Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For my friend

I have to bow out of Misty's challenge this week, I think... I'm on course and they gave us HOMEWORK! The horror!

However, this is the second piece I was inspired to do for the "art gift" bit. It's for my friend Tetsuo who has put up with a lot from me over the years, so just for him I will entrust the original to the un-tender embrace of Canada Post (just kidding post-peoples! love ya! please don't lose my mail...*coughs*)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Blanket-Stealing Butterfly

For Misty's challenge of an art gift.
This is from a photo of my supervisor's granddaughter and I'll be giving it to her next week. Hope she likes it!
Done with watercolours, pen and pencil crayons.


n. 1. A caustic material or substance.
2. A hydroxide of a light metal.
3. The enveloping surface formed by light rays reflecting or refracting from a curved surface, especially one with spherical aberration.

Edit: jgr (who is a very talented art journal-er, go check her page out) asked how I made this, and I'm a little embarrassed to say that it just sorta happened.
The two pages started out as an experiment with acrylics, white crayon and papertowels. They stayed vague backgrounds for months until I was playing around in my smaller journal and found a watercolour mix that blew my socks off and I knew this new colour needed to be on a larger page with a fishie in it somewhere.
First I played some more with a colourless wax crayon that Patti gave me, then I took my favourite tapered wc brush and painted circles with my new favourite colour mix. I let that dry (and while waiting I drew the apples down below) then got out my trusty white Permapaque marker and went over the crayon resist, following any lines or patterns that I found interesting. Then I drew the fishie, also with the white marker. I suppose he's more catfish than carp but I'm no ichthyologist, so meh.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Playing with (pencil) crayons

This week has metaphorically jumped me, beatn me up and stolen my lunch money. I am very, very ready for it to end!

Thankfully for my sanity things chilled out today and this evening I had time to join back in on Misty's challenge. Today was "draw with crayons"... but I found that I do not own actual wax crayons anymore! Woe is me. So I made do with pencil crayons.

Now I'm going to go play with greeny-blue paint to make myself feel better.

Anyone else have a comfort colour?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Waterlily Pink

I really wasn't too inspired by pink. I tried, but I don't think it's ever going to be a colour that motivates me. Used to actively hate the colour when I was younger and I'm still rather "meh" about it as an adult.

However, I am very, very happy with being able to get one of these in every day this week, despite quite a few commitments that I had to take care of. Yay me! And a big YAY! for MistyMawn for putting this on for everybody.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yellow Chemist Bee

It felt totally luxurious to have an entire morning to myself to paint. :) This is all acrylics (mainly heavy body Hansa yellow with a dash of fluid nickel azo gold) with the honeycomb and molecules done in white Permapaque pen and white gel pen.

Once again I have to thank MistyMawn for this monthly challenge, but especially for this week's pick-a-single-colour theme. I never knew how much I could love yellow!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sad Red

Squeaking this one in tonight... a quick half hour with Golden's quinacridone crimson and a white gel pen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bone White

This is my take on Misty's monochromatic colour challenge.
I waxed philosophical over this a bit (I blame it on Silk Road's Introspection ceylon tea!) noting to myself that I had to have the black for the white to show up so starkly. There's no light without the shadows.

I did this in my Book, smearing black gesso all over the pages first (which, by the way, stinks like the devil's own jock strap... seriously horrid), letting it dry and then drawing the bones with my favourite pencils of all time: the set of EVERY PRISMACOLOR EVER MADE that my always-fabulous mother-in-law gave me last year for Christmas.

Apparently there is also no photo-taking without kitties getting in the act. This time it's our huge alpha male, Wasabi. "MOM! MOM! PET ME NOW! RIGHT NOW!"

Ever notice how cats make philosophy look either totally pretentious or too deep for humans to understand?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orange Beastie

Another day of my head just not being right, but I'm so addicted to Misty's challenge that I doodled this up for an hour this evening.

Monday, January 12, 2009

So Blue

This week Misty Mawn has a new challenge, and this is my take on Blue.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Self portrait #5: migraine weekend

Weekend Update: now with more cat tail

I was up at Pattio's yesterday making a mess of her lovely studio. I still can't believe how productive we were! I got up there around 1pm and didn't leave til almost 9... eight hours of art, talking about art and fingerpainting. Thanks again, Patti! As always, it was both inspiring and refreshing.
This was born from splooging some of my new hookers green acrylic paint around with an old credit card, letting it dry and then doing the same with some of Patti's green-gold fluid acrylic. The bug is a bunch of torn up chequerboard tissue with sewing pattern tissue for wings. The snake is some torn up magazine articles. The furry black tail is my cat Sushi wanting in on the photo-taking action.

Our main objective started out being self-portraiture, a la Misty Mawn's challenge which ends today (next week she focuses on colour, which I'm excited about!). Patti set up two mirrors for us, and we did some blind contour drawings of ourselves. This involved a lot of laughter, as anyone who's tried this method can attest to. It was a lot of fun and this is what I've ended up with. It will likely be a base for something else eventually, but I do like the handprint.

Once I got home from Patti's I realized that I still wanted to play with my new green and this background came about. We'll see where it ends up!

