Tag Archives: painting

Motivation

6 Jun

Pop Art Head 1

I work part-time for a charity for people who are homeless, delivering art and craft sessions in different venues across the city. It’s much easier to engage people in crafts than in fine art, crafting seems to be more accessible and less threatening. I try out different things to motivate people who don’t think that they can paint or draw or sculpt to engage with art. I recently ordered a stencil book,  bought in some small square canvasses and did a quick little stencil painting during today’s session. It certainly attracted a lot of attention.

Pop Art Head 2

I used a stencil brush to put on the basic image in black acrylic (Liquitex Heavy Body) and while it was drying I cleaned the stencil on a piece of blue kitchen towel with a wet-wipe. I really like the ethereal image that appeared on the towel. Then I added some brush strokes in light blue and orange to give it a 1960s Pop Art feel. It was very quick and showed people how they could think about using stencils and paint to create artwork for their new homes. It also taught people quite a bit about how to use paint, without them realising it. I’m not a big fan of painting but I really like the Liquitex, it’s very strongly pigmented and can be thinned out to use in translucent washes, as with the stripes, or used fairly impasto, as I did with the stencil.

 

WAM night June 2018

Crazy Hair, Don’t Care

29 Mar

crazy hair dont care

I’ve been working on this painting for a little while, I rarely paint but this is a birthday present for my dear young nephew, just turned 14 and the owner of some very unruly hair. I painted this from a photograph which I particularly like for its typical teenage insouciance.

I used Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic thinned with water into translucent glazes, which I overlaid, rather like painting with watercolour. It’s painted onto a stretched, gessoed white canvas.

Layering

24 Mar

detail 3

I’ve been carrying on painting, I don’t normally paint but this is for a special someone. I don’t really know how to approach paint so I’ve come at it from the point of view of the printmaker that I am and I’m adapting a technique I use for monotypes, where I layer translucent glazes of yellow, red and blue, creating all the colours from the interplay of these colours on top of each other, adapted by the intensity of the brushstrokes. I think, if I remember correctly, that the Impressionists did something similar, they didn’t mix their colours before application to the canvas.

The monotype technique I use was taught to me by USA-based artist/printmaker Vinita Voogd, if you want to see how I do it please click here to my Tecchie section.

Colouring In

19 Mar

detail

I rarely paint, it’s not a medium I feel much affinity with but I’ve been working on a painting the past couple of days, it’s for someone special. The reason I don’t paint much is because I feel that all my creativity goes into drawing and once I’ve got the drawing as I want it, painting just seems like colouring in, which is quite nice but nowhere near as creative, in my opinion, as drawing. Although I know a lot of painters who wouldn”t agree with me on this.

I’m using acrylic paints, thinned with water, to paint translucent layers of pigment onto a white primed canvas. This is a small detail of the painting in progress.

 

 

Warts And All

11 Oct

HopeI’m working part-time for a charity, running arts sessions for people who have housing problems. Some of the people who come along are experienced artists and enjoy a few hours in a warm, safe place to get absorbed in their art. But some have very little experience of making art and I often hear, “Oh no. I can’t draw” and panic when I get out a bit of paper. It’s a pity that this is ingrained into so many adults – children are usually much more willing to have a go. I think that one of the reasons that people are so fearful of drawing is because they think it’s innate, god-given, a born talent rather than years and years of practice and striving.

I think that we artists have become disassociated from our craft. People see perfectly formed artworks in tasteful frames on pristine gallery walls and it’s easy to buy into the idea that these magnificent objects spring forth from a bottomless pool of artistic genius. WRONG! They’re the result of blood, sweat and tears …. and endless mistakes …. and frustration! That’s one of the reasons I do a lot of art in public, en plein air, in streets, shop windows, anywhere that people can see art being made … warts and all.

