Thursday, May 26, 2016

Meet the Terminator - Painting and Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Hey, I am not taking you into the Science Fiction World.  No way.  I am a bit of a buff in that area but really I live only on the fringe. However,  to meet the Terminator you do need to travel to the Dark Side.

Blossom Time - 5 x 7 Sold
Hard to believe I ventured to the Dark Side to finish this little picture off. 


Today I am starting a new series for my posts, it's all about the Shadows.  You painters know all about shadows, you are going to say.  Put a bit of the complementary colour and off you go.  But from a drawing perspective there is way more to shadows then that.  Shadows have many parts to them.  Shadows tell  the story about your subject.  Shadows tell about your setting.  Shadows tell about your lighting.

Today you will venture into the Dark Side.
Today you will meet "The Terminator".

The terminator is a key element of the shadow.  While depending on the situation that is, each part of the shadow could be the key to your story. Here in my picture "Blossom Time" the Terminator played a key roll in getting my little chickadee to come alive.

To understand the Terminator, you need to go back to the basic principles of a shadow.  Here is my friendly little Apple to introduce you to the Terminator.  When you look at the shadow on the apple you see a very dark edge where the light and shadow meet.  This edge is the Terminator. 

My friendly Apple - excerpt from my sketchbook

Notice how it is has a soft edge where it meets the light, this tells the eye the surface is smooth and curving.  It also says the light is bright but not harsh.  The Terminator is darker and larger near the top and lighter and curls forward on the bottom. This tells the eye the shape and size of the apple and its distance from the surface and the light.

So how did the Terminator help my little chickadee?

Detail from Blossom Time - 

Looking closer you can see the dark edge along the bird's shadow line.  Notice the shoulder area is the darkest.  This tells the eye that the bird is not flat.  It bulges out towards the viewer there, thus giving the bird mass and bulk at that point.  As the eye travels along that line it feels the indentation of the neck, the bulk of the shoulder and the sweep into the tail.  The little chickadee jumps to life hiding in his shadowy spot.

Not all Terminators are equal.

Check out the other Apple up in the bowl. Notice the Terminator there.  It is lighter and smaller.  Telling the eye that it is further back so the light is softer there and the Apple is lying down.  The Apple is only catching the tip of the light before its side sweeps down into the bowl. (Not to confuse you, I know there is another shadow on the Apple. There is dark cast shadow on the Apple in the bowl from the lightly sketched Apple.  That cast shadow is whole other story for a later post. )

Start looking at shadows, find the Terminator.  He is hiding there, waiting to tell your eye all about the shape you are looking it. 

How do you treat your shadow areas?  What do they say to you?  Is this an important element of your work?


If you missed my last post series on Drawing Tips for summer fun check them out.  It is a four part series starting here.  

Looking for a starting point in your drawing?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art.

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
 Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Make it Yours! - Sketchbooking /Plein Air Painting Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY
One of my Best Friends - My Sketchbook

Yes, get that sketchbook out and really make it yours.  Now this post is really for the watercolourist and dry media artists.  You acrylic and oil people can paint on all kinds of surfaces but we have a little more trouble. 

My last 4 posts have been about sketchbooking, getting out of the studio and drawing from life. (Posts start here)  But take a look at that sketchbook.  Your best friend is drab; all black, dull colours, no pictures.  No special feelings when you look at it.  Sometimest there is even tons of advertisement on the cover.  How is that inspirational?  
My Tulip Sketchbook cover - before.  Definitely not Inspirational!!

Why not “Make it Yours”?  Give it life.  When you pick it up, you feel good.  When you look at it, you feel the adventure.  And when you open it, . . . .  Well that is the icing on the cake!

Here is the scoop - Turn Drab into Excitement
1.  Take that drab looking sketchbook and put 2 coats of gesso on the cover.  Make sure each coat is dry before doing the next layer.
2.  a.  If you are an acrylic painter go ahead and paint on the cover now
2. b.  For the non acrylic painters, like me, put 2 coasts of Absorbent Ground (White) on top of the Gesso.  
3. Now you are ready to take your watercolours and paint. Pick a design/scene that is not too complicated as the Absorbent Ground takes the watercolour but the paint does bleed out a bit so tight detail doesn't work well.  (I know, hard for me to give that up.)
You may have to do several coats of colour to get the intensity you want.  That white background does really lighten things up a bit.  Make sure the paint is dry if you are layering colour or it will lift off.
4.  When your picture is finished your are ready to protect it.  Spray 5-7 light coat of varnish over your picture.  Make sure each coat is dry between spraying. 