I hope everyone's weekend has been as fun as mine so far.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

By the time I got home yesterday I had to just take some migraine Advil and lie down. My sinuses seem to be making a fuss and if I can't get on top of the headache before it gets bad (like when I forget to stock up my at-the-office pharmacy!) then eventually it gets to the point, like yesterday, where I can only sleep it away. So sadly I never did get to self-portrait number 4.
In its place, here's a piece I did about five years ago of my daughter. I had fun adding in the Odin symbols (the rune and the two ravens). This is another digital painting with tablet and Painter.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Self portrait # 3 and Hubert

Once again I couldn't wait to get home from work and set myself up in front of my sketchbook! I'm so motivated lately, it's a little obsessive.
Today was a very windy day, and so I had some fun with it in today's portrait.

Something that Patti taught me was the joy of having more than one journal going at a time so that while one piece is drying, you can work on something else. No downtime! I love it.
While my watercolours in the portrait above were drying, I started Hubert. Honestly, there's a lot of subtlety lost in the photo. I got some really interesting texture into his shell and it's unfortunately not really visible here.
These two pages are all acrylics. It's not finished yet, but I'm liking it thus far.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Sort-of Me

Here's my entry for today!
I had a lot of fun playing with the watercolours. It was rather tempting to do my normal thing and go over the painted surface with pencil crayon. It makes for a more realistic and "polished" look because I'm so used to working with my Prismacolor pencils and can get very detailed in a way I can't with watercolour.
However, in keeping my new art motto of trying things I haven't tried before, I resisted the lure of the pencils! Here's the result.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Not really me.

Hehehe, a quick fifteen minutes in front of the mirror with pastels, ink and crayons.
Definitely not a likeness, but I AM liking the colour palette. Methinks I'll have to do something in those tones with less slapdash and more attention.

January Arting

My favourite inspiration, Pattio, sent me to look at a fabulous art site run by Misty Mawn who is currently cheerleading a bunch of artists to try art-journaling every day in January.

Given my high creativity levels lately, I'm going to give this a whirl! I'm joining a few days late, but I have actually done some art every single day so far this month, so I'm going to say it counts, just because I can!

Misty Mawn is advocating self portraiture, so I'll go see how scary this is going to be.

Here's an old painting of me from years ago.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another from the way-way-back machine

I'm still okay with her face, but dang I really want to redo the background... and her hat... and the earring... and the nose piercing... and...

This is why I should never go back and look at my old paintings. I can only see the things I don't like about them!.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More from Book: The First

The first two pages are from the first chapter, and the third is from the fourth (insert a "who's on first" joke here).
The blissed out fish one is my favourite, and I think I'll have to do something else with him later. He and the Itself were done in watercolour with permanent ink outline.
The jelly fish came from playing around with my white Permapaque pigment marker (boy I need to try a batch of those! I've only got the white, and it's really awesome) and the white gel pen.
The tree was made with light modeling paste on the larger branches. I put a wash of raw umber ink over it once the paste had dried, then lightly sanded it and then rubbed some quinacridone orange over it. The sky is watered down chalk pastel with a wash of acrylic manganese hue over top, and the tree line is a mix of green, yellow and black acrylic with raw umber ink.
I need to find a better way to photograph these... they still look way better in person.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Poor, neglected Wacom tablet

Before my year-ish long hiatus from arting, I barely did any painting that wasn't on the computer. I have a program called Painter (which is, by now, upgraded wayyyy past my version) that I use (or used to) in conjunction with my tablet, which is the 2001 version of this tablet. I highly recommend them. It's never broken, and the only part that's worn out and needed replacing thus far is the plastic pen nib.
I used to get a project in mind and would sketch it out, sometimes leaving it really rough and sometimes almost a finished piece itself, before scanning it to Painter. The sketch scan I use as a background to paint on. Painter allows for different layers, so I just keep painting on top.
In Painter I'm almost always using the round camelhair brush and water blender... I vary the size and that's pretty much it. At some point if I get back into digital painting I'd like to get more adventurous with the brushes. I know I'm missing out.

I usually paint the background first, because I like to have the brush "pick up" colour when I work on the foreground stuff. I find that tying the disparate elements of a digital piece together can be more difficult just because it's so easy to put them in without affecting anything else. Having all my paint strokes affect the layers underneath helps with that, I think.

The bonus with digital art is that it's faster, by far, and no clean-up afterwards.

On the other side of the coin, though, I find I miss out on the visceral feel of getting my fingers dirty. :) Plus, it's reeeeally easy for me to get distracted by details to the point where I lose sight of the piece as a whole. Usually I'll get rid of it at that point, sadly. I have a whole folder on my one drive that's just unfinished .psd files. It's a very sad folder! I try to avoid it.

I do like the feeling of accomplishment I get from one of these big projects; bringing an idea from conception to life, so to speak.

Maybe once I'm past the new and passionate part of my love affair with books, book-making and stream-of-consciousness art I'll get back to planned and ambitious pieces.

Friday, January 2, 2009

More book making insanity!
It's way more addictive than it should be, really.
However as far as excuses go, telling my friends "Okay! Have to go, I'm binding a book," is pretty cool. I have had one person ask me "why book binding??" to which I replied, "because otherwise they'd just be individual pages!" Duh. ;)

This one's for my mum (ssh! don't tell her) using pictures from a photo shoot we had done last year for her birthday with all of us "kids". Thankfully mum doesn't come by here and I can share it until I give it to her. Fingers crossed that she likes it!

Accordion Book Part Deux

I really wish that Blogger wasn't so unwieldy when it comes to post layout. I can only fit five pictures per post, and getting them where I want them in the post is guaranteed to have me pulling my hair out.