Friday, 28 February 2014

Day 28 - All The Work Done For 28 Drawings Later 2014

If you count you will find there are 27 drawings here - all the ones I have posted, in order. Day 12 I posted a photo of the drawings and paintings I had done by that date, and of course today I'm also posting photographs instead of a drawing. Day 23 two drawings were posted although that was not the only day that I did more than one drawing - there have been plenty of maybes and rejects along the way.

I've also been painting. Comparing this to day 12 is a little disappointing - although there are six finished, in comparison with two. But since I can't paint full time yet I've only had six painting days since then it is actually a fair bit of work - especially if you remember that two of those days were spent messing about with lovely model volunteers.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Day 27 - The Ribbon

Almost at the end of the 28 days and I'll miss it.

This drawing summarizes a lot of what I've been doing - meeting lovely new people, working with clothing and different textures, emphasizing expressions and exploring non verbal communication. Oh, and having fun.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Day 26 - The Break

This drawing is titchy, at 12 x 16.5 cm - the painting, however, will be big - at least 48 x 66 inches.

The biggest painting I have finished so far was 16 inches square - so just a little bit terrifying. But I have started painting Peek-A-Boo which is 20 x 40 inches and have ordered the 36 x 48 inches canvas for Resting .

But I really want to do these paintings properly and I can't visualize them much less than life size. The shoulder has not been playing up and I have bought bigger brushes so I feel now is the time to get big. Well, bigger!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Day 25 - The Quill

The last time I was down in London I had a good nosy around Green and Stone Art Materials shop and found this beautiful quill.

I haven't quite found the right occasion to use it yet so currently it is part of the dress up box. It certainly adds a very strong vertical, giving quite a different composition from the other drawings.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Day 24 - The Shy Bunny

One of the props we played around with the other day was this gold rabbit mask.

It reflects light in a similar manner to skin - kinda diffuse - and is a very similar tone, so should make some nice paintings, especially combined with the dark hair and clothes.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Day 23 - Can't Decide

Today I did three drawings, but the third was pretty bad, so shan't share it here.

The other two are fairly similar, so am not sure which I'll paint - any opinions out there?

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Day 22 - The Renaissance Lady

Cate Inglis was also kind enough to come and sit for me this week.

In this pose, she has black netting around her but I didn't draw that as the scale is just too titchy and you wouldn't have been able to see her face.

Whether I'll paint this I'm not sure yet, and if I do, whether or not I'll include the netting - it'd be fun to do so but I'm a little scunnered with painting lace at the moment and am not sure I want to do something similar so soon.

It would however be appropriate as Cate's landscapes are concerned with layers and structure and the net would add another layer to what is being depicted as well as reference previous similar paintings.

While she was posing, I was reminded of Leonardo Da Vinci's portraits - in turns out, La Belle Ferroniere , and indeed this is a pretty close mirror image. A good example of how woman's appearance has not changed all that much over the last 500 years or so.

Friday, 21 February 2014

day 21 - Feathers

Today I'm cheating - this drawing I did on the same day as Touch Not The Cat (day 7), but felt wouldn't make quite as good a painting although being a nice drawing, so didn't post it.

But I was out late (for me!) last night so too knackered this morning to draw as normally. Tonight I go out for dinner with the husband and may have a glass of wine or two.

So Feathers it is, done on day 7, shown today. Please forgive me.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

day 20 - Double Trouble

This one is an experiment that I don't think will make it to the painting stage.

Partly this is because I have (finally) decided my definite theme, and this doesn't fit, and partly because it just doesn't quite work.

I was hoping to capture the suprise there is between the eyes closed and the eyes open image but don't think I quite succeeded . Oh well, maybe next time.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

day 19 - The White King

Yesterday we had the White Queen, today the White King.

I have reversed the image, so the two can talk to each other, but feel the reversed image is a little strange - does it seem that way to those who haven't seen the correct way round?

Mirroring is appropriate in case as the white king is one of the first characters we meet in Through The Looking Glass - a book that has been obsessing me little recently - maybe the next show will be Alice themed?

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

day 18 - The White Queen

This one didn't quite work out as I'd hoped - but I think that is partly because the scale is a little too small to portray the necessary details and partly because there needs to be more subtle tonal and temperature shifts than are possible in this medium.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Day 17 - Superwoman

The same model, a different mood.

Yesterday we were very classical, looking back to early renaissance paintings, where the sitter holds an emblematic flower. Today's drawing continues to have that oil painting fascination with light and shade but using more of a fashion model pose - and a superhero mask. In my imagination, she has just saved the world and is being a little bashful about it, just wanting to get home now for dinner/put the kids to bed/whatever it is a superwoman needs to do next.

After all, she doesn't really have time to stand about being praised.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

day 16 - The Rose Lady

Yesterday was the first time a virtual stranger came to pose for me - the lovely Carol, who was brave enough to respond to my facebook plea for models - and even came up from Ayr, which is hugely flattering.

