Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Pencil Portrait

Sharon, who I went to the portrait demo with, posted a picture of her sister on the Painting Friends forum.  I liked the look of the photo and fancied making a portrait.
Every now and then, I feel the need to flex my fingers with pencils - so a pencil portrait it is:

Sisterly Smile

Its not perfect, I can see a couple of improvements I could make, but they're minor and I'm reasonably happy with the overall effect :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Art in everyday life

Hello friends!

I have a real treat of a post today and some beautiful pictures.
I have a friend in blog land called Tonya from Hillbilly Handiworks.
You can see her blog HERE

I approached her to make some picnic sets for myself and my husband.
I knew she could make photo quilts, so I asked her if she could somehow make a photo picnic set, with a picture of each of our darling dogs in it.

She did it - and they arrived today!
My word, but they are beautiful. I love art that I can use as well as admire!

Tonya makes these from your own photo and she can make them any colour you want! They cost $20 each. (That's about £12 in sterling)
You aren't limited to dogs - you could have a photo of anything!

here they are

I should have waited to take pictures, so you could see them nice and flat, but I was too keen to show you all :)

And further in my parcel, was a surprise gift from my friend, Marie!
She had asked Tonya to make an arty gift for me.
This is a dual purpose roll - it holds my delicate brushes for doing fine work, to save them getting battered by the big brushes - and it also doubles up as a watercolour pencil holder! How neat is that!  I can't tell you what this cost, because it was a gift, but I'm sure if you contact Tonya, she'll quote you.
Here's my newest piece of art kit :)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Persistence of Dreams

One of the two paintings I was working on in tandem is finished  - and here it is for your enjoyment.
Painted in a surreal fashion, with hidden meaning, which I love!

The Persistence of Dreams

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Where did that week go?

Here we are at the end of a week which seems to have flown by!
Yesterday I went to Thurrock Art Society. I'm hoping to join and had a chat with a few of the members and watched them work. They are such a friendly bunch, so I am hoping they accept my application.

I've also done something I don't usually do - started a second painting whilst I still had one on the go.  The first had a massive wet in wet background  - so I drew and started a second when I was waiting for it to dry :)

Darling Missy watched from the comfort of her own chair in the summerhouse.
Did someone say spoiled?

Next week I hope to have the two paintings finished and ready to show you :)

Monday, 20 June 2011

Big Pond

In the monthly challenge on the Painting Friends forum, we had to paint koi this month.

Year of Painting (YOP)
Number Three, Koi.

Personal Goals for this Painting:

Firstly I set some goals for my thumbnail sketches.
These were :
  1. do a thumbnail showing the scene as is
  2. on the next two thumbs, change up the techniques
  3. on the last thumbnail, keep the focal point, but be completely off the wall in the scenery
  4. Choose which one of these thumbnails to paint.

Choosing (3), the choices for the painting were to try to
a) use sea salt for an interesting effect

So, here's the painting: Big Pond

What works and what could be improved.

I love the effect and the fish. I honestly don't think I'd change anything.

Challenges Faced

The challenge in painting this was to leave it alone and just sit back and let the salt work.

Share Personal Goals and whether you felt you Met Them

My goals were to make the four thumbs again, pick a technique and run with it., to create a loose interpretation of koi.

How I created the Painting.

I created the painting by painting the fish first. When they were dry, I put water over the whole , touching in a few colours to make the water interesting. Then I sprinkled sea salt over the wash. Walked away and let it dry completely.
When dry, I brushed the salt off – and there was the finished painting.

Size of Painting, Medium, Palette and Brushes.

The painting is on Arches Aquarelle Rough 140lb and is quarter sheet. 15”x 11”
The medium is pencil for the under drawing and watercolour for the painting. W&N artists quality .
Palette colours used : French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow
Brush: Squirrel Mop. Kolinsky number 12
Hope you've enjoyed this look into the process of making a painting :) xx
This- and all my paintings - can be viewed on my gallery site HERE

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Hashim Akib's demo and my self portrait!

