Feb 20, 2020

The Trouble with Photo References - Painting and Drawing Tips

It was one of our West Coast Snow Days.  
2 - 3 inches of snow on the ground, cloudy sky and rain ready to fall to wipe out the snow.

SHORT-EARED OWL: ON THE PROWL - Nearly ready for my Up Coming Show on March 6-8 

I was out in the park with my grand-kids.  I snapped a few pictures.  They were Awesome.  (Well, they are my grand-kids).  But really they were good.  The lighting was just right.  No shadows, great colour, wonderful clarity. The portraits I took were soooo cute.  I was thrilled. 

But they were No good for drawing or painting . . . .

Why not??      No Shadows. . . .


Take a look at these shots of a young barred owl.  My grandson found him on the trail and took me out to see him.  It was really neat to see this young owl just sitting on the branch watching people go by on the trail.  I took a few shots of him.  

Young Barred Owl on the trail - Photo

Yes, got a clear image.  Yes, got lots of details on his feather patterns.  You can even see his claws peeking out from his feathers.  But there are no shadows.  Nothing to give drama to the painting. The painting would be a good rendering of the owl.  But nothing to really grab the eye and command its attention.

Take another look at my Short Eared Owl: On the Prowl at the top of my page. Even though he is not finished  Notice how the shadows on his face command your attention.  The darks in his feather pattern move your eye down his body but the darks in his face keep you going back to it. This adds a little tension to the picture.  Creates a sense of movement. That strong contrast of dark and light on his face commands your eye's attention.  These things all add that extra piece of drama. 

Maybe you wont want that drama in the drawing of my grandson.  He is very cute and could probably hold your attention on his own but for other things you might want more. 

Getting shots with that extra bit a drama does take time.  Early morning or late in the day are my favourite times.  The sun is at an angle and the shadow patterns tend to be more interesting.  I do a few test shots and check my angle.  Then I click away.  You never know when they will move.  I found if I wait and wait to click, it is usually too late.  Sure clicking end up with lots of shots but  . . . they are easy to delete. If I am lucky there will be 1 or 2 I can use.  

Once you have the shot, the story doesn't end there. There are other issues to deal with.   Often I take my bird or animal and put them into a new setting.  And as you suspect, integrating my subject into a new environment has its own problems. If this is part of your story too,  I suggest the following for further reading:

Integration Part 2: Art Tip - Multiple Reference Photos - putting your subject 'into' the environment
Getting the RIGHT Reference for you Wildlife Painting - things to think about when selecting a photo to work with
Time for a Photo Shoot - going on a Photo shoot

COMING UP FAST!!!!

March 6-8, 2020 - The West Fine Arts Show
In support of Langley School District Youth Homelessness Initiatives
Friday March 6, 7-9pm              Saturday March 7, 11-7pm              Sunday, March 8, 11-5pm

 Peter Ewart Middle School, 7755 202A St, Langley BC. 

 Yes, I have teamed up with this great show event: 22 Professional Artists, Awesome Art, a show you shouldn't miss.  Looking forward to seeing you there. 


Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery is always Open


Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing/Painting lessons in graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils Or any combination of these.
Flexible Schedule, at my Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey. 
Gift Certificates Available 

My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, Prints, Commission Work and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

Be sure to like and share my posts to keep me coming into your box, 
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy

Feb 13, 2020

Painting with Dirty Water - Painting and Drawing Tips

OMG!  It was my turn to putt.  
Fast greens, sloping to the left, 10 ft to the hole.  Not easy.  

 There was no way I could use a full swing.  Not even a half swing.  Or a quarter swing.  We're talking only a nudge.  Then wait and hope. . .   
Isn't that just like painting with dirty water?. . . .

PICK OF THE HERD - Watercolour. Matted to 16 x 20, $500

When painting with watercolour there are all kinds of way to describe the mix of pigment to water. A really thick mix, so dry it barely moves. A rich creamy mix like thick cream. (The full swing)  A slightly thinner mix like milk. (The half swing)  Then there is the thinner mix like weak tea - the quarter swing.  But dirty water, that is a very thin mix of pigment to water - THE NUDGE.  

