Thursday, 26 July 2018

Back to Blogging

Here we are more than half way through the year and this is my first blog post. No I haven't given up on my art, to the contrary I'm as passionate about it as ever but a lot has happened since my end of year Christmas post and something had to give.
We listed our house for sale around Christmas time and so January and February were taken up with the selling process. We packed up our home in mid February and relocated back to the city to be close to our beautiful family. 
My studio/gallery on the river had been my sanctuary for the past four years and I did wonder how I would cope without it but manage I have. My new studio is quite large enough for me to paint and house all my supplies but I no longer have a visitors gallery. Exhibiting opportunities abound so its easy to get my watercolours out and about. 
It has taken the past four months to finally settle in our new city abode. So much change since we last lived here more than a decade ago. Our home was a new build so it also required tweaking with blinds, garden etc. and I am pleased to call it done! Now the only interruption to my studio practice is of the nice kind, seeing more of the family with our gran children and getting out and about. 
I am surprised with all this disruption I have still managed to paint quite a lot of new works.
I look forward to adding regularly to my blog with step by step, experiments and more. I hope to reconnect with so many of you who have shared our arty world through blogging.
Finished yesterday and a timely celebration of Almond Blossom as our state has this weekend the Almond Blossom Festival. 

I didn't photograph this for a step by step but my process was:
Use a selection of blossom images
No drawing required
Leave plenty of white space for the blooms on 1/2 sheet Saunders Waterford CP 300gsm
A little bit of masking used for stamens so I could add dark behind
Dampen areas and drop in French Ultra Marine Blue for a brilliant blue sky colour
Add touches of green gold (Daniel Smith) in the background
Decide on a main blossom in a good position 
Add colour for centres, magenta, winsor yellow, permanent rose
Using mixes with the colours above add stems and branches
Remove masking

The Blossom Beckons

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Seasons Greetings

Each year I create a painting especially for Christmas and I use the original work to print cards for my family and friends. This year one of my favourite subjects has been the little fairy penguin and I have created several original watercolours. It seemed apt to have a Christmas version too so here is

 "We Three Kings"

Wishing all my blogging and follower friends 
a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas time
best regards

Monday, 20 November 2017

A Great Image

Taking a good reference image makes painting easier but having a great image offers so much more.
When the composition has that something special you know it will come out to be painted more than once.
Last year whilst on holiday in Tuscany my husband took some images of colourful umbrellas and a powerful composition has waited for me to paint it.
After attending a Paul Jackson workshop last month where I was reintroduced to the patience of painting in many many layers I knew this method would be great for the umbrellas.
I have now used this image twice in one month, changing the colours, changing the paper size etc. I know this image will provide several more options each creating a unique work.

Come Rain or Shine
56cm x 38cm
Pretty much the colours and design of the original reference

Let it Rain
38cm x 38cm
A square format and a limited palette

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Black and White

Yesterday was week 4 for students in my 6 week foundation course and our main focus was painting black and white. I show how to mix interesting blacks on the paper rather than a flat mix in the palette and of course how we don't use white but retain the clean white of the paper for our whites.
Our Australian Magpie is a perfect subject for black and white. After class I added some colour for a simple background.
At the end of our morning class there was time for a quick 30 minute demo. With just three little pencil marks for the eyes and placement of the nostril this powerful Jaguar started to magically race towards me on the paper.  I was able to show how to have black spots and marks look part of the fur by painting them first and then adding orange and grey colours on top. This ensures some of them fuse a bit and a more natural look is achieved.
This demo was one of those magic moments in the studio, it seemed little effort but its results like this that shows just how magical this medium is. It doesn't always have to take days to paint but of course you have to know when to stop. Lucky for me my 30 minutes were up.

Unframed size 38cm x 28.5cm
Saunders Waterford 425gsm Hot Press Paper

100 km/h
Unframed size 56cm x 38cm
Saunders Waterford  300gsm Cold Press Paper