Friday, 26 July 2013

Saying Goodbye and Starting Another

I finished my Strathmore 500 Mixed Media journal this week. I felt a big sense of accomplishment as I completed the last page and looking back through the book I see that there is an incredible artistic and emotional journey contained within. No wonder it feels so good.

This is the first piece in the book.

And this is the last.

There's been a lot of growth in between.

So now I've started a new journal, smaller & hand made for me by a dear arty friend with lots of different types of paper. It's already filling with faces, creatures, textures & colours.

And grumpy cats.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Other Half

I drew my mum and sent it to my dad for his birthday too. They look great together. Just like in real life.

Thursday, 11 July 2013


What started out as play in my journal became an act of homage to my wonderful Dad.

I started off by doodling in my journal using a prismacolor pencil. I had some idea that I would want to paint over it and have the colour come through the paint but that was it. This doodle evolved from a video I watched on YouTube - Peter Draws.

Gesso & sprays

Then I added gesso through a stencil to make a resist and sprayed on some Dr Ph. Martin Bombay inks. They're permanent (I add them to my own spray bottles as the come in a bottle with a dropper) so don't reactivate with new layers. I was still thinking about painting on top of this and only wanted the doodle to come through, not the background colour. I left the piece to sit at this point and went off to make a to do list.

Pencil sketch
Which is where my Dad came to mind. It's his birthday this month and I want to send him something special. A light bulb moment. I would use my newly discovered drawing skills and send him a picture.  I would draw him!

This is my pencil sketch. I really like it but there is lots of competing texture/colour that makes it difficult to see some parts of the drawing.

Outlining came next. But now the shading is lost and the outline too intense. Back to the drawing board - literally!

I decided that now would be a good time to experiment for the first time with cross hatching shading with a pen. And here's my finished piece.
My Dad
I'm going to send a print of it to my Dad and I think he'll love it but the best thing is that I learnt new and wonderful things about his face. Things that, despite knowing him for 45 years, I didn't know before. Lines for laughter, the shape of his eyes, what his ears are like. And by drawing him I am honouring him and his wonderful self. This is why I want to be able to make art. To honour people, objects, ideas and imaginings. What about you?

Friday, 5 July 2013

Classic Shading Practice & a Profile

It's school holidays here and my art has to take a back seat. I managed a couple of pieces early on in the week but have been out and about visiting the aquarium/beach/parks nearby. Plenty of inspiration for future works though.

Shading practice continues... this is a classic exercise to help understand how to shade different forms. As you can see I am very afraid of the darks. I am told this is a common problem (but that doesn't help me overcome it!). Practice is key.

And here's a profile. Her nose and the back of her hair are my favourite bits. I have a bit of pink a thing going on at the moment. Add in some collaged paper & some gesso and I'm a happy painter.

Do you have a 'thing' at the moment? Where is it taking you?