As I didn't have much of an idea what she looked like, I didn't have any idea what poses to use, but as I do have a lovely husband, I did have some red roses to use as props, along with a collection of bits and bobs.

So we played around (and managed to travel through most of history in the process) and got loads of great photos - but this is the first to be drawn - and is probably my biggest drawing to date, at 18 x 26 cm.

So that's another first achieved from doing this project - there are too many to list but inlude asking for input and help at so many stages, from the planning to modeling and beyond - but the enthusiasm everyone has shown has been astonishing and very inspiring, so a big thank you to everyone.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Day 15 - Resting

Another drawing from Donna's visit last weekend.

As I mentioned last time, she brought her own dress up clothes, and in this drawing I really got to have fun drawing them. I may have got a little lost in all the stripes!

The white satin gloves are going to be great fun to paint = so much so, I'm thinking of acquiring a pair.

This is another one that I am very keen on painting - though it will be pretty huge for me, at 36 x 48 inches - and at this size I'll have no excuse for not getting the stripes right.

But this is an image I feel that really requires to be close to life size, partly to do justice to the detail in the costume, but also to emphasize the oddity of the image.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

day 13 - V for . . .

It is almost Valentines day - and half way through the challenge.

So I thought an ambiguous image might be appropriate.

Valentine's is sorted (one of the advantages of being married) although I expect our favourite restaurant will be much noisier than usual. For singletons though the day can be a pain as well as a joy - and misses that romance can be a special event, but needs to be backed up by day-to-day actions.

Similarly I am am having doubts about this project - if I turn this into a full size painting, it will be 48 inches tall. That is really quite big - especially for someone that has yet to paint anything bigger than 20 inches. Scary. But half size just seems wrong, somehow. Soon I will have to make a decision - and who knows whether it will turn out V for Victory.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Day 12 - Turning Drawings Into Paintings

Nearly half way so I thought I'd let you all see the progress in the studio.

The only finished works are the two framed ones. The rest are in progress - generally I start by drawing a loos outline in watercolour pencil, then block in dark, medium and light tones, as can be seen in the three paintings on the left. Next is a layer of colour, like in the Jester, Lace and Cat in the Hat paintings. At each stage I try and make it as correct as possible - the idea is to leave nothing that needs to be changed, although there may well be areas that need added to. If I am lucky, that is the painting done. More usually I notice stuff, or change my mind about the tone of the background, or suchlike. Then more work is done. Sometimes paintings can sit for a while before I realise what needs to be done - or I decide it is finished. The Satin Bow is at that stage - I haven't quite decided if I am happy with it or not . . .

On the board on the right side are the drawings which have started being painted. On the left are the drawings I want to start soon - but have to wait until the canvas is ready. Putting them together like this lets me check the sizes are right - Touch Not (upper left) is a little too big, so although I've drawn it at 16 cm, think a 14 inch canvas will be better.

Yesterday I got the stretcher bars for the bigger paintings - Peek-A-Boo and Two Coins - which is very exciting - can't wait to start with them, but it will take me about a week to get the canvas ready. Oh well. Also I am having doubts about the sizing - one of the reasons I am doing these drawings is to try and get the heads all similar sizes, which works well for head and shoulders. However, the half and full length ones are too big to draw easily and quickly, so I have been halving the size again. This works in telling me that the image works but I suspect is not good enough to check the sizing - thinking I may do full size b+w acrylic paintings on paper for these ones - canvases of these size are not cheap so spending an extra half hour to get it right may well be worth it.

Who knew painting was such a complicated business. Or is it just me?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

day 11 - The Bug Lady

As a drawing, this one doesn't quite work.

The idea is to have a lot more bugs crawling in her hair, especially on the right hand side. I suspect I'll need to start painting this one before knowing if it'll work or not - a lot of the interest will be in the colour changes in the insets, with lovely greens and blues. Not something that is drawable by me at this scale in black and white!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Day 10 - Lace

Today I am cheating and posting a drawing from a few weeks ago.

This is because I have been painting all day (with loads still to do) and am surprisingly exhausted - and as I didn't draw this morning (being keen to get into the studio) I suspect I shan't be drawing at all today. Did do two yesterday, though - unfortunately I didn't scan them both. Oh well.

The painted version of this is waiting to have the white lace added - I am quite looking forward to this, as it is the kind of thing that turns a "what is that? painting into an "oh gosh" painting. If it goes right, that is.

But I remember someone saying that if there is no risk, there is no excitement.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

day 9 - The Clown Princess

Yesterday I called in a longstanding promise, for Donna to pose for me in her clown finery.

And what finery it is! The make-up, the bowler hat, the ruff, the dungarees . . . it was magic to get to play with someone else's play up box, and has given me loads of ideas for new props - and, of course, lots of new photographs to work from, which is all very exciting.

Today I'm using a paper new to me - Strathmore charcoal sheets - this particular grey is nice, but maybe a bit pale for me. The sheets also seem to crease an awful lot as well. Still, if they are more colourfast than the fabriano ingres I've been using so far, then that would be great - I'll just have to sit a bit out somewhere with a part covered and see what happens.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Day 8 - Hidden

This is one of those drawings where I thought, well, maybe, let's see - but was very pleasantly surprised by the result - isn't it odd how both photographs and drawings are 2 dimensional, but a weak photograph can make a terrific drawing - and of course vice versa.

