Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bunga's Plea

Bunga's Plea
8x10 inches
Coloured Pencils and Pitt pens on Mat Board

Meet Bunga, the beautiful Orangutan I have drawn as part of the Orangutan Project  and the reference photo for this gorgeous beauty was provided with permission by the generous and gifted photographer Thomas Burns. You can watch a speed drawing of this artwork on YouTube and there is also a 28 page Step by Step tutorial available from my Website. This artwork was created by combining coloured pencils with Faber Castell pitt pens which made the otherwise challenging job of rendering Bunga's hair a really simple one. I am often asked by other artists if there is any way of slowing down my speed drawings, especially for when they are working through tutorials and I recently discovered that you can go to this site http://www.youtubeslow.com/, type in the url of any video from YouTube and you can then control how fast or slow the video goes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

8x10 inches
Coloured Pencil and Pitt pens on mat board

This artwork is part of myhttps://www.facebook.com/beautifulhumanlandscapes project. This artwork is also now available as a 30 page Step by Step Tutorial from either my Website or my Etsy Store. You can also watch a speed drawing of this artwork on YouTube at http://youtu.be/C_BTJgHu5ik.

Many years ago, my Father was a lay missionary in Papua New Guinea and just a few weeks ago I was looking at a photo of my Father as a young man with a group of PNG natives who were all quite young as well. At the time, I thought how fabulous it would be to have a reference photo of a PNG Tribal Elder, so you can imagine my sheer delight and absolute gratitude when the very next day my artist friend Sande sent me the reference photo for this wonderful image. The PNG natives revere their elders and the smile on this gentleman's face is one of pride as he shows off his wonderful head piece.

Friday, August 22, 2014

8x10 inches
Coloured pencils and Pitt pens on Canson Pastel Grey Mat Board

This is the next portrait in my Beautiful Human Landscapes Project. I was contacted by Yvonne's Granddaughter to see if I would be interested in including her in this project and when I saw Yvonne's joyous face, I jumped at the chance. You can watch a speed drawing of this portrait evolving on YouTube and also learn how you can do wonderfully realistic portraits of older people by following this 28 page Step by Step Tutorial. Also please don't hesitate to get in touch if you know of someone of have a loved one that you think might be suitable for this project. They do need to be hi-res images and preferably candid and emotive shots that capture the character of our older folk.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beautiful Human Landscapes Project underway

8x10 inches
Coloured Pencils on Mat Board

11x14 inches
Coloured Pencils on Mat Board
These two beautiful ladies are the first to be featured in my Beautiful Human Landscapes Project. Val was the Mum of one of my good friends from school and was like a second mother to me when I was young. She sadly passed away a couple of months ago and this was my gift to her daughter, Lynne. Ruth was the mother of an artist friend Jonathan, who kindly shared the beautiful reference photo for this precious moment and to both Lynne and Jonathan I say a huge thank you. This project is all about celebrating the older folk in our society. If you have a high resolution, zoomed in reference photo of one of your loved ones that you think might be suitable for this project, then please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Calling for Help

For a couple of years now, I have been mulling over a project that is close to my heart, which I am calling Beautiful Human Landscapes. I would like to create a series of closely cropped, highly detailed portraits of some of the older folk in our society. These is so much emphasis in our society today on the beauty of youth and the importance of looking younger than your years. As an ex nurse and artist, I find far more fascination in a face that has endured life's ups and downs and tells a lifetime of stories. I would like to focus on people in their 80's and 90's across all nationalities. If you have some loved ones that you think might be suitable for this project then please do get in touch. I need closely cropped, high resolution and detailed photos so that I can recreate all the wonderful features of an older person's face. If I draw your loved one, you will be sent a free print of the artwork, however this is a long term project, so if you do send me a photo of your loved one, I will assume that consent is given for me to use the reference in the coming years as well.
Thanking in advance for any help that you can give. :)

Latest Artworks and a Letter from Buckingham Palace

Blah, Blah, Blah
12x12 inches
Pyrography, Inktense pencils, Coloured pencil, Pan Pastels
and a touch of ink on Cradled Birch Ply

No Tonight Dear
12x12 inches
Pyrography, Inktense pencils, Coloured pencil, Pan Pastels
and a touch of ink on Cradled Birch Ply
 My poor little blog has been a bit neglected lately, but here are a couple of my latest artworks. We were also thrilled this week to receive a thank you letter from Buckingham Palace, after my very thoughtful husband sent a copy of my book Love You, Mum to Prince George after the recent visit of the royals to Australia. It was wonderful to have our gift acknowledged!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Another artwork and Information on Drafting film

Good Morning
12x12 inches
Pyrography, Coloured pencil, Inktense pencils and ink
on Cradled Birch Ply
This is my latest adventure piece combining the pyrography with coloured pencils - such fun.

