Saturday, December 20, 2008

Portrait update

The Pout
9 x 12 watercolour
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I'm calling this portrait complete, and as with most watercolours, its a struggle for me. I love the look of watercolours and so envy those who can carry it off seemingly with little effort.

I know the trick is practice, as with any medium. The more I use it, the easier it becomes.

And now for those men who may have had their head somewhere else when choosing a partner's gift, take heed of the following little video link - The Doghouse.

PS You still have 3 days to find something else.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Watercolour pout

The Pout WIP 9 x 12 watercolour

I have decided to face my nemesis in this portrait. Watercolour, for me is one of the most difficult mediums, likely because I don't use if frequently enough. I use it for washes in sketches but rarely to complete a piece.

This portrait is of my daughter and I did a sketch of it a couple of weeks ago. I loved the expression in it but have very poor reference photos to work from.

I'm taking my time and building it slowly. Part of my problem with watercolours is impatience waiting for layers to dry and not to keep adding, creating a muddy mess. Especially in the skin tones of children, you want it fresh and light.

So this is the first few layers. The piece has much warmer tones to it - or will - and the hair will be darker. I want it to have life and depth but always shy away from bold dark colours. And with watercolour its pretty much no going back once the brush is applied to paper. Of course, night time doesn't make it easy to capture colours with a camera. I'll try for a scan for the next update and see if I can get truer colours and values then.

Here is a link that I found on Vivien Blackburn's site. What card are you?

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seeing double

The Snowman II
coloured pencil

The Snowman I
pen & ink, coloured pencil

I was looking through some photos that I have on my hard drive looking for a specific image when I came across these two images that I drew in separate years.

It was the same photo reference, a glass snowman that I've had for years. The medium is a slight overlap but the difference that the paper and medium make to the final image creates very different pieces.

I keep thinking about printing cards for Christmas but never seem to wrap my mind around it in time. I think this year, I'll start very early and come up with a couple of designs that will work. I think the snowman will still be in the mix. Perhaps this year, he's due for another remake in a different medium. Oils? Watercolour? Pastel? A series of this little guy in say half a dozen mediums, all the same size, could be interesting once framed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


watercolour 9 x 12

At the end of summer I did this quick sketch in watercolour of an elecampane plant that is thriving at the edge of the vegetable field, mostly due to having its feet in a large mound of manure! It is from the sunflower family and produces clusters of small yellow flowers in later summer. This particular plant when in flower is about 6 feet tall and perhaps 4 feet across. Its very impressive.

I am a herbalist and rely on plants for many of my OTC substitutes. The fields hold about 50+ medicinal herbs which also are culinary in some instances too. However elecampane is one of my favourites and a standby for coughs in the winter. There are many other plants that can soothe sore throats and coughs as well and many are found in your kitchen cupboards. Some time ago I wrote an article on creating a herbal first aid kit from common plants in gardens and kitchens. I must dig it out again and share it.
In herbal medicine it is chiefly used for coughs, consumption and other pulmonary complaints, being a favourite domestic remedy for bronchitis. It has been employed for many years with good results in chest affections, for which it is a valuable medicine as it is in all chronic diseases of the lungs asthma and bronchitis. It gives relief to the respiratory difficulties and assists expectoration. Its principal employment as a separate remedy is in acute catarrhal affections, and in dyspepsia attended with relaxation and debility, given in small, warm and frequently repeated doses.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another one?

Bisque Santa
5 x 8 Moleskine

I happened to be in the same store where I bought the bisque snowman ornament and this guy was the only one left. Same self colouring of bisque and of course I had to buy him.

I honestly haven't bought these just to draw them. I take them home and sit them on the dining table and early in the morning when I have my coffee they're still there. So is my sketchbook and pencil.

The rest is history. And I see that history doesn't make a great circle at 7am....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Twilight fog

Twilight Fog
5 x 7 oils

There is something fascinating about fog and how it creeps over the landscape. Its something I've enjoyed for as long as I can remember. While its not fun to drive in, especially at night, it brings a quiet peace over everything, muffling sound and sight.

Twilight has a similar effect as it mutes colour and makes edges lose their definition. here I was trying for a combination of the two with just a hint of lights on the headland through the fog as darkness falls.

The painting is still wet, so the reflection in the sky really shouldn't be there.