I have been very pleased with how well the varnish protects my picture.  I have been carrying the tulip book around for some time, subjecting it to all kinds of conditions to see what will happen.  It looks great.  I even use an elastic band on the book when travelling to keep it closed and that doesn't seem to damage it either.  
This kind of advertisement can really take the joy out of your book. 

Special Note: 
If you have one of those books with the thin covers, covered with advertisement, don't despair.  First use gesso to apply a piece of matboard to the back of the cover to give it support and then proceed with dressing up the front. (Be sure it is dry before working on the front)
This really inspires eh?  

Time to get that best friend dressed for his outings.  Paint your cover today.

Do you have other ways of personalizing your book?   I would love to hear about it and give it a try.

Looking for a starting point?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art. Your sketchbook will soon be full of great memories and inspiration for the winter.

To learn about other sketchbooking tricks see my last posts starting here and my Plein Air Adventure Page.

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 
 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page.
 Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Plein Air on the Run - Sketchbooking and Plein Air Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

To Draw on the Run you need minimal equipment and that was my promise for today.  No equipment but still have colour and fun!!

Minimal equipment is key to get into the sketchbook habit.

Deep in the Forest - Ink & Watercolour - 7.5 x 9.5

Picture this: You're hiking, stop for a break, you want to sketch - no stuff.  On a 10k hike through 'hill and dale' you're not taking the kitchen sink. Minimal Equipment Needed Here.

Believe me, I know!

10 day canoe trip with 9 other people - 108 km, 53 km are portages. (that means carrying everything even the canoe over rough trails, usually making more than 1 trip).  All supplies dried, compacted, waterproofed and tied down - no room for that sink!!
So yes, you can 'capture the moment' with your sketchbook! But to do it, the full KISS principle is in effect.  ( Keep it simple s .   .)

I know I also promised colour as well.  How is that possible?

The secret: sketchbook, a pen (my favorite Micron 03 black Pigma Pen) and a little prep.

The Prep
Open your book to a random page, take your watercolours (I like 2 colours that look interesting together) and paint the pages. Wet the page and float in the colours. Let them do their thing.  Sometimes shapes happen, sometimes they don't.  Doesn't matter.  Make sure there are a few darks but nothing too dark.  You want your ink work to show.
My Pages - Note the blooms and lights and darks.  (Next week I will sketch on it so you can see the results.)
Most sketchbook pages will curl with this wet application but they will dry flat.  Don't worry about run backs or blooms, just put on the colour. Leave it to dry.  Do several pages; randomly or consecutively in your book.  Your choice.  Try different colours or keep them the same.

Now you are ready.

On Site
Step 1: Open your book
Step 2: Pick up pen
Step 3: Draw
Whoa!!  You say.  The colours are wrong!! The colour shapes don't suggest my location or subject!
Step 4: Take a deep breath, let it out, put pen to paper and draw.
Step 5: Watch what happens!!
Yes Watch!! You will be amazed.  As your drawing develops colours will tuck inside your shapes or distance themselves.  Those blooms you thought were awful will suddenly become the texture for a rock or building.  Maybe even clouds.  Your buildings might be orange or pinks, but hey?  They all have those tones and don't they look neat?

Capturing Summer Sunshine - I left the drawings partially finished so you can see how the colour is already starting to mix with the ink shapes to enhance the flowers.  Note the darks on the flower on the left how they separate to partially mix with the shape and the rest become background.  This definitely gives me ideas for a picture. I already have a working title!!


Word of Caution
You may fall in love with ink and abstract colour and have trouble returning to your old methods when you are back in the studio again.  (Sorry about that)
Your page can be used for writing, drawing or both!! This is one of my favourite pages in my Texada Sketchbook.

Get Sketching.  Your best memories will soon be in your book, not on your phone!!

Looking for a starting point?  I will be happy to get you up and running.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art. Your sketchbook will soon be full of great memories and inspiration for the winter.

