Tuesday, 29 September 2015

‘Vibrant Acrylics’ Third Exercise

Virtually seconds... well really, hours from completing two dog portraits; so I’m posting a painting from a ‘Vibrant Acrylics’ lesson instead. Prepared two or three weeks ago this is the third exercise in the book and it's titled ‘Resisting White’.

The painting is a combination of yellow ochre, sap green, deep violet, cadmium yellow, burn sienna, titanium white and lemon yellow. This was a fantastic exercise and although it didn't look exactly like the example in the book, I was completely satisfied. Thinking back, I did really enjoy an art class where we painted white objects.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

‘3xWeekly’ Paint My Photo - Malamute Dog

Found a fabulous picture of a Malamute while searching on PMP-art. This time I didn’t just start the painting without preparation: my first step was to draw the dog on A3 paper in graphite, then two smaller versions with watercolour pencils.

For the final painting the dog’s outline was traced with a printout onto A3 board primed with cobalt blue & titanium white. Using colours from the ‘Vibrant Acrylics’ cat lesson, the dog’s image came to light. It’s not an exact representation of the photo, but I’m happy with the result.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

'3xWeekly' Pet Portrait Lucy My Tibetan Terrier

Found an old picture of Lucy after her first visit to the groomer; let me tell you it was a shock. Now her hair is usually short…but not that short.
B4 Groomer              After Groomer
Tried to keep the painting loose and small so it could be finished quickly…well that didn’t work. After a week trip to the US to see my aunt in the hospital, the painting did take A LOT longer. Although not completely happy with the painting, I've decided it's finished.  The portrait was on heavy cardboard so it was easy to adjust the size with a heavy paper cutter. The original image was A4, but after cutting off the bottom, it's now 8"x10".  It was great to be able to see what the difference would be in Photoshop before actually cutting it.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

'3xWeekly’ Another PMP Image - Harvey the Boxer Dog

This week I found inspiration from a fabulous boxer dog photo of Harvey on PMP. Traced the dogs image and after painting an orange background, started to fill in his face.  It took three days to look nice but it still wasn't finished. After adding gold to the background and changing the shade of the darker brown it was time to put my paints down.  This is the first time I've really liked my choice of shade and value for a dog with this colouring.  Still not ready to paint Woody again.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

'Vibrant Acrylics' first two exercises

As promised, I am working my way through the exercises in the ‘Vibrant Acrylics’ book by Hashim Akib.

The first exercise ‘Using generous strokes’ was a lesson in making confident marks with big strokes and not overworking the paint. It was tough using a large 2" brush as the artist suggested, so most of the painting was done with a 1" short flat. The background colour was process magenta & titanium white; the example in the book had a lot more of the background showing. It was also hard not to overwork the painting… but for my first try it wasn’t a total disaster.

The second exercise ‘Let’s Paint’ was a still life image using strong primary colours. The background was made with cadmium orange & titanium white. Again I had trouble using the large 2" brush, so mostly the 1 1/2 “, 1” & ¼” flat brushes were used. It was difficult to draw the images with a paint brush and I found my perspective and size of the elements not quite right. When completed, though, I did like the final painting and enjoyed the process.

Both images were painted on sheets from Blick Studio canvas pad size 16" x 20", bought while in NYC. Hashim's instructions were to use 24" x 18", but I'm not sure it would change my mind about the 2" brush. Painting larger and with heavy body acrylics is different and really enjoyable; some day I'll try a larger canvas.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

‘3xWeekly’ Looking for inspiration

Started painting earlier in the week so hopefully it'll be smooth sailing. Instead of using my own photos I searched for a Westie image on PMP and found a great photo. Made a good start but didn't finish the painting till Wednesday.

For my second and larger painting (A3), my pet Samoyed Princess was perfect, because the dog is white and I was inspired to use methods from 'Vibrant Acrylics'. Rather than draw the dog by hand, I decided to trace the photo to make things go faster... so buying an A3 printer seemed logical :)). Using colours that Asam Ahib used in his tree painting; the portrait of Princess took only 2 days. After the first day I was in love with it; after the second... and some more fiddling, even more so.

For my third portrait I found another reference photo on PMP of a beautiful cat, 'Spooky' ; if you want to follow the link you must join PMP.  This cat proved to be a little difficult, but the end result was unique. The painting could have been more refined, but because it took over 5 days,
 I had to stop working on it. In this photo, the edges were cropped to make the painting look better.  There is a pattern beginning to form here…I can’t even do '3xWeekly' never mind daily. Don’t know why some paintings are easy and others very difficult. Hopefully I will begin to improve and start painting faster.

