Pug and Staffordshire Bull Terrier oil pastel art

German Shepherd, Pug and Staffordshire Bull Terrier oil pastel art

Despite using sometimes only minimal markings, a friend who came to visit, kindly praised my charcoal drawings for still capturing the dogs’ personalities. It was rewarding to get to see a room full of just charcoal giclée prints too. The larger versions, 13” x 19” sizes of the German Shepherd, dachshund, whippet, bulldog, French Bulldog, poodle, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Chihuahua Mix, Yorkshire Terrier and boxer greeted everyone at La Miel café with a bright and brawny show.

Planning Dog Drawings Exhibition

Planning Dog Drawings Exhibition

On display, the Borzoi is a new dog drawing by Douglas Rickard

On display, the Borzoi is a new dog drawing by Douglas Rickard

Cane Corso drawing

Cane Corso drawing

Borzoi

Borzoi

I débuted two new dog drawings, at my exhibition, of the Cane Corso and the Borzoi. The more I create dog drawings, the more I’m astounded by these much doted upon denizens of Creation. Who would think the Cane Corso would have the protective traits of a children’s nanny. And what about the Borzoi behaving a little like the family cat?

Pug day trip to Brighton with Douglas Rickard

Pug day trip to Brighton with Douglas Rickard

If it weren’t for a friend of 27 years from back in art college, who plumped on buying a pug (before getting pregnant,) I wouldn’t have been drawing dogs at all. I met up with Gizmo, and my friend and her boyfriend on a day trip to Brighton. And in this video (below,) I’m amazed again, this time, at how a little dog who hasn’t seen me in months, could recognize me as I arrive at the station among dozens of people.

So whether it’s black and white or full color drawings like those of the German Shepherd, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Chihuahua, pug, Yorkshire Terrier, boxer and Doberman – there are plenty of dog days of summer left to buy some pedigree art!

Maleficent – a sculpture and drawing, Angelina in the flesh, the movie, props and costumes

Creating the new, (such as the Disney “Maleficent” movie, or my own drawing of that “Evil Enchantress”) while preserving the essence of the old. I used heavy, black charcoal strokes and just four types of green in my latest “Where Pictures Shine” release, a Numbered Limited Edition of 24.

Four Caran d'Ache Neopastel colors used in Maleficent art by Douglas Rickard

Four Caran d’Ache Neopastel colors used in Maleficent art by Douglas Rickard

Drawing Maleficent by Douglas Rickard

Drawing Maleficent by Douglas Rickard

Walt Disney Classics Collection Maleficent figurine by Kent Melton

Walt Disney Classics Collection Maleficent figurine by Kent Melton

I think that I have captured not only Kent Melton’s 1999 Walt Disney Classic Collection 10” piece with this minimalist portrait; but also I hope, the original Marc Davis “Sleeping Beauty” animated character, which the sculpture brought from two dimensions to three, before I brought it back again, to a line drawing.

Maleficent Numbered Limited Edition Art by Douglas Rickard

Maleficent Numbered Limited Edition Art by Douglas Rickard

Maleficent art

Maleficent art

In “Maleficent” Angelina Jolie channels the 1950s movie villainess’ ink and paint, especially when she smiles. She actually gave me a wave you know, (along with a dozen others) on her way in for a “Maleficent” costume event at Kensington Palace. Fortunately I saw that exhibit later… (outside royal grounds).

The palace scenery for me, in “Maleficent” was even more breathtaking than the magical moors. Modernist colors in “Sleeping Beauty” bled out from those stylized characters in the medieval Walt Disney story. In “Maleficent,” the richest, seemingly ancient and long-lost colors surround you in three dimensions, literally, depending upon which screening you choose.

“Maleficent” wonders why King Stefan and even Flora, Fauna and Merryweather already knew the uninvited fairy would be bad news. It’s fascinating to trek into what could have been their pasts. But as even Angelina Jolie said “there is not just simply good and bad,” I wished the good weren’t painted quite so simply bad in this story.

Maleficent Aurora's cradle

Maleficent Aurora’s cradle

Ladybird book Well Loved Tales Sleeping Beauty retold by Vera Southgate, Eric Winter illustrations

Ladybird book Well Loved Tales Sleeping Beauty retold by Vera Southgate, Eric Winter illustrations

The actors with their amazing costumes, even the crowds in the castle halls reminded me of realistic illustrations of fairy tales by Eric Winter in original British Ladybird books; a delight to behold. But I enjoyed the live-action re-interpreting of, and nods to, the original “Sleeping Beauty” animated movie most, whether it be a cottage, a lopsided cake or an edge of your seat Christening exchange.

Maleficent Aurora Costume and the Spinning Wheel

Maleficent Aurora Costume and the Spinning Wheel

Maleficent Spinning Wheel

Maleficent Spinning Wheel

Maleficent Horns Headdress

Maleficent Horns Headdress

 

Time to Say Goodbye to the Walt Disney Classics Collection

Douglas Rickard with Chernabog Walt Disney Classics Collection and his Fantasia drawing

Holding Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture Chernabog: “Night on Bald Mountain,” Douglas Rickard next to his “Fantasia Characters” art, at the Castle China event in 2014

I’ve displayed my still-lifes of the Walt Disney Classics Collection sculptures up at Castle China before, but nothing prepared me for the true treasures opened up at this month’s event in Dudley, poignantly, perhaps the last ever like this. (That’s my hand touching the “Bambi” Field Mouse, below!)

Walt Disney Classics Collection

First ever Walt Disney Classics Collection piece. From “Bambi” Field Mouse: “Little April Shower.”

