Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ceramics - Ritual Vessel - WIP#1

Today we started work on our second project in Ceramics. We are making a ritual vessel inspired by Ancient Chinese bronzes c400BC. I found the pot I am using for inspiration at the Chinese Warriors exhibition that we attended a month ago and we spent last ceramics lesson formulating design and decoration based around ritual in our lives.

We are building the pot using coils (we are using paper clay), which is fun and I built to about 15cm here. The whole pot will be about 40cm high. And then I have to decorate it in a similar style to the way the Chinese decorated their pots at that time using the symbols or decoration that I was inspired to create/design for this project. I'm looking forward to getting back to class next week to work on this.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Landscape Painting (Acrylic - Limited palette) - finished

We spent about an hour of last Painting lesson finishing off our limited palette acrylic landscape. It is not really finished but the teacher wanted us to stop so we could move onto the full range of colours and create a colour wheel.

So instead of fiddling with detail and 'getting it right' this is the finished painting.

Because it was a limited palette, the colours aren't quite right but it was a great experience in getting the tone of the painting right. If I was going to finish the painting, there is still quite a bit of work to do, but I'm okay with stopping it here and moving on. Considering this is only the second acrylic painting I've ever done, I'm happy with it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lino Cut - Self Portrait

We started working on a lino cut print last week in Printmaking. I haven't worked with lino before, so it was a new experience.

I started with an ink self portrait that I completed in Drawing class. I took a photocopy and then, using an orange based transfer medium, transferred the photocopy onto the lino, so I didn't have to draw the whole picture from scratch. That certainly made starting the work easier.

This is the ink self portrait I decided to work from. It is black ink with some blue and red allowed to run down the face.

It took me most of last Printmaking class to cut the lino. I didn't get to make a test print until today.

After a few minor tweaks to the design, I have now printed 5 editions of the print ready to submit for assessment.

This was taken whilst the ink was still wet so there is some reflection from the room lights. I'll take another pic once the work is dry, but you can get the idea of how the print looks from this.

I really prefer the print to the original drawing, so that is good!

We have another two weeks to work on this lino cut, so as I have finished this, I will create another lino cut and make another edition of 5.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ceramics - Bisque fired Face

The self-portrait is complete - fired, mounted and entered into the 'Me, Myself & I' student exhibition at TAFE. I forgot to take a photo before entering it, so will have to post a picture after the exhibition.

The other face I made, which was the test to learn the techniques, is complete. I have to keep it to submit for assessment at the end of the year, so need to find a safe place to store it. (The beauty spot was a happy accident - dropped some paint, and decided to leave it)

Drawing - Still life

Today in Drawing we continued working with graphite, but with ellipses this time instead of boxes.

We had to use cross-hatching to complete the shading, instead of one-directional shading, which we used for the boxes. I finished three of the bottles and still have to complete the other three. Also need to add more detail in the fabric background.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Perspective - Drawing with Graphite

In drawing today we were covering perspective. I was happy with the outcome.

A2 size, 6B-9B pencils and graphite stick. 

The tutor was happy with it too, which was good.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Success at the Blacktown Show 2011

We dropped into the Blacktown Show tonight, so K. could see if she won an award for her artwork (and if I did too) and to see the fireworks.

Unfortunately K. didn't win a prize - maybe next year - but I did.

I'm glad 'Bree' won the Birds & Animals section. Whilst she's not my favourite type of dog, she turned out beautifully in pastels.

I certainly wasn't expecting to win anything in the Pottery section. I just entered the very first piece of pottery I made in the Pottery - under 1 year experience section. I was up against some really beautiful work, so I was very surprised to win this. But it is very encouraging! My husband came up with the title for this piece - 'The Perfect Man'. That may have helped seal the deal!

Landscape Painting

Today in painting class we started using a limited colour palette - yellow oxide, burnt sienna, burnt umber and ultramarine blue.

After mixing some of the colours to find out what they can do, we started sketching out our landscape.

I took several photos along to class, unsure which one would be best. Our teacher chose one that wouldn't have been my first choice, but it was interesting to learn why he would choose that one over others.

After sketching, we added a thin wash of acrylic mixed with water to start blocking in the colours in an underpainting.

I managed to cover the canvas in the class, but I can already see where the next layer of paint needs to go. Can't wait until next week to get to work on this.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


As there is a student exhibition coming up with the theme of 'Identity' we are working on self portraits in almost every subject. Today we worked on self portraits in Ceramics and Drawing.

