Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ACEO - Sunkissed

2.5 x 3.5 inches
Graphite and coloured pencil on drafting film.
One of the things I admire most in other artists is a wonderful imagination and the ability to create beautiful artworks without relying heavily on reference photos. This is an area, I feel I need a lot of development, particularly for illustration work. The Flower Folk and this ACEO are some of my early efforts which I hope will vastly improve over time. Whilst I still used some reference photos in these cases, I tried to avoid referring to photos too much. Commissions often require an artist to do a very close copy of one or several reference photos, and this is an area I find relatively easy. I believe to be truly artistic, it is necessary to extend beyond this, and whilst I'm not truly happy with any of my attempts over the last couple of weeks, I'm hoping with practice, to eventually produce work that is both creative and also to a standard I am happy with.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Flower Folk - Sunflower - and a request for advice!

6x8 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
The most cheerful of all the Flower Folk, Sunflower's big, beaming face grins up at the sky, as he follows the course of the Sun from Sunrise to Sunset.
On a more serious note, I am having fun with these little Flower Folk between commissions, but don't really have a sense of purpose with them. I have received two knock backs in the last week from Publishers, including North Light Books, and so am contempating self-publishing with Lulu.
I would love some feedback as to what kind of book my internet friends think I should endeavour to write - a comprehensive 'how to' on all aspects of working with drafting film, including graphite and coloured pencils and people and animal portraits, or a series of smaller pocket size handbooks dedicated to each different subject - eg. How to draw cats.
Any thoughts and ideas would be very much appreciated!!!! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flower Folk - Hydrangea

6x8 inches
Coloured pencil on drafting film
Hydrangeas are round, jolly folk with gentle natures who like to come out with the warmer weather of spring and then hang around all summer, only to disappear once the cooler weather of Autumn drives them away. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Flower Folk - Rose

6x8 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film

Rose can be a bit of a Prima Donna - she is beautiful when handled with care, but get on her wrong side and you may experience her thorny side!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flower Folk - Tulip

6x8 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
Tulip has a sunny disposition, but prefers to avoid hot weather, enjoying the cooler weather of late winter and early spring. She is extremely sociable, and relishes the opportunity for group gatherings, as she feels a bit lost on her own.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flower Folk - Thistle

6x8 inches
Coloured pencil on drafting film
Flower Folk are very cheeky little characters, who are basically quite shy and can pop up unexpectedly in your garden at any time. Thistle can be a bit prickly, but she loves nothing more than to put a smile on your face. Watch this space as I introduce you to more of the Flower Folk.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Couple of Commissions

6x8 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
2.5 x 3.5 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
I find it quite interesting, as I was keen to try some more pet portraits in pastel, and so reduced the prices on these so that they are cheaper than the pencil pet portraits, and yet people seem to have a preference for the pencil work. It is impossible to anticipate what customers will prefer. It can be challenging to do a background when working on drafting film, and so I usually opt for no background at all. I would have thought that people would prefer a portrait with some kind of colour in the background, but actually this isn't what I've experienced. I am happy if the commissions come my way, no matter what medium, but on the laws of average, for me, coloured pencil pet portraits far outway those done in either graphite pencil, or pastel. Yet, for people portraits, graphite wins hands down.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Step by Step Tutorial II for Fine Art & Decorative Painting

Some of you may remember this image from when I painted it for the Illustrators Australia 2009 9x5 Exhibition. This time I have drawn it using coloured pencils on drafting film, for a step by step tutorial which will available in a few months from the Fine Art & Decorative Painting Magazine. The tutorial will list all the different pencils used to draw this (believe it or not it took over 41 different pencils) and includes seven progress images. Drafting film is a wonderful surface for drawing eyes, because of it's smoothness, making it easy to achieve the glassy look of an eyeball, and so the principals explained in this tutorial can be applied when drawing any eye.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Latest Commission - Bella

8x10 inches Commissioned portrait
Coloured pencils on drafting film.
This darling little dog was a joy to draw - such a sweet little appealing face, which makes my job so much easier. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Very Special Commission

My latest commission holds a very special place in my heart, but is not one I could post here on my blog. It is the second time I have done a portrait of a little still-born infant, and these commissions are probably the most rewarding ones I do. I feel such a sense of responsibility to the parents when doing these commissions and try to put all the love and care I can into them. As a parent I feel their could be no greater pain, than to lose a little child, and so I hope these commissions can go somewhere towards easing their grief and creating a memory that will last a lifetime for them. Love and prayers to any parent who has ever lost a child xx

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Miniature Painting - Carnivale Juggler

Carnivale Juggler
8cm x 10cm
Oils on Rtistx Panel
This little painting was just the antidote I needed to lift me out of my rut. After months of doing commissions in mostly pencils, it was fun to pick up my fine little brushes (20/0) and have a play with paints again. It was also wonderful to paint freely, without worrying about whether I had created a good likeness of the subject. This little painting was inspired by the mystique of Cirque du Soleil and the detail of the Carnivale masks, and I would like to do a series of paintings following this type of theme. The paint has not yet dried, giving the scan a bit of a blotchy look. so I will repost it in a few days, once it has completely dried.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Artist's Block (my version of writer's block)

I am in a bit of a rut right now. The commissions are quiet, and I have a few projects on the go, but not much that I can work on right now. Sadly, I find it very hard to just relax, and am happiest when the ideas and projects and creative juices are flowing freely. I think things have been so hectic for the last six months, that now that things are quiet, and I have a chance to take stock and really be creative, I don't know what to do. Help - I need some inspiration!!!! Any prods and pokes and ideas that will help me feel creative again will be gladly welcomed. In the meantime, it gives me time to catch up on what all my artist friends are up to and creating at the moment.