Monday, 29 October 2012

Zig Zag festival

I was at the Zig Zag Festival in Kalamunda over the weekend...
During the day I provided free portraits for added interest to the event. As soon as people realised they were free there were instant queues!!
I did manage to get some painting done. Below is an unfinished painting I worked on amidst 35C heat and a freak 20min storm!

Friday, 26 October 2012

A Response to John Grimshaw

A painting based on a response to John Grimshaw's mystical artwork.
Painted in watercolour, gouache & colour pencils.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Elf Dance

Previously I showed an incomplete design I was painting at the Balingup Medieval Fayre. It was an image I'd outlined in 9b pencil  - to maintain a soft focused effect. Unfortunately - although this approach is often successful - it didn't work for the picture leaving it looking incomplete.
With nothing to lose I outlined it in pen. This instantly completed it.
I don't know why different techniques work for some and not for others.......



Friday, 19 October 2012

Howling Harmonies - 2

The second 'Howling Harmonies' painting. Heavily washed watecolour with highlights in bodycolour.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Matt Smith (Doctor Who) caricature

Latest caricature - still haven't grasped the art of caricaturing:(
A portrait either has the spark of life or not - no in between area.
This latest portrait depicts Matt Smith, the latest Doctor interesting looking character I didn't have to exaggerate the features much :p

Zig Zag Festival

The Kalamunda Zig Zag Festival will be in action next week.
I'll be drawing portraits - with a twist - in my street performance skit as the "Medieval Masterpieces".
See you there ;)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Caricatures - Justin Bieber

The most regular commission query is whether I do caricatures. Unfortunately its a field I haven't concentrated on at all!
But I'm now determined to master this skill basing my study on well known celebrities. Can't say my first few have been successful....
One of the first was of young Justin Bieber...
Any constructive feedback is welcome :)

Boyup Brook Workshop

I'm running a three hour illustration workshop through the Boyup Brook Community Centre this Saturday. This workshop will discuss the process of book illustration. It will lead into constructive activities that aim to explain some of the approaches to illustration.
I believe the best approach to learning techniques is to give demonstrations - so there'll be plenty of them :)
For more info click here.

Oops....wrong paper!

This painting has one major mistake! It was painted on Stonehenge paper - an etching paper :(
There was a sheet of Stonehenge paper disguised amongst sheets of Arches paper. The drama with this paper is it's not sealed to accept watercolours and the resulting effect is irregularity in the washes.
So I applied the colour thickly to try and disguise the poor quality....the result wasn't so bad...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Magic Shop painting

Update on the "Magic Shop" painting. The base colour was a mix of Alizarin Crimson. Alizarin, French Ultramarine and Light Red play dominant roles in this paintings mood - although it's still in early stages of completion.
I'm unsure whether to darken the back of the shop to enhance the foreground characters or just leave it in predominantly mono colours......:o

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Into the Light series

New series I've been working on - "Into the Light". It refers to a personal spiritual journey. At the lower half of the artwork is dark complex shades, this breaks into lighter peacful tints where the figures attempt to reach.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Toy Shop - sketch

New painting I've been working on. It's at this stage I'm tempted to leave it black & white because it looks so effective!
However, since taking this photo I've established the major colors...

Froggy Fundraiser

Just completed painting a wooden frog for a fundraising event to fit out a specialist cancer ward in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi!
These model frogs will be auctioned off on Oct 21st in Bridgetown, WA.
Below is the completed frog. My concept is based on frogs being a crucial part of the environmental food chain. The adults feed on insects - that often carry disease - while the tadpoles maintain waterways. If frogs disappear from an area then the local environment is considered unhealthy.
My 'frog art' views the frog as the 'water of life' where it provides a necessary link in our survival. The theme also carries through when the profits from the auction provide cancer patience with 'the water of life'.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Take a tip from the masters....

A good reference book I've been reading recently is 'Imaginative Realism' by James Gurney.
He is a great example of an artist whose success is based on the study of master painters (he has an entire chapter on this subject).

A popular attitude today (that I came across a LOT at art college) is to discover new ways of interpreting themes and imagery by looking forward. It's seen as a weakness to look back and learn from the masters. Yet a step back will often result in a leap forward!

In my work I often experiment with techniques used by previous artists. I then adapt the technique to suit my needs and incorporate them along with many other processes. The effect is a mongrel of techniques creating a new pedigree result!

Although it sounds straight forward some techniques aren't always successful. Mainly because they don't suit my style of painting.

Tony Smibert is another example of a painter who has spent majority of his painting career studying 19th century watercolourists - mainly J. W. Turner. His resulting paintings don't look at all like Turner's but carries the essence of the master's work.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Artist at Work

The artist at work.... :p

The Fox Shop

Latest painting. Harking back to late 19th - early 20th century illustrations.
Although it's obvious to see that early illustrators tinted their painting prior to painting I was still interested to note the instant result of an 'old worldly' feel to my work when I applied a base tint of Light Red to establish a warm unity. I also experimented with the contrast of a warm fire and cool misty light from the outside - how would they meet in the scene?
Note the black weighing scales on the counter - copied from an old set in my kitchen :p