Wednesday, February 28, 2007
the second is a quick sketch of paintbrushes done with coloured pencils from a Portrait set by Lyra.
I really like Lyra pencils to use. These belonged to the college but I think I may invest in a set - they'd be interesting sketching in the landscape - just working tonally but with lovely warms and cools to play with.
Snow is not my idea of fun! I like to see it - but from somewhere safe and warm and no 'little walks' in it at all for me thanks!
The scenery that I love best is the coast. Particularly the wild Atlantic coast of Cornwall, with small coves, wild seas, clean washed sand, rocks, rock pools, beautifully every changing colours of water and flower studded turf coming down to the cliffs. The lanes are very very narrow, one car width often, with high banks just packed with wild flowers. The small ancient stone harbours with old houses clustered round.
That was the north coast (it's a peninsula) - the south coast is tidal creeks (drowned valleys) with wooded hillsides and trees overhanging the water, herons, tiny hidden villages and a gentler quality. In spring the woods are totally blue with bluebells.
Winter gales are fierce and mists swirl and change - one minute you can see 100 yards and the next you can't see your own hand.
I lived there from the age of 3 to 10 and I loved it ... and still do.
I like woods but prefer the edges (in fact I realise I like edges a lot - edges of woods, edges of the land) - I'm not really happy in forests, I like views - and changing views please! In Cornwall you are constantly climbing hills, catching a view, downhill, through the banked hedges - glimpses through gateways across valleys to the sea or a small village - down a hill to a small cove that's always different - tide in or out, stormy or calm, grey or green or blue water, inland there are wild moors and stone monoliths - never never boring, often unexpected :)
I also don't really enjoy flat land, where there are no surprises - you can walk for miles and the view doesn't change :( so why bother? though you do get wonderful expanses of sky.
before that I lived in Gibraltar - rock, flowers, sea, colour .... again!
The Jesuits say 'give me a boy till he's 7 and I'll give you the man' - well this was where I was living then and this the country and landscape I love - sea, colour, rocks, some trees, flowers and change,surprises round corners, not seeing everything in one go.
Elsewhere I notice I relate to these same elements - the Dordogne with its villages tumbling down rock faces, shallow fast streams, flowers , woods but not forests. a patchwork landscape; Wales - rocks mountains, waterfalls over rocks, woods but not forests, changing weather and light ....
These are my intensely personal responses to landscape - what are yours? - I'm sure some will love huge flat plains, others the deep forests that I feel trapped by.
Friday, February 23, 2007
I just realised that I'd put details of this in an earlier post - but not the full image! It's a work in progress and a little way from being finished. So far it's acrylic but now I'll continue in oil paint.
40 inches square on gallery wrap canvas
I'm feeling very sorry for myself as I've got an awful cold and with asthma it isn't fun :( so I was investigating google analytics (instead of painting) and looking where people who've read this blog came from. It was fascinating to see you came from all over the world including:
Seattle, Coquille, Tacoma, Sherwood, Hayward, San Diego, Winnipeg, Oklahoma, Denver, Sioux City, Kansas City, Abilene, Bellwood, Villa Park, Spring Lake, Lake Orion, Houston,Opelika, Nashville, Rock Hill, Washington, Laurel, Horseheads, Chesterville, Amherst, Cornwall, South Burlington, Bethlemhem, Amherst, Laurel, Washington, Belleville, Rock Hill, Nashville, Rock Hill. Opelika, Bryn Mawr, Palm Harbor
High Valleyfield, Salford, Caunton, Leopardstown, Sheffield, Rogiet, Caunton, Llanishen, Bubbenhall, Plymouth, LLanishen, Zaanstad, Oxford, Heytesbury, Watford, Warsaw, Belgrade, Motta Visconti, Rome, Sant Just Desvern, , Vence, Madrid, Murcia, Malaga, Mapledurham
Baidayingzi, Beijing, Weifang, Yongzhou, Patog,
Oz and NZ:
Mount Gravatt, Bangor, Northwood, Armadale North. Auckland
Kew, Winburg, Southdene Estate
the internet is an amazing thing :>)
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I couldn't get far enough away to get the whole canvas in the picture :( and I haven't got time to bring it downstairs.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Many old masters used camera obscuras which is only the equivalent of projectors etc or using the computer.
I don't like grids or tracing - so for me it doesn't work. It makes my work go stiff and and I hate it - I need the slight inconsistencies, the natural distortions that I add unconsciously, that emphasise lines and compositions.
I like my lines to be fluid and rapidly drawn and none of that is possible with tracing - for me anyway. If you draw a fluid flowing line fast and then copy it slowly, tracing or gridding, it loses the spontaneity of the original. To me that's important but it isn't in everyone's work - so it depends on the work you do whether it's better to work freehand or not.