Cinderella Dress

“Cinderella:” “A Lovely Dress for Cinderelly” NLE 5,000, 9” Walt Disney Classics Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this fleeting video report of the day, catch farewell close ups of over 20 Walt Disney Classics Collection characters!

Never have three dimensions captured Disney characters so accurately, as the Walt Disney Classics Collection. Even vintage maquettes animators used as guides, in the making of Walt Disney’s movies like “Fantasia” and “Pinocchio,” don’t seem to have literally stepped out of the film, in both form and color in the same way this fine art sculpture line does.

Mr Toad

Mr. Toad: “Blue Boy” 6 1/2” and “Pinkie” 7” Walt Disney Classics Collection Disneyland Exclusive 2000

In 1993 at the start, original animators like Marc Davis were around too, with advice for translating their creations into porcelain. Collectors enjoyed how Tinker Bell’s sculpture precisely mirrored her on-screen pose in “Peter Pan.” And it wasn’t just fairies that received this careful treatment, even behemoths like Monstro were caught by the WDCC artists and sculptors. And we could own these ourselves!

Tinker Bell: “A Firefly! A Pixie! Amazing!” NLE 12,500, 5” Walt Disney Classics Collection, sculpted by Kent Melton

Tinker Bell: “A Firefly! A Pixie! Amazing!” NLE 12,500, 5” Walt Disney Classics Collection, sculpted by Kent Melton

Monstro

“Pinocchio:” “Monstro’s Revenge” NLE 750, 8 1/2” 2001 Walt Disney Classics Collection, sculpted by Dusty Horner

Douglas Rickard and his Donald Duck drawing of the WDCC sculpture

Douglas Rickard and his Donald Duck drawing of the WDCC sculpture

Taking my framed art up from London a day early gave me the opportunity to un-box and experience close-up a couple of rare Disney “Fantasia” collectibles as you’ll see in this video:

I don’t think the initial Pixar characters were favorable to the line. Woody and Buzz look three dimensional already, and in 1998, better in life as… toys. Today though, the computer animated Disney character has the illustrative softness of those in a film Walt Disney himself had touched (films originally only ever chosen by the WDCC.) Elsa and Anna even look like fine porcelain.

New licensee Precious Moments in 2013 were about to put the WDCC name to Disney gift-ware. It was quite possibly the ire of collectors, that ensured the encasing of the Walt Disney Classics Collection line safely into a “vault” instead. After all, collectors had been educated on the finer points of porcelain figurines over the years by… the WDCC.

Snow White herself awoke from such a state and so one day I wish, will the Walt Disney Classics Collection. Could Olaf’s size and stature be more fitting for a starter sculpture? My first purchase was tiny Thumper. Once I had him home, larger “Bambi” pieces from that scene (with price tags I’d never once dreamed I’d pay) eventually followed. However, you and I can still open teal green boxes from the secondary market and in the meantime, here are a few, fun un-boxing videos:

Prayers for Protection – Military Gift Ideas

Isaiah 54:17: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper,” appears in dark sky blue, backlit by the dawn, as sons, fathers, and our beloved family members embark on deployment. And you can personalize this Bible verse. Your loved one’s name, in separately hand drawn letters can be digitally superimposed into the 13” x 9.5” art print version of this art, which fits in many store bought frames that display 10” x 8” pictures.

Gifts for Soldiers

Gifts for Soldiers

Military Gift Ideas

Military Gift Ideas

Military art

Military art

If you’re thinking of gifts for deployed soldiers, there is also a 3.5” x 2.5” Art Card version, which although cannot be personalized, has the whole of this divine protection verse printed within the white borders. So whether this is for those at home believing and praying the Word, or those overseas, this oil pastel drawing honors your service and aims to assist you in praying God’s promise of protection for soldiers.

Isaiah 54

Isaiah 54

A prayer for soldiers

A prayer for soldiers

Gifts for Deployed Soldiers

Gifts for Deployed Soldiers

Every dad like Gepetto deserves a gift like Pinocchio

I remember being particularly struck as a little boy, when Gepetto’s calls were drowned out by thunder just as Stromboli’s wagon passed by with Pinocchio inside. But that made this final moment from the 1940 movie, all the more joyful, didn’t it! Now, Pinocchio doesn’t just become a real boy, but a mixed media drawing of the Dusty Horner, 2008 Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture.

Pinocchio becomes a real boy

Pinocchio becomes a real boy

Gepetto and Pinocchio, print of Douglas Rickard's drawing of Dusty Horner's Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture

Gepetto and Pinocchio, print of Douglas Rickard’s drawing of Dusty Horner’s Walt Disney Classics Collection sculpture

Every dad deserves a gift like Pinocchio

Every dad deserves a gift like Pinocchio

Oil pastel color brought ‘life’ to my charcoal still-life of this 7 ½ porcelain figurine. What dad doesn’t deserve a gift like one of these fine art print versions, including a Hand Embellished edition, upon which I can even hide his initials on Gepetto’s sleeve. A couple of years ago I met one of my Buyers who carried a miniature Art Card version in her purse, perhaps a reminder of the mutual joy which can be found in a father’s love.

Have your own dad's initials hidden upon Gepetto's sleeve in a bepsoke art print version

Have your own dad’s initials hidden upon Gepetto’s sleeve in a bepsoke art print version

Have splashes of briny iridescent blue and white added to this Pinocchio art

Have splashes of briny iridescent blue and white added to this Pinocchio art

The mutual joy which can be found in a father’s love

The mutual joy which can be found in a father’s love