Thursday, 7 March 2013

March already?!

Gosh, I'm a Mrs Tardy-pants, aren't I?  Well, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time you'll know I'm a bit cavalier about updating.  Then I always come back and apologise.  I should stop apologising, shouldn't I?  So, I will.

Anyhoo, since I last posted there's been more art done, a couple of visits to exhibitions in London and some illness.

Yes, Jones Towers has been visited by the Flu Fairy who really seems to have been busy this winter.  I thought we'd managed to avoid it but no.  The Lovely Husband has had it MUCH worse than I have - he had the full panoply of fever chills and high temperature.  He's now much better but is still coughing a lung up from time to time.  I've managed to get away with aching joints, lethargy, bit of a scratchy throat and an annoying headache that's been around for about 5 days now.  I do know people, though, who are on antibiotics and a friend of a friend that's ended up in hospital with pneumonia and septicaemia so I think we got away lightly!

Anyway, let's look at some art, shall we? 

A few weeks ago, in class we were being shown how to do scumble glazing to create an out-of-focus effect.  To do this you need to get a stencil brush or two, or (if you can afford it) a Da Vinci pastel brush.  You use what's known as a 'dry brush technique' which is exactly as it sounds - you don't wet the brush AT ALL.  You dip your dry brush into the paint, then blot most of it off again.  Then apply the brush to the surface gently.  It gives a sort of air-brushed effect.  Kim (our tutor) gave us a large A4 printout of a photo that she wanted us to replicate - it was of a tree trunk in close up on the left of the picture, then the rest of the woodland behind it out of focus.  She also showed us how to use gel and matte mediums (media?) applied with a palette knife to create texture on the tree bark.

None of this I'd done before and was a little daunted but found that I absolutely loved it, and it worked really well.  This is my finished picture of the tree trunk in woodland (NB. the photos of mine that I downloaded from Flickr seem to be cut off a bit on the right - if you click on the photo it will open up to the proper size):

Final version

The week after that, Kim showed us how to do a stormy seascape using the same techniques.  We did a dry brush scumble glaze for the cloudy sky and she showed us how to paint the sea using glazes and flicking a toothbrush for sea spray.  When I got my one home, I decided to use white matte medium to add some texture to the crests of the waves, and I think it worked:


So now I'm a BIG fan of the scumble glaze, out-of-focus thing and I realised that, several months ago, I'd saved a photo that I'd found on Flickr that I thought would make a really good painting at some time, and the scumble glaze technique is EXACTLY what I needed to be able to make the painting work, so I had a go.  And it's currently my favourite painting.

The original photo is the one on top, and my painting of it is below:

Meadow flowers painting

A close up of the painting:


Needless to say, I'm now trawling through my own photos and those on Flickr to find similar pictures that I can have a go at!  I'm loving the bokeh (which is, apparently, the photographic term for shallow depth of field, or deliberate out-of-focusness - you know what I mean).

I've found pictures of flowers in meadows (similar to the one I've already done) but I'm also rather liking city night lights as well.  I may do a series.  And, yes, I am going to have to get rid of some of these - I was going to try and put some in Cranleigh Art & Crafts Society Spring Exhibition to sell but I missed the deadline for submission, so they'll be in the next one in the autumn.

I hope people like them enough to buy them, but we shall see.  If they don't then friends and family are going to start getting a lot of artwork from me for Christmas!

Finally, I've started work on the project for the end of this current term's art classes - a large landscape that's supposed to take 3 weeks to do.

I've chosen the picture - it's a photo I took myself from the top of The Trundle, an Iron Age hillfort just to the north of Chichester, right next door to Goodwood Racecourse:

It has some decent sky, and there are nice lines in the composition.  All I've done so far is to sketch out where everything goes.  This is always a good idea because, if you look carefully, you'll see that there are bits in my sketch that aren't quite right so I now know I'll have to watch out for them when I come to do the painting proper:


Anyway, I've not done any painting this week and, in fact, am not going to class today as this bastard headache refuses to go and I'm left with a head full of cotton wool.  This also means that I'll tell you about the visits to the exhibitions in a later post but just to whet your appetite, I'll tell you I went to the Ice Age Art exhibition at the British Museum; 'Death - a self-portrait' at the Wellcome Institute and finally to the Grant Museum of Zoology (taxidermy!  things in glass jars! skeletons!) and there's LOTS of photos to show you.  But you'll have to wait....

PS.  I'm also knitting a scarf in the shape of a tentacle because, you know, tentacle.

1 comment:

watchthatcheese said...

Sorry about the flu but love the paintings - particularly the sea one. Hope you are better soon and yes I do know, a tentacle, would love to make one but it would have to be crochet ;-)