Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Speed sketching

I've been trying to improve how quickly and accurately I can sketch.
This is because when the spring and summer finally arrive, I want to go outdoors in public places and sketch more often.
So if I can get a reasonable likeness in under ten minutes, then I should feel more confident when doing the same outdoors. That's my thinking, fingers crossed it works.

So these sketches are all done in under 10 minutes, hence not perfect, but improving :)

German shepherd dog ornament

My distance spectacles

desk lamp

computer mouse

small glass

For my followers who paint and draw, do you ever do so outdoors?
What are the pros and cons for you?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Out of the Blue

Its the Year of Painting time again on our Painting Friends Forum and this time we had to make our own creation, from beginning to end.

Number Ten, Your own Still Life creation

Challenge yourself to explain why you chose that particular set up.

I chose to paint one of my collection of gemstones.

This is the photo:

  This particular gemstone is celestite, so named because of its celestial blue shades.
This photo is a close up under microscope, which shows the different value changes within the egg shaped specimen I own.

The lines of the crystal are entrancing to me, within the shapes and shades I find a calming harmony. Under the microscope we can see a good balance of light, mid and dark tones with the overall textural feel of crystalline formations.

Under the heat of the microscope, small particles rose into the air.
Despite my efforts at cleanliness, these are probably dust motes, but they give an interesting effect., hence their inclusion in the painting. They have a movement which adds life.

The set up has a triangular feel to it, with the main crystal point being bordered by an imaginary triangle.

So what really appealed to me the most in this set up?

The fact that this is real and yet it looks abstract.
It appeals to the artist in me who likes to “paint what is” and doubles as a joyous expression of colour, movement and meaning.
Joyous and yet soothing. I feel that one could get lost in the beauty of the creations of the earth and the heavens, if only we take the time to look and enjoy.

How I created this painting.

Firstly, the painting:

 Out of the Blue

I printed a black and white copy of the photo, so I would not be tempted to be a slave to the blues of the photo, just to paint my own interpretation.

I masked a few highlights and then painted the whole page with a wash of cerulean blue. Then I added glazes of french ultramarine and glazes of indigo to achieve the desired effect. There were some glazes achieved by plain water first, then dropping in colour and letting it fizz wherever it wanted.
When all the glazes were complete, I lifted the mask and painted a fine line of shadow under each rising bubble and a little more definition around the whites that needed to be darker.
The resultant painting is not a copy of the photo, more an interpretation of it.

I hope you've enjoyed the painting and the explanation

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sketching and news

The last couple of days have been hectic here!
I've managed to maintain the sketching though :)

I also have some good news!
For a while I have written stories to go with some of my paintings and after seeing a course which explains the techniques of story writing, I applied to join it.
Yesterday I had my interview and assessment and am delighted to tell you all I passed and am now enrolled on the course!
The interviewer also told me that because I have a way with words, both written and spoken, she'd like me to consider putting my name down for a teaching position at the college.
Complete surprise and great compliment !

Sketches - here they are :)

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Alphabet Paintings: S

I'm back to my alphabet paintings and for S I chose "Still Life"
There were plenty of options around my house to choose from and this lucky plant got the vote :)

So here for  you to enjoy:

Still Life

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Summer in the City

Yesterday our art club re-started after the Christmas break.
I took in two pieces of paper, knowing that one painting was going to use very wet washes, so whilst it was drying I worked on the second.

This abstract was finished last night, in watercolour and ink, I call it:

Summer in the City

Monday, 9 January 2012

More sketching

Over in our Painting Friends forum, we're having a daily sketch challenge.
So far, I am enjoying the discipline of knowing I ought to pick up the sketchbook every day and do something!
Some will be whimsical and some more traditional, whatever takes my fancy on the day.

I am approaching this with the idea that it should be fun and not a chore.
Yes, we could all do with improving - me included- but I don't want to do that at the expense of losing the joy.
Surely joy was the reason we all came to painting and drawing anyway - wasn't it? 

What brought me to drawing and painting? I can't remember if I told  you.  In a nutshell, I had started a new business, wasn't very busy and looked to drawing and painting to fill my time because I loved art at school. So I took a class and off I went. I'm still going :) 
How about you? What made you decide to pick a brush or a pencil up?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Alphabet Paintings: R

The alphabet paintings continue with the letter R and a memory from childhood...

When I was growing up, I remember reading a whimsical tale of how God named all the flowers. When He was walking in the garden one day, he came across this pretty blue flower and asked for its name. The blue flower bashfully replied that he couldn't remember. So God whispered to the flower, "remember that I love you, forget-me-not"

Remember that I love you

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The journey continues

As my sub heading to the blog says, " a journey with watercolour and my dog"
I thought to show you a little more "journey" work today.

Yesterday was a foul day with storms and high winds, so we didn't go anywhere for fresh air and sketching possibilities, we stayed indoors!

These are my sketches, the first in my new journal book, a present from Beryl at Christmas - and the others are two painted sketches of the same subject.

What started me off on pears again was an informative technique post on Painting Friends, by Mollie Jones.
Mollie is very generous in sharing her knowledge. 
She even does so on her blog!
So for those of you who haven't seen it, her blog is HERE
Scroll down from the first post - and there is the technique "smushing"
You're in for a treat :)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Happy new year, everyone!

Hope this year gives you health and happiness .

These are a couple of painted sketches I did yesterday.

The painting bug rarely leaves me, though today is dedicated to clearing up the house, so that we can have a restful day tomorrow, before the return to work Tuesday.

Whatever you're starting off your new year with, I hope you have a great one!
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