Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to work we go...

Well after spending over an hour sketching her onto a clean sheet of paper, I decided to give my original "Woman with Wine" another go. I just really hate to lose all of that work. I'm fairly happy with how her dress turned out and overall I'm pleased with her. I think I've determined the problem with the shadows.

I had planned to do her in watercolor when I started, but after not being happy with the texture of her skin, I began adding watered down acrylic. The problem was that I was not watering down the acrylic enough, so I was not getting the smooth wash that I was looking for. And instead of thinning the paint out more, I began using less water, until I was using basically straight acrylic. So now her skin is quite thick with acrylic (which has sealed the paper) and now the watered down paint is not producing the smooth coverage I want for the shadows. So yesterday I sat and played with some watercolor, trying to get the right color and placement of the shadows. The results are much closer to the look I'm going for, so I'm going to try again with very watery acrylic and see if it works. I want the shadows to be very clean and sharp, as was quite common in the graphic art of the Deco period. The photos below are what the painting looks like currently...any input, critiques are certainly welcome.

I have my first follower!!

Okay, let me just say how excited I am that I have my first follower. Yea!! Also, I am feeling quite encouraged by a few comments I have gotten from other artists whose work I admire. I welcome any and all input, advise, guidance, encouragement, I have said, I don't really have any artistic friends here in Houston and would welcome a few people who don't mind having their brains picked or who have time to read my ramblings and offer the occasional advise. I am new to this whole thing, so even learning how others have developed their craft would be much appreciated. As anyone reading this will soon realize, I am not a terribly patient person. I get an idea in my head and want to go from Step 1 to completion without all of that silly middle stuff. This can be quite problematic, as you can imagine and takes a toll on the self-esteem as well. I am trying to be realistic in my expectations, but always struggle with my desire to be further along than I am. The fact that I have two young children who are only in preschool part-time makes it all the more difficult to find time to get things moving. Thank you to those of you who take the time to read this and thank you also for your comments. Thay are much appreciated.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Well, I'm feeling incredibly discouraged right now. It appears that I won't be finishing my "Woman with Wine" anytime soon. Part of the problem is that she an original piece and therefore I have nothing to reference when painting her. I have great difficulty not working from some reference source. The other, more daunting problem is that I simply do not know the techniques necessary to make the paint do what I want it to. This is just so frustrating...I want so much to finish her. She's so close to being done and I just can't seem to figure it out. I have begun sketching her onto new paper and I'm planning to start over and use only watercolor. I'm hoping that the watercolor works better than the watercolor/acrylic mix. As for now...I'm done for the evening...I've had enough for one night. I think I'll go take a bath and have a bit of a cry.

Let's get her done!

I am determined to complete my "Woman with Wine" piece. I'm hoping to get some time in on it tonight once the girls are in bed. I just hope I can work through the shading/blending issues I keep having.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

More of my work

I can't figure out how to post a gallery of my work on here, so I am having to include each in a post. Here is the first watercolor I've done since the one in high school. It was done from a photo and I hope to do more like it. I love how this piece turned out, except that it doesn't look at all like a watercolor. Because my previous artistic experience is with pencil, I don't really know how to simply wash the colors on without over working them, over blending them. I really should take another watercolor class, so that I can learn how to use the paint to get the effect I want. I'll add that to the "To Do" list....

The start of my painting career

This is where it all started. This was the first "painting" I ever really did and I was huge and pregnant with my girls. The first photos are of the mural I did in the nursery based on some paintings I had seen years ago. The next photos are of Lily's "big girl room" that I painted while pregnant with Nicola. I was happy with the results of each and became inspired to give the painting thing a try. Little did I realize that murals are much easier than many of the paintings that I have in my head. Maybe I should have stuck with murals. :)

kiddos, kiddos everywhere!!

I have been doing a number of pieces of children for friends lately. Here are a few I've completed recently. I have another that I've just started sketching which is for a friend who is expecting twin daughters in February to add to her 2 boys. I want to do something whimsical and girly. Currently the idea is to have the boys in a field of flowers and the babies emerging from 1-2 large flowers - something like that.

The personalized children's art has been fun and could hopefully lead to another source of clients for my artwork. I would like to eventually approach some of the high end children's boutiques here in Houston about selling prints and/or possibly originals to their customers.

Friday, January 2, 2009

For the love of Deco

This is the painting I am currently working on. I absolutely love Art Deco and was inspired to do something reminiscent of graphic design images from the Deco period. I hope to make her part of a series of 3 or 4 others. I am pleased with the overall design, but am having major issues with her shading. I can't seem to get the paint to blend the way I want it to. In graphic images from the 20s, the shadows were often very dramatic with little or no shading. I have tried no shading and have not been happy with the results. I have also tried shading, but I cannot get the paint to give me a smooth transition the way pencil does. I know there is probably something that I need to be adding to my paint to make it blend better, but again this is the problem with being self taught.

An Introduction

I'm currently using this blog as a sort of personal journal to track my progress as an artist. Even though I don't plan on sharing this initially, I still feel the need to include some type of introduction.

My father was an artist and is who taught me to draw. From him I learned to use graphite and colored pencils and how to reproduce a photographic image with absolutely realism. I took art classes through high school (the piece to the right is a watercolor, ink painting I did in HS), but eventually moved on to other things. I hold a degree in History, as well as one in Interior Design. My work as a designer helped to reignite my creative spirit. I began collecting art about 8 years ago and in turn became inspired to create some of my own. My love of color has led me toward painting, but unlike pencil, I have a lot to

I am a perfectionist and have great difficulty being a student. I rarely sit down and simply draw or play with my art. I typically sit down with the express purpose of producing a finished painting that I can frame or sell. The difficulty with this comes from my lack of knowledge regarding paint materials and techniques. While I have the natural ability, I am self-taught and often run into difficulty making the materials do what I want them to. I have no creative/artist friends which makes it quite challenging at times to stay motivated or inspired. And there is no one to ask simple questions. I hope that this blog will eventually lead to my developing a circle of artist friends with whom I can enjoy the creative process.

A Walk in the Park

Here is my latest gift painting. A friend is due any day now with her third child (a boy) and I painted this as a shower gift. It started as a watercolor, but I ended up using a lot of acrylic with water. I also used scrapbook paper for a number of elements including the clothes and clouds. I'm happy with the end product, though I have decided that boys are a bit harder to paint than girls. Drawing their features without making them too pain or too feminine is a challenge.