Thursday, January 30, 2014

Shelley in watercolour and wax crayon

With a couple more pastels still to photograph,  I decided to end this month with a change of media. This is drawn with a fairly sharp black wax crayon from a 10-minute pose. Then I made a note of shadows and added the watercolour wash afterwards. I did the drawing on watercolour paper, planning to add the paint. I may check my paper supply - I'm on a binge of using up what is already in drawers- and do a few more wax crayon drawings on Life Drawing nights. I'm finding that drawing with coloured pencils- black and white- on grey paper only works at all if there is a 20-minute pose. Shorter than that, and I can't get enough down. I'm sort of hoarding the grey paper sketchbook and don't want to waste it if I can't use it to reasonable advantage. So, maybe I will switch media around from conte' for one and two-minute poses to something else for 5 minutes to wax crayon and penicl crayon. Could be fun.

Monday, January 27, 2014

More Shelley, more pastel

This is one  of Shelley done another day. I love the black stockings!  They make a nice  balance with the dark hair and the band on the mittens. I made the background behind the profile darker so that the profile would stand out.
The colour of the pastel paper worked well with the skin tones. Sometimes I like a skin-related colour like this one and sometimes a dark paper can work well. however, for the dark paper, it is often necessary to work some skin tones well into the paper first, then build up the layers of pastel. I quite enjoy working with pastels although I do not have the huge assortment of colours that a lot of pastel artists have. Too many could be too heavy to carry around- but I also think that it is possible to build layers and have a rich colour without having a very large amount of choice. I even wonder, sometimes, if being a little more limited doesn't make for more creative choices... sort of like painting acrylics with a limited palette which can result in unity as well as creative colour. Wednesday is "long pose" at Life Drawing (every second month) so I'll be taking my pastels and a choice of paper. Decision on paper colour will depend on the costume and set-up colours as well as the position I get. Position can determine the composition. The challenge is to make the most of where one sits or stands.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back to pastels

This is from two weeks ago at Adrienne's with Shelley modelling. We have another session scheduled for tomorrow. I have a few pan pastels now. They are super-soft and applied with sponges. Make-up sponges work just fine. I find them very useful for a type of "underpainting". They fill the paper a bit and then other pastels can be worked over them - such as bringing in colour in the shadows. At Wednesday night Life Drawing, I was working in a new grey-toned sketchbook for the longer poses and drawing with black and white pencil crayons. I've also worked on a couple of acrylic paintings so I'm all over the board with various media- but that is part of the fun.

I think I'm getting the hang of Pinterest  - and just posted a new board with cat paintings and photos. However, I need to keep the art tools in action and not spend too much time at the keyboard.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Angelic Matreshkas

I'm starting the New Year with the "Peasant Angels " Matreshkas. The inside nesting dolls have wings painted on their backs but I made paper mache' wings for the outside doll. This is part of a plan for the new year of having a set of dolls in the kitchen window for a month at a time - except I won't do it in hot weather in case they react to being cooked in the sun.The peasant angels are my own design. I painted these in 1995 on "blanks" that I purchased. I still have a few more blanks. I haven't done any in a long time but I've  just started a new set- part of my plan to play in art.  After having Mrs. Santa Claus out for a Christmas decoration, I thought it would be fun to give the other hand-painted sets a turn. I had forgotten all the details of them so I'm seeing them anew. I would not have remembered when I painted them if I hadn't labeled them.

Some artists I know are making resolutions to paint a picture a day for 100 days but I'm not making resolutions for art or for otherwise.  I'm going to follow the suggestion of Rick Hanson of simply planning to nurture what makes me feel good. For me, that mostly means finding time for art but I'll do it in various ways, not a rigid plan. The nesting dolls should help in suggesting a relaxed and playful approach.  Another thing is to just let it go if it doesn't work out - one recent painting has turned out to be a write-off - or a paint-over in this case. It wasn't a  total disaster as there were more things I learned. Every painting is a learning experience after all. This one just didn't say what I wanted it to say - but then I had started another one (even while attempting to "fix" the unfixable) that is going in the direction that I want to head--- freer and yet more complicated too. I'm going to continue to work in different media too. I enjoy working in pastels for long poses in Life Drawing. I found myself thinking it might be fun to try pastels for plein-air work too - so I may try some when the weather gets right for outdoor art work.