Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Wishes - All the best for the Coming Year

As this year comes to an end I would like to thank you for supporting the Arts and especially your support for Art by Wendy.  It is your encouragement that keeps me focused and on task throughout the year. I hope that the joy and excitement of Christmas stays in your heart all year.
Winter Berries - This little chickadee adds so much life and excitement to our garden during these snowy cold days.  (Contact Wendy to purchase)
I will take a Christmas break and my next post will be in two weeks, Thursday, Jan 5, 2017.  In the meantime here are a few last minute Christmas Ideas. Gift Ceriticates are available.  

 A heartfelt gift for that special person
A commission - Capture that Best Friend in a Pet Portrait.  A keepsake that will be cherished by everyone in the family. 

And for the Artist on your list.  
a. Private Drawing Lessons   Get more information  here. 

A really special gift for the Artist on your list:

 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.

 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.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Working with Flowers and a Line of Action -Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

I like flowers.
Big, Small, Pink, Blue or White.
Doesn't matter.  I enjoy painting and drawing them.

I know you are going to say, but wait, aren't you the wildlife artist.  I am, but flowers call to me and certain ones really call loudly.  Poppies are one of them.  There is something about the folds and curves of the poppies we have growing in our front yard that just shout my name.
THE DANCE OF THE POPPY - Watercolour,  4.5 x 6 
Drawing poppies presents challenges.  Those lines and folds that I love so much can really cause you grief if you don't have a firm plan in place to draw them.  I have found an approach that really helps me capture their beauty and excitement.  It is using a "Line of Action".  This approach is used a lot for drawing people (see my last post here) but not so much for other things.

The usual approach is to work with circles or oval type shapes with a flower like this one.  Yes, I do use those shapes for determining my composition.  However, for the actual drawing I find that gesture offers little information.
The oval tells me size but no real reference for placing the petals 
But a Line of Action is a gesture that really works.
Here's how a Line of Action works.  I study my flower and look for a strong line that indicates the main action or movement in the flower.
On it's own the line doesn't look like much, but it actually is a great reference!

This Line of Action tells me:
- the size of the flower
- the angle the flower will have
- gives a reference point for placing the center and most of the petals
- gives a reference for the size of the center and the petals.

The major components of the flower can be marked on the line and drawn from there. 
As you can see the points on the line give a reference for where to place each of the petals.  Also looking at the reference points gives a relationship for how big things are.  For example: the bottom petal is about half the length of the middle petal and the upper petals are larger than the bottom petal.  The end points of the line give a reference for the end points on those petals.  It is almost like magic.  This one crazy looking line is packed full of information, just waiting to be read!!

Have you used this type of line for starting a drawing?  Do you use other shapes or gestures?  What is your favourite?

If you would like to walk through a drawing using this method join me at Opus Art Supplies, Langley Store, BC on January 14, 2017, 10:30-12:30.  This will be a drawing class working with a black eyed-susie starting with a Line of Action.  $25 includes a small Drawing Kit.  Preregister here  through the store. This will fill up fast.

I offer Private Drawing Lessons throughout the year, and I would be happy to work with you.  Get more information on Private Drawing Lessons here. 

  A really special gift for the Artist on your list:

 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.
Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   

 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.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Putting Figures in Your Painting - Drawing & Painting Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY
Do you want people in your paintings?
Believable looking people that you can be proud of?

I know what it is like, you have this great picture of a beach and you want some life on it: someone walking on your road; sitting on your bench; something like that.  I am not talking about portrait painting, just some life in your landscape.


Lady at the park throwing the ball for her dog - Graphite Sketch
I have been working with figures and people with one of my students recently.  It spurred me on to revisit this type of work.  (As you know, wildlife is more my focus)

For me the best approach is using a Line of Action.  This is a single gesture that captures the stance of the figure.  I find the Line of Action a powerful tool in capturing the shape or movement of birds, animals and even plants and flowers.  That simple gestured line tells you:
- the height
- where the figure fits on the page
- a reference for the movement
- a sense of proportion
- a strong starting point
- a reference point for relating the body parts
Line of Action for the Lady - note that it is on a bit of an angle
Once you have the line you can begin to dress it up.  Add the body trunk - notice it is in two parts, chest and shoulders is one and hips is the second part.  Look carefully at the angles for both.  They are not parallel unless the figure is standing total straight. Add the head and gestures for the arms and legs.
Main Body parts are indicated

As you add the shapes pay attention to size relationships and angles:  Trunk is bigger than hips; arms come down past the hip when straight;  bent arm meets at a specific junction.

Next add the mass for the arms and legs:
Figure with arms and leg mass added
A few key things to remember here are: arms and legs have 3 parts each.  Arms are part of the shoulder and so come out of the trunk, they do not sit on the edge.  The arm shapes overlap because of the joints, they are not just tubes that touch each other.  The same is true with the legs. Notice that the legs start up into the hip and overlap at the knee and foot. Again, pay attention to size relationships and angles.

