Here is the last gift for the Secret Solstice gift swap that I participated in last month. This was the one I was most nervous about. This cowboy painting was for my new art pal Joan. At some point we had done an ATC trade and she had requested a cowboy drawing. I made her a little pen drawing with a lot of hatching. She liked it, so I thought I would surprise her with a larger cowboy painted in color. The problem was I hadn’t worked in color for quite a while and I wasn’t sure if I could get my groove back by the mailing deadline. But fortunately, I pulled it together and made some decent color choices. I sure would like to get more comfortable with the medium though.
Joan told me how much she liked the painting. Boy, was I relieved.
Here’s a little bulldog drawing for an artist trading card I made by request. I have mixed feelings about this drawing. I think the eyes turned out okay, but it just seems to be missing something. Maybe it’s that the whites are too white. I’m still experimenting with gouache and not quite comfortable with it.
One of the ongoing swaps over at Illustratedatcs.com is the Art History 102. Each month the host chooses an artist and we can make cards adapted from one of the artists works or create a work in the artist’s style. I signed up for the Van Gogh month and this is the best card of the three I did.
I wanted to try some acrylic painting. Since I have a tendancy toward muted tones I thought working from some Van Gogh paintings would be an excellent way to experiment and practice. I had no real interest in copying the painting exactly. I just wanted to focus on color and see if I could get through a painting without it turning out brownish and dull.
I’m pleased with how this turned out. Now that I look at it again I wish that I had kept it.
I’ve been working on sketches for cards I have due soon. I’ve been having a heck of a time. I signed up for something called a PAT or Pick-a-Theme. You sign up for a group (usually about 5 people) and each group member chooses a theme for the others to work on. Well, when I signed up for it two months ago I was all for moving out of my comfort zone and not being afraid, yadda, yadda…Anyway, now they are due soon and I’m panicking!
I’ve been making sketches, which I will not share, and I managed my first card on Monday. It’s supposed to be a “wisdom-filled crone.” I think I did pretty well considering I was working from my imagination. Maybe she looks more cynical than wise. I don’t know.
I’ve been working on this for a few days. I’m getting close finishing it. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the background. The hair needs work as well. Heck, I’m still just trying to figure out watercolor. I get some good effects, but they just seem so accidental. I want to know what I’m doing!!!! Argh!
*Whew* Tantrum over. No point in stressing about it.
I’m putting this aside for a few days and coming back to it.
I made these cards for a trader who liked my Buster Keaton card. She asked if we could trade Lillian Gish cards. I’ve seen lots of her silent movies and find her face fascinating so I agreed immediately. I decided to use the trade as an opportunity to practice a little brush work and move away from markers. These cards were done with Ultramarine and Indigo watercolors.
Lillian Gish (1893-1993) made 119 movies from 1913 through 1987. Most of her films were silent. One of her more famous (or rather infamous) films was D.W. Griffiths The Birth of a Nation (1915).
Well, February is over and I’m not going to miss it. When I started this blog I was determined that I wouldn’t use it as a platform for whining or complaining about things. I looked through some old journals and found that February tends to be my worst and whiniest month, so that’s why I’ve not been posting so much. So glad it’s March and I feel like I’m over my February funk. Do you find February to be just a waste of a month too?
During my month of whining, fretting, and being generally dissatisfied with things I managed to get more practice in with watercolor portraits. I used a photo of myself taken by my husband as a reference here. I totally missed on the likeness, I was focusing more on using color and observing how my glazes were working out. Here I used raw sienna, scarlet lake, ultramarine blue, and violet. I used a little payne’s gray in the hair.
This is one of my better efforts for the month and I’m really pleased with my progress with watercolors. I have so much to learn about the medium and about using color, but I have good instincts, so I am encouraged. It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was totally afraid of using watercolor. Now I’m really enjoying it.
I did this watercolor portrait in my little moleskine watercolor book. And look! No black lines! There’s something new. As much as I love my Microns, I was beginning to feel a little too dependent on them. All of those solid black lines Iwas using were beginning to feel more like a safety net than an a tool for expression. I’ll have to work out how I feel about that.
I got out my paints and did this little self-portrait sketch in acrylics on paper. I hadn’t painted in two years, so I was pleased with how this turned out. After working with colored pencils, it was kind of a relief to work with paints. Painting is so much more forgiving.