Thursday, February 28, 2008

Man and Dog? Start of the Journey?

For anyone that wondered what happened to that square canvas below in which I had tried to do a more abstract sky/sea thing, well this is what has happened to it. I just wasn't happy and didn't know what to do but didn't want to waste that canvas as it is a really good quality (read relatively expensive) canvas. I had an initial thought about doing a male nude but as I am currently not attending any life drawing classes and could so NOT convince my husband to pose for that, I decided on a male figure from behind at a doorway, but not necessarily wanting to go through.

So after coming up with this thought at 10pm last night (just as well I had already done an undercoat, over the previous painting), I managed to convince DH to pose with jeans on. So there I am in the garage with the camera in order to get the right angle, yelling head up, turn right, turn left, feet together, feet apart, look wistful etc etc to my very patient husband at 10:30 at night, while the dog got very excited that his Dad was at the door and thought that something exciting must be happening (read, Food, Walk, Visitor - the external hopefulness of a labrador). I managed to snap about 30 photos until DH had enough (he is such a good man and I am the only person in the entire world that he would do that for) and then I was off to my computer to see what I had. When I saw that Connor (the dog) was in most of them looking so eager, I decided to keep him in and try and do a juxtaposition of the man not wanting to open the door and leave and the eager dog who can't wait to go. So I played around with photoshop elements with colours and tones as I want this to be a fairly muted brownish painting, but with the blue denim and the red collar of the dog being highlighted. You can see my wee reference photo in the photo of the painting. I also asked my dear dear husband to give our baby daughter her night feed so that I could keep on painting and last night managed to draw it onto the canvas and do the background wall before stumbling to bed. I've just done the hair now (babies both asleep at same time - YAY) and I am a bit concerned that the background may be too similar in values and colours to what the skin will be so I think I will do the back next and then look at whether I need to adjust the background. By the way, it is oil, on a 600x600mm canvas.

So a long way to go yet and not yet sure of title. It's something different for me (yet again) and I like the texture coming through from the painting that I painted over and I am going to try and paint the figure more painterly rather than realistically if that makes sense. If by any chance, I finish it by Monday evening, I might enter it in the current fortnightly challenge for the NZ Art Guild, which currently is Journey for the theme. However you also have to incorporate some type of thread, and I don't know if that will work for this particular piece. I do have a more abstract piece started already for this challenge though done in acrylic so I might just have to go with that one.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cloud photos

I have a thing for skies and clouds at the moment so I was very very pleased with myself in that I took my new camera (YAY!) with me last night when I dropped my Mum off at the airport. I had to stop the car twice on the way there to capture some of the great clouds and then again on the way back. Just as well I am such a time freak and we had lots of time up our sleeves to get to the airport so that I could stop and take photos without fretting that planes would be missed.

I thought that I would put just a couple of these photos in here. One of these is already started as a pastel painting.

This is Auckland, looking out over the Manukau harbour, early evening after a crap crap weekend of rain and wind. Normally I wouldn't mind that too much as farmers need the rain but we had shouted my Mum a trip up from Christchurch for the weekend so that she could babysit, so me and my DH (dear hubby) could go out without babies, specifically going out on the boat and doing some wakeboarding - I had even bought a new wetsuit last week specifically for that. Anyway, we did manage a movie and dinner sans children, but I would have loved to have had a day out on the boat. I really want to get some photos of DH wakeboarding and also of the boat as I plan on painting the boat for my DH's office wall at some stage (he loves his boat).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Skyscape 1

Here is another little pastel that I've done this weekend. It is little - done on A5 size pastelboard. This one is an original so I've called it Skyscape 1 as I think that I will do several skyscapes in this size.

I've just primed some bigger cardboard with pastel primer which I have tinted into a grey/blue so once that is ready, I think I will try a bigger piece too.

The thing that suits me about pastels, is that I can just pull off the disposable glove and leave everything, no brushes to clean, no me to clean and no paints that will dry out if babies and toddlers require me.
Must get going though - my Mum is up from Christchurch this weekend so she is babysitting and I am painting. I'm working through lots of the exercises for my study as well so I can send off the next lot in just over a week.

Friday, February 22, 2008

playing with pastel and work in progress

It's been ages since I posted - when toddlers have ear infections, it kind of affects everything that you would normally do.

Anyway, here is some stuff that I have been working on.

The first one is a little pastel exercise that I did this morning. It is based on an exercise from the Australian Artist magazine and I liked it so I thought that I would try it. I got given pastels over a year ago and some pastel card and just haven't had time to really start playing with them. But this was fun and I can see the benefits of pastel and I like the vibracy of the pigment. I don't think that I would want to give up oils for it, but I think I'll enjoy playing around with it as you can do a lot with this medium once you know how (which I don't yet so better start playing more and reading more about it).

This second one is one that I don't know where to go with. I started trying and doing something a bit different and I was inspired by Turner and his capturing of the light over the sea. Obviously this is far from what he achieved but I did the sky and then I painted the sea, didn't like it so scraped the sea off. I sort of like the effect of the scraped off sea as it stained the canvas, But it isn't right and I don't know if I should keep it on my easel and keep playing or put it aside for a while and come back to it. The trouble with putting it to one side, is that potentially I never will come back to it and I do want to finish this one. Any ideas anyone?
Anyway, I think that I will play around a bit with pastels at the moment as I can do that at the kitchen bench while babies are running around whereas with oils, I can only paint when they are asleep as there is too much cleaning up I have to do before I can pick up my children as I have a bad habit of getting paint all over myself. I have a horror of sitting down on our new beige couch with dark oil paint on me. I have told my husband that it is likely to happen at some stage, although I am trying my best not too...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Completed butterfly

I finished this today and it is nice and bright for a little girl's room. The only thing left to do is to sign it but I will wait until it is dry before I do that.
What next......

Monday, February 4, 2008

Butterfly WIP

This is my current work in progress. Yesterday I bought a calendar from Borders of butterflies which was reduced to $3 from $25 and I got inspired to try and paint this particular butterfly which is an Old World swallowtail. I haven't finished, I still need to paint the flower and stalk that it is resting on and some more flowers/plants coming up from the bottom. I will be painting purple flowers as purple is the opposite of yellow on the colour wheel and I am trying to apply colour theory for impact. It is oil 300mm x 300mm (12" x 12") so just a little one.

I am hoping to kill 3 birds with one stone (isn't that a horrid saying). Firstly it will be a birthday present for my niece that turns 2 shortly as she loves butterflies. Secondly, I will submit a photo of it form my diploma as I had to do a work based around patterns and this definitely incorporates patterns. And thirdly, I even think I might be able to squeeze it in as my entry in this fortnight's theme challenge for the NZ Art Guild which is "If it fits". What fits better than a flower and a butterfly? These theme challenges are completely open for interpretation so why not.

Anyway I hope to finish this one tomorrow and I will post a photo once I do. This photo isn't the most accurate colours as I have taken it at night so the completed photo will be taken properly.