Looking at my horses in 'The Pick of the Herd" you might think I definitely didn't need dirty water to paint them.  But actually you might be surprised.  There were times when I was glazing, when I did want to nudge the colour a bit and soften the edges.  Take a look at the background.  That was definitely a case of Dirty Water.  Dirty water has many uses in the painting world.  (See last post 'Secrets they never told you about glazing with watercolour'.

Notice the test area for my Dirty Water in the background between the horses legs.  

How do you make Dirty Water?

Seems easy enough. Mix a bit of pigment with lots of water and away you go.  I find that having the right mixing space really makes a big difference.  Mixing colours in my palette is fine when I want darks but the subtle light shades can become tinted so easy: bits of pigment in the crevices of the palette; drops of pigment as I move across the palette; colours running from other areas. Not what I want.

Dishes are great to mix colours - note how you can have 2 colours and blend them in various strengths. 

My favourite mixing trays are . . . .

From the Dollar Store.  They have nice little white porcelain plates 3.5 x 3.5 inches square, that are great.  My paints don't bead up, they mix or separate as they want, I can may big puddles or small, and have two colours mixed several different strengths on one little plate.  They are easy to clean when I want  free clean spot to mix on.  They come in different shapes as a lot of them are little sushi dishes. They are awesome for mixing dirty water in large or small quantities.

My dirty water puddle.  Remember watercolour dries lighter and will also be diluted more when used wet into wet. 

Painting my Background with Dirty Water . . .

In my picture 'The Pick of the Herd', I wanted the silver grays of  the Thompson Plateau area in early spring.  The horses are out on the range which is warm and arid in summer but after the snow it is silvery grays as the ground wakes up for spring.  I wanted to tell that story.

Putting water down first I painted my subtle light grays over the area.  While things were still wet I added slightly darker colours to suggest shrubs and bushes. Painting wet into wet meant I would have soft edges and using Dirty Water, kept all the colours muted.  I used the same colours as I used on my horses and fences. After everything was dry, I used some dry brushing to put some foliage around the horses. 

Further Reading:
Get Those Values Working for You - looks at how values can bring your work depth and mass
6 Stories Your Edges Tell - Looks at the story your hard and soft edges tell in a painting


Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery is always Open


Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing/Painting lessons in graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils Or any combination of these.
Flexible Schedule, at my Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey. 
Gift Certificates Available 


February is Marketing Month for Artists!!

Each February I offer an all day workshops “Let’s Get Your Art Out There!!”
2020 Date: February 23, 10-3pm
Having trouble getting started or knowing where and what to do?
This workshop gets your Marketing Plans fired up to new and more successful levels. Learn the basics of today’s Marketing World, learn how to develop markets both online with Social Media and off line in your community, learn how to develop a productive network, and set up a Marketing Plan that will work for you. Taking this workshop is a valuable step in moving your business forward. Workshop runs 10-3:00 pm with a lunch break.    Class limited to 8 people  2 Spots Left
Cost $90 + Tx       Pre-Registration Required, contact Wendy      Gift Certificates Available
Save the Date . . . . .
March 6-8, 2020 - The West Fine Arts Show.  Peter Ewart Middle School, 7755 202A St, Langley BC.  Yes, I have teamed up with this great show event: 20 Professional Artists, Awesome Art, a show you shouldn't miss.  


My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, Prints, Commission Work and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

Be sure to like and share my posts to keep me coming into your box, 
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy

Feb 6, 2020

Secrets they never told you about Glazing with Watercolour - Painting & Drawing Tips

How did you learn to paint?
Few classes. Few books. Some YouTube. Lots of Practice.
That's how I learned too!

PICK OF THE HERD - Work in Progress #3 - Watercolour 12 x 16. 

