Flowers, Sneakers and Candy

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of really nice, soft colors in fashion that are very attractive without being flat and boring.

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

The colors in this photo-shoot are very soft and warm, like a summer morning. The deep rich colors of the plants and tree trunks in the background keep the bright floral colors of these outfits grounded. I really like the subject matter here, especially the pink blossoms. The models seem to give off a natural sort of beauty, with minimal makeup and subtle accessories. This trend is something I’ve been trying to incorporate in my own makeup routine by leaving out the eyeliner and taking it easy on the bold looks. I feel much better in the warm weather with less makeup on, and besides, I’d rather be outside in the sun than inside, slaving over eyeliner that will likely smear off in the heat.

"schlachthofbronx" (via Print & Pattern)

“schlachthofbronx” (via Print & Pattern)

"schlachthofbronx" (via Print & Pattern)

“schlachthofbronx” (via Print & Pattern)

Here we have a cotton candy-colored palette accented with bold hair styles and sullen models. I’m not sure if I dig that contrast or not, to be honest. It lessens the carefree nature of the look, which otherwise, I like. The platform sneakers are very appreciated, since I can use all the extra height I can find (5″1), and heels aren’t always the most comfortable alternative. The leather jacket with the frilly dress is a really fun mix of edgy and cute. The cut of the dress in the second image is very flattering as well, following the peplum trend of this season. I’m not sure if the puffy shoulders and gold sneakers really go together, but I could totally see myself wearing them separately.

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012 campaign (via Elle Decoration)

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012 campaign (via Elle Decoration)

I’m loving these candy bubblegum colors! They really show that colors found on younger clothes can work in more mature, sexy outfits. I may be drawn to these colors since they go nicely on a variety of skin-tones, even someone with really fair skin (which is my situation). Looking more closely at the white floral fabric on the dresses in the second half of the image above, I could swear it was almost the exact same fabric from another shoot in Tokyo which I covered in an earlier post. Looks like this may be a trend!

It seems that pattern has a huge role to play in keeping soft colors interesting. I would gravitate towards something with an intricate pattern on it (embroidery, layering, etc), even if it’s in a softer pale color, instead of a bold colored plain article of clothing. Softer colors also have the benefit of working together much more easily than brighter, bolder colors, so choosing outfits can happen more quickly and effortlessly.

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COPIC sunset and Time-Lapse Watercolors

This week I decided to tackle the sky in my Guidance Owl illustration. I knew I wanted a sunset/dusk type sky with lots of intense color. Lighting in this piece is key; I’ve kept it in mind when coloring every single part of it, wanting the sun to touch everything. After studying some pictures of sunsets all over the world, in cloudy skies and skies devoid of even stars, I picked some colors and jumped right in (with the help of Mogwai’s new album, which turned out to be amazing coloring music).

Guidance Owl -in progress-

Guidance Owl -in progress-

Guidance Owl close-up of Sky

Guidance Owl close-up of Sky

The feeling of taking a risk and coming out on the other side with something I’m happy with, that feeling is one of the things I live for in art. Though the cloud shapes are kind of funky, they’re vibrant and flowing and moody. I’m ~very~ happy with them… so much so that for the first time, I’m considering studying some landscapes using my markers to get a better feel for environments like this.

One of my colleagues who became a good friend of mine over the past few years is leaving work. For a gift to her, I got a print done of my cherry blossom drawing from last year. Here are the two compared.

Cherry Blossom Landscape original and print

Cherry Blossom Landscape original and print

The print is slightly more saturated and dark compared to the original but I feel that enhances it a bit. She seemed pleased by it, so I’m happy too.

To round off this Friday afternoon post, here are some time-lapse art videos that I enjoyed.  The first and second videos belong to Amanda Mocci, who combines the fine detail work of illustration and pencil with bold bright colors achieved through use of gouache. She’s recording several time-lapse videos of her artwork, shown below. Watching other artists is such a great learning experience. With Amanda, it looks like she keeps a blank piece of paper under her hand, when using pencil, so that she doesn’t smug the work all to pieces. With the amount of pencil and detail she uses this makes sense and is something I’ll definitely be trying out for myself.

DARK WINGS – A portrait by Amanda Mocci from Amanda Mocci on Vimeo.

REVIVAL – A Process Film By Amanda Mocci from Amanda Mocci on Vimeo.

