Chick Water Colour Painting by Del Fineart

GUEST ARTIST: “The Love Of Learning” by Del

Hello my name is Del and I am a New Zealand Artist, under the name Del Fineart. From where I live in my small town in Kowai Bush, Springfield, New Zealand, my personal artistic journey began in becoming an Artist. A few years ago, I joined an adult art class using acrylic paint which I thought would be a great way to meet new people and maybe learn a little about painting never realising that this was going to have such a huge impact on my life. Since then my life is now filled with art from learning new techniques to creating new artwork in various mediums.

The Journey Begins Victorian Water colour by Del Fineart
Inspired from Jessica Henry’s YouTube Tutorial

I like to do fine art oil paintings, victorian watercolors, colored pencil drawings and one of my favourite, graphite drawings, which is such a beautiful complement to my life. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and now an artist so my days are filled with family, business, and art, and I love every minute.

Where I live is one of the most magical areas in New Zealand called Kowai Bush nestled in the foothills of the Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand. The beauty of nature surrounds me with the backdrop of awe inspiring mountains and native bush, bringing inspiration at every turn.

Mount Torlesse New Zealand Photo by Del Fineart

Having grown up surrounded by nature and animals, it is of no surprise that my art has evolved to specialise in animals, especially horses. We have 21 horses presently on our farm that are a large part of our lives as we operate our family owned horse trekking business, Rubicon Valley Horse Treks.

I am so lucky to have these inspirational animals in my life, and I especially love to capture their individual personalities on canvas.  I am certainly spoilt for choice in regards to having a never ending supply of reference material right on my own doorstep to incorporate within my art.

Continuing To Learn

From my first lesson in acrylic painting, to now, I find myself craving more knowledge as an artist. I found that online courses were the best option to continue my learning with living in an isolated area and I found the perfect online art course Renaissance Academy of Fine Arts founded by American Artists Jessica Henry and Daniel Hill Riedel. Jessica and Daniel have created the opportunity for students to learn so many different techniques at their own pace within individual modules including classical impressionist  art, portrait painting, plein air studies, victorian watercolour, still life painting and drawing using both the pencil and graphite and ink.

I am now presently working on my year two of training within the academy and each module is continuing to challenge me to learn more within my journey of art.

Having had the opportunity to try different mediums through the course, it has allowed me to discover my passion as an artist creating paintings and drawings in pencil and wate color.  It is these mediums that I use to create my favourite photorealism pieces such as Duke.

Duke Colored Pencil by Del Fineart
“Duke” Colored Pencil

My Art Supplies


With my drawings I am presently using Faber-Castell Goldfaber pencils in various leads but predominantly am using HB through to HB 4. My favourite and absolute must have mechanical pencil is from Staedtler which I use for drawing the finer details within my drawings.

I definitely love my erasers with my favourite being a Tombow Mono Zero 2.3mm pen eraser which allows me to erase really fine lines. My sketch book presently is a Moleskine 8inch by 5inch which fits perfectly in my hand bag to have with me when I have those moments of having to fill in time like sitting in the doctors waiting rooms or waiting for grand children to finish their sport practices and there is nothing more satisfying than drawing to fill those otherwise lost minutes in my day.

Rabbit Pencil Drawing by Del Fineart

I especially enjoy the challenge of drawing from life and my challenge this year is to try to sketch every day.

Coloured Pencils

My must have coloured pencil is Faber-Castell Polychromos which I blend with Gamsol Odourless mineral spirits. My supply of pencils is always continuously growing and I presently have around 70 colors. On saying this, my first two coloured pencil drawing I did was from a small set of 12 pencils which are still some of my favourite painting.

I have also just started to incorporate Caran d’Ache colored pencils into my drawings as they have such a beautiful range of colors in neutral and earth tones.

With my colored pencils I have two papers that are personally my favourites which are Fabriano Studio watercolour and Fabriano Artistico Acquarello Hot press watercolour 140lbs.  Both these papers allow me to get multiple layers of colored pencil within my drawing with beautiful fine detail.

The most important part of creating photorealism is starting with a high quality reference photo and being really patient with the process. It is a slow medium to use with continual layering.  The process is very satisfying and I just love the results that can be achieved.


I presently use a Mungyo 18 pan color set on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press Watercolour. For brushes I have a selection of synthetic watercolour brushes that I find work for my style of painting.

Stripes Watercolour by Del Fineart

I particularly love working in the victorian watercolor style, incorporating my life drawings within the paintings inspired from my garden and farm animals.  I like to start with a detailed drawing and then slowly layer my watercolours, finishing with the fine detail.

