Thursday, 25 November 2010

New Zazzle Store Opened

I have done it! Started a zazzle store that is.

And I have made my first sale, A small step for a man artist but here's hoping for many more.

Many more images and products will be appearing soon, why not take a peek, you may find something that you like. Or even decide to start your own store

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A new media, acrylics have tried and generally met my expectations with a number of different media. I don't expect to be able to be a master of all media and generally stick to either watercolours or soft pastels. However, all the art group members were knowcked out by a demonstration given to us by Carol Baker, using acrylics to create wonderful landscapes and abstract paintings. A very talented artist and a very capable demonstrator she had the audience wanting to see more. One thing we were all amazed at was the way she tackled a subject which was not something she had practised or done before so that we saw how she sorted out the problems as she went along. Many demonstrators know exactly what they are going to do having used the same demonstration over and over again. Very refreshing and very informative.

I was particularly knocked out by the abstract paintings on her web-site gallery. This was something that I felt would fit my style and raison d'etre for painting.

I settled down the following week, to try to emulate the method she had shown us, which really consisted of putting on an overall wash, and then outlining the subject areas with an under coat (complementary) colour. She went on to use a scumbling technique which allowed the previous colours to show through. Leaving each layer to dry, she went on to put down several layers. This was very similar to a technique I had developed for myself with soft pastels, so I thought it would be a doddle. Thimk again! Layering by scumbling with paint is a very different procedure to pastels, at least as far as I am concerned.

Here is my first attempt at a background to the painting:-

At first I was very pleased with progress but at this stage after three layers, I began to consider the little details and found the acrylic paint a very different kettle of fish to my pastels ( or even watercolour). The undercoat shows thru well especially in the foreground but I was not keen on the hills or the water and rather than fiddling with these I decided to completely paint out the image and start again, After all it was simply a learning experience.

I was even more unhappy with the second attempt, The colours just did not seem right. So another coat of white to cover it all and another fresh start. Not something that you can easily do in my usual media. Although you can overpaint a pastel to correct something but too much pastel soon clogs up the tooth of the ground.

My third attempt left me much happier. But I stopped before I went too far so that I could consider what comes next. I even considered using pastel to complete the painting. At this stage I was unsure of spoiling the start.

This one shows much more light in the landscape and the hills seem further away; much better snse of depth and perspective. Anyway it will be completed next week, when I shall post the final image however it turns out, wish me luck!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A new pastel painting on Flickr

I found this painting whilst searching for a suitable frame for my up-coming exhibition. It is quite an old painting but somehow it never got posted on Flickr which I use as a sort of archive. It is not the only one but one that I believe should be on that site.

You can see a larger image of this pastel painting on my Flickr photostream. Someone said I should do more of these but I think I have outgrown portraits. When I first started painting, I wanted to be able to draw and for the drawing to be recognised. However I now find that I want to get my feelings about a subject down onto the ground. I love using colours, which is why I do so many sunsets, etc. I also love the great outdoors which is why I do so many landscapes. I also find that theses latter subjetcs allow me lots of freedom and I don't need to spend time fiddling to get things "just right". Does anyone find the same or am I just being lazy?

Friday, 1 October 2010

2010 Exhibition with the Knowle Art Group

I have been spending a little time preparing for my group's yearly exhibition. and the main work is framing the paintings. This is now done, just the labels to be printed.

Those of you who read my other blogs will know that I am also submitting a number of framed ATC collages this year hoping to bring my "craft" artworks to the attention of some of the members of the group and also to the public. I did lead a workshop last year where I introduced the group to Collage but have not seen any inclination on the part of the members to widen their horizons to-date. Who knows what will happen if I keep plugging away.

As I mentioned on the Artyfax blog setting prices at these small loacl exhibitions is very difficult. Too many outlets where people can bu cheap and colourful prints. A Kandinsky or a Klee anyone? Real art does not seem to have a place anymore on the walls of the art lovers home. There are so many sites on the web selling art for home decor what chance for a poor starving artist?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

blue pastel with sailing boats

It seems like ages since I posted here. Must be the holiday season. And here is a pastel to keep you in the mood. It is one I actually did a little while ago but have only just posted it on the internet.

I have always liked it, especially for the sunlight on the top of the sail and on the wave crests. Hope you like it.