Friday night, I met up with fellow blogger Sharon, and we went to watch professional artist Hashim Akib demonstrate how to make portraits in acrylic.

It was a fascinating night, He painted a portrait from a male model who was sitting in front of him, in under two hours!
All through the demo, Hash ( as he likes to be called) talked to us and told us some snippets from his artistic career. How he used to paint in a very realistic fashion, but was turned down flat by galleries who wanted more "gutsy" paintings.

He told us not to make a drawing - it encourages you to be logical and realistic - and then you fiddle. Look for interesting tones and shapes instead.
He told us to use flat brushes, and be bold in our strokes, so we would not fiddle.
He told us that photos flatten colour, so try to paint from life - it adds passion!

His acrylics were laid down thick - impasto.  I did wonder if I could utilise his technique in watercolour - and I determined to give it a go!

So this morning, while all else were abed and couldn't laugh at me, I attempted a self portrait. Like Hash - no drawing *eek* that bit is scary!
Here it is:

For a first attempt, I'm pretty happy with this. Yes, there are bits that could be improved - but I'm not going back in to fiddle. No, its not spot on to how I look, but its reasonable. This was done to try out the technique and see if I could use it on watercolour. I reckon I could - and even take more risks yet.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Never Grows Old.

It never grows old - what on earth could I be talking about?

Well, you all know how much I love dogs.
There's one special dog who is very dear to my heart, though I've never met him.
He is called Ben, and he lives with Lynne, Stuart and Toots.

Back in 2009, Ben's back legs stopped working - he suffered from Sudden Onset Spinal Injury.
He couldn't have had better owners - Lynne and Stuart went through hell and high water to get him better.
I have painted him once before, here.. "Still Standing" 

- recently though, I saw Lynne post a picture of Ben running through some fields - and I had to paint this one. :)  It never grows old watching this dog run and play. It could have been so different, you see.  Now he's grinning and happy and all that a dog should be. God bless you, Ben. And Lynne, Stuart and Toots, too :)

About the painting: W&N artist watercolour, Arches Aquarelle Rough 140g, size 15x11. Style - Impressionistic. 

Never Grows Old

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Dragon up the Hill

I had some time this afternoon, and I was in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and the greenery. Looking back at the house, there was Norbert the dragon, sitting on top of the house.
It reminded me of the times when we believed as kiddies that the old dear in the house on the hill was a dragon. ( not literally of course)
I made a quick line drawing straight on the watercolour paper and then I wet the page, leaving the house and dragon dry.
I fizzed in some cadmium red and an ultra/crimson mix on the top of the house - and then I made a sap green and a paynes grey blend and applied it to suggest the house was sitting on a hill.

I could have called it "enter the dragon" but that's too twee so its been called:

The Dragon up the Hill 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Time to loosen up!

That's what my mummy said.. time to loosen up!

I'm trying to think what she means...

when suddenly she starts flicking paint all over the show!

What's that about, hey?

Mummy says she was very tight in the last painting, so she needs an exercise to loosen up - and this is it.

What do I think?  I think mummy needs to learn how to loosen up the way we dogs do :)

 Don't you agree ? :)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Density of Science

Today, no reading reams about what I'm up to in a painting, just the work to view and enjoy :)

The Density of Science

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

My attempt at Surreal Art

The challenge on our Painting Friends forum this month was to paint in a surrealist style.

This is my effort at surreal art - and what have I learned?
1) its great fun
2) always use a ruler to measure floor tiles!

The Permanence of Breakfast

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Swamp Heaven

I've had such fun today!

Letting my imagination run wild and trying to paint Kermit in a realistic abstract kind of way.

I borrowed an idea from another Painting Friend, Sharon - who had used cling film and then inked around the design it made. I used watercolour pencil in my work to highlight the design - and I'm really happy with it. Its such FUN :)

If you've never seen Sharon's blog,  go HERE for a real treat.

and here is my painting... Arches Rough 15x11

Swamp Heaven

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