ARTISTS / Fiona Stevens
Based in Somerset, I am a weekday aerospace systems engineer, and weekend artist. For some reason I’d always thought I’d be a landscape artist, but it turns out that I have a bit of a green phobia, which I'm working through by doing a spot of painting plein air for myself. Instead I realised that I really enjoy painting and drawing dogs – there is something about dogs’ noses that I can't resist and I find it really satisfying to capture the likeness of a dog with as few marks as needed.
I paint mostly in acrylics because I like the brightness of the colours and how fast they dry, so I can build up multiple layers to give me the details I want. I like to pick a single colour for the background, the brighter the better, because it focusses all the attention on the dog and bright colours make me happy.
I have recently discovered charcoals and their versatility has opened up a whole new raft of opportunities for experimenting. The range of marks that can be achieved with charcoals have provided me with another medium for capturing the energy and idiosyncrasies of dogs.
I tend to paint and draw quite quickly because I have to fit my art into the evenings and weekends around work, so both mediums I use work well for me. Whether using paint or charcoal, my aim is to capture the essential character and expression so that when you look at the painting or drawing that you don't just see ‘a’ dog, but ‘that’ dog!