Friday, November 14, 2014

Edith in progress

It's a long time since I've done any faces.


You know Johannes Vermeers painting, The girl with the pearl earring. That's what I've used as inspiration for my painting. And, when I had done her eyes yesterday, I thought she looked like Edith in the series, Downton Abby. Can you see it?

I'm pleased on how she is turning out, the only thing that might be a problem is her nose. I'll just have to work on it. I'm using watercolor pencils for this one, and I'm very happy for having control of the painting process. Watercolors are much harder to control, and I always feel acrylics won't cooperate as well with me.


I'm not sure I will do more about her, I don't need a copy of Vermeers painting. I might do another one and change her a bit. I'm planning on doing a piece with a girl and some birds.



Coming weekend I'll probably spend time on my computer, trying to figure out how to use photoshop. I've been talking of that programme for so long, that handyman bought it for me yesterday. Now I'll have to do the tedious job of learning how to. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I need your point of view

I've had some busy days doing other stuff than making art.

Hopefully things will settle down so I can play with my colors again. I've looked into the possibillities of making prints of my art, but have a hard time to decide what to do.


What I ask myself is this:

Do I really want to reduce the value of my originals by selling it as prints?
I know I'm not excactly a Picasso, but still.

Should prints be made by professionals or would it be good enough to make them at home?
This is a question of quality and price. I would love to let a future customer know he/she has bought quality above low price only. I appreciate quality in all aspects of life, and I'm sure there is a
REASON we have professionals.

How many prints from one original?
If I end up making prints, I'm sure I'll set some limitations. Would 10 pieces be fine as a standard?

Should the originals be sold as well?
Yes, I see no point in collecting my own work, except perhaps some rare ones that's hard to live without.


If you read this post, please let me know your thoughts about this issue. How do you do it, and what's your experience? Oh my, there's so many questions to be answered, and I don't have them all.

I've been urged to do commissions and put my art into the world, but I'm not quite sure I have the confidence needed.

Art in thos post made using watercolor pencils, before and after background.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Playing with backgrounds

Backgrounds can be challenging.

So, I've desided to play a little to try different ways of doing them, even try some I've never done before.
A black matte background to a shiny subject is very dramatic, but in some cases it makes the subject really pop out. I'm not sure I will do them often though. It may be a bit too hard,


All of my paintingd here are done using Twinks, and the backgrounds are something else. I've just about started to experiment, and have several more ideas on how to do things. Below I used a script stamp first and then painted on top of it.



I added some yellow to the dark grey color, and am pretty happy with the result.



Another one with script. I did this one slightly different. Added some gold to the matte medium before the stamping. Not sure I like this one too good, the gold turned out yellow and the surface seems a little too busy.


It does have a worn feel to it, and that was what I was trying to achieve.




This next one I tried to make a texture using gesso and then stamping in a pattern of broken egg shells, but it didn't work out. I'll have to figure out a better way of doing it.


All of these experiments are done in my A-5 Fabriano, Venezia book.


This last one were fun doing. I used my pallet knife to add gesso and then paint on top. It looks like a real oil painting.


It's fun to experiment a little from time to time.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tea Party

The final project in class was to make a stack of tea cups.


I saw it as an opportunity to throw an imaginary tea party, and wanted to add some  extra to my piece. A tea party for the entire class, and our teacher as the guest of honor, you know, that's how I like to think and imagine when I'm making a piece of art.

Our teacher, Dion Dior, is Australian and the guest of honor, so I had to come up with something as a tribute to her. In real life, that wouldn't be a problem, but in a "small" painting it wasn't quite so easy.
I came to think of another fantastic Australian woman, designer and artist Loani Prior, who designs the most spectacular tea cosies one can ever imagine.



I contacted Loani Prior and asked permission to use one of her designe in my piece of art, and as the sweet person she is, she immediately said yes to my request.

When I first saw this tea cosy, I was convinced it was inspired by the Sydney Opera House so that's what I've made it look like. Loani, on the other hand, has called this one for Wood Fungus. Loani has written several books which can be bought here. Go have a look.

The Sydney Opera House is situated close to the water, so the body of my tea cosy is meant to represent water, and on top the famous sails. It was, in fact, the Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, that drew this building.