Really its a never ending journey, there is always more things to do and try.  I must admit glazing wasn't really something I spent a lot of time with. The book said put down yellow, glaze with blue and you got a green.  So what? Now I know, different.

They didn't tell me the Secrets . . .

There is way more to glazing then getting a different shade of green.  

When I create my birds and animals I like them to be similar to my drawings.  Very lifelike. Feathers and fur soft to touch.  With a deep sense of realism.  In order to do that in graphite, I need to work in layers.  When I moved to watercolour I realized I needed to do the same thing.  Layers.  Lots of layers. 

Suddenly, I was in the World of Glazing and didn't even realize it.  As I was blending my edges, fighting to get the right colour, I accidentally glazed.  Ooooh!  You are probably thinking.  Maybe I do that too. 

What is glazing?
Glazing is putting a light layer of wash over another colour that is dry.  The result is a colour change to the initial colour.  Usually this is done with transparent colours.  The result is a very transparent look.  (ie.  the light goes through the pigment to the paper and there is a shine to the area.) 

But there is more to glazing than the transparent look . . . 

WIP #1: Under-painting for the body - Wet onto dry.  (not sure why I did the head first, I just did. A funny place to try out my colours but  . . )

Check out the under-painting for 'The Pick of the Herd'.  Notice the 3 different areas of his body.  I put down only a base colour that I wanted to shine through. 

Did you know purple glazed over orange equals brown?

And really interesting browns too.  A red purple gives a much different look than a blue purple. (Of course you have to use a mixed purple rather than one straight out of the tube.)

Once I had my base down, I glazed over the areas with different colours.  At first I glazed with my warm yellow orange, to darken the colour. Then I started to lay out the markings with darker colours.  Then more glazing. 

Why all this glazing?

1.  Transparency: I wanted my horse to have a transparent look.  It seems to give my animals a great sense of mass.  I also really like that look.  To me his heightens the realistic look I am seeking.

WIP # 2 - Building up the layers on the neck and mid section of the horse.  Not the strong red glazed on to the front leg and the lower stomach.  
2.  Blending: The colour transitions on an animal have to be smooth and blended.  By putting the markings on early, it allows the many layers on top to smooth those edges.  You can see that the markings on my horse have a smooth transition from dark to light.

3.  Add tints of colour: My horse has a redish tone to his coat and I wanted that in the final results.  So on many of the transition points of light to dark, I glazed with a red. Light glazes of course.  This gave rich redish tones to my golden yellow area.  You can see this in the 2nd WIP picture of my horse. 

4. Darkening Colour: Of course you can also just keep glazing with the same colours.  This will make your colour darker but also gives it a rich tone.  The transparency quality gives it depth, giving the horse's hide a softness that makes you want to touch it. 

As you work with glazing you will probably think of other ways you use it.  It can be in big areas or small.  For me though,  these are the big 4 ways I use it. 

Side Notes:
- It takes many layers to build up your colour. 
- Because you are working wet onto dry, you must wait until the layers below are dry.  Patients is needed.  I work in other areas of the picture while I wait, work on a drawing or fold the laundry. 
- You can't fiddle.  One or two brush strokes then move on.  If you 'work an area' with too many strokes you will lift the paint underneath.  Remember, you are only putting on a light layer of pigment so let things dry and try again. 
- My Palette for the main horse:  Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Rose (for my purple); Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Indian Red (a new colour I was trying out)

Try some glazing.  It is really amazing how you can change colours. 

Further reading:

Step-by-Step Glazing with Watercolour - a detailed look at how the layers are added
The Secrets of Watercolour Paper - a look at different types of paper and how they will perform when glazing and other types of painting with watercolour.
Watercolour Over Glazes - John Lovett - interesting different colours to glaze with and other uses for it. 
Transparent and Opaque Watercolour - DeviantArt - a good discussion on the what and how they can be used.

Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery is always Open

Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing/Painting lessons in graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils Or any combination of these.
Flexible Schedule, at my Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey. 
Gift Certificates Available 

February is Marketing Month for Artists!!