My Passion

I am continually reminding myself to stay true to myself and to paint or draw what actually inspires me.   My inspiration for my drawings mostly comes from around me and I have found that my best work comes from having a connection to what I am working on whether it be one of my own horses to my own flowers from my garden.

My winter rose watercolour is one of those inspirations from one of my art lessons to paint a Victorian watercolour rose from life.  With winter upon us here in New Zealand there are not many flowers left in my garden but whilst searching I found this one little rose sparkling in the morning frost surrounded by dark winter foliage that just called for me to forever capture within my painting.

This connection sparks an incredible enjoyment within the entire process from start through to the completion of each piece and I actually find an incredible feeling of loss upon completing a piece especially when working with color pencils which can take over 40  to 60 hours or more to complete a drawing.

Telling a Story

There are many Artists that inspire me, but my favourite is John Sargent Noble. His paintings are so incredible with each telling a story. This work inspires me to create pieces that tell my stories such as my color pencil “Trust” capturing the beautiful connection of trust between horse and man.

Trust Horse Colored Pencil by Del Fineart
“Trust” Colored Pencil

Where To Now?

My art brings me such joy to my life and I don’t think I will ever stop learning. It has created a journey that I would never had found if I hadn’t taken that first painting lesson and I am so grateful for the encouragement that my art teacher and Artist Vicky Peacock founder of Creative Sparks Art and Music School located in Darfield, New Zealand, gave me right from that very first lesson.

Unicorn Drawing Feature Image Del Fineart

This is an incredible journey of learning that not only creates art, but has also created friendships with people from all corners of the world along the way that I am forever grateful for. If you would like to follow me more with this incredible journey of art please visit my new website as I would love for you to sign up for my emails so we can keep in touch.

Del Fineart

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28 thoughts on “GUEST ARTIST: “The Love Of Learning” by Del

  1. Del – so talented and in so many media! Yes, staying true to yourself and doing things that you love keeps your talent growing. That said, I want to know where you keep your unicorn, it’s lovely! Judi

    1. My unicorn is kept in that little box of childhood memories of always wanting my very own unicorn. Art is like magic and can make your dreams come true.

      1. What a wonderful way of putting it. Yes, art is magic and can make your dreams come true. I have a BFA in Graphic Design and loved being an art student. My art seems to have slipped since my school days, but it is always one of my greatest dreams to get back into it…

    1. Thank you. Each and everyone of our horses are so incredible and part of our family. Most of them are ex racehorses that we save by giving them a home with us and I love capturing their personalities within my art.

  2. I knew it! Unicorns DO exist! Your unicorn is from life isn’t it, just like the horses, flowers,sheep and all the others 🙂
    Really, your art is great and I like all of it – but mostly the unicorn of course 🙂

    1. Thank you. Like magic yes unicorns do exist. My unicorn has a special place in my heart from the time when fairytales and magic were so real as a child. I loved creating him.

    1. Thank you. Gosh back in 2005 we had just started Rubicon Valley. By coincidence the other day I was looking back at some of my photos from that time of the horses looking for some reference photos for my next drawing. 😀

  3. Oh my, Del, it was a pleasure to view your work, and I could feel your inspiration (and loss) when I viewed your paintings. You’re a living part of that old adage “less is more” when it came to working with your 12 pencil colors. I thoroughly enjoyed soaking up all of the little brushstrokes and lines in your paintings. Duke certainly has lots of emotion within him. I’m awed at your progress in such a short time, and I know you’ll never stop painting. I loved your selected pieces here (is that a Clydesdale in one painting?), and will look forward to seeing more of your work. Thank for your sharing.

    1. Thank you. I especially loved working on Duke. We call him our gentle giant. He is our Clydesdale Stallion and he is a massive horse standing at over 18 hands. The horse with the farrier is called Asti she is a Shire. I absolutely love the challenge of drawing horses and creating art with them and I agree with you I will never stop painting now as it is such an enjoyable part of my life.

  4. Thank you for sharing your art story. I love your style & especially admire your perseverance with the detailed pencil artwork.So worth it, they are brilliant.

    1. Thank you. I absolutely love using coloured pencils. They definitely are a slow medium to work with but I love the fine detail you can achieve.

    1. Thank you. I remember doing my first pencil drawing and how amazed I was at how long it took but also fascinated with the result I was achieving. I have learnt to be patient and not to rush the process.

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