Sunday, 30 December 2018

CAPTAIN - From Start To Finish

I have been keeping this artwork under wraps as it was a Christmas present for my lovely Sister In law, but now I can unveil .... Captain! I always stress terribly when someone asks me to do a pet portrait ... that's why I do very few. I am quite happy at how this has turned out however, and my SIS liked it! 

Saturday, 29 December 2018

A Quick Update

Still working on the four larger watercolours .... oh boy, have I spent some time on these already! I have managed to get a bit further with one of them, actually starting to apply the surface drawing with pens, which always comes somewhere towards the end of a piece. I do need to add more saturated colour on this one I feel. Although my work has become more muted colour-wise, I still feel that this one in particular is still a little drab, so deeper colour and maybe even some gold in places? We will see ............

Friday, 28 December 2018

Wow - Marbling Inks

My lovely husband bought me some Pebeo Marbling Inks for Christmas. I have wanted to try some of these for ages so I immediately prepared the water and decided I would have a go. I managed to do about 16 sheets altogether before the water started getting muddy. As the water needs to be prepared 2 hours in advance I decided to stick at these for now and try another batch at a later date. I was pleasantly surprised at my first attempts - these papers shown can definitely be used in artworks. I found that a couple of prints ran a bit when I released them from the water, but I think this is because I probably had too much ink floating on the surface for those ones. All in all though, I am happy with my first prints.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

More Work Done On The Large Watercolours

It seems to be taking me an age to get artwork done these days. I am finding as I get older, my concentration span gets shorter and I physically can't bend over a table or stand at a bench for hours on end like I used to be able to do. This means that the art output is very much less than it used to be, unfortunately. I did, however, manage to get some more done on these Klimt inspired, large format paintings this week, but there's still a very long way to go. I will just keep plugging away though - here's where I was up to before (below)

Monday, 3 December 2018

Four Large Pieces Started

Well things have started to get busy in the run up to Christmas ... so much to do, so little time! However, I have (somehow) managed to make a start on four new pieces, which measure about 16 x 20 inches, so quite large for me. I have sold one or two of these larger artworks this year, so they're not too big for people to want to buy. Three are female portraits and one is totally based on a Gustav Klimt painting (piece 2 - top right.) I so love his beautiful artworks of women, so I thought I would take one of his works and put my own slant on it. These pieces are in watercolour and acrylic ink at the moment, on heavy Langton watercolour paper, and I will be adding my usual Posca pen detailing towards the end. These are in the very early stages and require many more hours of work to get to where I want to be with them.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Watercolours Ready And Available

Phew! It seems to have taken so long to get three new watercolour / mixed media pieces to completion. I suppose, with it coming up to Christmas, with all the organisation that entails, I have not had a lot of time recently to devote to art. However ..... two of the artworks are now up and listed in my ETSY SHOP - both have been created with watercolour paints, acrylic inks and various drawing pens. In attractive muted colours, they are just a teeny bit surreal. I hope you like them.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Half Way Through

I have managed to do some more work on the three watercolours I featured in my last post, which were barely started. I am about half way through these two now and decisions have to be made. I am at that point where I have to decide whether to carry on in the same direction to the end, or change something massively. For example I am debating whether to fill in the white space round the eyes, top and bottom, on the second one with very dark grey - black to make a stark contrast, or whether to keep it light. Really not sure what I am going to do yet. The portrait on the left is taking it's own course and I am sort of happy with the way that one is going. Some more fine line work on that one and I think I will be there. Loving the new muted palette! 

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Watercolours In Progress

Here are some smaller watercolours in progress, which I have had on the back burner for a few weeks which have been calling my name this last week. My creative process works like this; I start several artworks at the same time and then perhaps carry on with one or two, doing more and more on those - sometimes to conclusion, sometimes not. Everything then gets put away and the just started, or half finished pieces start to impose on my thinking. It's like a gnawing sensation, which gets stronger and stronger till I simply have to go back and do some more work on the pieces. It's been like this with these guys above over this last week or so. (Although I haven't yet done any further work on the large pieces I started around the middle of October! See my post Backgrounds Ready To Work On). Those larger guys are still in my portfolio waiting for some more brushstrokes. Maybe I will get those out too and do some further work on them at the same time as these smaller ones ....

Monday, 12 November 2018

Mailmen (& Women) Take Care!!!