Gabrielle Rose combines ink-based illustration with water-colors. She seems to have the wet-on-wet technique of painting down pat, to a point where she can control exactly where the paint will travel when she tilts the page. It’s beautiful and fascinating to watch. She’s able to blend contrasting colors masterfully.

Leaky Eyes Time Lapse from draw Gabby draw! on Vimeo.

Cherry Blossom Waterfall & Owl of Life

Things came together for me pretty quickly once I put a list together and got going! Friday night I sketched out some cherry blossoms on a separate piece of paper and tried to figure out what shape I wanted them to take on the painting. Saturday afternoon, I began painting them on using transparent layers and, after working through Sunday afternoon as well, I finished it off last night. Originally I had wanted to have an “echo” effect with the flowers and tried stamping them on and sanding them down. Neither of those techniques turned out so I just went ahead and painted with thin, transparent colors. I was going to keep it one color but quickly changed my mind once I saw what they looked like in pink against the background.

Cherry Blossom Waterfall
Cherry Blossom Waterfall by ~soulexposed on deviantART

I’m very happy with the way this turned out, seeing as a week ago I had no idea what to do with it. By stepping outside the original idea I had for this painting I was able to figure out how to finish it off. It’s going in our bedroom, right above the bed where the light from the window will hit it.

On Thursday night I asked Tim for advice on what to do with the life owl drawing, and he gave me some suggestions that allowed me to finally finish it off as well.

Owl of Life
Owl of Life by ~soulexposed on deviantART

I ended up shading the fruit and books a little bit more so they stood out from the owl. This pushes the owl to the back a bit but I don’t mind, since he’s so colorful already anyway that it would be hard to hide him. One down, two to go!

Getting out of the slump…

I’ve been a bit slack on the posting over the last little while, which is not a great way to start off 2012! Artistically I’ve been feeling a bit stale as well, with no classes in sight and no solid goals to work towards. I’ve decided that this just won’t do.

The last time I was stuck on a painting and wanted to finish it, I made a list of all the things left to do to get it into a “finished” state. After completing the list, not only did the painting look great, but I felt accomplished. The piece in question is the textbook still life I did a while ago for Tim. It made sense to get a list going of steps left to complete since there were so many details in the painting itself that it was easy to get lost. I used this strategy on my abstract self-portrait and it worked just as well.

When coming up with a to do list of what I’m currently engrossed in, I decided that my Life Owl drawing is not finished. After consulting with Tim (he has a completely different and refreshing perspective on things), we decided parts of it need more shading so that the work as a whole is more dynamic. The other piece that’s been on my mind for awhile has been the abstract. You can tell that I’m feeling weird about it since it doesn’t even have a proper name yet. I haven’t been able to make up my mind about where to take it next and I think that’s because I’ve been going about it the wrong way.

I’ve been looking at it in terms of what’s already there and how to make pieces come forward and push others back. While looking through my pinterest boards for abstract art inspiration, I came across a bunch of wallpaper patterns that have been attracting my attention and then it came to me: what I currently have looks like a background, so why don’t I add some kind of pattern to the foreground? I’m going to add a pattern of cherry blossoms on top of it, some transparent and some opaque. I’m armed with a list and ready to paint, so let’s hope I can finally cover some ground on this!

So this isn’t a picture-free post, here’s what I’m looking at for inspiration on the abstract:

Paintings based on double exposures, by Pakayla Biehn.

Paintings based on double exposures, by Pakayla Biehn. (via Booooooom.com)

marilyn-monroe by fab ciraol

marilyn-monroe by fab ciraol

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms (via ArtBooksTea)

Finished Chuck Close Study

Yesterday afternoon I finally decided to finish off the Chuck Close study, because I have a million ideas for new paintings flying around in my head and I want to dedicate some time to them without feeling guilty. Here it is:

Self Portrait, Chuck Close Style by Jess Naish Lingley

Self Portrait, Chuck Close Style by Jess Naish Lingley

I wanted to have a clear contrast in this painting; one side is painted in bright colors and the other is painted in neutral and flat tones, to represent the two conflicting sides of me. This project allowed me to examine color theory. For example, what colors really make up skin tone? Peaches and pinks, browns and oranges? It’s so much more than that! In hindsight, I wished I’d painted a flat color over the masonite to start, as a base coat, because I spent a lot of time trying to cover up little white spots with random colors of paint. On top of this, I wanted the acrylics to be nice and smooth and using any kind of gloss/glaze medium with them tends to thin them down quite a lot, requiring several coats of color to ensure they were opaque. This was a fun painting and what I learned about color theory, from the abstract course last summer, will stick with me from here on out.

