Saturday, February 21, 2015

Switching Media


Porcelain Garden

 12 x 16 inches on wood cradled panel
I've used acrylics a great deal in the past and now and then revisiting them.  I used them more for
decorative painting but now and then I come back to trying them out as a fine art medium.  I don't
paint the same way as I would with oils but this time I thought I'd make a concentrated effort to use them this way.  I have a friend who runs a tea room and florist shop so it's always so tempting to
re-arrange her wall of teacups (little works of art on their own) and take pictures.
This will be part of a series.  How many are considered a series?  Hopefully more than three.  Oils
are a pretty strong call for me but acrylics and watercolors give me joy too.
I will be adding a closeup photo later today.


Having fun these first few months of the year participating in Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp 2015.
Working towards assembling a portfolio of work for possible licensing.  I've done a sprinkling of
freelance illustration work but would like to have a stronger presence in that field. 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Year and a New Interest

January is a time of renewal and the time to explore new interests...Illustration.  Not really new but I 
never really pursued this type of art making.  I did do some illustrating in the late '80's and early 90's
having taken a fun course from a local graphic design studio that had clients like Helene Curtis, Bayer, Participaction (a government sponsored health and wellness initiative) and La Senza lingerie. That led to actual assignments. So without the formal training as an illustrator, I was fortunate to have these designs in my portfolio.  But that was a long time ago before I became enamoured of computer digital arts.  But being self taught and actually putting these new found interests "out there" is quite a bit different.  Which brings me to the here and now.  I decided to take a "Bootcamp" style of online
courses from Lilla Rogers.  A series of assignments over a six month period to hone the skills needed by an Illustrator in the 20th century.  And who knows...maybe even be represented by an agent.

First assignment was to research Edwardian jewellery (brooches specifically) and ultimately create a cover for a journal.  My first design was the photo below of the sapphire stone brooch.  And although I did like the result, I realized it was too much within my comfort zone of being quite literal in the depiction of this piece of jewellery.  After seeing the work of many accomplished illustrators who are
also doing this bootcamp, I realized that the suggested theme was merely a starting point that led to 
many wonderful interpretations.  So for my month's end submission I completely changed my approach.  The jewelled dragonfly is my "nod" to the theme and design became my purpose.  Still within my comfort zone but without being so literal.  The mockup of the presentation is also new to my skill set but necessary in order to pitch an idea.  So within this first month, I am already learning a great deal.

Friday, December 12, 2014

One More Cat

I came across this cat on an adoption site I think.  It is just the right type of photo that makes for a good painting.  This was the initial block in and now all that is left is finessing the brush strokes.


6" x 6" x 1.5" Oil on wood cradled panel

I do enjoy painting white animals.  Both Dallas of the last blog entry and Keghan of this post were done this week and were lovely to do.  The same can be said of black.  There are a lot of colours involved in painting black and white.  The challenge is to start with a depth that allows the final
punctuation of pure white or pure black to be effective.

Saturday, December 06, 2014


6" x 6"
Oil on wood cradled panel

Dallas belonged to our Fire Chief, a neighbour, a friend.

Ronin and the Red Door

6" x 6"
oil on wood cradled panel

I knew when I saw this photo of my nephew that it could make a good reference for a painting.
However painting a portrait that included plaid on a 6" x 6" canvas was maybe a little ambitious.
Head size is less than 1.25" high so I tried my best to get a good likeness.  Will stop now and not
overwork.  Just letting it simmer for a bit and will decide what's left to tweak.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Good Start

I should have known that getting a likeness on a surface this small (6x6) would be a bit of a challenge but it's more than just the face, it's the body language too.  The head is about 1 1/2" high so I just kept telling myself to keep it simple.  I've since painted the (plaid!) shirt and the jeans so I have only the red door to finish.  My daily paintings sometimes do take a bit more time but the light is not the best to paint by right now so I'll finish this one up in the morning.

Woodland Wreath

One of the Christmas cards I designed this season.  And I have ideas for many more but there is only so much time left.  At least I know I enjoyed making these enough to continue with into the new year.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some Cheering Up

November needs some cheering up.   Thanksgiving and Halloween have come and gone and the leaves are down.  But taking out my watercolors brightens things up considerably.  These are the new
projects I have this year.  Maybe it was growing up in the sixties when illustration was in it's heyday,
but I have just reconnected with my love for illustration and paper projects.