Friday, November 28, 2008

First Cat Painting: Poddy-Pot-Pot (WIP#1)

I forgot to take a picture of the sketch of this after the last night of class, so this is two nights of work at class. I'm really happy with the way this is working.

The cat belongs to my neighbour who works for the Animal Welfare League. Poddy has only three legs, as do several other cats she owns. He is a beautiful animal. I get to go over and visit anytime I want and have a cat curl up on my lap (our 19 year old pussycat died a year or so ago and is sorely missed).

I sketched this in and then started on the eyes. I find with portraits I do the same thing. I scumbled on the midtones and then started adding the darks and then some lights. Still a lot more colour to add to this handsome ginger cat.



I think I am going to enjoy painting cats!

Still Life the colourful way - #3

So , here are my stages of painting a round object as part of the online class from Wet Canvas.

First up, as I don't have a studio, this is how I set up to work with pastels - on the dining table in amongst Katie's toys and our paraphernalia of life.


Stage 1:


Stage 2:


Stage3:


Have to do stage 4 yet to finalise this but thought I'd get these posted.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still Life the colourful way - #2

So, the next stage of this online class was to draw two objects together following the four stage process of the class. Here are my four stages.









I'm really enjoying this class. The next part is to draw a round object following the same four-stages. And it is to be a set-up of our own. I haven't done studies like this before - it's a really interesting process. I have taken a photo of an orange on a tablecloth - I would love to do this from life rather than a photo but I just haven't the space to leave it set up. And there are two little hands that would love to get hold of my pastels at any time!

I would love to have a space in the house where I can leave my pastels set up all the time so I can just paint whenever I feel like it. At present, I have to use the dining table, which I can't leave covered in pastels, especially as Katie loves to use them too. So that will have to be on the top of my list of goals - a permanent work space!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nieces - so close to finished...

The bits and pieces to touch up and finalise are not many now, thank goodness. I'm going to finish this in my own time and begin on something new next week in class.



There is something just not right with my younger niece's face - I just can't put my finger on it... something to ponder anyway.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nieces - WIP#7


I sprayed some fixative on the portrait, and wish I'd done so last week. It made working on the painting so much easier. It took more pastel really well and has improved the look of the girls faces. But still more work! I find that by the time I set up at class I end up with only 1.5 hours to work each week. It makes painting seem to take such a long time!

Oh, and I changed the smaller girl's mouth but will change it back to less smile I think. But this is not too far from finished now.

Still Life the colourful way

I am doing an online class over at Wet Canvas in the Soft Pastel section, called Still Life - the Colourful Way. The class is being run by Charlie who does some amazing pastel paintings and uses some colour choices that I would never have thought to work, but they do, and so well!

Charlie stated up front - "Focusing on exploring colour – how it behaves, and how you shape forms and space and distance with it – is a fun way of approaching still-lifes."

So far, it has helped me a lot with identifying warm and cool colours and has made me realise how much work I need to do on the values in painting - getting the darks and lights right.

Following are the my versions of the first image we are painting as part of the class.

Charlie first asked us to draw a sketch of the image she supplied of a block on some cloths. Here is the image she supplied:


And here is my original sketch (not very good shadows! Need to work on that!)


This was the final stage of the process after following Charlie's guidelines:

This still isn't perfect but there is a great improvement on the values and colours in this second painting.

We will move onto another painting now using the same process but refining it along the way. Using such bold colours is something I haven't done before but it should be interesting to see how much of this process I will absorb and use in future paintings.

It's great to be learning something new, and as I can't get to an external class, doing something online is the next best thing.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Photoless creativity

I've had a busy couple of days. Yesterday, after K.'s Mini-Muscles class, K. and I had our first swim of the season at our local pool (38C until a southerly hit later in the day). And then in the afternoon I had to do some cooking to get ready for a birthday picnic today.

As K. has egg allergy, whenever we go to a party I have to prepare ahead to make sure she has some party food to eat. So I cooked egg-free chocolate chip biscuits and an egg-free cake... well, two cakes, not by choice.

Egg-free cakes are a little more crumbly than normal. So the first cake rose a little higher than normal (I whisked a little more than I should have) and when I tipped it out onto the cooling rack, it split three ways. Back to the drawing board! The second cake cooked beautifully, but I was talking on the phone as I greased the pan and forgot to flour it as well. So while the top of the cake looked great, the bottom half stuck in the pan. Crumble and all, I iced it and decorated it, and K. loved it! And Peter and I are quite happy to snack on the three-piece chocolate cake!

Before the picnic today, we went to the Spring fete held at the hostel where my mother-in-law lives. On Thursday night I got a call from m-in-law to ask if I could make her a hat for the Melbourne Cup lunch on Tuesday. This would mean I had to get it made by Saturday morning. I had no inspiration at all until 6.30 this morning, when I woke up and jumped straight out of bed (something I never voluntarily do!) and made her a hat, of sorts. A strip of cardboard to go round her head, six photos of racehorses cut out and placed around the cardboard, looking like they are racing each other, with the words 'and they're off...' stuck at the front. Didn't even get time to take a photo of my handy work as we had to rush to get ready to head out by 9am. Thank goodness for the Google and photo printers at home!

Creative achievements:
2 cakes
1 batch of biscuits
1 Melbourne Cup hat
Some great photos of the picnic

and a very happy m-in-law and daughter!

Actually I have one photo to share from the picnic

The birds were very cheeky. This one stuck its beak under the glad-wrap over a plate of fairy bread to take a nibble and then proceeded to munch on the left-overs on a plate, with people sitting right next to it.

Oh... and the painting of the elephant was very well received by the birthday girl. It is getting pride of place on her wall, which is really nice.