Saturday, April 09, 2011

Card update

I'm adding washes of colour to this piece and there's lots left to do yet. I want a third of the fish under water so have added washes of blues after I completed colouring the body.  I'll lift out highlights where the body or object comes close to the water surface or where it has a strong highlight.

The background of trees and dark sky are still in progress with washes and I'm going to put little coloured fairy lights in the trees (I hope). 

The lantern's glow still needs to be established as well as the light it sheds on the water and objects around it.

Its something different, but I'm enjoying the break from the rocks.  The piece is about 12 x 15, 200lb paper.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Visions in my head

I'm thoroughly disliking my rock painting right now.  I can't seem to get into it and all the rocks look alike in colour, even if they're not.  I may perserve or it may get hidden out of view for awhile til inspiration hits again.

And inspiration does hit in strange ways for me sometimes.  I lay in bed last night with images of fantasy creatures in my head and started to put some ideas down onto paper with an idea for a Christmas card.  I'm not known for a vivid imagination in terms of creating something out of nothing visually.  I need solid objects in front of me to make it happen, so how this came to being I don't know.  Perhaps my year of fish everything has them engraved into my brain.

This sketch may change from its current state but I'll play with it some more and see what colour does to it and if it matches what's in my head.  That's the beauty of thumbnail sketches, they are small enough to arrange and rearrange to your heart's content before they become reality.  And, as I look at this sketch, I see that the crab has to go....

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I've started a new water piece, even though it doesn't look very much like water at this point.  Back to my beloved Middle Cove and to a river that rushes through the valley, cuts into the beach and flows into the sea.  Rocks have been smoothed and tumbled from the surrounding beach and river bed as the water flows over them and shallow pools form along the way. 

It was one of these pools that I peered into, always hopeful for inspiration or perhaps some aquatic creature lurking.  This time it was the light that caught my eye as it made ripples across the stones.

I did a study for this piece a couple of weeks ago, working out colour and composition and also deciding on the medium.  Ever a glutton for punishment, I went with acrylic, which I love and hate.

It is very slow going with these rocks and each one becomes a painting in its own right almost.  The piece is 16 x 20 on stretched canvas and I'm sure there may be interludes of other pieces while it progresses.  Right now its pretty much just values on canvas with hints of detail where I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Portrait update

While I have several other projects underway, I've been spending a few minutes here and there on this portrait.  I'm building the shadow levels slowly.  I haven't created a face in very deep shadow in coloured pencil so I'm experimenting on scraps for the right combination of colours that give depth of value but not deadening it.

Some of me is still wandering, looking for inspiration and I find it in the oddest places sometimes.  Tonight it was in a small fish and chip shop.  While waiting for an order, the old 50's style chrome and red leatherette stools caught my eye.  I took a few photos with my cell phone camera, while other customers gave me strange look, trying to figure out what I was up to.  I think I'm past the stage of being self conscious about recording what appeals to me anymore.  I only stop when someone asks me to and, to day, no one has, so that's good.

I'm playing around with composition and colour for this piece, adding and taking away elements until it looks right.  Its a good feeling to be able to create your composition as you want it, and never be confined by what is in front of you.