Monday, May 9, 2011

now, which end do I hold the paintbrush???

Well I don't know what happened, someone put a bomb under me perhaps, but I completed two small watercolours on the weekend. I had a massive mental block, created by a few weeks' break from painting due to "Daily Paintworks Challengeslife getting in the way". Daughter's exams, school holidays, husband starting new job, husband spending a week in Europe on business, oh yes, and the dog ate an easter egg and almost died. So, it was all I could do to put dinner on the table, let alone sit down and draw or paint...

Anyway, enough about all that. The heater in my studio isn't working, and it's freezing down there so I don't want to paint in oils or acrylics. Even pastels are a bit messy for upstairs, so out come the old faithfuls, the water colours.

If you want to have a closer look at these, they're in my Etsy shop and also on the Daily Paintworks Challenges pages.

Friday, March 11, 2011

coloured pencil drawings

Last night I did these little still-lifes with coloured pencil, can't help myself. I scanned them but maybe should photograph them next time, it takes a long time to download them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

two more paintings

Here are two more paintings - the first is a small still life of nail polish bottles, for my daughter. The second is from the Daily Paintworks Weekly Challenge, the 10 minute Challenge, where you have to paint an object (in this case, my apple) in 8 different "poses"for a maximum of 10 minutes each. Each apple is about 3 by 4 inches. Not for sale - I don't think anyone would want to buy it! LOL

I loved painting the pinks - luscious reflections and shadows. I hope to do more like this one (top).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

creative crisis and a solution

When I got back to Sydney, I had a small crisis. I thought the broken colour/impressionist style worked well for portraits of men and boys, but for girls and women, who have softer complexions, I was convinced it wasn't suitable. I didn't want to make my girls look ugly!

THEN, I saw a program on Studio channel about Lucian Freud. Just what I needed to see!!! I could never in a million years make my sitters look as ugly as he does his! He has painted his daughters, for example, and although they are in real life quite attractive, he manages to make them look like monsters.

Lucian Freud painted the Duchess of Devonshire (another Deborah, above!) when she was in her 30s, and she said now, in her 80s, she's starting to resemble the person in the portrait. Anyway, talented painter, interesting paintings, but pretty? No!

So with renewed confidence I set to work on another picture of my daughter, this time in acrylic, just to get away from the linseed fumes for a few days (the whole house smelt like cricket bats). Very happy with this one. And to my delight, it dried in an hour or two!


in addition to painting and drawing each day (usually small sketches/paintings), I've been pursuing my interest in portrait painting.

I started exploring broken colour a few years ago, then my old dog got sick, then I spent 3 years nursing him, then we got a new dog, then my husband left his job, etc., etc., etc., you know, life kind of interrupts my art.

So I booked in for a week long workshop at Mitchell School of Arts, Bathurst, this January. My tutor was Lesley O'Shea, another of my favourite painters. I love the way she uses colour. Anyway, my first painting was fairly traditional :
Then, after a few reminders from Lesley, I "went to town" on a picture of my mother, getting all carried away with brushstrokes, colours, everything, which matched the joyful expression on my mother's face (I worked from a photo).With all that going on in the portrait, I didn't need a background at all, so left it white.
The next day I got stuck into a picture of my husband, and then one of my nephew who had recently visited us in Sydney.
So that was one painting each day - Monday to Thursday - at Bathurst. On the final day I decided to paint a friend's horse - I'd promised to do it a while ago, as a gift for her 21st birthday. Here is the initial painting, just needs final tweaks now (like some EYES for the poor creature!)

The beauty of this week-long workshop was that after my initial half hour with Lesley, I was again on the right track and worked on my own for the remainder of the week. You can probably see a similarity in my style once I stuck to the technique.

I am very happy with the results, working in the broken colour technique. Horses are really really complex, even more so than human figures. I've drawn and painted hundreds of humans, and horses are much more difficult. Anyway, I can only improve! LOL

new direction for me and my blog!

As you may have guessed, and as so often happens in blog land, I haven't posted in a long time. I'm doing more painting these days, and hope to do a lot more, because it's only with practice that I will learn more. I am trying to paint every day. Or at least draw, because I don't like to spill oil paints in the car. So I take my pastels when I travel.

So from now on I'll try to post my regular works - maybe not a "daily" painting or drawing, but hopefully "almost daily".

I've been taking part in the Daily Paintworks' Weekly Challenge, and I'll post those entries here, also anything else I come up with. At the top is my first entry, a Zippo lighter in oil pastel, and above is an oil painting of a blue teacup. Both are available in my etsy shop.