To get to 100 pet portraits I need more inspiration and many more dog or cat photos. If you would like a non professional painting of your pet, please send me photos. Preferably of the animal looking at the camera... sorry, I know it's hard to get those photos. Don't expect anything too great; they will not be photo realistic because that's not my style. Most will be on A4 paper and some on A3.  You can e-mail me an electronic copy at amsonart@gmail.com... I’ll post my painting on this blog and if you like it and live in the UK, I will mail it to you.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Kids for Kids Charity Day with Artist Karen Pearson

Karen Pearson, an artist/teacher, was supporting a Kids for Kids charity by having a painting and sketching event. The day was held in Dorking and hosted by Juliet and Mark; their garden was open to artists of all abilities using any paint medium. The cost of the day was £15; a sum that would buy 3 hens and a rooster or a mosquito net to protect children from malaria. The charity founded by Patricia Parker MBE had a goal for the day to raise enough money to also buy goats which could be bred to provide milk and meat for hungry families.

The event was fantastic; you can tell a lot of preparation went into planning it and the weather was beautiful. Karen gave a short tutorial on drawing and painting en plein air; she also gave everyone a list of ideas with compositions organized throughout the garden.

The dog in the picture was not part of the arrangement but I couldn’t resist. Maybe I'll paint her in a '3xWeekly' pet portrait.

The composition I chose to draw was popular, so I also decided to draw an artist while she was drawing the shed. Karen and another artist, whose name I don’t remember…sorry, came around to help with any questions or in my case some drawing advice.  Later, I drew another setting, an apple tree with a wheel barrel; didn't like it but then proceeded to draw the person drawing the apple tree.  These drawings weren't very good and I'm not going to show them. The gardens were so beautiful I spent a lot of time walking around, taking in the scenery and talking with other artists.  It was a gorgeous day and if there is ever another opportunity to do this... I will in a heartbeat.

At home, I decided to tackle a drawing with watercolour pencils from a picture I took on the day. I really like pencils, you have so much more control than with a paint brush.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Top 5 Art Blogs

Lachri - If you’ve been reading my blog regularly you'll know I’m constantly writing about Lachri Fine Art. I absolutely admire Lisa who tirelessly draws, paints, teaches, critiques and helps with social media tips. Lisa must be working 24/7 because she has created copious amounts of beautiful artwork while keeping up to date with practically every social media platform... how does she get it all done? Along with her blog, you can subscribe to Lisa’s YouTube channel (Top 5 YouTube Subscriptions) and lets face it, sometimes it's easier to watch a video rather than read.

Carol Marine's Painting a Day is another favourite of mine. As I’ve said before…her book changed my attitude towards drawing and painting. Carol practices what she preaches and almost every day you can view her blog and see another wonderful painting. Her blog is a tremendous inspiration, as is her book ‘Daily Painting’ (Top 5 Art Books) and her 'DailyPaintWorks' website (Top 5 Websites).

Kimberley Santini's blog inspired me to paint dogs for my '3xWeekly' challenge. A painting of a dog painted by Kimberly was featured in Carol’s book ‘Daily Painting’ and it was absolutely gorgeous. When she started, in 2006, her dogs didn’t look as good as they do today. So, if Kimberly could improve...I could too. Thank you Kimberly for the inspiration :)

My Art Journal by Diane Salter is mostly for art journal craft and not painting but I love her beautiful artwork. Her colours are fabulous and imagination boundless. It’s worth reading just for the fun of it; even though she only posts around twice a month, it’s a nice distraction from my own artwork.

Art Biz Blog by Alyson Stanfield is for those interested in blogging and needing some help. Having not read most of the posts, I'm saving this blog for a rainy day. If anyone has any thoughts on Art Biz Blog blog, please let me know.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

‘3xWeekly’ More of Moose the Dog

Hadn't started painting and it was Wednesday, but at least I knew my subject… more of Moose. After looking at the cat painting by Hashim Akib in the ‘Vibrant Acrylics’ book, I decided to incorporate those colours in a Moose painting. Well to begin with it didn’t look like it was working but after the second day it was much better.

Moose was proving to be a good subject, hence the next painting. This time I started with purple, my sister-in-law's favourite colour. This one came out pretty good as well. Hey this is going good…so far.

For the last painting this week I went back to my old standby…Lenny. I really miss him, he was a truly fantastic friend and companion. The photo was one of my favourites so I wanted to see if I could recreate the same feeling with acrylics on paper. The results were really good…I don’t want to brag but I’m getting much better at this. Let’s hope I can keep it going.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Vibrant Acrylics Art Book by Hashim Akib

Came across Vibrant Acrylics by Hashim Akib; found the book while watching ‘A Splash of Paint’. They were doing a review of the book and I was intrigued because the artist’s style was fabulous. Reading books completely is not my forte… and to my surprise the author was conscious of people like me. By the third page Hashim recommended an assignment to do if the reader couldn’t wait. The book was written for me...great minds think alike.

