Monday, October 14, 2019

"Tanager" the completed artwork for sale.

Having finished this over the weekend, I've added a little greeting card that tucks neatly into the back of the panel.

I'm so pleased with this image.  It's a bit of a wrench to sell it, but I really would like to make at least a small name for my art!

Available in my Etsy Shop for £60.00 with free Worldwide shipping.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Yesterday's work finished... and new WIP.

Yesterday's small piece is finished. I just need to varnish it.  the bird has been filled in, and I've picked out some highlights in the background to make the bird stand forward a bit more.

This scan has failed to pick out the pale pink in the flowers at top centre.  They look white here, and the gold foil again looks brown.

This photo gives a better impression of both flower colour and the gold foil.

"Tanager"  6" x "6. Mixed media on cradled wood panel.

And I've started another one. I bought four of these cradled wood panels. I love them. Each one is a little larger than the last. So I'm working my way up incrementally.

Photo 1.  first layers. One in paint, and the next in collage map pages.

Photo 2.  Stencils. Yay.  I just love building layer upon layer with different stencils.  I love this as it is, actually.  The composition, colours, pattern, all of it.  But I think it needs more depth. More contrast.  I'll stare at it until the weekend and then I'll attack it again.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Work in process

Work in process. Mixed media on 6" x 6" inch cradled wood panel.   I've used paint, stencils, drips, and gold foil. The bird is one of my own drawings scanned in, reduced in size and printed on white paper.

I bought two new books by Dina Wakley.  Art Journal Freedom, and Art Journal Courage.  I kind of try not to make my sketchbooks and work too art journal-y, but I love the techniques she offers.  they're such fun and it's the messy way I like to work, so quite inspiring for art other than journaling.

It needs a few finishing touches. Colouring the bird, painting in a branch for it to cling to, and maybe some wording.

This is a direct scan of the piece. the gold leaf came out as dark brown blobs.

And this is a photograph.. which I think looks a bit better.

It's only a very small piece, but I had a blast with it.


Second week of Inktober 2019

And I've kept up this far.  It's becoming a chore though, to find bird pics to inspire me.  I may have to change subject matter partway through, just to keep going.

That, or I'll start making more cartoony birds...

Day 6

Day7 (Bad scan)

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Beginning of Inktober 2019

Keeping it up so far!  Mostly inking in my sketchtember pictures, but I will have to produce some new ones, seeing as I only managed 19 days of sketchtember.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4 (bad scan)

Day 5 (bad scan)


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

End of Sketchtember 2019. (Big Phat Phail)

I made it for 19 days, then got so interested in other art that I dropped it.  No excuses.

But here's the remainder of my sketchtember 2019.  Some of these will be inked in and given more detail for Inktober 2019.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Weekend Sketchtember Report

Nobody is more surprised than me, that I've managed to keep this up!  My bird drawing is improving no end.   Maybe I'll try figures next time.

Day 12
These adorable little guys are black throated tits.

Day 13
A British robin, I drew this for an artist on Twitter, who is called Robin.  :)

Day 14
A Pink Warbler. 
Day 15
This looks cartoony, and while I'm trying to find a slightly cartoony style, it was the roundest fattest little birdie that I've ever seen!  I've no idea what it is, some kind of wren maybe?  I do think I've got the eye too close to the beak.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Moar Sketchtember.

I've kept it up for 11 days, so that's something.   I've been finding though, sticking to the rules is just making me miserable.  I feel uninspired to draw stuff that's not currently inspiring to me.   With that on my mind, each day's sketch has proved harder to enjoy than the last.

Soo... I'm just dropping the prompts.

Yes, I know they're prompts. Yes, I know this is meant to be a challenge.  But ultimately, I wanted to do this to encourage myself to draw a bit more, and to be part of something worldwide and fun.  I've never been good at prompts, or even the briefs they gave us at art college.  I've always enjoyed art much more if I can simply pursue the muse.

