Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cute Cats!

Today is the first really rainy day we've had for a while. When I took K. to school this morning I put the cats outside on the front verandah. When I got back home after running some errands for an hour or two, all three cats were waiting for me...

They are so cute. Honey, the mum, gets her own chair, of course, so the two kittens (well cats really as they are a year old now) who are enormous compared to her, have to share the other.

We have been really blessed with our stray cat family. I still wonder how the 4 other kittens are going but at least I know they got homes. They can be little ratbags sometimes but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Abandoned - WIP#7 (Old Car Pastel Painting)

The saga of the never ending car painting continues...

The devil is in the details is so true, and this painting has lots of small details requiring straight lines and lovely curving ellipticals... why did I ever start this!? No, actually, I am enjoying painting this and will continue in my 2 hour increments to get it done.

I am probably going to get in trouble from a good friend as I had to make some changes to the bonnet - and she loved the bonnet as it was - it is still not done. I have started work on the headlights - I need to get them looking like rounded objects instead of slightly squished round objects. I put some shadows on the framework at the rear of the vehicle.

And I think I spent a bit too much time on the cup of tea and a chat before I started work to get as much done as I'd have liked this time. :)

School holidays start at the end of this week, so I am not sure how much more work I'll get on this during that time. I haven't really got anywhere I can set up and paint at home, but I'll see what happens.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Watercolour Class #2

The second class was just like the first really - more practice mixing colour and water and colour and water...

More gum tree trunks too...

But that's okay. It is quite relaxing playing with the colour, mixing a bit of this and that to get just the right colour.

They look a little bit tree like, which is a good thing. I wonder when I move onto something else?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Watercolour Class #1

Last Tuesday night I did my first watercolour class. My only experience with painting has been with pastels, a dry medium, so it is going to be fun to learn something different.

We started with creating some colour charts to get a feel for mixing colour and for applying the wash to paper.

That took a while as I have never mixed paint before, and learning about mixing the water - just the right amount of water to get the wash I wanted - was certainly different.

After completing those three charts, it was onto painting a gum tree, following the guidelines that the tutor gave me.

As I haven't handled a paint brush before other than a massive bristle brush with poster paint with my daughter, it was necessary to be shown how to handle the brush to get the effects necessary to make this look like a tree.

There is certainly going to be an intense learning curve with watercolour for me. I can draw, so that is a blessing, but learning the ins and outs of watercolours is going to be complex but I think interesting.

I'm off to class again now, so I'll post the results (unless I'm too embarrassed by them...lol) as soon as I get the chance to take a pic.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Abandoned - WIP#6 (Old Car Pastel Painting)

I stood the photo I'm working from next to the painting today and stood well back - and I'm finally happy that everything is in the right place. It has taken me a bit longer to get here than normal, but I think all the straight lines make a big difference. I had to get them right for the car to look right. And when you are starting with a banged up, crooked old thing, that's is what I have to end up with.

It is now time to lay down some more colour and finish the background.

Each of my WIP photos is usually taken after 2 hours of working. This one has had some interrupted sessions so I think I'm at about 10 hours on this so far. I can't believe how much drawing this one entailed. So there will hopefully be some big changes in the next photo I take of this painting, rather than the small increments it has seemed to me so far.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Abandoned - WIP#5 (Old Car Pastel Painting)

Some more tinkering on the old car yesterday - and I think I have the radiator right. But there is still a twist in the chassis. I've had a suggestion from Bruce (thanks!) which I will look at on Monday when I return to work on this.

I shifted the right hand (in our view) headlight down and forward a bit, which has made quite a difference. The shape of the other headlight is not quite right yet, but almost there. 

I've had some positive feedback on the bonnet - now to get the rest of it up to par!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Abandoned - WIP#4 (Old Car Pastel Painting)

I didn't get a full morning to work on this today as K. lost her hat over the weekend and we didn't realise it until this morning. I didn't know that you automatically get a black hole where things absolutely and completely  disappear into once your child starts school. I wonder what will disappear next?

But I did get a bit more done, including going some way towards correcting the twist that was happening at the front of the car. Hopefully I'll get that finished on Wednesday morning. (Tomorrow night at class I'm venturing into the world of watercolour - wish me luck!)

(Please excuse the quality of the photograph - taken inside.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Castle Hill Show 2010 - Pastel Award

I was thrilled tonight to go to the opening of the Castle Hill Show to receive the 1st prize in Pastels for my painting 'Canoes on the Lake'

Some people who attended made some really lovely comments to me about the painting. K. came with me as well as my mum and a friend (Peter was away for work) and she behaved really well considering it was not any fun for a 5yo. I don't think she was very excited for mum - she was more interested in the pretzels.

(If you are looking for the WIPs of this painting on my blog, I originally called it Boats on Lake Phewa as I hadn't really thought of a title for it then)

I'll have to go back to the show on Sunday afternoon to collect any paintings that don't sell. It would be nice if the 3 entered paintings sold, but I'll have to wait and see.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Abandoned - WIP#3 (Old Car Pastel Painting)


Filled in quite a bit of the background today and that is looking pretty good - still some tidying up to do and a bit more to add in the windscreen area of the car.

Still need to fix the twisted radiator - I'll need to sit down and have a good look at my reference and work out why it is looking so curved and not sitting quite right. (Didn't feel like doing that today - wanted to get some more colour on the paper). Maybe getting the tones right on the headlamps will make a difference too. It's amazing how just using the right colours/tones can make something sit right in a painting - that it is not the shape of a subject but the colours you place on them that make them three dimensional.

I'm enjoying painting this old car, even if the measuring was a chore. And I'm not going to let that radiator beat me!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Abandoned - WIP#1&2 (Old Car Pastel Painting)

I finished the border collie pup painting a week ago - but forgot to take a final photo as I had to rush to get it framed in time to enter it into a show. I'll have to take a photo in the frame and will post it once I have.

So I have moved on to something new. An old school friend took a trip to the US, travelling around on a Harley, and he took a lot of film/photos, which he shared on Facebook. He has very generously let me use a pic he took of a broken down old car as a photo reference - thanks Richard! I wanted a change from animals, so this was perfect.

This was the first stage of the painting - sketching it in. There was a lot of measuring to get it to look somewhat like the original. This is 16" x 12" on Art Spectrum Colourfix in a very rusty colour - perfect for the old bomb!
I started blocking in some colour today. I think the radiator needs a little widening yet, but small details like that will be changed as I work more colour in.

It's funny, but I had to get the headlights in - just like the eyes of an animal, I had to do them first. Of course, at the moment they are just ellipses of one to two colours, but they are what will draw the eye in once finished I think. Anyway, I'll see what happens as I add more layers of colour. It's early days yet.

I think this is going to be a lot of fun, and a challenge, to paint.