Archive | Painting

Bootcamp

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been joining in an art making challenge called the Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp 2015.

It is run by Lilla Rogers, a prominent art licensing agent in the US, in conjunction with the various courses she runs.  I took it to help me get used to making art on different themes aimed at particular product markets, and I’ve been enjoying it tremendously, even though it is pushing me out of my comfort zone.  The way it works is that Lilla gives participants a mini  task on the first Monday of the month, which usually involves sketching or painting on a particular subject. Then the second Monday of the month we are given an assignment, with 2 weeks to complete it, based on the mini but for a specific market or product.  If you would like to see some of the artwork which has been produced so far – here is a page with a  link to the galleries.

In January the theme was Edwardian brooches, and the final assignment was to design a journal cover with that theme.  I started playing with handmade stamps first because I like the rough, abstract feel.   I used some of these in the background or for texture (and they also found their way into my train ticket art!).

stamped circles and flowers

My thought immediately turned towards interpreting it in the form of stamps

 

Then I started sketching and eventually I scanned in the sketches, vectorized them, printed them out and painted them in different colour schemes.  Here are the two designs I came up with in the end, mocked up as journals.

pink frog journal

I call this my frog journal though it has a lot more than frogs on it!

 

This is the one I eventually uploaded, I quite like the ‘scary creatures’ sort of take on it though maybe a darker background would suit them better!

This is a very different style of journal; I was thinking lace and delicate tracery

This is a very different style of journal; I was thinking lace and delicate tracery

 

I like the delicate lace designs on this one but I think the colours pop more in the first.

For February the mini task  was to paint or draw scenes inspired by imagery seen on vintage plates.  This is one of mine – as you can see I’m not very good at painting people!

A rough painting of a cottage in the style of vintage crockery

A rough painting of a cottage in the style of vintage crockery

 

The following week the assignment was to paint these scenes on circular pieces of wood!    I discovered that wood slices (with bark still attached) seem to be fashionable at the moment for wedding table settings so I bought a pack of 20 and have been busy painting scenes and pictures on them!  We only have to do one so it means I have plenty to spoil along the way!

lines of wood slices painted with gesso

Here they all are, painted with black, white and some clear gesso all ready for decorating!

 

I prepared the surface and then got going!  Here are a few of them in progress – I eventually uploaded the two boat scenes to the gallery.

painting on wood slices

I went a bit wild – well, I did have 20 to practise on! Here are some of the results…

 

I really enjoyed February’s challenge – I liked the broad nature of the theme and, as you will see if you look at the gallery, people interpreted it in very different ways and styles.   It reminds me a bit of the sort of designs I used to make in fabric with my Rainy Streets series of postcards and my print gocco notebooks.

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Recent Work Process

It is May and the wisteria is out in glorious bloom on the front of our house so I’ve been busy painting it!  I love the way it sways in the breeze, almost like waves on the sea.

I did the purple blooms first and here is my paint palette while I’m adding the green stems and buds in between.

The Artist’s Guide to Perspective – book review

Here is my second book review.  The book is called The Artist’s Guide to Perspective by Janet Shearer.  It is a large paperback with lots of photographs and diagrams, and step by step instructions like the felting book.

Artist's guide to perspective book

The chapter headings give an idea of what the book covers:

How perspective works

The picture plane

Vanishing points

Questions and answers

Aerial perspective

Foreshortening in figurative drawing

More advanced perspective

There are lots of exercises involving holding a pencil in front of you while looking at the horizon  and I can see that it would be useful for quilters who wanted to make realistic images of landscapes or street scenes.  The author does include lots of photographs and examples of what she is talking about.   However, I think it would take a lot to make me go and stand like a lemon in the middle of a country road with a number of large cardboard boxes as she suggests!  Although, to be fair, she does suggest an alternative exercise indoors..

vanishing point

I would imagine that this book would be useful to go through if you wanted to get a clear understanding of how perspective works (in order to break the rules, maybe?) but I must admit I prefer the approach of Betty Edwards in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.  The author is a teacher and I found her style a bit patronizing at times, such as when she tells you to stand up straight and not slouch because it’s good for your health as well as good for the drawing!!   Having said that, it does seem to be very systematic and clearly explained and maybe if I actually went through the exercises rather than just reading through them I would change my mind.  She does have an interesting section on painting the sea and sky and mixing colours.  Maybe this is why I didn’t get on so well with the book – I am a colour and texture person rather than someone who likes shapes and mathematical exercises and I’d much rather eyeball things than be scientific!

painting the sea

A reminder: The  books I’m reviewing are called Self Sufficiency: Hen Keeping/ by Mike Hatcher (£7.99), The Felted Bag Book by Susie Johns (£14.99) and The Artist’s Guide to Perspective by Janet Shearer (£8.99) and New Holland Publishers are offering 20% discount plus free P&P if you buy them through their website – put the code Spiral at checkout (this lasts till 31st March 2011, UK customers only).

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