Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Under The Influence



Crescent Moon   acrylic on canvas (12"x 10")

I've always admired the work of Mary Fedden and Winifred Nicholson. Their use of colour and beautiful simplicity of subject matter excites me. So I waited with longing for my Winifred Nicholson book to arrive.
When it did I pleasurably feasted upon her colours, lyrical lines, her soft blending of sky to sea and was transported to where she had been, to her very life and there we became friends, her and I.

Somehow I'm always looking to my next work, new work, a new way of expressing my choice of colour and subject matter. One day I like what I've painted the next day it's 'old hat' and I must go on searching for that which satisfies. Of course I realise that will never happen. 'But it's the journey' I hear you cry and you're right- so on I go! 


Spring Light     acrylic on gessoed board (9"x7")

I wandered back to acrylics for these two. For 'Crescent Moon' I used acrylic gel with the paint and a knife in the final stages. For the above I already had a lovely textured ground by previously covering a piece of hardboard with texture paste. This meant I could use brushes and still have my texture.

P.S I sanded this one a little, when it was dry, to bring out the relief of the ground.

Monday, 19 October 2009

October Art Tips


Resting,Cambridge Botanic Gardens. Oil on canvas  24"x18"

  • Give your paintings a temperature dominance- make either warm dominate with cool accents or vice versa.      
  • Overlap objects in a composition- they must never just touch/kiss. This will give you interesting shapes with innies and outies!
  • Odd numbers of things, for instance, fence posts, trees, etc are always more interesting in a painting than even numbers.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

How to Make Reed/Dip Pen



When you want a bit of a change, something to make you loosen up your drawings, try a reed pen.

While tidying up the garden I was cutting back some leycesteria formosa and thought it would make a perfect pen as the stems are hollow. You could use anything with a hollow stem such as bamboo.

Here I have gone into the wet ink with plain water and a brush to give the sketches tonal value.








Step One

Slice off the top of the stem with a sharp scalpel or craft knife revealing the inside. (I cut one and there was an earwig inside! It's all right I missed it.)






Step Two

Sculpt the edges down further.


Step Three


Slice across the top




 Step Four

Make a cut into the top if it's quite wide. If you've made a narrow top leave it.








Have fun but please mind you fingers!