Thursday, July 26, 2012

44th Annual Watercolor West Juried Exhibition Acceptance!

I'm delighted to let you all know that  'Dream Catcher' has been accepted into the 44th Annual Watercolor West  Juried Exhibition.

"Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be."
Karen Rayn

To me this child I painted represents each and every one of us. We all have dreams but how many of us just stand on the safe side of the fence and do not venture into the unknown and follow our dreams.

When we enter these big shows there is an element of 'dream' in most of us.... we all hope and dream that this will be the one... the one that will get in... the one that will win an award.... the one that will make our name as an artist...

Its good to dream. Don't be afraid of failure. Catch those dreams and follow them. Yes, sometimes its a risky journey into the unknown but its also an exciting one. I am enjoying following my dream. Are you following yours?

The exhibition will take place at the
The Brea Civic and Cultural Center
1 Civic Center Circle
Brea, CA 92821
October 13 - December 16, 2012


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bookworm Breakfast!

Mrs Robin certainly needs to be resourceful when she has young to feed...maybe I'm not the only one who thinks imaginatively ;)

I really wanted to make the robin struggling to pull the worm out of the book and Alex's eyes as he looks at them my COI so really pumped up the values in these areas.

Our actual Mrs Robin is still busy with her second brood of young who have successfully fledged but are still flapping their wings and begging for food. Its been wonderful watching her raise them.

'Bookworm Breakfast' has been a fun one to paint.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chapter 5... Being Watched

I've finally finished the hair and now I'm being carefully and wickedly scrutinized as I paint the remainder of the painting. I thought you would like to see the view I have as I paint.

It's a fun viewpoint, isn't it :)

It makes me realise that this painting is definitely one that is best viewed up on the wall. I guess when it is hung slightly above us it just helps to exagerate the unsual perspective and makes you feel that you are looking up at him as he looks down at the worm. Play with this image below and you will see what I mean.  Look at it straight on to the screen and then lower yourself ever so slightly (or raise the screen if you have a laptop) as if you are looking at the painting on the wall.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chapter 4 Hair today.... more hair tomorrow

I've now finished what I would call the background of this painting. Truthfully, there is no real background because the painting is so close into the subject but I am treating his clothes as the background so have deliberately added very little detail and used wet on wet to develop an out of focus look to any slight suggestion of texture and shape that I have added. I also decided to keep the colour neutral but at the same time chose a colour that was complimentary to his face to really make his wonderful expression pop and be the focus. It should also help to make the bird and worm stand out too.

I am now beginning to work on the hair. It's not a quick process but I want to add in the detail here because it does add to the character of the piece and also helps to reinforce the lighting direction.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Feature Artist!

When I began painting in Watercolour back in 2008 I joined Wet Canvas. It has a thriving watercolour forum and in my early days as an artist  it was invaluable to me, not just for the information that was available there but also in the confidence I was able to build, through the many supportive comments, in my ability as an artist.

Yesterday I was contacted to say I had been chosen as this months featured artist. I feel very honored. Thank you Wet Canvas.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Chapter 3...What a Fun Expression!

Over the last few days I have been  moulding the facial features. Once I have painted the eyes, unless there is an open mouth, I don't really think of individual features on a face. When I am developing them  I am looking more for colour and value differences as the light falls on the 'rolling hills and valleys or precipices' ... yes, I quite literally think of the face as a vertical landscape and gradually build up the light and shade through many many layers of glazing single colours.

I am not really going for an exact copy of my reference. I am rather using and developing further the expression in it. So I've developed the freckles that were in my reference photo even more in my painting as I feel it just adds to the impish nature of the already existing expression. I've also developed the lighting more to create more light and shade on the face and a second reflected light off the white pages of the book.

I still have a little work to do develop the chin a little more as the reflected light is a little too bright and altering the corner of his mouth a touch but its nearly there.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chapter Two... Making Eye Contact!

When I start a portrait I almost always begin with the eyes. It just helps me 'get in the mood' of the portrait and I do like them 'looking' while I paint :)

Often the eyes are very small in a portrait but in this one I have plenty of room to develop them. I like to take my time when painting the eyes  and will often have long gaps in painting while I just look at what I have done and work out whether I need to make adjustments.I don't usually put in the eye lashes until later but I needed to really get a feel for the eye direction so this time I have added them in lightly at this early stage.

It was especially important for these eyes that I get them focusing down at the worm. Its amazing how the direction of sight can change when the pupil is even just a millimetre too far left or right or up or down so you just have to keep working away at it until you get it right.

At last.... two eyes looking at one worm, or at least looking at the space where the worm will be :)

Next  I will work on developing the rest of the facial features.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Bookworm.... Chapter 1

....Since this painting is a fun one based around the theme of books it seems only right that each WIP  post is a different chapter in the painting's story. So here is...Chapter 1

The idea for this painting began a couple of months ago when I was looking through photos of Alex for the 'Time Warp' painting. I came across a very funny one focusing in on his face which I knew immediately was a painting in itself.

 In the actual photo he was posing with a new book. The humour and mischief was just brimming out of his eyes and his quirky smile just made me laugh. I loved the photo but it was very much a snap shot with distractions in the background and not very good lighting so I decided to accentuate the lighting and focus in on his face and down to what he was looking at.

This photo of me putting the finishing touches to my drawing and the title of this post will hopefully give you an idea of what is coming out of the book :)

Its drawn out on a full sheet and Alex's face, being a big section of the composition, is much larger than life so this should be a lot of fun to do :)

I Hope this first chapter has got you hooked  and you will want to follow along :)


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Intoxica-Ted and Inebria-Ted!

Two Bears sitting on a shelf in a gentleman's study happened upon an un-opened bottle of Scottish Malt Whisky and have, I'm afraid to say, had a little too much of the liquid sunshine.

It's painted in transparent watercolour on Arches cold press paper.

I have many more teddy ideas to do but am going to take a break from them for a while. Like the 'liquid sunshine' you can sometimes get too much of a good thing... and I need a break for a while from painting teddy fur :)


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Having fun with teddies WIP

I'm being very slow with this painting. It took me a while to decide on the 'feel' of the piece. I began by exploring the idea of teenage teddies trying out alchohol for the first time but the idea just didn't feel right so I finally decided on two more mature teddies in a gentleman's club type atmosphere. I decided to add in some books and create some smoky atmospheric type lighting to help set the scene.

I'm now working on the Teddies themselves. The bear on the left 'Intoxica-Ted' is almost finished so this felt a good point to stop for today and share with you all. It's not the best photo but it will hopefully give you an idea.