Each February I offer an all day workshops “Let’s Get Your Art Out There!!”
2020 Date: February 23, 10-3pm
Having trouble getting started or knowing where and what to do?
This workshop gets your Marketing Plans fired up to new and more successful levels. Learn the basics of today’s Marketing World, learn how to develop markets both online with Social Media and off line in your community, learn how to develop a productive network, and set up a Marketing Plan that will work for you. Taking this workshop is a valuable step in moving your business forward. Workshop runs 10-3:00 pm with a lunch break.    Class limited to 8 people  3 Spots Left
Cost $90 + Tx       Pre-Registration Required, contact Wendy      Gift Certificates Available

Save the Date . . . . .
March 6-8, 2020 - The West Fine Arts Show.  Peter Ewart Middle School, 7755 202A St, Langley BC.  Yes, I have teamed up with this great show event: 20 Professional Artists, Awesome Art, a show you shouldn't miss.  


My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, Prints, Commission Work and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

Be sure to like and share my posts to keep me coming into your box, 
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy

Jan 30, 2020

Do You use a PRACTICE SWING in your Drawing - Painting & Drawing Tips

I like to golf.
I love walking out on the course.  Chatting with a few friends.  Where I golf there are lots of mountain views and vistas of the valley.  It feels good to be out there.

Black-eyed Susies - Sketchbook Practice.  

In golf you use a practice swing.  

It is a very important stroke.  Especially when you start to play.  You walk up to the tee box.  Get into your stance.  And do a few practice swings.  Sooooo important.

That swing sets you up.  Let's your body know what is happening.  Let's you check that your balance is right.  You feel the wind, the heat, you visualize what is coming.

Your ready. . .

When you start a drawing or lay out a painting on canvas, a practice swing can set you up.  I like to call it a Rehearsal.  (Not sure if there is a name for it in art, but that is mine).  For a practice swing you get into position.  You swing your club

but you do not hit the ball. . . .

For your rehearsal in drawing you will get into position, hold your pen or brush and go through the motion of the line/stroke you want. (This is a gesture movement.)

But you do not make a mark. . .

When you do a rehearsal, you Inner Critic will quickly tell you what is right and wrong about your proposed line.  

Why?  What is the point?  Why not just jump in and go for it?  Like the practice swing, the rehearsal motion at the beginning makes you ask several questions:

1.  Is my arm comfortable, can I do it in a single motion?
2.  Is the line going to be the right length?
3.  Is the placement of the line going to work?  Will my subject fit where it needs to be?
4.  Does the angle look/feel right?
5.  Am I ready and focused on what I am doing?  Can I feel the line?

Your Inner Critic will come into play as well.  Answering many of those questions.  It may also suggest something better. 

Once your golf game is under way, the practice stroke does not disappear.  Have you ever watched a PGA player when he is in a difficult lie? Behind a tree.  In the rough. On a steep bank.  ( I, of course, have never had that problem when I golf.  LOL)  They will do a few practice swings.  Often without a club.  They want to check their balance and line of sight.  Get a strong feel for what they want to accomplish.  (If I had several thousand dollars hanging on my shot I would want to really feel it. Visualize it.  Before I hit, too. )

My rehearsal stroke gives me a feel as to where to put my stem.  Check the flowers at the top of the page.  I definitely did a rehearsal to find good places for all those stems. 

The rehearsal stroke doesn't only happen at the beginning of a drawing either.  As you move from the big shapes to more detail,  you will get into tight spots too.

1.  Drawing the rigging on a sailboat.  I definitely like to do a rehearsal first.
2.  Capturing the gesture of the movement of a leg or arm.
3.  Adding that detail trim line to a shape.  Especially when you only get one shot at it.  ( I know you acrylic and oil people can wipe it off and do it again.  But to really capture that lively line you need to be ready to do it once, with a flourish.)

Not sure if you do a rehearsal stroke.  I do. Quite often.  Am I the only one??

