Aug 9, 2018

Wrapping Up the Big Project - Painting & Drawing Tips

A BOY AND HIS DOG - 2ft x 4 ft, watercolour

 Yes, my BIG Project is Finished!!

What a great feeling.  It was a challenge, a steep learning curve and a wonderful adventure.  You know what it is like.  Each new project feels like this.  I think it is a big reason why I like to create.  My creativity feeds on challenges, learning new things and new adventures.  What things feed your creativity?

Not sure what is happening, My Project is a 2 foot x 4 foot watercolour painting mounted on a wood panel and finished without glass.  See my posts starting here to catch up.

A Final Report

At first I was going to include my final picture as a minor part of my post this week.  After last week I thought all the excitement was over.  Touch up a few spots, varnish and done.  What's to say about that.

That was before trouble started. . . .

I finished up the picture early Saturday, I put my brush down.  I felt I was just fiddling.  On a whim I took the picture to my daughter's as we were invited to dinner.  I thought I would get some outside thoughts before I varnished it.

There were others there as well. They all said "Oh, that is lovely".  (Not really much help there) Then my son-in-law said "do you want us to critique it?"  (Now we are talking).  Now don't get me wrong.  You need to paint your own ideas but it is useful to hear other's thoughts.  You may not agree with them or like them but it is important to hear what other's see and think about your work.

Max's ear is too big and undefined

The big problem was Max's head. . .

I realized as soon as they spoke that it was a problem I hadn't resolved and kind of ignored.  The ear was too big and unresolved.  My references didn't tell me anything.  So I went back to Max.
Max's Head Shot Photo Shoot - Harder to do than you think

Although Max was willing to eat all the peanut butter we wanted to give him, it wasn't that easy to get my shot.  My critiquers wanted more nose, but when I really studied him with the stance I had used. I realized that wouldn't work.  I should see a little nose below the ear and his throat not his eyes and forehead.

Here is where I was glad I had 300 lb Arches Paper adhered to a wood panel.  

I needed to 'lift paint".  Lots of it.  I panicked.  You know how it feels.  There is the "OMG" moment 'what am I going to do?'  I have learned to curb that feeling.  It is really important to "move away from the painting" when it hits.

First make a plan. 
I drew the changes right on my picture. I realized right away it wasn't that bad as I could use lots that was there.  I wet and scrubbed using a scrubber, dabbed and waited.  The heavier paper takes more punishment, which is good but slower to dry.  I let it dry several times during the process because when wet it was hard to judge the values correctly.
A Fast way to study the 'whole' picture

Step back to Evaluate
Making changes and adding final touch ups requires careful study with your picture upright.  I work flat. So in the early stages I would pick up my picture and place it on an easel to study it.  When I was deep into 'fix it and final touch up' mode, I wanted a faster view.  My step ladder filled the bill.  A quick climb up and I could check things out.

Finally the Varnish  . . .
After fixing Max's ear, a few touch ups here and there I really did put my brush down.  Then it was time to varnish.  Like everything to do with a BIG project, planning is needed.  To varnish small pieces was easy.  Setting up a space for a big picture to sit for hours as each layer was applied, then dried was more difficult.  But finally 6 layers of a spray mat varnish were applied.  Now it must sit for 7 days to cure and it is ready.
A BOY AND HIS DOG - Finished 

Jurying will be done August 18/19 weekend and the results announced 3pm,Saturday, August 25, Vinoscenti Winery, 15560 Colebrook Rd, Surrey.  Fingers Crossed!!

Etsy Store: WendyMouldsArt  is always open and new things added all the time.  Original Artwork, commissions and prints and cards of Art by Wendy's Work.

Try Your Hand at Plein Air Painting: 

Plein Air Painting Festival - August 17-19,  KilbyHistorical Site, Harrison Mills, BC

Great Opportunity to Paint on an Historic Site with costume models, farm animals, farm scenery, old store and more.  Painting Friday and Saturday, & Sunday Morning,  Prizes, Luncheon, and Sales on Sunday Afternoon.  Great Prizes for all levels - Beginners to Advanced Welcome.

$15  Register 604-796-9576 by August 15, 2018.  
This is an awesome event, there are juried prizes and draw prizes so fun for all levels.  Registration gets you on site for all 3 days.  I will be camped at the Kilby Campsite and there all 3 days so be sure and say hi.  

Drop-In & Draw Sessions: Last Summer Session
New people are always welcome.  Beginner to Advanced 

 Monday, August 13, 10-12pm & 1-3pm 

Expression Art Gallery, Valley Fair Mall, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge,
Choose a morning or afternoon session. Bring your sketchbook or project and come and work.  I will be happy to give you pointers.  $15 Pre-Registration Required.  Contact Wendy Here. 

Artists reading this also find the following valuable: 
The Story of a Painting in 3 Parts,  from start to finish - starts here
How to Paint/Draw Soft & Fluffy Animals, 2 Parts - starts here
How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here

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Have a great Artful Day,

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