I have tried.  I managed ten days worth, but I'm getting on in years and I don't want to spend my leisure time doing stuff that's making me miserable.  Dropping the prompts is the only thing that will keep me in Sketchtember, so that's what I'm doing.

All that said, here's my sketches so far:

Prompts dropped from here.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Scanning and photographing artwork.

Unless you have some sort of rig to hold your camera at the exact right angle to photograph your work squarely, I'd say scanning is the go-to method for digitising artwork.

However...  I often find, because I use a lot of neon colours, that the average scanner fails to pick up the colours accurately.  I often end up taking photos of my work, and trying to stand over it so it looks square, then cropping it so that it is square.  It hurts my back standing this way, and it never quite works out so that I get the whole of my painting at right angles to the frame of the picture.

With these pictures, I just gave up and did both.  I've been really inspired by one of my favourite artists lately, Eva Magill Oliver.  I adore her work, and because I love to draw leaves and foliage, I've been drawing my inspiration from her lovely leafy cut-outs.

Obviously it's not good practice to copy other artists directly, unless it's in the privacy of your own sketchbook, to practice for yourself.  And if you do post these images, you should always say that you've copied. 

I haven't copied Eva's work. I've got her wonderful book Paint Alchemy, and have just used her sketches as a jumping-off point.

Again, I use a lot of neon colours - I'm obsessed with opera pink - and they don't show too well with the scan.

Same with this one. I had to turn up the saturation to get even close. Trouble with that is, all the colours end up super-bright!

Here's a plain photo of the sketchbook.  The colours are a lot more accurate.

I've been working in Copic, Spectrum Noir, And Touchfive markers over a ground of acrylic paint.  the paint makes the marker a bit sticky, and can gunk up your nibs if you go over it too much.   So don't go ruining your spectacularly expensive Copics!

Here's another double spread. 

First the scan:

And the photograph:

To stop ruining my markers, I opted for one of Eva's techniques of cutting out the intricate kleafy shapes, and placing them onto the background.  For these, I've been using Chameleon markers.  OMF, these are worth every penny! I LOVE THEM.


In the first cutout picture, above, I glued all of the three leaf images to the page.

And the next...


.... Is sort of my masterpiece.  I love the background.  I glued the two paler leaf images down, and just tacked the brighter one down with masking tape, so I can remove it and play around with it on another image, if I want to.

Here's the photo.  It picked up the colours better in the first, paler, drawing.

So I guess it might be worth investing in a rig to hold your camera, if you have space, and want to accurately photograph artwork.  Or have a professional do it.  I believe some of the professional print shops still do good colour scans, and have better scanners for the job. 

I'll stick to my methods.  This is sort of just a hobby, and while I'd love to sell my art, it's hard to break into the business.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Hashtag Sketchtember.

More Sketchtembers.   Rather than post one a day, I'll wait and post a few at a time.

This may hide the fact that I keep forgetting to do my daily sketch then have to do two in one day. Ahem.

Day 3, "Elegant".

Day 4, "Deer."  (I hated drawing this.)

Day 5, "Night".  Why yes, it's a cliche, but I love birdies and I particularly love wols. (not a typo)

Day 6, "Key". 

Day 7, "Wings".   I've been interpreting these literally, but when you pick birdies as your theme, it's  hard not to.  also, I'm trying to make cleaner drawings.


Monday, September 2, 2019

Sketchtember 2019

I only found out about this today, and I'm a day late!

Having planned to take part in Inktober this year, I was looking around for some inspiration and pointers, and found not only Sketchtember, but also Huevember.

This works out nicely.  You have all of September to practice sketching; then October to practice inking; with all of November to spend colouring.

As it's my first attempt/year whatevs, I'm going to make sketches first, then spend the month inking them, then colouring them... hopefully.  This won't be rigid, but it's a way into the challenge for me, and a way to provide ideas for each day.

Hence, I'll be using the Sketchtember prompts for all three months.

I could of course, bail, before the first week is even over.

But let's hope not, eh?

So here are my sketches for today and yesterday. 

"Egg"  and  "Cactus"