Friday, 26 February 2016

Art Class - Cypress Trees

This week's exercise was to take a black and white photograph  and interpret it in colour.  I used a photograph I took on holiday last year in Italy on a day trip to visit the remains of an ancient Greek city at Paestum.  I have many pictures of the fantastic Greek temples but this one was taken on the very edge of the settlement, looking away from the remains.

I started off trying to emulate the style of Van Gogh.  I had in my mind a painting of cypress trees he had done.  However, that didn't work as you can see.  At the end of the class we compared our paintings to the colour versions and my grass was far too green, the earth being nearly parched in the original, and the sky far too vivid. The painting was finished at home and I must admit I used my colour photograph to help me get more realistic colours. Yes, I know that is not what the exercise was about but I had lost interest towards the end. I have a wonderful painting in my head if only I could get it onto the canvas.

Lesley x

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Art Class - Thistles

I have called this painting Thistles but I think maybe the larger ones are artichokes.  We had to take in a still life to paint but I hadn't got round to getting one together so I quickly grabbed some old silk flowers I had in a cupboard and took those.  This is my first attempt at using my new Artisan water soluble oil paints.  The canvas board had been given a wash of Raw Umber acrylic before the class.  I used acrylic so that it would dry quickly. Our tutor told us it is alright to use acrylic under oils but never the other way around.  I found using the oils very different to my usual acrylics but very enjoyable. For health and safety we are not allowed to use solvents in the studio. The Artisan oils can be cleaned up with water which makes life a lot easier.  Because of the drying time this was painted over two classes. It took nearly a week to be  touch dry.  I won't use oils again in class because of the practicalities of transportation but I will definitely have another go at home.

Lesley x

 PS. The speckles are light reflections off the oils. I must learn how to take better photographs. 

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Claritystamp Challenge - Love 2

Have you had a go at the Claritystamp Challenge yet?  If not there is still time to enter.  Here's another design I made on the theme Love.

Stamps: Claritystamp NDC 69 Love You, Couple from Wee Folk 1
Stencils: NDC 85 Heart and Leaves
Inks:      Archival Black, Adirondack Raspberry
Other:    Spectrum Noir pencils, Sizzix Thinlets Decorative Trim #2

  • Tape the stencil to the top of the card and brush through Raspberry ink.  I am only interested in the left half of the stencil here.
  • Add the heart insert to the top heart and darken the colour here.
  • Use a make-up sponge to wipe the colour off the stencil and enhance the edges.  

  • Stamp the sentiment in the top heart and the couple in the bottom heart using Archival black ink.
  • Trim card to size and then go around the edges of the hearts with coloured pencils to add depth. Also add some shading under the couple.

  • Mask the edges of a blank card and then brush on Raspberry ink.
  • Go round the edges with the colour pencils.
  • Using the dies cut out the decorative strips in a pearlescent card.
  • Using double sided tape stick on the stenciled card and then add the trims using a pen glue.

Lesley x

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Art Class - Earth colours

Still life
This weeks exercise was to paint a still life using oils in earth colours.  I had bought a beginners set of Artisan Oils but this didn't have enough of the earth colours in so I reverted back to my acrylic paints and tried to use them like oils.  I am quite pleased with the results especially as I didn't do any preliminary pencil drawing and started straight away with brushes.  The lipstick was added to the painting at home as I felt the composition wasn't quite balanced.  Not having the other objects at home to compare with it was difficult to get the scale of the lipstick correct but I think it does add to the overall painting. The painting is darker than the photo shows, the flash has made some of the highlights look white but the are really a pale yellow ochre.  I keep wanting to make the lipstick bright red, what do you think?

Lesley x

Monday, 1 February 2016

Claritystamp Challenge - Love

Lots of Clarity stencils and stamps can be used for this month's challenge, Love, so if you haven't made those Valentine cards yet or maybe there is a family wedding coming up this is the perfect opportunity to get all loved up.

Stamps:  Claritystamp Wrought Iron corner, Birdcage set
Stencils:  Leafy Swirl
Inks:       Archival Black, Adirondack Red Pepper, Tim Holz Old Paper
Other:     Claritystamp Theuva card, Stencils brushes, Spectrum Noir colouring pencils, black pen

  • Make masks for the Birds.  Don't worry about the very intricate bits.
  • To help you align the stamps draw a central vertical line lightly in pencil.
  • With black archival ink stamp the Birds and then cover with the masks.
  • Under the Birds, stamp the Corner twice using some copier paper to mask the very ends of the top corners to shorten them.
  • Stamp Love underneath and then the Corners again below this to complete the perch.

  • Rub out the pencil line but leaving the Bird masks on brush Old Paper over the card.
  • Using Adirondack Red Pepper brush ink around the edges, leaving a vague oval shape around the birds. Go back over with these two colours until you are happy with the depth of colour. I chose these colours to go with the Gelli print I had already chosen to use as a backing paper.

  • Cut to size and then go around the edges with a black Sharpie pen.
  • Mount on a Gelli print and then a blank card.  My print was made using the Leafy swirl stencil.
  • Remove the masks from the Birds and colour in with Spectrum Noir pencils.
  • At this point I realised I had stamped my Birds too high so I extended the corner stamp using a black pen to make a perch.
  • Finally couldn't resist a doodled heart above the Birds.

The Claritystamp Challenge is open to all abilities so have a go and you might be the lucky winner of a £50 Claritystamp voucher.  The winner is picked at random so everyone has the same chance of winning. We love looking at all your entries each month.

Lesley x