I have also created an information page on my website at http://www.miniatureartbykhull.com/information_and_faq_42.html and have started the ball rolling with a comprehensive information page about drafting film. I get so many emails from artists seeking more information about this surface, where to buy it, which pencils to use etc. and so I thought it might be helpful to have a one stop info section and I will be adding more pages to it down the track.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More fun combining Pyrography with Colour

Adding a Splash of Colour
12x12 inches
Pyrography, Inktense pencils & Coloured Pencil
on Cradled Birch Ply

The Intrepid Friendship
12x12 inches
Pyrography, coloured pencil and ink on
Cradled Birch Ply
Oh what fun I am having combining the pyrography with the coloured pencils and colour. I have had a wonderful pyrography artist me to alert me to the fact that pyrography can fade over time, which alarmed me quite a bit. The fading isn't consistent and can be unpredictable. This is one of the reasons that I am combining the coloured pencil with the woodburning. Apart from loving colour of course, I darken the darkest darks and brighten some areas, so that if there is any fading of the burned marks over time, the overall integrity of the image should be maintained. I just love the combination of texture and rustic look that the wood burning gives and even more so when combined with a bit of colour. I think I might be hooked :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Love You, Mum available now

Just in time for Mother's Day, Love You, Mum is now available in book shops within Australia (I found it up on counter at Dymocks) and retails for $9.99. If you are looking for a unique gift for the Mum to Be or want to give a mother or child you love something different, then you might find this little book is the answer. It features a range of realistic Australian Animal illustrations, each page with a Mum and Bub interacting in some way and giving each other a bit of love. :)

Exploring the art of Pyrography (Wood Burning)

The Patriarch
12x12 inches
Pyrography, Coloured pencil, Inktense pencils, biro and
a touch of white ink on Cradled Birch Ply

8x8 inches
Pyrography, coloured pencil and inktense pencils
on Cradled Birch Ply

As many of you know, I do love exploring new techniques and mediums and my latest experiments involve combining Pyrography (wood burning) with coloured pencils and inktense pencils to try to achieve a realistic look and I do warn you it can be very addictive. I am curious whether people think of pyrography as a from of craft, or a legitimate fine art medium? I feel it can definitely be used to create beautiful works of art that would hold up well against artworks created with any other media.

I have created a speed drawing of the Patriarch for anyone curious in watching the process for doing pyrography and this can be viewed on YouTube and I have also created a 22 page step by step tutorial showing my limited set up and guiding you through the process for creating this artwork. The tutorial is available from my Website

I bought most of my equipment from Sue Walters and anyone looking to explore this form of art should check out her website. She has a huge supply of equipment, kits and books and I also found her extremely helpful when I rang for information.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Who Stole my Ladder
12x12 inches
Coloured Pencil, Inktense pencil, black Promarker and
White ink highlights on Wooden Art Panel

Make a Wish
8x10 inches
Coloured pencil and Faber Castell Pitt Pens on
Watercolour canvas

A couple of more Trompe L'Oeil pieces and some big learning curves. After attempting and discarding Make a Wish 7 times, using a range of mediums, I finally decided that I had better complete at least one and move on. As you can see the black background is blotchy and whilst I had hoped that an application of varnish might resolve this issue, it actually made it worse. So what did I learn from all this trial and error and exasperation? I need to take a different approach and avoid doing large areas with black background, and this lead me to working on the wooden art panels, and this proved so much more satisfying and less frustrating, so I think this might be the start of a series. Hope these put a smile on your face :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A little bit of Trompe L'oeil

The Scribe
8x10 inches
ballpoint pen, Faber Castell Pitt Pens and Promarkers
on Ampersand Claybord. 

