Sunday, 29 May 2016

LifeBook Week 22: Drawing in a grid

This week on LifeBook we had a lesson from Kristin Dudish, who showed us a fun way to draw in a grid. I've heard of this method before, but never tried it. The idea is to cut your reference photo into squares, number them in order and then draw a corresponding grid on your substrate. Then you just draw what you see in each square one-by-one, gradually building up your picture. Kristin suggested that we randomly choose the pieces to make it more interesting.

She also gave us the option to use different supplies for each square to build a colourful patchwork in the process. I chose to use only graphite pencils to start with because I wanted to try drawing a more realistic portrait to see if this method really works. Later on I might try the colourful patchwork technique as well. I think this is the first time EVER I managed to make my drawing remotely resemble my reference subject!

I chose a photo of my son that had I converted to black and white so I can concentrate on the shadows and highlights more. It's not perfect by any means, but I think it very much resembles the original photo. It's probably because with the grid method you get the proportions perfectly right, which is something I always struggle with when drawing freehand. It was interesting to see how the picture developed square by square. I now regret not having taken photos of the in-between stages to show you.

Thanks for visiting! 
Have a lovely bank holiday weekend!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

WOYWW #364: Happy 7th Anniversary!

So sorry about the triple entry! My asterisk wouldn't go through because, stupidly, I tried to put it after the link and not after my name, duh! 

Today is the 7th anniversary of the What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday blog hop, Julia Dunnit's genius brainchild. I've only been participating on and off for about 18 months, but some deskers have been visiting ever since its inception seven years ago. That's quite an achievement, I think! Thank you Julia for putting on the show for us each and every week, and special thanks to LLJ as well, for playing back-up hostess while Julia's away.

I made some ATCs yesterday for the WOYWW annual swap. Being a commitment-phobic, I wasn't going to participate, but when Annie suggested that we swap, how could I possibly refuse? Thank you Annie for pulling me in - I would have missed out otherwise! Here's a sneak peek at the stack of ATCs I made. I'll take part in the official swap according to the "rules" and if anyone else would like to swap in addition to that, just let me know!

I'll show you more of my ATCs next time. For now, here's my desk earlier in the week, while working on one of those cardboard panels I showed you last week. These panels are really sturdy! I used a lot of wet media on top of it and it didn't even buckle! Why buy expensive boards and canvases when you can have these for free? Here's my desk during the creative process:

As you can see, the table tennis net is still up, LOL! I'm not going to touch it, because it wasn't me that put it up! It has become kind of a demarcation line. I'm just slowly pushing it further away, so that my hub's part of the table becomes smaller and smaller in the process, heehee! Here's the finished piece. My husband thinks she looks like a transvestite, though I must admit I put those words in his mouth by saying "don't you think...?" and he readily agreed! I still like it though! 

This project is titled "My house is my castle" - it ties in with our quest to find a new house and what it means to me. I took some process shots as well. I started the background with some paint and sprayed some ink through stencils for texturing. The face has been cut from a magazine and painted over. I did the colouring with neocolorII crayons and I added Stickles for a sparkly effect.  


If you're still with me, I've also made a short video of Oreo. His favourite game these days is pawing the plug in the washbasin in the bathroom. He's totally crazy!

Thanks for visiting! I hope I didn't keep you too long!
I always have trouble keeping it short.
Happy 7th WOYWW anniversary!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

LifeBook Week21: Embrace Yourself

This page was inspired by Renata Loree's LifeBook lesson for this week. It's not nearly as loose as I wanted it to be - I still have to work on that - though I quite like how the background turned out. We actually got two versions of this lesson - a more difficult one with an upturned face and this one with a front facing figure. I might tackle the more difficult assignment at a later date.

Renata challenged us to draw hands, which I find quite difficult to get right, especially when you're drawing them so small. She puts a lot of emphasis on hands in her artwork, and I'd like to learn to paint like she does. She actually started out as a LifeBook student just a few years ago, which I find incredible! I signed up for her class Expressions, to learn more about her process. I must be mad and I'm not sure when I will have time to complete her course, but I couldn't resist it.

For now, here's my initial efforts. I can't help thinking that at this point in my art journey, I should be making more progress. Sometimes I feel I have hit a plateau and perhaps I have reached my full potential and that's it. That's how far my talents will ever take me as an aspiring artist and no amount of practice will make any difference. I hope that's not true. It could be just that I have reached the "consciously incompetent" stage in my journey, as I can clearly tell what I should be doing differently, I just can't do it. This would naturally be followed by the "unconsciously competent" stage. Established artists and teachers fall into the "consciously competent" category. You can read about the four stages of competence here. I just hope I'm moving in the right direction and I will get there one day!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

WOYWW #363: A cardboard box, a vintage sewing machine and a sleeping cat

Hello again on this rainy/sunny Wednesday morning. Time for another WOYWW, although in my case it's more like What Was On Your Floor on Tuesday Afternoon? And the answer is a very large cardboard box! My son's new chair was delivered in it on Monday and it took up the entire dining room. I was about to rip it into pieces to put it out for recycling, when I realized it would make a great substrate for artwork. It's top quality, sturdy, 3-ply cardboard. I borrowed my hubby's box cutter and cut the flaps into manageable pieces, about 14-15 inch wide and of variable lengths. Here's the operation in progress (with Oreo looking on from outside):

I ended up with this stack of boards. I will gesso them and use them like canvases. They will keep me going for a while!

I'd also like to show you something else that's been lying around on the floor, waiting to be put on Ebay. Now I'm not so sure if I want to sell it at all! It would be lovely to keep it if I could find some space for it somewhere. It's a vintage Singer sewing machine that used to belong to my mother-in-law. It's a work of art in itself! Beautiful craftsmanship - they don't make things like this any more! It works too, although it has very limited functions. I took some photos to show you its beauty. It's in very good condition for its age.My husband thinks it's from the 1930s, but we're not sure.

While I was taking these photos, Oreo settled into his igloo next to me on the floor and promptly fell asleep. I snapped these while he was sleeping. 

Thanks for stopping by! 
I'll be over to visit as many WOYWW-ers as I can!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Wanderlust Week20: Assemblage with Finnabair!

I was so looking  forward to this lesson with Finnabair! I've always wanted to learn how she builds up her textures and colours. It was a totally awesome introductory lesson and I'm happy with my first attempt. I didn't have many embellishments available, so I just used what I could find: ribbons, beads, metal charms, wooden die-cuts, glass pebbles. The skulls are plastic beads and the vials are the empty glass containers for my microbeads. I've also stuck down some pieces of punchinella for additional texture and there's even a piece of paper doily in there. Here's a picture of what my assemblage looked like before I painted over it, so you can see all the elements. This is on a 12" X 9" canvas, which I recycled from an earlier project.

And here it is with black gesso added along the edges and over the elements:

I didn't have any black gesso, so I mixed black acrylic paint with clear gesso and it worked just fine. I used Lumiere metallic paints and my own home made glimmer mist to add shimmer. Here's my final project:

I love this technique and I will definitely try it again later. I first need to collect lots more dimensional elements, though. Old watches would be cool! I think I saw people sell old watch parts on Ebay, so off I go! Thanks for visiting. I'll be back again soon!