For ceramics we worked on a flat piece of clay, building it up to create a realistic looking self portrait.

Looks a bit like a death mask if you ask me - and I wasn't able to put my glasses on ( a bit hard to do that at this stage) so it looks a bit like me but it doesn't!

In Drawing, it was ink self portraits. I did them but I can't say they were my favourite thing to do. We have to have 8 of them ready for end of semester, so I'll have to do some more at home.

I really like the last one (bottom row, right), but the effect doesn't really show up via the camera. Some of the ones done by others in the class were really effective.

Off on an excursion tomorrow to view some aboriginal art, which should be really interesting.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Garden surprise

Today my step mother turned up with a surprise for me...

... some beautiful hydrangeas to plant in my garden.

We have been talking about what to plant in the front of our house for quite a while. I am not the best gardener - I like spring bulbs because you plant them and forget them - but I do love hydrangeas. My grandmother's neighbour had two of the most beautiful bushes of them in her front garden. I used to visit there every weekend and loved to see the flowers in bloom. My front garden faces south, so it is hard to choose what to put in the small garden beds near the house. I decided, with some help, that I would like to plant hydrangeas... one day!

But today, my step mother brought these two white hydrangeas for me and we planted them!!! woo hoo!!! Apparently the flowers will go pink/purple as they age. Can't wait to see if they do. Now I just have to keep them alive!! And fix the other garden bed that is clay - the thickest hardest to dig clay there is. I want to fix that bed so I can plant another couple of hydrangeas!

Budding artist

My daughter decided to get creative this morning, on her own, without help from mum, very rare indeed! She is left-handed and she feels quite negative sometimes about her own abilities - which she doesn't need to feel - especially her writing and drawing. I was thrilled to see her creating and just having a go without thinking about it so much.

She is into Garfield right now, reading the comics all the time. It is the book of choice to take to school.

So she decided to make her own Garfield...

She told her teacher she wants to be an artist like mum... and she has told me that I don't need to go to art school because my paintings are perfect the way they are. My daughter knows how to make me feel good (and she also knows which buttons to press when she doesn't want to have to go to before and after care at school - she wants me to stay at home and be there just for her! lol)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Tonal Painting - finished

Today we completed the tonal painting. It was a good experience working with the black and white paint to create this painting.

I like the way the acrylic paint mixed with water went onto the canvas. I was able to leave some of that underpainting in the shadows and the background which I'm happy about.

It is not perfect - there are many things I could still change or add to, but I had to stop somewhere. It is going to be interesting to apply this to the limited colour palette we are going to work on next.

So, I have completed my first acrylic painting - putting paint onto canvas wasn't so scary after all .

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I Love Wednesdays - Drawing & Ceramics class

I have had the best day at school today! With both Ceramics and Drawing on the same day, it is full on but a lot of fun.

First up in Ceramics, we found out we are doing a self-portrait (surprise, surprise, considering we have to do one in almost every subject). Next week we have to take in a photo to work from or a mirror and create a flat portrait onto which we add clay to build it up. We bought some paper clay today and had a practice. This is my result - not a self portrait at this stage, just a chance to try out the techniques.

I love the way you can exaggerate the features and just play and get your hands dirty. Can't wait for next week now as it will be a challenge to actually try and make it look like a real face rather than one out of my head.

In Drawing today, we worked on ink landscapes. We used an A2 sheet of watercolour paper, and using masking tape, split the sheet up into nine smaller panels. In each panel we were to create a landscape just using lines and textures/shapes, no buildings or structures.

Now, I really didn't get it when I was learning watercolours - I just didn't like painting landscapes. But I can now say a big thank you to my tutor at BACG, Dawn, for teaching me the basics on how to use water medium. I had a blast. When it is reduced to just using lines and sponge and shapes, making a landscape seems so much easier - no pressure.

(The picture wasn't sitting flat when I took this picture, so sorry for the curves at the edges!).

I can see I'm still a bit tentative about my darks, but these are a great improvement on the watercolour landscapes I did last year - and these were out of my head, not a photograph! My tutor only made positive comments in her critique of my work. She liked how I had left the white paper for my light areas instead of colouring it in. One of the other students did some really moody pieces that were fantastic - he knows how to use the darks really well.

I'm going to have to continue to play with ink.

And I think Wednesday is going to become my favourite day of the week!