Monday, 23 August 2010

New aceo's for my friend's new art/craft shop

I was invited to send a consignment of paintings to a new shop being opened by a very good friend whom I met on the internet. These are a few of the water colour paintings which were painted especially for this:-

I have been so busy with one thing and another these past few weeks that I have neglected to make regular posts. I am hoping that things will quieten down now for a while until my hols later in the year and then I have to undergo a full knee replacement which may give me time for more posting or may stop it altogther. I will find out, deoends on how quickly I get over the operation, I know I will be off work for 10 - 12 weeks over the christmas period so I will have time but maybe not the inclination. Wish me luck! LOL

Saturday, 24 July 2010

aceo / atc watercolours - return to roots

Well almost. It was aceo's that got me involved in atc's and mixed media collaging. My experience must be familiar to many of my friends but here is a quick re-run. I came across aceo's by accident on Ebay and as a painter who loved sketching in a "small" format I decided that, "I could do that". hey presto, my first 2.5 x 3.5 inch painting was created and posted on Ebay. It sold. I was off! Over the next few months I sold around 65 aceo's and  some 20 larger paintings, these were mostly watercolours which I had collected over time in my studio.

My problem was that for everyaceo I sold, I bought one. No profit in that then and with the postage and paying Ebay/Paypal their cut I was left feeling slightly out-of-pocket.

Searching sold aceo's on the site one day, I sat up and took notice of the other formats, including mixed media and collage. Again I thought I could do the same and played around with a few magazine images and felt happy with the results. But the acronym ATC kept popping up - so of course I googled this to find out what it was. BINGO! I found out and found some interesting sites. On one of these, I was reading a forum and came across a question which I could answer by giving a refernce which I had just found. Silly me, not knowing I had accidentally posted the answer in what was a chain swap. I was surprised when asked for my address and of course soon realised what was going on. I complied and traded my very first atc. In fact it was a waterfall card. I tentatively posted more of my cards on the sire and soon found I couldn't make them fast enough to cope with the demand - BUT was I enjoying it ?

Painting became a second string to the mixed media approach and my whole world turned upside down. I was addicted. Since then I have traded with artists and crafters from all over the world ( well at least a good part of it) If I haven't traded with you yet, take a peek at my available cards on Flickr.

I now paint infrequently and have even been thinking of starting 3-D assemblage projects very shortly. I wish there were more hours in the day! But I have created a few aceo paintings ( I still don't think of them as atc's) over the past two weeks. I have been pastelling quite a lot in my painting group of late and moving back to watercolours is always a struggle. The first few are usually difficult to do, the very real difference in the media means whenever I change it is always two steps forward and one back. Regular practice is a wonderful thing. Anyway here are four pieces for your delectation.

I was fairly happy with this one, although the scan doesn't really show it in a good light. The wet-into-wet passages in the sky and the mountains look much better in the original. I have written about issues with scanning watercolours before in my original blog.

Again this image is spoilt by the scanning process. It is also a no-no interms of its composition, two of anything is bad! Always use odd numbers, it introduces a slight tension and makes the painting more interesting.

Better? I quite like this sort of composition and aaing the wet-int-wet passages are much better in the original and the high key areas have the colour washed from them. MAybe this is a consequence of the light used in the scanning process - just a thought.

Now this one I do like, took three attempts but i finally got there. Trees often feature large in my best compositions, they are so versatile and I do love painting them, Should have used a finer brush for the fence however.

OK there you have it. Back to my painting roots, thanks for staying with me

Saturday, 17 July 2010

cupcakes and watercolour pencils

Wow, time flies........................

At the art group we had a demo from a professional illustrator. Carol hasn't got a web-site so I can't offer you a link this time. Thru a personal intro from one of the mebers of the group she came to give us an introduction to this media. Watercolour pencils is not something I have used before ( although I do have a small set) but I am open to anything which gives me a greater understanding of different media. I have to say I was enthralled with her description of the capabilities of these pencils but for her hyper-realistic images ( she has illustrated many books and magazine articles) they give her a very close control during drawing and have a set of techniques that can be used for colouring, and adding texture.

In the second half of the evening ( about an hour) she took us thru the painting below. In order to get things moving she supplied us with a printed sheet with just the bare outline drawing and then led us thru the techniques she had used to produce the coloured version.

these included:- laying on the pencil dry and then adding water to create a wash effect. Adding a thick pencil line and then using water to drag out the colour on one side to produce a 3-D effect seen in the cases. Adding either dust from sharpening the pencil on a sand paper or using shavings from a pencil sharpener to produce texture. Using multiple colours to mix colour on the paper. Here I give you the partly finished piece

and now you understand the title of this post. Maybe I will try this medium again but somehow it really doesn't seem to gel with the way or the subjects that I paint. On the other hand could be useful for ACEO paintings. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Watercolour aceo paintings

 mountains -1, w/c aceo

I have been doing a lot of pastel work recently, but last week we had a demonstrator take us thru the use and abuse of watercolour pencils. ( will blog this at a later date) I decided to try my hand with some watercolour aceo's. I selected a theme of mountains ( always like to do a few on a particular theme, as it seems to help with the process) and started to paint. The trouble with switching from one media to another ( frequently) is that it sometimes seems like you are taking one step forward and two steps back. And as I expected the first couple of pieces are not terribly good. I am posting them them here because I expect that over the next couple of weeks I will be able to show you an improvement. The first was not one of my best but the second was even worse - maybe I got too carried away. I wanted to use earth colours instead of the blues in the last painting.

mountains -2, w/c aceo

The distant peak on the right looks wrong al;though it is not too far away from the reference. BTW aceo's are 3.5 x 2.5 inches if you are not familiar with the acronym for this small art format.

