Saturday, July 04, 2009

Rock challenge

Today was a beautiful day depending on where you were. I left home in bright warm sun and arrived 5 minutes later at the beach in Flatrock where the fog was rolled in and got thicker and thicker as I sat there. I was determined to do a little plein air painting, so with billows of fog floating around me, I made a very quick watercolour of some of the rocks partly submerged in the sea. Literally, as I was painting, the fog was obscuring my view of the scene so I eventually admitted defeat and this is the final result of about 20 minutes work.

I want to spend more time concentrating on painting and drawing rocks. They are a constant in the waterscapes that I draw and I never seem to do them well. I know its all down to practice and I am determined to work on the structure and colour of rocks around me. I played around with the start of this large cliff last night and will work on more details over the next few days. I wanted it loose, but still to have the ability to 'read' as rock.

So I thought I'd throw it open as a challenge to any others who want to hone their rock skills. Create rocks in whatever medium you like, look at shapes, planes, values, texture, colour. Small beach pebbles or large cliffs, I would love to see them all. This will helps us learn from each other.

I think about a month should provide enough time to tackle rocks, so August 4th do you think? Then simply add a link to your drawing or painting in the comment section of this post when you're done and I will create a post with the links to individuals work then.

Friday, July 03, 2009

1,023 fingerprints

I knew I was approaching my 1,000th post, but hadn't realized that I had over run it by 23, well 24 now.

I originally started my blog as a way of making myself accountable to my art - to ensure that I would produce both artwork and writing. I also enjoyed the process of writing and sharing knowledge and life with others from around the globe.

The original purpose of the blog is still there and there have been many benefits along the journey.
  • I have met hundreds of people that I would never have if I had stayed silent.
  • I have pushed myself to explore other media, spurred on by others.
  • I have participated in artistic groups and ventures, though done through words and pictures are as real as any local ones.
  • I have honed writing skills and the ability to know what appeals and what doesn't.
  • I can expect honest critiques of my work for which I am always grateful.
  • I push myself to produce, share, market and build my craft because I know others are watching.
  • I have left my fingerprints on the world.
The image of my fingerprint, above, was an idea for a painting that I had. A blown up version of my own print, painted. It is an intricate labyrinth and unending maze of corridors when seen enlarged. It is a project for the future.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Portrait complete

Watercolour in many respects is a quick medium. Once you start, aside from drying times, it tends to fly along I find. I've worked more on this portrait in spurts of time today and am calling it complete.

It hasn't got the looseness that I've come to like, but the watercolour pencils veer me towards a more controlled portrait. I did add some washes of colour with my pans set of paints but overall kept it fairly tight. I may still go back in and deepen the shadows, but I don't want to muddy the piece. I'll let it sit for awhile then see how I feel about it.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Watercolour portrait

I've been working in oils last night and today and the result of that is posted on Watermarks today. The turps fumes were getting to me but I still wanted to do something so I tackled one of the portraits on WetCanvas July portrait thread in watercolour.

This is the initial drawing and the first layers of colour. I'm using watercolour pencils for this piece but my pans may come out as well depending on how it goes. I find that I can't acheive the depth of colour with the pencils as I can with pans. I also like the fluidity of the paint/water with pans, however the control that watercolour pencils give, especially for tight areas can't be beaten.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The last bouquet

The last bouquet
pen and ink, 5 x 8

The last vase of flowers from my daughter's wedding party was sitting on the dining table as I sat down with coffee early this morning. The carnation petals were dropping and flowers were decaying and I knew that if I picked it up, the blossoms would shatter and the illusion of perfection would disappear.

So I decided to sketch part of it.

Now those who read this blog will know that flowers are not my favourite subject matter by a long shot. However, I have learned several things over time that I tell to others and need to keep telling myself too.

  1. There is nothing I cannot draw. There are things that don't inspire me or interest me, but that doesn't mean I am unable to draw them.
  2. I learn something when I try a subject that I don't usually enjoy drawing. I learn that its not as difficult as I anticipated and that drawing is simply drawing, whether a mountain or a person or a flower.
  3. Don't tell anyone this part, ok? Sometimes I actually enjoy the process of drawing something outside my comfort level.