Progress 24-10-11

The weekend was fairly quiet. I spent Saturday being lazy (though I did paint the box canvas edges on the plant still life) and Sunday stacking wood for Tim’s father. On Friday, however, I went to see the gallery opening at the UNB Art Centre for Paula Keppie. It was a fabulous exhibit and I managed to snag a beautiful catalogue with some of her works in it. I’d like to discuss it more but will give it a special post later this week.

Here are some decent photos of the foo dog/shi shi lion illustrations I finished a few weeks ago:

Male Shi Shi Lion

Male Shi Shi Lion

Female Shi Shi Lion

Female Shi Shi Lion

The end tables are coming along nicely! The first one is awaiting varnish and I’m well into the second one. I’m finding it easier this time around knowing how the paint will act on the gesso surface. Since I’ve taken classes and have more experience with paint now, mixing colors is a lot easier as well.

Foo Dog End Table 1

Foo Dog End Table 1


Foo Dog End Table 2, in progress

Foo Dog End Table 2, in progress

I really enjoyed watercolor class last week! We experimented with different effects in the paint using salt and plastic wrap. Salt, when sprinkled over watercolors that are still wet, soaks up the water and gives the area a spotty-look, while crinkling plastic wrap into wet paint, letting it dry and peeling it off gives a really cool frost effect. I didn’t get a chance to do anything with plastic wrap, but I did enjoy using salt. Rock salt would create a different effect than small-grained salt and I look forward to playing around with both kinds. We also used a substance that would resist the paint. After applying the putty-like liquid and letting it dry, we painted freely over top of it without worrying about paint seeping through. This works well when painting a large area, like a sky, and wanting to skip over areas like clouds or air planes. To remove the putty you can use fingernails or an eraser.

After our teacher demo’d those effects and left us to do our own thing, I was struggling to come up with an idea for where to use that kind of effect. Staring at a blank page is one of the toughest parts of art. So much potential, such a wide open expanse and you can do anything with it. For me, starting a project is the worst part. Once I get a good amount of line work down I start to gain a bit of confidence, but until then I really have to push myself.

I’ve been looking at a lot of tattoo art lately and have noticed a trend in gypsies & traditional style work, lots of reference to animals and nature. In paricular with gypsies I keep seeing them wearing animal heads:

tattoo by Paul Dobleman

by Paul Dobleman

tattoo by Stewart, Frith Street, London

tattoo by Stewart, Frith Street, London

Being autmumn, having all the color in the trees and the night sneaking in earlier and earlier, I felt like starting a painting full of these elements. Combined with the theme of a gypsy and pelt, I was inspired to start work on this:

Watercolor Effects

Watercolor Effects

Watercolor Effects Details

Watercolor Effects Details

I only had time to do the sky since I did several washes over it but I’m super impressed with the effect the salt gives. Really excited about giving this background an awesome subject! Once I stopped worrying about what to draw and just went with what I felt like, it was easy going.

It’s surprising how fast time goes when I have two art classes a week! I love it though, knowing that even if I don’t feel like doing anything during the week there will be two nights where I will end up having something to show for my efforts. Things are sure to be busy but I’ll try and line up a few more posts in the coming days.

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2 responses to “Progress 24-10-11

    • Yeah, failing is part of the learning process and I’m not afraid of it any more. In the new year I plan to do a lot more personal exploration with paintings, rather than just studying technique so we should see some interesting work come out of that. I already have a few ideas and have made a list.

      Thanks for reading!

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