Don't you think she's like a princess (Jasmine, maybe) sneaking out to have a bit of fun?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Day 7 - Touch Not The Cat

Why the title? Well, it will make more sense in the upcoming exhibition, where there'll be a painting of the same lady with a cat mask. Also, in this particular drawing she seems perfect, too good for us normal folks - it is not quite clear in the drawing, but the make-up and hair is professional level.

My husband asks me why would anyone want to look at the back of a head but I do feel drawn to painting them - that character can be shown this way, without the distraction of momentary moods. After all, the back of the head shows us posture and hair, both of which tend not to be a short term appearance but a reflection of our more long term ideas about ourselves.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Day 6 - Cat's Eye

One of the themes I am interested in exploring is that of doubling - using masks, mirrors, shadows and so on.

This one has a very proper young lady showing she has a more kittenish side, for those that can see.

I am not sure what size of painting this will be - 12 x 16 inches will make the face half the size of most of the others. But making it 24 x 32 inches will leave an awful lot of fairly flat colour, with a little flurry of detail on the face and glasses - which could either really work or be a disaster. Hmmm. Any opinions?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Day 5 - The Coins

What to say about this one?

Well, to start with, it involved a very patient indeed model - she had to lie on my cold floor with chocolate coins over her eyes while I loomed above her taking photos - most of which ended up with my feet in them - just as well I'm not a photorealist.

Moira is used to these sorts of shenanigins, though, both through having been my very first ever model and being an artist herself - she runs Felt In Art so I really ought to do a drawing or painting with one of her creations. Maybe next time.

As to the inspiration, once I started thinking about using everyday, childish things as props I knew I wanted to use the chocolate coins - not least because it is always good to be able to eat your accessories. The idea of someone lying back with the coins on their eyes came to me so strongly that I am worried I am plagiarising someone unwittingly - hopefully it is the concept (which is quite an old one, after all) and not a specific image that I am stealing. After all, in representational art concerning the human body there are very few new ideas - Madonna and child has been painted umpteen times, for example, yet we are not tired of it yet.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Day 4 - The Cat In The Hat WIP

Today I thought I'd show one of the uses of my drawings - to use as a guide for painting.

As you can see, first I start by scaling up and drawing on the canvas with watercolour pencil - I use watercolour pencil because it is picked up by the paint in the next stage and therefore does not show through in subsequent layers. As you can see I had a wee bit of trouble with the drawing for some reason and ended up having to do it twice.

Next is putting in a thin layer of dark, which really creates the backbone of the final painting - the plan is to not put an awful lot on top of this layer. Next the midtones and lights are added - at this stage, as medium is being used and the paint is fairly thin, there may not be a huge difference between these - but the brushwork kind lets me know which is which, when I move onto the next stage, adding colour.

Which I have yet to do - this is the stage that takes the longest generally. Sometimes this works straight off, but more usually I'll spend a fair amount of time wiping the paint off before I get something I like. Oh well. When I do get it finished, I'll post it here - whether that's next week or months from now . . .

Monday, 3 February 2014

Day 3 - The Handsome Devil

Well, isn't he?

One of the things I find interesting is how peoples body language changes according to how they dress - in this case, the horns brought out a playful side.

They are red, of course, and covered in glitter - another interesting texture to paint. Overall this painting will be fairly neutral in the background and coat, with much more highly coloured face - and the horns.

Another one I am interested to see how it turns out as it will be challenging - and I hope it meets the approval of the very obliging model!.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Day 2 - Peek-a-boo

This one I'm really excited about painting - it will be my biggest painting to date - at 20x40 inches - by quite a large margin. But I am much happier painting at close to life size and although Dolly (the model) is teeny a 3/4 length still works out quite big.

Although all those folds are gonna be a challenge I feel that having spent a fair bit of time painting origami last autumn should help. Hands will be new to me as well, so we will just have to wait and see how that turns out - although I have of course painted hands frequently before in the life drawing room.

However, if it is successful it will give me the courage to keep going and paint more than head-and-shoulders. Which, of course, gives me communicate much more.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Day 1 28 Drawings Later, 2014

Here we are again.

For the first day of the 28 Drawing Later Challenge I though I'd draw me so I would be eaasy to identify.

This year I am working on a big project, based around people exploring aspects of themselves through clothing and props.

On Thursday I had a rumage around in the prop box and found this jester's hat that I had made from paper, and thought being a joker would be a rather fun thing to be - and hopefully be entertaining for the rest of you. Originally this was only to be for today's drawing, but I think that this may well make a good painting - perhaps with some else posing, though, we'll see. (Although, yes, I know it isn't a brilliant likeness - the jaw line is wrong, amongst other stuff.)

Anyway, hope you like it and good luck with your own drawing - you are all taking part, aren't you?