I also finished inking owl #2 on Saturday afternoon:

Guidance Owl Inks by Jess Naish Lingley

Guidance Owl Inks by Jess Naish Lingley

I added a lot more detail in the inking process here than I’m normally comfortable with. It’s always better to have a plan of what you’re doing, before you start in with permanent mediums lest you get overzealous and make a mistake that’s difficult to fix. I’m starting to get excited about adding color to these, but I have one more drawing w/linework to go first! Then I’ll be testing COPIC swatches out on the sketches.

I finally have a picture of Assess Your Personality in its frame, though it’s only with my cell phone cam at the moment.

Assess Your Personality by Jess Naish Lingley

Assess Your Personality by Jess Naish Lingley

I’m proud of this and so glad it’s done. So much work! Looks pretty kickin’ in a frame though. 🙂

Next on my project list is an abstract painting for our bedroom. I’m not sure what style to paint in yet but I do know that I’m using a color palette inspired by cherry blossoms: pale pinks, blues, browns. I’ve been doing a lot of detail-oriented work lately so I’m excited for the change of pace! I’d like to set up a specific playlist to paint to as well, instead of listening to whatever is on the radio.

Happy Monday everyone and keep warm!

Inspiration 16-01-12

Happy Monday everyone! It was really chilly over the weekend so I stayed inside and got into some art but I don’t have any photos to show off just yet. In the mean time, here are some illustrations I’ve been drooling over recently.

"La Marelle" piece by Elodie

"La Marelle" piece by Elodie

Elodie’s pieces are colorful and traditional. She plays with different methods of shading (hatching versus pointilism) and patterns. Detail-oriented with interesting color choices, her work is captivating. The background of this piece with gradients from red to yellow really bring out the blue of the girl’s dress. Loving the detail on the skirt and jewellery.

Nothing Matters, We Are The Sweetest Mistakes by Fumi Mini Nakamura

Nothing Matters, We Are The Sweetest Mistakes by Fumi Mini Nakamura

Nakamura’s work is along the same vain as Elodie’s while being very different. This piece in particular caught my eye because there is so much to take in and try to understand. It’s composition is tattoo-like in nature and would be too cluttered if it weren’t for the carefully placed negative spaces. I think for work like this, a lot of planning is required to make it come together successfully.

Candy Elk Dreamer by Gerrel Saunders

Candy Elk Dreamer by Gerrel Saunders

The vibrant trippy colors grabbed me immediately with this piece. I love the mix of macabre and candy. The clean and crispy look of digital work (whether in Photoshop or Illustrator) is very appealing. I particularly love the way the feathers are laid out here.

Pure Morning by carissa rose

Pure Morning by carissa rose

I was turned onto this artist from a local shop downtown, Pretty Little Freak Boutique, who sell her prints! I love tattoo-style drawings of people with tattoos… does that make me weird? Her watercolor and ink combination is lovely and the blanket is especially beautifully colored. I love the detail in the patterns, backgrounds and environments that she puts into her work. I should really look into getting a print to hang in my studio.

Until next time, stay warm!

Better Quality Photos of Tables and Mask

Though I had a wonderful weekend with friends and family, it left little time for art, so I will keep this Monday post short and sweet with some better photos of what I’ve been putting most of my time into recently. Enjoy!

Male Foo Dog by Jess Lingley

Male Foo Dog by Jess Lingley

Male Foo Dog (Details) by Jess Lingley

Male Foo Dog (Details) by Jess Lingley

Female Foo Dog by Jess Lingley

Female Foo Dog by Jess Lingley

Porcelain Mask by Jess Lingley

Porcelain Mask by Jess Lingley

detail image of Porcelain Mask by Jess Lingley

detail image of Porcelain Mask by Jess Lingley

I’ve been putting a thin coat of acrylic varnish on the tables for the past few nights. There’s no smell so I can use it inside; it seems to be working well! I’d highly recommend it for similar projects and will absolutely use it again, though not on canvas since I don’t think it’s flexible.

I plan to start a new project in my watercolors class tomorrow night, so look for some progress on that later this week!