I'm totally right brained on tests (with zero organisational skills! ) and I think those with a higher left brain element may gain from grids/tracing, unlike me.
I do think freehand sketching is important though and that not all work is done by tracing/gridding and that work is done from life not always photos if you are to develop your skills.
I use the computer regularly to work through ideas, scanning in sketches and changing them.
This is a doodle I did while the class were all occupied, no-one needed help and the coloured pencils were sitting in front of me ....
and then I played with it in Photoshop, creating a repeat pattern
and then altering the colours.
I did some more work to the trees&rocks painting today, using oil paint but it's wet and so won't photograph without shine. I'll post on the progress in a couple of days probably.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
I'm taking part in a group project in a few weeks, doing work in response to Picasso - not one of my favourite artists I'm afraid. It occurred to me that I can use this, relating it to his blue period :>)
So far I've only used Prussian Blue acrylic, some blue acrylic ink (pthalo blue-ish) and white with some tissue collage. I will introduce further blues and mauves and greyed blues as I go.
The next stage will probably need to be done in oil paint as I need the qualities that oil paint has - the ability to scratch through to the underpainting through the buttery texture of it and using a palette knife.
It's going to be interesting making it work in a limited colour range. I may introduce a very very little complimentary colour to stop it being too limited in range. It's a case of working it out as I go along :>)
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
One is going to be an evening/nightfall view of the beach with the moon rising and the last light catching the pools left by the ebbing tide. One of a series of works I've done about the beach at this time - just before and just after sunset.
There are more subtle colour changes and more shine on the sea than the photo shows. It has a way to go yet - this is the beginning, establishing lights and darks and the form of the pools.
I sketched it in roughly in Prussian blue acrylic and then worked on with oils. Some of the acrylic will show in the finished piece.
Next I decided to work on another of the 40 inch canvasses, loosely using the sketch I'd done in charcoal. I used the prussian blue again just to establish where things were, the form of the rocks and the lie of the land with the way the tree grew out of it with some of the tones roughly put in. This has a long way to go and a lot of decisions to be made.
Part of me likes it in blues and I could make it winter, keeping the colours knocked back to blue greys and mauves.
Or I could make it autumn and go for singing colours
Or I could make it Spring and go for lime greens and fresh growth
Or I could do 3 versions of it :)
I may use some collage for texture - lots of thinking and decisions on direction to make.
I don't fully plan these big canvasses but take off from preparatory sketches and see where they go - it's more time consuming but for me, much more interesting as unexpected things happen, I can go with the way the painting seems to need to develop rather than following a set plan and I get bored if I simply try to reproduce something and the freshness dies :(
what do you think?
and why does blogger sometimes refuse to leave spaces between paragraphs? it's really really annoying :(
Friday, February 09, 2007
I don't normally work from photos and especially if I haven't taken them myself but this is somewhere I know and very much like scenery in a area I do sketch in.
I'd been painting for quite a while and this quick 30 minute sketch was a nice change of pace and subject, it's done with a cheap, waxy charcoal pencil so subtle greys weren't easy, It's about 8 inches tall.
The snow has melted quite a lot in town thank heavens but I haven't stepped outside the house at all today :) One of the cats, like me, hasn't set foot outside and the other, who normally likes to be out a lot has only spent a few minutes at a time outside before wanting to come back in.
How I hate snow! It wasn't nice driving in it yesterday but I did take a couple of photos - colour though you'd never know it.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I'd like to do a night scene on a 40 inch square canvas - but will it be toooo dark and overpowering? I think I'll try it and see.
Admin and stuff over for the day so I'm off to paint now :)
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I added google analytics to the blog and it's fascinating to see where readers come from and how many there are :) - more than I thought. If people didn't leave a comment I didn't know if many people were reading or not, now I do :)
I'm continuing to juggle the different subjects at the moment and there are several shows coming up so I need to get moving.
I'm off teaching in a minute but wish I was going here
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Anyone wanting to add a slide show to their blog, and who isn't already light years ahead of me in technology and knows already :) , can join the sites and create their own by simply clicking on the 'get your own' tab next to the images
Apart from the pencil sketch these are variations on the beach at nightfall, from sketches done plein air. There's a small 12 inch square oil painting, some collagraphs and a pencil sketch of the sea defences.
Collagraphs are a lovely printmaking method using mount (matt) card as a plate. It's inexpensive and I really like the marks you can achieve with it. It does need a printing press though as it's an intaglio process like etching and not a relief print like lino.