Saturday, 24 November 2012

Horse Play

Although I tend to paint most of the time now, I still do portraits to commission and strangely, having never done a horse before the last two commissions have been horses!! And I have also been practising my drawing skills, I have the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards and so have been working through it and am finding it quite therapeutic. However I am both a fast drawer and painter so charcoal suits me better than graphite as I am quite sure I don't have the patience to spend all my time on the detail needed for good pencil drawings.

I have blogged before about drawing here and I am trying to improve so that I will find painting without use of a preliminary sketch easier. I am firmly convinced that drawing is a skill and can therefore be learned and it is our ability to be able to draw what we "see" rather than what we "think" we see which makes all the difference and that's what this book concentrates on. Drawing upside down and concentrating on shapes are two major areas and I am finding that it is getting easier. I have always been able to draw reasonably well, but have recognised recently that my skills need sharpening up especially as I draw so quickly, that is my style, rather sketchy and bold but the marks need to be in the right place. Anyway here is my latest drawing, it's for an xmas present so just need to get it mounted and framed.

The link to my other charcoal portraits is here

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Jean's Rosehips...... or are they????

Jean did a article for the SAA recently, painting rosehips shining in the light SAA article.

I decided to have a go using the techniques I have both seen at Jeans' demos and workshops and read about from her books, but once I had done the first wash I put the article away and carried on working on it over the last couple of weeks finishing it today. This is the first time I have referred to the article since starting and guess what? It looks nothing like!!! But that isn't a bad thing in fact it is an excellent thing!!!

One thing that Jean has taught me is to build up a painting... we watercolourists are always afraid of overworking but it is surprising just how much a painting can be toyed with without overworking if you do it in the right way... you can keep the colours fresh, vibrant without losing translucency, it's all about technique, and most certainly letting the paper dry between applications is absolutely key.

If you check the article you will see what I mean about being nothing like but I do want to paint like me not anyone else so this is my version inspired by Jean's and I am really happy it doesn't look like the inspiration. Have use a lot of artistic licence as I didn't have any reference, no real life rosehips or photo but again am not worried about that... it is all about practising the techniques and learning to build something up. Can see that I have a couple of dark bits here which are lying too parallel so will look at that in the morning and may just blend the other dark areas a touch more as they are looking like hints of blackberries though maybe they could be entwined around the rosehips...  nature is a wonderful thing and painting is there for us to interpret as we want!!

Hope you like this... am seeing the potential in it myself and have given myself lots to work on for future efforts..... yet again this has a painting on the back so hope I can do something similar but on virgin paper!!!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Final Brusho Workshop

I was both excited and disappointed about the workshop today, excited because I just love this product and was hoping Joanne would do figures (which she did!!) and disappointed because this was the last of the three and am not finished learning yet!!  Never mind, will have to get on with doing some experimenting myself as the list of all the techniques you can use with it seems endless as we have found out on these three sessions.

We started with a couple of warm ups where we went straight in with a pen, did a very quick drawing to keep things looking spontaneous and then in with just two colours to start with, followed by a third for darker areas. Here is my first go

Staying vaguely within the lines and just a loose impression, this was not meant as a finished piece as Joanne wanted us to do 2 or 3 to get our brusho warm!! I would go in and darken more areas of this if I wanted it as a finished piece but as it is a practice will leave for now.

2nd warm up

Drawing a bit dodgy on this but used colours similar to the cottage on the previous workshop just 'cos I like them and as it is the tone and shape which identify the subject not the colour... it still looks like a figure and I like the colour choices. I also worked on a third but didn't finish as I need to add more darks... may post that later.

And so we came to the finale.... the main piece we were working up to, this time a more subtle drawing.... a very sketchy pencil line to give a much gentler finish to the piece. The image I chose was actually the one Joanne demonstrated as I really liked the pose and I had done 3 of the others. We used only 2 colours on this, in my case orange and brown and I like the subtletly of this as opposed to the more direct method used on the first two

I might go in and gently touch the features a bit more but am going to "sleep" on it and see how it looks in the morning. Got to say am loving his one....

Am delighted with my efforts from the three sessions and what I have learned... have I told you how much I love this stuff??? But have to say I don't think I would have had a clue without the tuition.... it has made all the difference and the whole group produced some lovely work.....

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Back to my Roots!!

Have had another little play with Brusho today but the watercolours started calling me and as I have just posted the images in the Loose Group on Paint my Photo thought I would have a go at the wonderful little portrait I had chosen for our Black and White image. The photo is one of Barbara Tester's granddaughter and I have wanted to paint it for some time now.

She is such a cutie, I didn't want to overwork her face and as often is the case with babies there is little contrast in skin tones but I felt her eye would create the tone and focal point I needed. Am not sure if her eyes are blue as the image in Black and White but I think the blue suits her and I also added a hint to the bg to try and bring the eye out a touch.

I do think I should do more portraits as I really enjoy them but then something else strikes me to have a go at and I forget about them!! But I am going to try and do some more in the future, more nudes as well!!

For more of my animal and human portriats check out the other ages on here
Watercolour portraits
Charcoal Portraits

Friday, 2 November 2012

My First Brusho Abstract!!!

I have had this photo in mind from  Paint my Photo for quite a while now. It was posted by Robyn Lovelock and taken by her sister.... it's an aerial shot of the Great Barrier Reef... how good is this???

Have kept looking at it knowing it would create a marvellous abstract and I finally decided to have a go today. If I am really honest, although abstract is actually my favourite form of art and that is what I have hanging on my walls at home from choice (my husband has actually stuck a few of mine up since the last exhibition)... to paint abstracts sort of scares me... no idea why but the lack of form seems to be a barrier. I know it's only paper and maybe I should bite the bullet more often and see what happens!!

So here is my first ever Brusho abstract and about my 6th ever Brusho painting... I did have a practice go first which was ok but this has turned out better (as often happens there is failed piece on the back!!!)  and I am really quite pleased with it. I've only used the photo as inspiration so am not expecting anyone to say "Oh yes that looks just like an aerial shot of the Great Barrier Reef!" but may they will say "Hmmm nice abstract!" and of course it is very early days with Brusho. Excuses made then... this is it!!
If you want to read and see more about my adventures with Brusho, check out my other blog posts

First Brusho Workshop
2nd Brusho Workshop

I am attending the last workshop next Thursday... can't wait..... the next thing I want to try is a figure... hope Joanne is reading this. By the way, if any of you are interested, the first Brusho holiday is being held in June 2013, check out the link for more information Painting Holiday.

Might go back in to this and add a few more darks in the foreground but the light is failing here now so need to see it in daylight before I make that decision. Hope you like and you never know this may be a completely new direction for me!!!