In June my friend Anita invited me to participate in a swap/exhibit put on by Art with a Heart in Altrincham, England. The theme was “In Bloom” so I had to do something with a floral theme.
So I figured, hey, why not? Sure I hadn’t drawn or painted any flowers in a couple of years, but since it was early in June I had all month to practice and it would all be cool. But it wasn’t.
I forgot all about the swap! I got a message reminding me that the cards needed to be in the UK by the end of June. This was one week away. I figured I would need at least five days for the card to get to the UK, so I needed to make something fast.
I rummaged around and sketched and gritted my teeth. Nothing happened. So I just threw up my hands and said, “I give up!” and just let go. I decided I’d loosen up by drawing the impression of a flower and recklessly drew squiggles and then looked for some shadows to play with. Before I new it I had this card.
By just messing around I ended up with something so much nicer than anything I worked hard over. Relaxing and seeing what happens works for me. Why do I not remember that? Ever?
My card made it to the exhibit in time, the cards were displayed through July and I’ll get a lovely card back in the mail sometime soon. All that fuss for nothing.
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.
Hello there! Can’t believe it’s September already. Now that summer is almost over I feel a little more like spending more time at the computer. I’ve spent most of August trading a lot of custom portraits on atcsforall.com and illustratedatcs.com. It’s been challenging and fun.
Here’s one of the cards that I made for a trade on illustratedatcs.com. I like the way the eyes turned out in this portrait. I’m still not comfortable with watercolor, but it’s not bad. Just a year ago I was so terrified of watercolor. I’m so glad I decided to just get over myself and give it a try. Perhaps I’ll be able to take a class next year, but right now I’m just going with my instincts.
I’ll post a few more of these portrait cards next week.
Here’s another artist trading card. I was watching an old movie called Ten Minutes to Live, which is a 1932 independent film by African American film director Oscar Micheaux. It was included in a box of public domain DVDs we bought a while back. There was this scene where the villian is coming down a flight of stairs. I loved the way it was lit, so I paused the film and made a rough value map and a quick sketch altering his features to make him a more romantic sort of mysterious stranger. Later I did this drawing and painted it with indigo blue watercolor.
I’ve been spending the last few days just making cards. I have a long list of requests. I’m expecting a flurry of cards to arrive in the next few days. It’s so wonderful to get something in the mail besides bills and yet another flyer trying to convince me that cable TV will complete me.
I’ve been working on my list of artist trading card requests. This drawing of President Obama is for a gal who is collecting cards featuring each of the presidents. I drew this from one of the weekly address videos I had downloaded from www.whitehouse.gov.
My watercolor experiments continue. So far my favorite colors for portraits are:
a touch of burnt sienna
I mix scarlet lake and raw sienna on the palette for the base color. After that I go wet into wet and and apply an individual color on the painting moving it around to see how it looks. I let it dry for a bit and then apply another color.
I’m getting so excited about this medium! Do any of you have any favorite instruction videos to recommend? If you could leave them for me in the comments section I’d really appreciate it.
I was tagged by Mary at Artsy Musings and so to get back into the swing of things around here I thought I’d share six random things about myself:
I hate to exercise, but I’ve found that I like using a hula-hoop. I’m just so pleased that I can keep the thing going.
We got rid of our car a few years back. My husband pushes a wheelbarrow to the grocery store. I walk along with him to keep him company. I have been referred to as the “Wheelbarrow Lady.” But not often, thank goodness. I was worried that name might stick.
I’m totally addicted to making and trading ATCs. But then that is no secret.
I just completed my first portrait commission! My client loved it!
I failed drawing in college. I eventually ended up taking accounting. It was really more about attitude (mine) than talent. I’m glad I came back to drawing eventually.
I really can’t think of six things, how sad is that?