Personally I don't drink much tea, coffee is what I prefer. But I know lots of people have tea as their prefered drink. For some it's even a must like coffee is to me.
That was a sidetrack, my finished painting above, I'm happy with the result, even though I do see things that could be improved. This was a very fun project.

Enjoy your tea/coffee!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

YAY.......playing with my Twinks again.

Class is over and I finally had time to play with my Twinks again.

Oh how I love these little pots with the most beautiful paint in them. Have a look at the photo below, aren't they just beautiful?


In the end of summer I also found a perfect storage for my colors. I like to leave them with the lids off, and to avoid dust and other stuff to mix in them, this was perfect for me.
It's 4 small drawers put together to one, 12 individual drawers and 15 small pots of Twinks in each drawer. They're kind of airy too, so when my pots are wet, I can still leave then in the drawers without any danger of molds etc.


I was so eager to start using my Twinks that I did a very quick sketch, Not especially good composition, but the important thing were to paint. I felt it in my entire body, oh I do not want to do anything but paint.



I carefully suggested to handyman to hire a housekeeper so that I could paint and nothing else. His instant answer is what makes me like him so much. He said, do you want me to call for an ambulance? Meaning, are you crazy. I'm still laughing.


It's a real pleasure to feel that I still know how to use my Twinks, I had some moments where I thought I had forgotten all of it. I used a pen and nib to add som gold ink around my flowers, and the gold really adds to the piece, but not the way I did it. I've made another one later on, and that one is much better, I chose to add the gold lines inside the outer edges, and that is really nice.


It was even more fun to use the Twinks again than I had hoped for, so I'm planning a larger piece. This one is done in a sketchbook sized A-5.

Be creative and have lots of fun!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Are you good at drawing?

Have you ever wished for more realistic drawings?


I have.
Drawing doesen't come easy for me, I always struggle to draw no matter what my subject is. As you probably know, I've just taken a class in how to use watercolor pencils. A fellow student there suggested for me to read a book about drawing, and believe me, it's a miracle.

The book has lots of lessons, and it's not wise to skip any of them because they build upon one another. So after doing some initial lessons, I went for the proof that this book was the same as all the rest. I was wrong, terribly wrong.

What I drew in less than 30 minutes is nothing but a miracle.


This is a famous sketch done by Pablo Picasso, and is presented in the book. My job were to copy it, and I was sure I couldn't do it. My sketch shows very clearly at which point the left side of my brain took the lead. Left side of the sketch, arm on chair and the mans arm are both wrong. These parts were the last ones I did, and the left part of my brain took over.


The next sketch I did, is one I have tried many times to sketch. Just because I think it's funny with caricatures. I have never made it, and this time it's perfect, in less than 5 minutes. If that isn't a miracle, nothing is. Please, don't look at the colors, I was just trying to paint with my spray inks.


And then to the book. It's written by Betty Edwards and is called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

If you want to improve your drawing skills, I highly recommend this book, it's the most amazing thing I've ever seen happen to myself. Library is probably a good place to start.


Now that my class is over, I look forward to go deeper into this book and do all the lessons. My drawings might chang once and for all. I'm so excited.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2014

How do you approach a new painting?

How much work do you put into the preparations for a painting?


I used to rush on and paint right away, no planning no nothing just do it. That has changed. If I am to paint poppies, as for this case, I like to research the subject using the internet or perhaps books I might have on the topic. Normally I sit down with some sketch paper, trying to fetch the" ultimate" movements or shape of my chosen subject.


It's almost like I try to get the feel of it in my hand. I often paint those sketches just to see how they will work, and very often this play leads to new and exciting ideas.


Yes, it was poppies this time, but a rose found it's way too. I've been working on roses as well lately, so it didn't surprise me. The photos I have shown you above, are just a tiny bit of what I did to find the right feeling of the flower.
I also worked quite alot to find a composition I liked, and then the painting began. The result of my efforts is shown in next photo.


Later on, I have been filling in the white contours around my subjects, it just didn't feel right to leave it as you see it here. I'm very pleased with my results of this one. The darker areas on the right half has an undertone of violet, which dosen't show in this photo. The upper left light area also has a light turquoise shining through.
Painting is becoming more and more fun the deeper one gets into it, I think.
Faber Castell, Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils is used and it's done on a Fabriano cold pressed 140 lbs paper.
Have a nice weekend, and thanks for stopping by!