What I produced wasn’t fabulous but there were lessons learned. One of the problems, yet again, was I didn’t have the right colour paints or large brushes. There goes more money for art products; but this time it’s o.k. because I’ll be doing all the exercises in this book. The colours also suit me so that’s good too.

Will also try to be patient and read the book from start to finish and do ALL the assignments in order. After my attempt at ‘the Rose’ it’s absolutely necessary! Watch this space...

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Top 5 You Tube Video Subscriptions for Aspiring Artists

Lachri Fine Arts has a fantastic YouTube channel. Lisa, the artist behind Lachri, posts videos four times a week. Don’t know how she gets any artwork done, but she manages…BRILLIANTLY. Lisa’s videos are clear, concise and to the point; she doesn’t waste your time with lots of b.s.
Weekly video schedule:
'Art Critiques' on Tuesdays
'Painting & Drawing Tutorials & Demos' on Wednesdays
'Social Media Tips for Artists' on Thursdays(LOVE this)
'Artist Vlogs' on Weekends

Really enjoyed trying Lisa's tutorial on water droplets

The Painting and Drawing Channel is sponsored by the SAA and has lots of great programs including ‘A Splash of Paint’ where episodes are separated into parts and cover five different topics. A fantastic older program is ‘Fraser and Friends’ where Fraser visits different artists and paints with them. You can find these programs listed on the paintinganddrawingchannel.

Will Kemp Art School - if you’ve been reading my blog regularly you will know that I’ve done the cherry painting and I even had a go at creating a YouTube video. That was not easy!!!! To view Will's videos, either go to his website or search in YouTube for his videos.

The Frugal Crafter by Linsay Weirich has watercolour videos of plants and birds along with other craft stuff. Linsay is currently creating a video a day but a lot are more journal related. From a past video I created a really pretty hibiscus;  watercolour paintings that I do on my own never come out as vibrant.

The Art Tutor is a new channel to me and so far so good. I watched a video on drawing negative space and have been practicing it…sorry not good enough to post. I’ve had lessons on this topic before, but this video helped me to reconcile the negative with the positive space.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

‘3xWeekly’ Even More Dog Portraits

Wow, so glad I didn’t go with ‘a painting a day’; '3xWeekly is hard enough. With family obligations, my two young dogs, house work, part time job, painting, photographing, blogging and last but not least social media… it’s Wednesday and I haven’t started my three paintings yet. Feeling a little overwhelmed, I know it’s my own doing but none the less.

Each week an image must be chosen, then cropped for composition, then printed (that’s always a disaster), then traced (think I’ll hold off on drawing for now), then and only then painted. Let’s hope these new Atelier paints I bought at 'All About Art' do the trick :)).

This week’s first painting is of my dog Lenny and it's proving difficult; getting used to the Atelier paints is not easy. Even though blending with Atelier paints is supposed to be a walk in the park...it's a problem for me. The paints are thinner and the spray bottle seems to leave big droplets that can’t be blended. I used the technique of loading lots of colours on the brush, which I learned from Marylin Allis and the overall painting is o.k.. They eyes could probably be better but I’ll save that for another painting.

Again using the techniques learned from 'All About Art' artist Marylin Allis, I painted a quick picture of my friend's dog Jessie. Although this one is more of a caricature, I really liked the results. My friend liked it as well and asked me to send her the painting. My first commission... well sort of.

My final painting of the week is not the best, but Moose, in my opinion, has difficult colouring. At least I was able to try out different techniques and brushes. I’m going to paint Moose again next week with some regular acrylics. His face is really fantastic, but the reds, browns and oranges are challenging. My original painting was on A4 paper, but I've cropped it square in this photo and it looks better.

Well at least one painting was a success!!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Joining the Society for All Artists (SAA)

While at ‘All About Art’ I joined the SAA; partly because I’ve been meaning to and partly because they had an extra bag of goodies if you joined on the day.

So what did I get?
4 water colour & 2 acrylic practice sheets of paper
1 picture finder
2 round, 1 flat & 1 filbert brush
1 fold-able water pot
1 of each SAA acrylic, oil & watercolour paint in French Ultramarine

With the standard membership I received:
'How to Paint–Drawing Techniques' by Quentin de la Bedoyere
Paint your own postcards
Membership card
SAA window sticker
SAA Catalogue

I started to read the Drawing book but haven’t tried any of the free product yet.
Some of the membership benefits I like are:
Free Paint magazine every two months.
Free shipping on art materials... once you learn to navigate the SAA website, ordering is easy and products come quickly & well packed, which is pretty nice.
Free entry to competitions... someday, hopefully soon.
Insurance at exhibitions... a standard membership is limited to £500 but only in the UK & Ireland. Can't wait for the day when I will have artwork worthy of an exhibition… fingers crossed.

All in all, not bad for £29.50 with direct debit…there are other art websites that give free shipping with membership but so far this one is my favourite.