I will be blogging the watercolour pencil evening soon and there will be more mountains to come, thanks for coming.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

animal paintings by John Hopkins

This week the art group invited another professional artist to give a demo at the weekly meet. He came to do a landscape in watercolour, and the whole group was amazed by his technique However what really knowcked out some of the members was his animal portraits in watercolour. Such realism, and detail. He doesn't appear to have a web site but I couldn't not post a couple of his paintings. So here they are:- Animal portraits by John Hopkins


We have re-booked him for another demo later in the year such was our enjoyment of his technique.
Stop press: I have just googled John and found his web site, if you want more paintings and info on John then pay it a visit.  I am not really a painetr of animals but there are a couple of examples in my on-line gallery if you would like to compare my poor efforts with those of John Hopkins.

Thanks for your time.......

Sunday, 9 May 2010

animal fur in pastel pencils by Bob Elcock

As this is going to be about my art group as well as my paintings, thought I would mention a great demo we had from Bob Elcock recently. Bob has a wonderful technique using pastel pencils which allow an artist to realistically simulate animal fur. He also uses the technique for portraits. According to Bob the pastels he was demo'ing are of a particular hardness and all well matched which allows building up a multiple layer from short strokes. He does of course also make use of the sides of the pastels in a painterly manner, but it seems that it is the multiple strokes which allow the "fur" to look so realistic. I have tried this with other well-known brands and found that the original colour can be lifted with some of the "harder" shades and tints, making it difficult to achieve the desired effect.

It is not really my cup of tea as an artist but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening.

Bob was a really marvellous demonstrator bringing a touch of humour into the proceedings, and had the audience listening for his every word, we will definitely be looking to book Bob for another demo soon, maybe a landscape this time.

If you are based in the UK and are looking for a great day out, Bob will be at the Patchings Art Festival this June. By all accounts this festival promises an artist with demos by guest artists, daily workshops, a chance to buy art and crafts goodies.

Just to finish this post I am including a portrait (watrcolour) which I did some time ago. I do so much abstract and semi-abstract work now I thought it would be good to remind myself of some of my figurative work from time to time.

female portrait with hat

Thanks for looking, will be back soon with more art talk.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

sunset at sea

Just back from my art group with another pastel in the series of sunsets. I do enjoy creating these and each one offers a slightly different challenge, however I am beginning to feel like I need a different challenge.

sunset at sea

I came across this image on a greeting card by artist Anne Cherry, see more of her art work here , the original was in watercolour and I was trying to understand how to achieve a similar look in pastel. Of course I have interpreted rather than copied Anne's painting, I hope it is an acceptable work.

The group's next demonstration in two weeks is a watercolour. It has been some time since I painted in this media and look forward to it immensely. I hope to be inspired to try something in this media after the demo. The last watercolour demo resulted in a very different style of watercolour from my usual offerings. It will be interesting to see how this demo affects my work.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

A major departure for me, as a blogger.

This is the first post in a new blog. I have tried to include several interests in my one and only blog but I feel that it detracts too much from the original point of the blog.

To explain. I post most of my work with collage and other craft techniques on Artyfax - an artists blog , it actually kicked off as a blog about painting and the "trials and tribulations" of a leisure painter but as I have spent more of my time creating ATC cards and other craft pieces, I have neglected the original objective. Of course you could argue that they are simply alternative forms of art ( and I am not detracting from either) but I am certainly more aware of the background and skills involved in painting than in the other areas. I am also involved in an art group and would like to involve this more closely in my blog. So what to do? Starting a new blog seems to be the best way forward.

I would also like to introduce any new readers to my on-line gallery ( getting a little old in the tooth, I am afraid) which contains some of my older paintings and drawings. It does however offer a way for those new readers to get to know a little about my background. I will try to update the gallery to show off some of my more recent work including some pastel landscapes which I seem to be enjoying at the moment. A couple examples of these are shown below for your perusal.....

after the storm

african sunset

OK I have said enough for now, I will be adding more asap - thanks for looking