Do you have other ways of using this combination of ink and watercolour?  Do you have a favourite medium to use in your sketchbooking?  I would love to hear about it and give it a try.

To learn about other sketchbooking tricks see my last posts starting here and my Plein Air Adventure Page.

I have a few more tricks to share on sketchbooking.  Next week's post MAKING IT YOURS. Really personalizing your best friend, you sketchbook.  

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar) Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Get out of the Studio! - Plein Air and Drawing Tips for Sketchbooks

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Grab your stuff and shut the door! Time to work from life.


Heron on the River- ink, pencil and watercolour pencil (dry)


Don't get me wrong, I am love my studio and on a wet, gray winter day it is my favourite place to be.  But now the temperatures are rising and the days are longer, it is time to be outside.  Hiking, canoeing, camping and sightseeing are awesome activities to inspire you.  With camera and sketchbook you can the capture the light, excitement and memories forever.  I guarantee, any drawing or painting you do on the spot creates a lasting memory of the moment.  The wonder, the smells, the emotions are stored up in that picture. 
Okay, you are thinking "I can't draw.  It takes too long, my partners won't wait for me.  I can't . . . . "

It is easy to come up with the "I can't's".  However, I am not talking about creating a masterpiece.  (Although, you will be surprised what you can create in a very short time)  Your sketchbook is your friend.  It is not judgemental, very forgiving and waiting there just for you. 

But to be successful you must be prepare.

To really get into the sketchbook habit means you must be VERY portable. For 'masterpiece'  plein air painting you need a car load of paints and brushes but your sketchbook puts you on easy street. Small pack, minimum materials, smaller format - ready when you are. It doesn't have to be limiting. My last two posts have talked about several different mediums one wet and one dry that are light and portable.  Today is both: wet and dry.
Fishing Shack on the Newfoundland Coast - Ink and Watercolour (wet) 

Watercolour pencils.  The secret ingredient.  They are can be used dry, like a coloured pencil or touched up with water to give them a whole new life.  They can be used straight or mixed to get endless colours.  They can also be mixed with ink.  You just knew I was going to get that ink in there somehow.  Here again, you can take a bucket load of supplies but I recommend you Keep It Simple.  A warm and cold blue, yellow, red and a black.  A 03 Pigma Micron pen (or any other permanent ink pen), a 2 B pencil, kneaded eraser, pencil sharpener and a water filled watercolour brush.  This can fit in a small bag with a sketchbook.

 My pocket sketchbooks. I got tired of trying to find a one size fits all so made my own.  They will hold all your supplies and more.  Best of all they fit in a large zip lock back for quick dry storage in your pack.  See them here.

Endless combinations are possible with this little pack.  Pencil and ink, pencil, ink and coloured pencil, ink and coloured pencil, and pencil and colour.  The watercolour pencils are very versatile, smooth value changes wet and rough texture when dry.  They invite you to mix colours as glazing and laying are so easy to do.
Detail from Fishing Shack on the Newfoundland Coast - notice the rich blend of colours using several layers of watercolour pencils and the rich, deep dark with the ink work underneath.  (I really love the combination.  But I know I am that crazy ink loving person!)

An added a bonus with the watercolour pencils, to speed things up you can get your sketch together, add the colour and later go back with a wet brush to finish things up. Your traveling companions with be amazed at what you can do in 15 or 20 minutes!!


Humming Birds at the Feeder - watercoloured pencils (dry)

Time to sketch, grab your friendly book and get on your way.

Do you have a favourite medium or practice for sketchbooking in the summer? I enjoy my books and I would love to give it a try.  My books are always crying out for new projects.

Looking for a starting point?  I will be happy to set you up.  Call me now and set up a few lessons to get you on the road to a summer of fun with your art. Your sketchbook will soon be full of great memories and inspiration for the winter. 

I have a few more tricks to share on sketchbooking.  Next week's post is a guaranteed minimalist approach but has lots of colour and life.  It often becomes a crossover too. (Definition of Crossover: it moves into the masterpiece section and ends up being sold.)

For Commission Works see here
For Private Drawing Lessons see here
For Marketing Mentoring see here
For Marketing or Art Presentations Contact Wendy 

 Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page.
 Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar)
Have a great artful day, Wendy