Further reading:
There are Rehearsals in Drawing?   A look at the power of a rehearsal in drawing with permanent ink.
Have you Felt the Freedom of the Line?   A look at the rehearsal and other types of lines used in drawing with permanent ink.

Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery is always Open


Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing/Painting lessons in graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils Or any combination of these.
Flexible Schedule, at my Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey. 
Gift Certificates Available 

February is Marketing Month for Artists!!

Each February I offer an all day workshops “Let’s Get Your Art Out There!!”
2020 Date: February 23, 10-3pm
Having trouble getting started or knowing where and what to do?
This workshop gets your Marketing Plans fired up to new and more successful levels. Learn the basics of today’s Marketing World, learn how to develop markets both online with Social Media and off line in your community, learn how to develop a productive network, and set up a Marketing Plan that will work for you. Taking this workshop is a valuable step in moving your business forward. Workshop runs 10-3:00 pm with a lunch break.    Class limited to 8 people  3 Spots Left
Cost $90 + Tx       Pre-Registration Required, contact Wendy      Gift Certificates Available

Save the Date . . . . .
March 6-8, 2020 - The West Fine Arts Show.  Peter Ewart Middle School, 7755 202A St, Langley BC.  Yes, I have teamed up with this great show event: 20 Professional Artists, Awesome Art, a show you shouldn't miss.  


My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, Prints, Commission Work and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

Be sure to like and share my posts to keep me coming into your box, 
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy

Jan 23, 2020

Getting the RIGHT reference for YOUR wildlife painting - Painting & Drawing Tips

Do you head out on the trail with a camera, hoping to catch a shot of a bird or animal? I don't mean packing your phone and maybe snap a shot.  I mean taking a real camera.

 I do.  .  .

BALD EAGLE: ALERT AND READY - Graphite WIP, matted 14 x 20 $450 (When finished)

Have you ever stood at the counter of the bakery. Looking across the counters, going from one delectable treat to the next.  Your eyes shiny and in your mind your mouth is already savoring each and ever delectable morsel.  Its a wonderful feast.  Suddenly there is one special pastry that calls to you.  It. is. the. ONE! (For me, it would be something with whipped cream and dark chocolate, just saying. )

Walking along the Mud Flats in South Delta is like that. . . .

The day I went, the sun was slowly setting.  The sky was clear. The air was crisp and fresh.  An awesome winter day to walk the dike trail.  The view was breath taking.  Suddenly I saw my 'special pastry'.  A young bald eagle perched on a jagged piece of driftwood, punched into the ground.  I dropped Max's lead, hoisted my camera and started clicking.

This. was. special. . . .

I took tons of pictures.  The beauty of digital photography.  Close up. Far away. Looking in different directions.  It was fascinating to study him.  Seeing him in a zoom lens, lets you study him in a way you have never seen him before.  It is mesmerizing.  (I can really understand how photographers have that eternal thirst for a bigger and better zoom lens. Fortunately, I can't carry all that equipment, so I have not succumb to that thirst. )

Just a selection of some of the many shots I took - This guy was not bothered by me and was happy to carry on with his business.  

However, capturing lots of pictures of a young eagle is not the whole story. . .

Once you have the shots which one do you pick.  What do you look for in choosing your reference picture?  Here's what I was thinking:

1. My vision: This is a biggie.  What do you want to say about your subject?  Seems like a simple question but really it isn't.  I admire the eagles, I like to honor them in my work.  I search for realism. I want to give a sense of their life, their struggles and their strength.  I wanted a long, narrow pose that spoke of my thoughts.
My last post featured robins.  Here my vision was quite different, I wanted strong realism, different views, a sense of who they are and what they do.  'A day in their life'.  (See last post here. )

The pose of my young eagle that I used for my drawing.  

2.  Light and Shadows: I look for patterns of light and shadows.  The sun was low, casting light on his left shoulder, catching a bit of his chest and his foot.  Some of the poses were completely back lite and did not have this more dramatic lighting.