I have always had a fascination for Trompe L'Oeil artworks and thought I would revisit this genre, by redoing an older piece of mine. I am loving working on the Claybord, but unfortunately the coloured pencils do not come out with level of vibrancy that I'm after when working on this surface and so it feels a bit strange for me to be completing artworks without even reaching for a coloured pencil. The background was underpainted using the Black Promarker and I then went over this with the black ballpoint pen for a nice consistent black. The rest of the squirrel was done combining the ballpoint pen with the Faber Castell Pitt pens and also using a blade and fibre glass brush and blade to scratch into the Claybord surface for more realistic fur. 
Reference photo for the squirrel provided with kind permission by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mandj98/1924302163/in/set-72157594327779035/. The format for this artworks was inspired by the beautiful artworks of Marina Dieul:)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Falling in love with the humble ballpoint pen

8x10 inches
Coloured Ballpoint pen on Ampersand Claybord
I was doing some research the other day in preparation for a new artwork and stumbled across some ballpoint pen drawings which really inspired me to pick up the ballpoint pens and attempt another drawing using this medium. I attempted one a few years ago, but combined it with ink and inktense pencils so it couldn't really be called a ballpoint pen drawing. This time, after trying the pens on an assortment of papers, I tried them out on the Ampersand Claybord, which really helped with some of the problems you can come across when using pens. At least if you make a mistake or get one of those unsightly blobs of ink, you can very gently scratch off the surface and resume your drawing and this is a huge plus. There are some concerns about whether drawings done with ballpoint pens could fade over time. I have sprayed this one with 7 generous coats of varnish and am going to hang onto it for 6-12 months and then rescan it to see whether there actually is any fading. You can view a speed drawing of this artwork on YouTube. The reference photo for this gorgeous tiger was provided with kind permission of DigitalART2 on Flickr.  I found this piece really exciting to work on, and will be experimenting with a few more pieces - so watch this space :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Having fun with Markers and Coloured Pencils

Here's Looking at You Kid
8x10 inches
Coloured Pencil and Markers on
Fabriano Artistico Paper

This tutorial was created in response to a special request from an artist wanting to know how I use markers and coloured pencils together in the one artwork. You can also watch a speed drawing of this process on YouTube at http://youtu.be/_zqZFyO05Yk. The markers are used first to underpaint the entire area, which I find speeds up the drawing process and also gives extra depth and vibrancy to your artworks. This beautiful Rainbow Lorikeet is one of a pair that come and visit Mum several times a day and often bring their young ones along as well. The 19 page tutorial is available from either my Website or Etsy Store

Monday, February 24, 2014

Latest Artwork, Speed drawing and Tutorial

Emerald Eyes in Scratch Art
5x7 inches
Scratch Art, ink, inktense pencils and coloured pencil on
 Ampersand Scratchbord

This latest artwork and tutorial was created in response to a client who asked to see a speed drawing and tutorial on scratch art. This artwork is available as a speed drawing on YouTube and as a 24 page step by step tutorial on my website at either my website or my Etsy Store. The reference photo for this gorgeous kitty was provided with kind permission by Whiskymac on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/whiskymac/104255109/in/set-793880

Friday, February 21, 2014

Signed Hard Cover Copies of Let's Count Kisses now available

Hachette are no longer going to be doing reprints of Let's Count Kisses in the Hard Cover version, only as a soft cover, so I have stocked up and bought the last 100 copies still available. You can get your very own signed and personalised copy of Let's Count Kisses on Ebay This 32 page flap book is geared for the 0-2 year age group and is perfect for bed time reading. It would make a fabulous gift for a child or grandchild and is a celebration of native Australian animals and butterflies.
Let's Count Kisses even has its own dedicated website with more information about the book and the species names of all butterflies illustrated within the book.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Latest Drawing Tutorial - Nature's Gifts

Here is my latest step by step drawing tutorial and for those of you who also like to see the process of creating an artwork, you can also view the Speed Drawing of this at http://youtu.be/SokrF9IQAFk. I hope to have a speed drawing to accompany most of the tutorials I create from this point forward. This tutorial is available from either my Website or in USD as an instant download from my Etsy Store.
You might also notice that I have now added a Subscribe button to the side bar for anyone who would like to receive my monthly newsletter which is full of drawing hints and tips and often has discount codes as well.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