Banner 1

When someone said to me today that they couldn’t draw, I said, “It’s not drawing, it’s writing”. That made it better. I asked the people I’m working with to think of one positive word, then write it down, then start playing with different ways of making the letters, colouring them, adding patterns. Then we redrew our words onto a roll of primed canvas and started painting a banner.

I work alongside them so they can see my mistakes and the bits that are rubbish and hopefully understand that making a drawing or painting is a process that starts small and builds and builds over time into a finished piece ….. and that they shouldn’t judge themselves so harshly. More next week…..

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

As Dark As It Gets

11 Sep

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This started as a very pale watercolour landscape that I uploaded onto my Samsung Galaxy Note tablet into a free Markers app. I’ve been making it darker and darker with cross-hatching and scribbles but I think this is about as dark as I can go with it.

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The slides show the process from the original little painting, Winsor & Newton half pans onto St. Cuthbert’s Mill watercolour paper, through to the final, rather Gothic, drawing of darkness. I don’t normally work like this, it’s been good for me to break out of my comfort zone.

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Gors Fawr, near Mynachlog-ddu in the Preseli mountains, a lush green bog fringed with glowing hills.

 

Getting Somewhere

5 Sep

I started this little watercolour a couple of weeks ago, when I was in Ceredigion, using Winsor & Newton half pans onto St. Cuthbert’s Mill watercolour paper. I’m not used to watercolours and the scene before me was very pale and misty and I was a bit disappointed by it, to be honest. So I photographed it into my Samsung Galaxy Tablet and started experimenting with a free Markers app, building up layers of black crosshatching over the pale paint. I’m getting somewhere at last.

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Gors Fawr, near Mynachlog-ddu in the Preseli mountains, a lush green bog fringed with glowing hills.

 

Getting Darker

29 Aug

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I’m carrying on drawing experimentally on top of a little watercolour sketch I did en plein air a couple of days ago. I uploaded it onto my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet into a free Markers drawing app and I’m working over it with cross-hatching and scribbling. The version I did yesterday is better than my original, which was very wishy washy and mundane, but today I took it a few stages darker and I’m liking it more. I’m going to keep working over it to see how dark I can go before I lose the subject all together.

I think it’s an important part of the creative process to take time out to experiment, to play with no pressure to meet deadlines or conform to the brief of a commission. I’m not keen on using either watercolours or digital drawing apps, but they’re good as a means to an end, trying out new ideas that might lead somewhere.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you’d like to see them, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Wishy Washy

28 Aug

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I’ve been having a go at watercolours recently, since I won a really nice St. Cuthbert’s Mill Saunders Waterford glued watercolour block in a Facebook competition. I’m not really into painting but this is lovely paper and there’s a lot of it and, frankly, waste not, want not, as my Nana used to say. Husb and I stayed over in Lampeter yesterday, a mini staycation, and there was a lovely view from our room, but I’m always a bit stumped where to start with landscape so I decided to just block in areas of colour without being too worried about details. I used Winsor & Newton half pans. It was a very overcast and misty morning today and the colours were very soft and muted and to be honest, way too wishy-washy for my liking.

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When I got home, I photographed it onto my Samsung Galaxy Note tablet and loaded it into my free Markers app and started scribbling over it. I feel a lot happier with the overlaid cross hatching and scribbled textures, but I think I need to go further; I think I need to work over it again and make it really dark and Gothic with just some tiny flecks of colour showing through. Something to do tomorrow.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you’d like to see them, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

A Last Little Quickie

11 Aug

quickie 2

And here’s the last of the very quick watercolour sketches I made recently, sitting in the sunshine on the clifftop in Southgate overlooking the sea. I concentrated on capturing the flow of the colours before me, rather than recording details. I’ve never been particularly into land / seascape art so I don’t have any hard and fast rules to influence me. I’m just hanging out doing my own thing. I used Winsor & Newton half pan watercolours with a glued block of Waterford watercolour paper from St. Cuthbert’s Mill.

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you’d like to see them, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

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