3.  A sense of Movement/Alertness: I like to find a sense of action or emotion in my wildlife.  This young eagle looks alert, focused on something.  Food? Danger? Curious?  Makes you wonder.  I also look at his body lines.  Do they have a sense of movement.  I felt he looked perched but yet ready to move.  This view has some great dynamic movement to it, causing your eye to move down one side and up the other. No straight up and down lines to make him flat.

4. Clarity: My plan was to do a very detailed drawing in graphite. I wanted a picture that had the detail I enjoy.  I loved the way his feet gripped the wood.  I liked the lines of his feathers, particularly the ruffled ones on his left side that are caught in the sunlight.

What do you consider when you look at your reference pictures?

Looking for further reading:
OMG! You have to Plan First! - a more in depth look at planning and using those photo references.
How Many Planes does your Painting Have - looking at the background/midground/foreground in planning.


Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery is always Open


Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing/Painting lessons in graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils Or any combination of these.
Flexible Schedule, at my Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey. 
Gift Certificates Available 


February is Marketing Month for Artists!!

Each February I offer an all day workshops “Let’s Get Your Art Out There!!”
2020 Date: February 23, 10-3pm
Having trouble getting started or knowing where and what to do?
This workshop gets your Marketing Plans fired up to new and more successful levels. Learn the basics of today’s Marketing World, learn how to develop markets both online with Social Media and off line in your community, learn how to develop a productive network, and set up a Marketing Plan that will work for you. Taking this workshop is a valuable step in moving your business forward. Workshop runs 10-3:00 pm with a lunch break.    Class limited to 8 people  3 Spots Left
Cost $90 + Tx       Pre-Registration Required, contact Wendy      Gift Certificates Available

Save the Date . . . . .
March 6-8, 2020 - The West Fine Arts Show.  Peter Ewart Middle School, 7755 202A St, Langley BC.  Yes, I have teamed up with this great show event: 20 Professional Artists, Awesome Art, a show you shouldn't miss.  


My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, Prints, Commission Work and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

Be sure to like and share my posts to keep me coming into your box, 
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy

Jan 16, 2020

5 Things that can spark a series of Painting - Painting & Drawing Tips

Have you ever worked on a Series of Paintings?  
Do you paint random pieces or are your works interrelated?
Is this a limiting exercise or not?

ROBINS: SIGNS OF SPRING - Nearly done 

From a marketing stand point, working in a series is wonderful.  You have a standard product.  You have a statement that covers all the work.  You have One central focus for all your marketing energy.  Sounds like a marketing dream. 

However, there is one problem . . 

As an artist you are not a machine.  You can keep producing the same material but eventually it will become stale.  You will lose interest and your work will reflect that.  And on the other end, your buyers may become weary of seeing the same thing. 

Ok sorry, I don't mean to confuse . . .

Are series a good idea or bad?  I feel they have lots of merit but at the same time they need to evolve and change.  If their purpose is to preserve 'the sameness' not such a good idea. In my mind, a series takes you on journey to explore.  You take ideas and work with them.  Finding your voice as you feel your way.  They cause you to think and expand your ideas.  When you feel you have told your story, they end. 

I have started a series.  Not sure how big it will be.  For now it is 3 pieces. 

Decided on a background and my main colours

What sparks a series?

1.  Your emotions: For me it was my struggle to mix my pen work into my wildlife art.  I had just completed my work on my Inktober Tangles 2019 project and I was pumped.  I wanted to do something with my tangles and patterns.  (Read more about Inktober Tangles 2019 here.)

I liked the 3 different views of this fellow - his quirky character called to me.  

2.  Your eye is caught: Like most of you I have huge folders with photos I have taken.  Mine are all about wildlife I see and settings that would work for them.  My photos are overtaking my life.  I was trying to sort, delete and file some of my pictures from this summer.  I know, an endless task.  Suddenly my eye was caught by a robin.  I had several shots of him, wondering about the yard.  Hmm. . . . I thought.  I can do something with him.