More fun with Speed Drawings

Nature's Gifts
9x12 inches
Coloured pencils, Pitt pens and a touch of white ink on
Canson Pastel Grey Mat Board
What a heavenly feeling to back doing art again and isn't it wonderful to have a job where you are dying to get back into it. This is my latest piece and after lots of fun and games, I finally managed to get a speed drawing video rendered and you can view it on YouTube at http://youtu.be/SokrF9IQAFk. 
In previous posts, I talked about my set up for creating the speed drawing and mentioned that I had purchased the iphone app LapseIt. This little app enables you to take time lapse photography and then to render all the individual frames into a video. This worked reasonably well for my first speed drawing of the eye, although I did notice there was a little jumping around in the rendered video compared to the individual frames. This time, I had over 10,000 frames. In each of these individual frames, you can see the entire area I am working on, but for some reason, every time I tried to render the video, the app was cropping down certain frames so that my hand and what I was actually drawing was out of the field of vision. I tried rendering numerous times, using several different formats and each time the same problem. After an exasperating weekend, of trying all sorts of solutions including trying to use Windows Movie Maker, unsuccessfully, to render the video, I eventually bought another little app called OSnap. I then had to save all 10,000 frames to my Camera Roll and then import them to this app and finally was able to render a video, that might not be of the highest quality, but is still watchable, and at least you can see my hand and what the pencil is doing at all times. I would highly recommend the OSnap over the LapseIt, although it also has some limitations itself in that it saves the video in .mov format, where most applications prefer MP4. I also had problems sharing my video to YouTube from within the app, but tried instead saving the video to my camera roll and sharing it to YouTube from there. That only took 5 minutes. All this sounds really complicated and difficult, but I guess you can't expect too much from a $3 app. I have now deleted LapseIt, because I simply can't afford to run into these issues again and will use OSnap for the next speed drawing to see how it goes from start to finish.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Big ups and Little downs

I started the year with such good intentions for my blog and have already fallen behind after our computer died four weeks ago and then our new computer died a week ago, followed by a dead one brought home from the shops and finally, we are onto our third new computer in three weeks. On top of that, my Gall Bladder needed to come out last week and so needless to say, this has all left very little time for doing any art, let alone blogging. 

The upside is that I have a feature article, including the cover, in the February issue of the Colored Pencil Magazine http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/696871 and 'Refuge' was honoured with a CPSA (Coloured Pencil Society of America) District Chapters Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Latest Explore This 10! online exhibitionhttp://www.cpsa.org/view-explore-this-10/explore-this-10-award-winners This exhibition is all about showcasing the use of coloured pencil in conjunction with other media and a huge congrats to all of the artists selected for this exhibition. It is a feast for the eyes.

I am hoping that a few little hiccups are now all behind and there will be lots of productive months ahead :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Creating my first Speed Drawing

Window to my Soul
5x7 inches
Coloured pencil & Markers on Watercolour Canvas

My set up for the speed drawing
I had several goals for 2014 - one was to be a more diligent blogger and the other was to create my first speed drawing and hopefully a course of them over the next year - here we are one week into the year, and we have a promising start. I posted my first speed drawing to YouTube this morning and what a wonderful feeling it was (you can view it here http://youtu.be/8zDfl8XIbbI). It isn't the best quality speed drawing but it was a wonderful learning experience.
For those of you who, like me, are keen to try your hand at speed drawing and time lapse photography, but who don't want to spend a fortune on expensive equipment or buy confusing video editing software, I thought I would share my setup and experiences. I first downloaded an app called Lapseit from iTunes for my iPhone - this app is also available for Android phones. You can get the free version, or for $1.99, buy the premium version, which has a few more features and this was the version I purchased. This wonderful little app is very simple to use and I thought did quite a good job at capturing the time lapse video. It also renders the video for you, once you have completed your drawing, without the need for complex editing. I did discover that it renders MUCH more quickly if you render your video without the added option of applying music. I also found that unless you add your own music, it is easier to allow for monetization (making money from adds on your video) if you don't have music added.
It wasn't all smooth sailing though. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, the app cut out a couple of times during filming, leaving me with some gaps in the footage. I'm not sure if this was the app or my iPhone playing up. I then temporarily changed the settings on the iPhone and put automatic lock to 'never' and 'automatic brightness' off and am hoping in the future that this helps to stop the app shutting down.
I initially set the time interval for each image at one image per 10 seconds and later discovered that this really is too long, making for a video that was much quicker than I really wanted, but I wanted to first see how much data creating the video would use up. I needn't have worried. I worked on the image for about 5 hours yesterday, and after all that time had only 50 seconds of footage with a file size of about 50Mb. About three quarters of the way through the artwork, I changed the interval to one image every 5 seconds which gave a much better result. They say the average attention span of a YouTube viewer is about 2-3 minutes which is what I will be aiming for in the future. The video was rendered at 25 frames per second.
Apart from purchasing the app for the iPhone, I needed to find a way of getting the iPhone in the correct position, so that it has a good view of the artwork, without being obtrusive as I worked (you can see it in the image above). I picked up this flexible mobile phone stand on Ebay for about $25, and it is perfect for the job.
I may look at some of the other time lapse apps available on iTunes, but overall, I would highly recommend this app and setup for anyone just starting out in timelapse photography who isn't needing an Academy Award winning video :)