I was most perturbed this week to hear from one of my buyers, who told me that her artwork had been 'bent double' into her mailbox by the Postie! Now I always try to make my packages 'bend proof' by making them think / stiff enough so they can't be bent, so I can only think that my customer's post man had forced the package over his knee to force it to bend. I always put plenty of thick sellotape round too, to make my parcels stiffer, as sellotape is difficult to bend when it's wide and stuck down To add insult to injury the customs form on the parcel clearly stated that the contents contained original artwork! Who would bend this???

My customer was very gracious about it, but I still felt awful, for her, and for myself - did I pack it well enough? I have been sending artwork all over the world for years and I've never had this happen before, so I doubt if it's my poor packing skills. However my lovely customer now has an artwork with a crease right down the middle. Not a good outcome. I wonder if she just got a rogue mailman that day - they can't all be that slap dash, at best, or wantonly destructive, at worst? So postal workers, please take care with our packages!!! 

(The artwork above was not the artwork that was bent - illustrative purposes only.)

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Old Work Share

I have been sorting through lots of old photos and documents on the hard drive today and I came across these portraits along with loads of other artwork which spans back to the early 2002. According to the properties on the photos, these were taken in 2008, so I painted them about 10 years ago ... how time flies! I just wonder if I have improved at all in ten years ..... a bit worrying! Anyway, I thought I would share these watercolour portraits as I am going through a watercolour stage at the moment. These images are actually  cropped. The originals had more background and shoulders, bodies, hair etc. Quite interesting to see what I was producing ten years ago though. 

Friday, 12 October 2018

Backgrounds Ready To Work On

In my previous post I was excited about starting some new watercolour artworks in large scale. It is so long since I created anything over about 12 inches so I thought I would go large again. Here are the first few sheets that I laid down some washes on. I never, ever know what I am going to end up with  - I am not one of those artist who sketches and knows exactly what they are going to produce. I go with the flow and I like to see where my artworks take me while I am doing them. These sheets measure 16 by 20 inches I believe and I am really looking forward to seeing where I am taken. I will post updays of work in progress as I go on.

I have Got My Watercolours Out!

I tend to go from acrylic, to drawing / illustration, to watercolours, to collage, to mixed media .... and back again! This week I have had the urge to get my watercolour paints out again. I get so excited looking at those flat round pans of delicious colour. I love the subtlety of watercolour. It is really versatile - you can paint in a very subtle way, letting the colours run wet into wet and bleed against each other, alternatively you can get bold, rich, sharp colour by using more colour and less water. It's the perfect medium really. I have some large sheets of gorgeous lightly textured paper which I am going to be working on. I have already laid down some washes and am keen to get started on some more detail. I usually work with drawing pens as well when I am using watercolour to draw in lots of detail. I will post some work in progress shots as I get them done. See the watercolour / mixed media works I have in my Etsy Shop at the moment by clicking HERE

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Donald Trump Baby Balloon Blimp

You must have had your head in the sand this last couple of weeks if you haven't seen the infamous (or rather 'famous) Donald Trump Blimp which was created to fly at the UK protests of Trump's visit to the UK. It certainly caused quite a stir. Apparently it is now going on a world tour, which is brilliant. Love it or hate it, the image has now become iconic and has even been turned into a knitting pattern ..... with detachable toupee!   

So, I made my own Trump Blimp artwork which you can download and print yourself. It was created with collage and acrylic, drawing pens and enhanced digitally at the end. Available in my ETSY SHOP. The first image is a work in progress photo and the second the finished item. I have already sold one after just a couple of days, so very happy about that. 

Love or hate Trump, he has certainly become a focus, and subject for many artists over the last year or so, and there are some great paintings, illustrations, cartoons and other products available featuring Trumpy. 

Thursday, 28 June 2018

LuLu Makes An Entrance!

A few months ago I was assigned by a friend to capture her little Patterdale Terrier, LuLu in an artwork.After a few false starts (I was just coming out of a 4 months or so period of artists' block and going through a bit of a meltdown of confidence regarding my artwork) I managed to get started. My better half, who is also an artist, suggested that I do a whole body portrait of LuLu, rather than just sticking to a head shot, which is what I usually do, and that suggestion got me out of my torpor, and I was at last able to move forward. The above shows the works on progress shots. Even though I was 'on the way' though, these images were taken several weeks apart, as I was still going through traumas at the time as to whether I would be able to pull it off.       

A few months down the line, LuLu was finally unveiled at a family get together and LuLu's Mum Alison, was thankfully happy with how the painting turned out. PHEW! It was created in acrylic and artists pen on 16 x 20 inch lightly textured acrylic paper.