Saturday, October 27, 2018

Abstract drawings

I got over the fear of using my coloured pencil sets, and did a little sketchbook work.   Loving these abstracted landscapes.  If my attention span doesn't waver...  it always does, I have such a low boredom threshold... I'll try to develop these a bit more.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sketchbook work

Sketchbooks are fun to work in.  You're not making a finished piece, so the pressure is OFF.  I've just been messing around with drawings and small scale paintings lately.  I find the time it takes to work on a larger piece that I may end up listing for sale is kind of slow. It sucks up my spontaneity. Whilst it can be fun to work on a detailed many-layered painting, sometimes I need to go back to my sketchbooks to rediscover what excited me about getting back into art in the first place.

Here are a couple of bits and pieces.

More exercises from my book by Linda Kemp.  ( I, er, may also have bought her video. Heh.)

Study of ferns using Pilot Color Eno pencils. These are superb quality, and I love drawing detail with them.

Abstracted ferns.  I love abstract drawing.   Sitting down to draw a careful observational study is always good. Abstract artists know how to draw, despite what the layman might think.  However...  I find it deadly dull.  I can draw pretty well, and I can sit down to draw a pretty picture any time.  After I while, I find it a bit soul-sapping though.  And end up just 'playing' with my mark making tools and my colours, like a child.   This is what really gives me joy in art.

And some more leafy stuff. Abstracted.  I used my worn-down Prismacolor pencils for this.  I actually have some brand new tins of coloured pencils, among them the finest that money can buy.  I'm just too damn scared to use them, so the old Prismacolors keep coming out.

I need to do something about this state of terror....

Any one of these drawings could be developed into a painting.  I quite like them all.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

Something I'm working on

Just a quick snap of a painting I'm currently working on.

It's at that stage where everything looks dreadful right now, but I'm happy with the way some of the colours are going. Let's see if I don't screw it up.

I've yet to produce an abstract that I'm willing to share.  It's so damned hard.  Anyone who says abstract is easy is a twit.  An abstract drawing or painting is so much harder to resolve successfully than any figurative painting.

I keep trying. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Simplifying Design & Colour for Artists: Linda Kemp

My break from art has been long. Perhaps about 15 years? But anyway, I'm trying to get back to it now, as it's always been such a deep part of me. I've felt lost and frustrated for years because I wasn't nurturing that part of my soul.

Even when I did paint and draw, right from art college, I never did feel that I'd discovered my “style”, not completely. I also have always had issues with composition. Yes, I know the theory, but it all flies out of the window when I start to paint an actual piece. Ditto colour. I throw the entire darned rainbow at the canvas and then have issues with harmony, and cohesiveness just because I don't plan.

Having recently bought two books by artists I adore, I think that is beginning to change this time round. I think its partly my age too, older and wiser, and really wanting to knuckle down and discover something for myself.. to "be authentic", to use that word which is so overused and tired these days, nut nonetheless is the best word for what I want to do.   I believe that being authentic, or original, is not saying something uniquely different,  it's more about saying something that you uniquely think.  Something you've arrived at yourself, no matter how many other people have arrived there first.

The first book is “Simplifying Design & Color for Artists: Positive Results Using Negative Painting Techniques.” by Linda Kemp. Long title! Linda is a Canadian artist, whose work I'm only just beginning to discover, but I instantly loved her art and her approach.

I'm currently working through the exercises given in her book, and as well as the pleasant side-effect of the age-old “I have no idea what to draw” conundrum being banished for a while, my sketchbook is beginning to be the joy to me that it should be. My pages are beginning to be colourful and fun, and I'm rediscovering a sense of play. (Although I have artist Jane Davies to thank for that, also. Her YouTube videos are both generous and inspiring.)

It has actually taught me to enjoy studying composition for it's own sake, and I already have ideas on what to do with my numerous photographs as source material.

So here are two spreads from my sketchbook. I've just been playing with coloured pens and markers, much like I did with my felt-tips as a kid. And it's great.

Art is making me happy again. I never thought I'd see the day. With some work, and some luck, I'm optimistic that I'll soon be able to strengthen my compositions, restrict my palette to achieve greater harmony, and eventually; really begin to hone in on what my personal style might be.

Anyone else have any of these problems? Or solutions?


Saturday, October 13, 2018

New artworks for sale in my Etsy shop

Up for consideration are two framed pieces.

Both can be found in my Etsy shop. Links provided.  You can also find these on my "For Sale" page, in the tabs at the top of this blog.

Mixed media, "Leafy Things"
Full details in my Etsy shop:  £80.00 GBP

I just love hedgerows, woodlands, and forest floors.  This is a mixed media piece in autumnal colours.

Acrylics and inks: "Moorland"
Full details in my Etsy shop:  £70.00 GBP

Having grown up in Devon, I find the moors entrancing.  This is in acrylics and inks.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Study of Ellowyne Wilde doll

I can't sew at the moment. I'm kinda frozen up, so I've been drawing instead.

Here's the development of the Ellowyne Wilde sketch I did last week. (Click on the miages or open them in a new tab to see larger images.)

First the drawing. Simple graphite on budget watercolour paper.  I love to draw on this:

Next I scanned it onto my computer, played with the contrast, and used a filter to turn the graphite lines and shading blue.   Then I printed it out onto quality watercolour paper, and stretched it on a drawing board.

Then I scribbled over it in Prismacolor pencils and applied some stamps. (I like scribbly drippy backgrounds):

So next, I thought I'd do a dribbly drippy watercolour background.  The thing is, I didn't use watercolour paint, I used my Dr PH Martin's Radiant Inks.  And they don't fade like watercolours, as they dry!  DEspite my using the inks very diluted, this turned out a bit terrifying. I almost completely lost the drawing underneath:

Bravely, I picked out some of the almost lost lines in graphite,  then applied acrylic paints for the fleshtones.  It was a relief to see I could still work on this.

Picking out more of the colour areas. The eyes went a bit googly becasue I was clumsy with the whites of the eyes:

But then I hacked into it with Prismacolor pencils.  These are yummy to use, nice and loaded with pigment. They're great to build up and blend:

So it's beginning to come together.  I don't usually like posting process pictures before the artwork is complete.  That way, I can hide my disasters from the world - and believe me about 80% of my pieces are total fails!

So we'll see how this goes.  Part of me wants to leave it this way. I like unfinished looking art, but the other half wants to at least add another layer of acrylic paint, and use some of my gorgeous gouache colours.  The hair is staying pink though.  I love it this way.

We'll see.


Drive-by art

Quick sketch.

Acrylics, graphite and gouache on A4 watercolour paper.


Friday, October 5, 2018

"Event Horizon"

I did the Sketchbook challenge back in 2012. This is just the stages of one of the small paintings I put into the book.  I love abstract, but all my attempts seem to turn into something recognisable, which I'm not entirely sure I'm happy about.  But I like this one.

Taking photos of each layer is huge fun for me, and a part of my process.  It's not only useful reference for me to look back on, but I feel it enhances the final image, to see what lies beneath!

Click images to see larger versions.

First layer: Acrylics over a dull grey ground.  I have no idea why I picked grey, perhaps I thought it was neutral.

Second layer: More acrylics. Applied good and thick to try and brighten the colours.  I was also practising my blending.

Third layer:  Oils.  I started laying down details on the horizon.  I'm not sure if I should have left the image at this point and called it done. The energy of the lines is probably more spontaneous than the final layer.

Final layer:  Oils.  I wanted to give the impression of distant city lights, roads, buildings, etc.  I'm not sure if I lost some of the energy at this point, but hey, it was just a sketch.  "Event horizon" is a title I'd like to develop as a small series.