Saturday, February 14, 2009

Three down, one to go

Self portrait
9 x 12 coloured pencil

I've completed the self portrait for the forum challenge and that finishes the trio of portraits that I was working on more or less simultaneously. I just have one more on my easel now and hope to do some work on that watercolour tonight.

I have a couple of small table and travel box easels that are perfect to put pieces on while I consider them for a few days after I think I've finished.

I'm still doing a little work on the studio pet mouse and think he may well have a friend soon...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Studio pet

I had ever intent to do some serious drawing and painting tonight, then the phone rang and I got sidetracked into conversations. Sitting next to me on the wall by the laptop in the studio is a telephone jack that is unused. For reasons unknown to me I thought it needed some embellishment. So this little mouse was born. The studio pet, as yet nameless.

I used some coloured pencil on top of a pencil sketch, but the latex paint on the wall surface isn't accepting it well. I should have used paint for it, but too late now. Its in progress and I'll figure out how to complete it with a mix of mediums.

Many years ago I had a conservatory with a long blank wall which I filled with paintings of various objects, all realistic. It became a talking point for neighbours and people who visited as to what I'd put on it since the last visit.

Yes, I know I do need to get a life....

Meanwhile, I have completed the portrait below and will leave it for a few days to see if it needs adjusting. Already I can see that I need to soften the shadow line in the neck area. It should be in the hands of its owner early next week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The third and a treat

watercolour 11 x 14

This is a fun piece for the portrait study group that I'm in. I originally started it in graphite then a few glasses of wine last night made me try it in watercolour. This is first layer or two of colour and I'm taking my time so I don't muddy it too much. Now I'm officially working on three portraits at once. Yes. 'nuff said.

Then there is this little gem that I bought on Etsy to treat myself with. Its a beautiful journal with exquisite pages of Arches paper coloured in black ink, water, as well as green, red, blue, and yellow liquid acrylic paint. The combinations of colour and ink turn each sheet into its own work of art almost. I think I'm scared to put a mark on it, but it does inspire me and its rather like looking at the flames in a fireplace in terms of seeing images and shapes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A new me

I'm taking part in a self portrait challenge at WetCanvas in coloured pencil. I've done lots of self portraits in a variety of mediums over time, but realized I'd never done one in coloured pencil or not a complete one.

I wanted a pose that was slightly different and looked through some photos and found one taken of me in the car with my glasses on looking sideways. The photo quality wasn't great, but I liked the composition and knew myself well enough to make up the lost detail with a degree of accuracy.

And this is the result so far in stages. The lighter images were taken in early morning light, the golden ones in artificial light. The gold photos more accurately depict the real colours of the piece. The drawing is being done on dark sand coloured colourfix paper with prismacolor pencils and is 9 x 12.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Portrait update

9 x 12 coloured pencil

Here's an update on the portrait I'm working on. Not a huge update as I haven't had a lot of time to work on it tonight. I'm hoping to have it finished before the end of the week. I still need to work on the mouth downwards. I just hate this artificial light for taking photos! Nothing ever looks as it should.

Steve Chipman showed me the daylight lamp that he uses to photograph his work and I think I'll have to invest in one of them to get some decent photos of work at this time of year.

I've neglected my waterscapes this week, as I've been concentrating on portraits, but I hope to start a new painting tomorrow. I'm going big! Its difficult for me to break away from the smaller scale pieces that I've been doing. I have a 24 x 30 canvas that I just may tackle - or I may wimp out and go for the 18 x 24. Either way, I want to start a series of waterscapes that are a similar size and that are more substantial than the usual 'daily painter' size. Of course there will still be the smaller ones to fit both budget and wall size, but I think impact and presence will come from larger pieces.

I was also looking through Legion Paper's site for some good watercolour paper and found they provide sample kits at very reasonable prices, of a variety of types which is just what I was looking for. I ordered a set which have arrived and I'm thrilled to get them and hope to put them to good use very soon. There are about thirty 8 x 10 sheets which are quite big enough for me to do a reasonable painting on and also see how I like the type of paper. Living on the island, I'm limited at times to what I can purchase or sample, so I may be back to Legion's site to look for more once I find one that I love.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

More portraits

Update 2

Keith - 1
9 x 12 coloured pencil

I've made a start on my next portrait - actually I'm doing two at once. The other is a self portrait for a challenge in WetCanvas. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment.

I'm liking the Colourfix support more and more now that I'm understanding how it grips the pigment and how much I can manipulate it. I've tracked down a Canadian source for it now, as I'm still using the package of paper that I bought in California and don't want to order cross border with the current market not quite so dollar friendly.

Just in case others are looking for colorfix paper in Canada, here are a short list of some reputable suppliers I've found so far. If anyone knows of other suppliers in Canada, let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Aboveground Art Supplies
Opus Framing & Art Supplies