 At this point the drawing looks a bit like the Michelin Tire Man.  But that is a good thing.  You now have a figure that has mass and a believable the stance.  Now you can dress him or her.  You will find it easy to place the clothing on as you have good bench marks for things like where the shirt flares out, how the pants fit and more.

If you are looking for more info, this site here is good and free.  Their step by step tutorial has some very good examples.
Do you have trouble with putting interesting people in your work?  Any tricks or tips you do to help make it work?  We would all love to hear them.

I am going to spend a bit of time with the Line of Action.  I will show you some other ways to use it in my next post.  As I said before, it is a very powerful gesture.

Two Things to help with your Christmas Shopping:

Christmas Cards
1.  Take a Christmas Break for a Relaxing Evening: Make Tangled Christmas Cards Monday, Dec. 12, 5:30-7:30, Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Learn how to use ink and watercolour to make some really special cards.  $30 Supplies Included.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy

2.  A really special gift for the Artist on your list:
 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.
Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   

 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.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Finish a Painting Successfully - Painting and Drawing Tip

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Curling is a passion for me.  I love being out on the ice, the comradeship with the team as we work together to "defeat" the opponent. But in order to succeed it is important to place your rock carefully.  Not an easy thing when it is 44 pounds. And did I mention you have to slide a few feet and let it go from 138 feet away.

Visualizing before you throw
To throw the rock,  you crouch down with your foot in a hollow on the ice, called a hack.  You then push off from the hack with your feet, slide along the ice holding the rock and then releasing it. As you release the rock your put 'a turn' on it.  The turn causes the rock to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise which in turn cause it to move in that direction.  How hard you push off determines how fast the rock goes and also how much it curls.  "To place" a rock requires precise weight when you throw it.

In sports where precision is needed all athletes will tell you that it is important to visualize the shot/movement first for the most success.  This means to use all your senses to see a successful outcome.  To through a draw in curling and have it stop in just the right spot requires a clear picture in your mind. First you need to think about how fast to push off, then feel your speed as you slide out and sense when to release the rock.  You need to visualize that rock sliding and curling right to the spot you are aiming for.  Of course your other team members will sweep your rock, trying to make it go longer if it is light or get it to turn more or less.  But you need to give them a good delivery so they can work with it.

This is alot like your work in the studio.   You have the materials, you know your techniques, you have a goal - Paint a Picture.

But wait. . .

Have you visualized where you are going?  I know, you have an inspiration and you want to "get to it".  But have you really visualized where you are going?  In sports it is hard to do something concrete in the visualization process.  Some athletes will do body movements as they go through their routine.  But as artists we have the luxury of doing something physical.

Here is my process: I wanted a Christmas Card picture for my Christmas Cards.  I wanted something with snow, I wanted a chickadee in it.  (Part of my Chickadees in the Garden Series) So then I had to figure out what would be around when the snow comes for my chickadees.  I was out walking with Max and saw some red berries.  Perfect.  Something red for my Christmas scene.  Did I jump in with my paints right away? No.
Winter Berries - Under construction

First I did a pencil sketch of my picture. Since it was to be 7 x 10, my sketch was the same size. ( If I am going to do a bigger picture then my sketch will be in the same proportions but not the same size. Some artists do a Notan sketch to plan their work and others make a mock up on Photoshop.)   Once I was happy with my plan,  I then drew it on my paper and went to town with my paints. 

Making a plan before you paint does not have to be big job.  A simple sketch, maybe 10-30 minutes.
What are the benefits, you ask.  Well - 
- you get to see your shapes and see if they are interesting
- you can see what works for your value patterns
- you can easily make changes before committing yourself to paint
- you can work out problems as you go. 

I had a few problems to work out in my picture.  My snow reference was too bright and my snow was over exposed.  I had to work out where I would put shadows.  Also once I had it laid out I felt the bottom right hand corner was too boring with just snow there.  I decided to add a bit of a branch.  My plan allowed me to try different 'branches' before committing to my picture.

Before my Snow and the extra branch were added
You can see Winter Berries, the completed picture here.

Do you make a plan to visualize your work?  What is your process?

Two Things to help with your Christmas Shopping:

Christmas Cards
1.  Take a Christmas Break for a Relaxing Evening: Make Tangled Christmas Cards Monday, Dec. 12, 5:30-7:30, Expressions Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge.  Learn how to use ink and watercolour to make some really special cards.  $30 Supplies Included.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy

2.  A really special gift for the Artist on your list:
 All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.
Great gift for yourself or an artist you know.  Gift Certificates are available.   

 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.
Have a great artful day,
Wendy