Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today's work.

It was such a lovely day here, I decided to go outside and do some painting(drawing?) with a set of oil pastels I have in my stash. It was easier than using paints, which would have dried too quickly in the sun. Birds are so hard to draw from life - they flit around so fast it is hard to catch them in one spot long enough!
This apple and flower were taken from a tutorial in a book on using pastels.
Tonight was the fifth class in the Acrylics workshop. Michael hung a white sheet over a rope, and instructed us to paint it. When we'd finished, he showed us how to turn it into a coloured sheet, painting a colour wash over the original black and white toned painting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Our Acrylics art class tutor asked us to paint a self portrait for our homework.  I did mine today.  It's a bit tricky looking at yourself in a mirror and trying to paint at the same time.  He warned us not to try and beautify ourselves; just paint yourself warts and all, he said.  Well, I tried to paint what I saw, but it is true that we don't see ourselves as others do.  Most people see themselves in their mind's eye as younger/thinner/prettier/uglier than they actually are.  I've always been told I don't look my age (64), but I'm not really sure how old I look here!
We have a friend who is a Native American Indian and I asked his permission to paint his picture from a poster he gave us.  He was happy for me to do so, and today I started experimenting on a small piece of paper (octavo size).  It's out of proportion in many parts, but I wasn't trying to get it right this time, as all I wanted to do was attempt to paint the sunset.  Got a way to go!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge March.

The theme for March is flowers.  I did a few sketches of various flowers in pencil, then tried painting the beautiful red petunias in our front garden.  Just as well I did, because the possums ate them two nights later!

While I was in the back yard sketching flowers, Ken let our chooks out of their house for a roam around on the grass, so I took the opportunity of making a few sketches of them.  Then I drew Ken while he was doing some work on the aviaries.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fourth night of Acrylics painting class.

Michael was pleased with my homework from last week (the black and white rose and the landscape in green), and suggested that I make a few improvements to both pictures by putting a glaze over them, then a light colour wash. Sounds interesting, so I'll try that in the next few days. Tonight, he put an image of Van Gogh's painting "The Bedroom" up on the big t.v. screen in our studio, and put us all to work painting a copy of it. Some bright spark suggested he turn it upside down, so he did. Thanks, bitch. Don't know about the others, but I would have found it a lot easier to copy the right way up. Yes, I know someone wrote a book about artists using the right side of their brain or something, but did we really need to go down that path? Everyone else was using their large A3 size painting pads, but I chose to use one of my smaller ones (12 cm x 18 cm). I've only got small tubes of paint, so I'm trying to conserve them! Michael was amused and called me his miniature painter! This is the painting we had to copy - this one is taken off a website, but I don't know where Michael got his image from, as the colours were quite different.
My version:
He did warn us that different websites have varying colour images. He urged us to use our paint with less water or medium, to create a more intense colour the way Van Gogh did. When I thought I'd done enough, he came over and added a few bits of colour here and there, and made a couple of suggestions which I followed. At the end of the session he put my little painting up on a ledge to display - I was quite chuffed!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge

I was looking on the web for online tutorials about painting and drawing (there are thousands of links!) and I came across this interesting blog. The authors suggest a new theme each month, and the blog followers do something with that theme - draw, paint, stitch, etc. It sounded like a good way to get me drawing something new regularly, which I'm told is the way to improve my skills - practice daily! Well I just don't get time to draw every day, but once a month, yes I can do that...in addition to the painting class homework. The Sketchbook Challenge has it's own Flickr pages where the members can post photos of their new sketches each month. It is fascinating to see how everyone else has interpreted that month's theme. January's theme was Doodling, and February's theme was Close up. I chose to doodle with a red pen and lettering, which is what I do if I am mindlessly doodling - usually letters and words. Close Up was done while my cat Tiger was sitting up close to me, watching an insect or something on the ground, and I added the Mouse figure just for fun.
The theme for March is Flowers - that will be a serious challenge for me, as I am not good at all with flowers or trees!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Acrylic art class, third week.

Our homework this week was to do a painting using just black and white and grey tones. I painted this rose, which is based on a project by Amanda Shepherd in a recent issue of "Aust.Find Art & Decorative Painting" magazine. My hurried version doesn't do her original picture justice! But it was an interesting exercise.
We were also asked to do a picture using just green, tinted with black and white for effect. I saw a painting in a tuition book, done in a few colours, but I thought I could modify it to suit myself. Just a stream running through a landscape with a tree. Then because I still had some colours on my palette, I used them up on a small black visual diary I'd been given. I'm learning to appreciate playing with paint, which is what our tutor is trying to instill in us, I guess!
I've just been re-reading my notes from that class, and I think Michael said we could add another green if we wanted to. Mmm..I might play around with this picture. But after the next class, when he's seen this first.