Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Calm Before the Storm" (Tuesday's pic)

In this one I started by painting a fast and loose sky with diluted paints onto wet paper, with the intention of letting the clouds "paint themselves" from my broad brushstrokes.

As they dried they reminded me of my time in Wanaka earlier this year - we were walking down the lake-side away from the town, and the sky started to get really foreboding, but there was no wind and still heaps of light, so the colours were still rich and the water was flat. The anticipatory mood is one I've tried to capture as I added the foreground to show what I remember of that scene.

Unfortunately we didn't make it back to our accomodation before the storm broke, so we got pretty wet :P

Monday, May 29, 2006

"Moon-rise" finished/fixed

Wasn't satisfied with this one, so after getting some expert advice from my brother (a professional animator/illustrator) I darkened the sea and clouds, and enlarged the cloud to obscure the tip of the moon to force the moon into the distance - previously there was no indication as to their relative positioning, which was making the pic look quite flat. Happier now - still not my favourite, but I'm ready to move on now :P

TradeMe listings

I've decided to list the odd work (those that I'm happy enough with to try to sell!) on TradeMe so as to hopefully gain feedback, motivate me to keep painting, prevent stuff from piling up around home, and maybe even subsidise my materials.

I'm hoping to list 3 works a week, all at $1 reserve (since I'm doing this for pleasure, not profit, plus I don't want to get greedy and then be disappointed when no-one wants to pay what I'm asking :P). Anything I list will be visible via this link:

My TradeMe listings

Monday's pic

Painted this one from my memory of looking across the harbour into the sun at Akaroa when I was staying there recently for the weekend. I tried to make the colours interesting without being cheesey. I also made the beach sandy rather than rocky since rocky isn't all that appealing. The photo is a little blurry - I'll have to take a better one soon...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saturday's pic

Painted this one on Saturday, and finished it on the Sunday in between watching Pistons vs Heat game 3. It was pretty funny watching Miami react to "Hack-a-Shaq" with "Hack-a-Ben[-Wallace]".... the poor guy is averaging about 22% freethrow shooting post-season, and things didn't go any better for him this time around. Oh yeah, back to the painting... this time I wasnted to contrast a warm, mellow sky with a cool, chaotic foreground. My first attempt at painting using more confident, broad brush-strokes, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

hagley park revisited

also darkened up my Hagley park pic, since it looked a little pale... not sure if it's an improvement, but it's at least more varied. I also added a very light purplish-blue wash to the more distant trees to try to reduce their contrast and hence make them recede into the background.

Tuesday's pic

Didn't have too much time for painting last night by the time I'd done gym and had dinner, so kept it quite simple...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday's pic

This one is based on another photo from Hagley Park, except I've exaggerated some of the autumn colours to try to make it more interesting... it's still come out a bit uniform though, but at least I'm learning about painting trees!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday's pic

This painting is based on a photo I took while we walked through Hagley Park last weekend (and feared for our lives as we walked through the golf course, which was populated with some disturbingly erratic golfers. If you can't get within 60 degrees of the fairway from the tee, leave your driver in the bag :P). The boat-sheds are about 100 metres upstream from where this was taken. Reasonably happy with this one, although the under-painting in burnt umber on the far bank to describe shadow didn't really work as well as I'd hoped. Oh well!

Saturday's pic

Painted this one while watching the Spurs beat the Mavericks to force game 7. It was going to have a boat and a wharf in it, but in the end I decided it didn't need one....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

last night's pic

Not sure how much I like this one. Glad I'm getting the hang of washes, but the shadow is a bit excessive for the size of the tree. Kinda deliberate, but not sure if it worked. Ah well :P

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

watercolour links

Gonna work with watercolours mostly for a bit while I learn. The main reason is that with pencil it's more a matter of grinding it out - you can try something, figure out why it looks wrong, erase and redo, repeat n times until it looks passable. End result is as good as you're willing to strive for, but it can be a bit painstaking. Watercolour is very different, because its transparent nature means you don't have much lee-way to rework stuff - if it looks wrong on the page and you mess with it, it'll kick your head in more often than it will meekly submit like pencil does. So it makes me think more about what I'm doing, plus the upside is that it "paints itself" and does interesting things as it blends and dries, so I'm really keen to learn to harness these effects and have them do some (hopefully most!) of the work for me...

Here are two of my favourite watercolour artists so far:

Jack Reid - A Canadian guy who paints snowscapes mostly, really beautiful work, especially with the way he portrays water. Here's my attempt at recreating a painting from his book "Painting Snow and Water":

Paul Jackson This guy's a narcissist - either no-one told him watercolour isn't the best medium for creating highly detailed work, or else he got told but took it as a challenge. Produces the most incredible pictures, including a level of contrast that I hadn't realised was possible with watercolour. Here's my attempt at recreating a (relatively simple) painting from his book "Painting Spectacular Light Effects in Watercolor":

Getting started

Here I am! Gonna dump anything and everything I paint and draw here in the hope that it will motivate me to get a decent stream of output going. In the meantime, here are my favourites of the pencil drawings I've done...