Friday, 14 September 2012

Here comes the Bride.......

Well, the day has finally come...almost, my sister is getting married tomorrow!!!!! I cannot wait, it's going to be a day to remember. As mentioned in an earlier post, I have been commissioned to paint two large canvases as an alternative to wedding flowers as a backdrop to them saying their vows...No pressure! Any way, I am pleased to report that they are finally finished! Phew. These have been a real learning curve for me and I have experimented with so many techniques. In particular, I loved the way in which the spray paint created a real glowy effect. It was so quick too. I would like to add that if you are going to use aerosols then think, 'safety first', I say this as I did ensure that I wore the correct type of mask, wore gloves......and then promptly sprayed myself directly in the eye.....whoops! Luckly I miraculously sustained no injuries. So, then I quickly searched out some protective glasses before continuing. I don't think eye-patches are normal bridesmaid attire. I haven't posted for a while, as I've been so busy lately but I have been regularly posting on my Instagram (see links) it's so quick and easy to do so I have taken lots of shots of the work in progess. It's also nice to get feedback off complete strangers from all over the world.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Still messing about...need to get on with real deal!

 I'm really enjoying working with the aerosols and the cool effects they create, I'm finding them really hard to control and so the results are very haphazard and unpredictable, It's a bit scary that lack of control and just working with whatever the outcome is. It's also really hard not to overdo it as the spray paint is so much faster/instant than my usual meticulous painting method. The work above is yet another practise piece. I used oil paint on the flowers in a very thin layer and did it pretty roughly and quickly. Hopefully I will have time to do the real things a bit more carefully however, again it is a fine line between looking loose or just rough and also an even finer line between looking well painted and detailed or just overworked! I put these photos on my instagram and my sister saw them, commenting that she liked the hearts and stars.....these I only did whilst messing around on this practise piece, but if she likes them then I may well add some into the final pieces. By the way, the spray paint colours are 'Frozen Raspberry' and 'Shock pink', I'm a sucker for paint colour names....I think twice about buying a paint if I don't like it's 'name'! I saw a paint the other day called 'cup of tea'=love! I digress!
Background before flowers etc, acrylics and aerosol

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Alternative to wedding flowers..........

This is a post that I am very excited to blog about. My super stylish sister, Suzy, is getting married in approximately 4 weeks time....eekkk! The whole wedding is going to be a little alternative, with a rock and roll festival vibe. She has commissioned me to create two giant canvases with bouquets on them to have displayed in the hall where they are going to be married rather than having real flowers. This way the paintings will be a lasting memory of the day and give it a nice personal touch. They want it in a graffiti style. Sooooo, I've started experimenting today after receiving a big parcel of gorgeous spray paints in the post...yay! I have to admit I have never really used aerosols in my work before....gulp.....but that's what makes it so exciting! The actual canvases are about 100cm by 80cm, but this little canvas I am playing around on is about 30cm by 30cm.

The inspiration:

First layer of paint on canvas, (acrylic) ....a little too blue for the final pieces, I think we were thinking more greeny grey.

Using the spray paint...This had to be done mega quickly as it was getting late and starting to get dark. It was really cool using it but I really need to buy a mask tomorrow as it stinks! Well, I kind of like the smell, but I know it's really bad for you and I could taste it afterwards....not good! Also you can see a very rough outline. I think I might have gone a bit overboard with the pink...what can I say, I love shocking pink!

First layer of paint to establish tonal areas:
And another photo using a different instagram filter:

Quite like how its developing, it has definitely been worth trying it out before starting the real ones! It only took a few hours to get it to this stage too which is a relief! (Suzanne if you see this blog.....this is the work at a very early stage and not how I envisage the final outcome!) It needs more drips and dribbles and obviously colour! The colours need to be a bit more pastel too, I think.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Ode to Ms Moss...

Added a tiny bit more colour. This is actually inspired by a photo of Kate Moss. It looks nothing like her, I know, I didn't want it to. I just liked the pose and the mask. It's been interesting working on this as the reference was a quite grainy black and white photo so I have had to use my artistic license with a lot of it. I have noticed before that I often am a bit of a slave to the reality of my references and this can get in the way of developing my art the way I want it to go.  I'm still not sure what background to do, I'm thinking a nice pink at the moment, inspired by a Damien Hirst butterfly painting I saw at his exhibition at the Tate Modern. I love this pink, to me, it's not girly or sickly, it's kind of soft and vintage. I think I might have trouble mixing this colour.


 For Boys and Girls - Damien Hirst

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Some progress........

Adjusted the shoulder, dress etc. Added tone and detail to hair....don't know whether to keep it simple in the background so that I actually get this one finished! 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Started a new piece.......

I have such a bad habit of starting work and never finishing it. I just seem to lose motivation for particular pieces but I know this is mostly down to not planning things out first in my sketch book! Something i'm always telling my students off for! It's just I get excited for a new piece and I just can't wait to get started! I'm keen to resolve the issues I had on previous pieces, with new pieces. So it will be interesting to see how far I actually get with this. I think part of the problem is never having enough time to have a good run on a piece...sometimes it takes a good hour or two to get into the artistic groove, if you know what I mean, and then when things are just starting to flow, I realise its gone 11pm and I know I will regret staying up longer when the kids are up and about at the early hours......3.30am this morning with Edward for example!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Finished DNA.....maybe?

"DNA" Oil on paper
After drinking a glass of vino quite quickly last night, I threw caution to the wind and slapped the paint on, I am much happier with this now, it's much closer to my original vision. I feel that I have learnt so much from this painting by seeing it through and I am excited about starting a new piece using what I have learnt. I may even contemplate entering it for the Coventry open....I hate rejection though!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Guess what....Another work in progress!

This is the latest painting that I have been working on. As usual I'm not happy with it. I can't seem to get my colour pallette right. The painting started quite muted but I felt it looked unfinished and a bit insipid. So I tried layering more colour on and using some injections of brighter colours but now I really don't like it! Arrrrh! Painting is very frustrating sometimes! I'm going to try toning down some of the colours, particularly the blue! OK, in an attempt to try something new, i.e., being positive....what am I happy with? I quite like how the hair is developing. Composition is nice, skin tone OK! Further inspiration is definitely needed! At least this work is nearer to being finished than most of my work lately!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Doodles, doodles, I love doodles.......

Today I enjoyed myself doodling, inspired by my lighthearted paint splattering doodles yesterday. It's so therapeutic and addictive but I also think it is really helpful at seeing your work from a new direction. After doodling these birds, I'd quite like to study painting and drawing these in more detail by getting some reference material.

Face over stripes = like!

Hand sketched below was drawn in the car on the way to a soft play-centre. Hands are something I want to sketch more regularly as they are so difficult to draw, and as they say, practise makes perfect.....or better at least!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012



Had a relaxing day today painting with Esme and creating random doodles. Sometimes it's nice not to think to hard about creating and just have fun, this is always how Esme tackles her drawings, no pressure just playing.