One was working well so definitely time to start planning the group

3.  Chance: My husband was busy making wood cradles for me as I needed some custom sizes for some commissions.  Of course, being the frugal person I am, (read cheap, if you were one of my kids) I suggested he cut up the scrap and make some small cradles for me.  We figured he could make 3-5 x 7 wood cradles.


Robin: On his Own - WIP  As he started to grow I began to really see how my other birds would fit in. Surprisingly my husband thought he looked interesting.  Hmm. . . maybe my robin will interest others.

4.  Desire to meet a challenge: As I walked the trails with Max I thought of my challenge - realistic birds (my robin) and abstract shapes (my tangle patterns).  What? How? Somehow, out walking with Max I can create better than in my studio.  Here my mind is free to ebb and flow in different directions.  An idea began to form. Suddenly I knew what I wanted to do. 

Robin: Curious - WIP  My second piece started to take shape. Now, I was starting to get excited.   I could see where I wanted to go.  

5.  Time: Christmas Commissions done, Christmas was over, and I actually had a bit of time on my hands.  Those robins were restless, my pens were calling, my paints were wet.  I couldn't stop myself.  I jumped in. 

What sparks a series for you?  Are they a small collection or large bodies of work? Have you considered the pros and cons of working this way? 

ROBIN: ON HIS OWN - Ink & Watercolour - 5 x 7 mounted on Wood Cradle $115

In continuing the discuss, you might find the following posts of interest: 

Do you Know Your Subject - Part 1
Looks at creating a series from the artistic point of view; benefits to the Artistic Soul. 

Do you Know Your Subject - Part 2
This looks at the benefits of creating a series from a marketing point of view.  

Do you Know Your Subject - Part 3
An interview with an artist, Jane Appleby, who spent a year working on her series.  


Do you Know Your Subject - Part 4
Short interview and examples of other artists and their thoughts on work in series.  


Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery is always Open

Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing/Painting lessons in graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils Or any combination of these.
Flexible Schedule, at my Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey. 
Gift Certificates Available 

February is Marketing Month for Artists!!

Each February I offer an all day workshops “Let’s Get Your Art Out There!!”
2020 Date: February 23, 10-3pm
Having trouble getting started or knowing where and what to do?
This workshop gets your Marketing Plans fired up to new and more successful levels. Learn the basics of today’s Marketing World, learn how to develop markets both online with Social Media and off line in your community, learn how to develop a productive network, and set up a Marketing Plan that will work for you. Taking this workshop is a valuable step in moving your business forward. Workshop runs 10-3:00 pm with a lunch break.    Class limited to 8 people
Cost $90 Tax Incl      Pre-Registration Required, contact Wendy      Gift Certificates Available

Save the Date . . . . . 

January 18, 2020 - Opus Langley Demo:  Put WOW! into Your Mark Making with Wendy Mould, AFCA, CDM  11-12:30pm and 2-3:30pm.  Free but must Register: (604) 533-0601  Morning session is full but still some room in the afternoon.  

See you there!!


My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, Prints, Commission Work and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

Be sure to like and share my posts to keep me coming into your box, 
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy





Jan 9, 2020

Are You Drawing Something that Isn't THERE?? - Painting & Drawing Tips

How can that be?  
Wendy has really lost it this time, you are thinking.  But yes, you have been in the situation where you are drawing something that isn't THERE!

KIP - Graphite - Newest Commission

OK.  I will explain myself.

I really noticed this universal truth while working on KIP and then right after, mentoring a student with another dog portrait. In the heat of the moment full of the desire for detail, you begin to draw something that isn't there.

Note the white hairs mingled in the black on the side of Kip's face

Both Dogs had something in common. Lovely white hairs that mingle with the black in their face.  Of course it happens in people as well.  You know those pesky stragglers of gray that lurk in your dark curls. Well, they do in mine anyway.  You might be luckier.  

Here's the situation: you have a photograph and the picture on a screen.  In my case, I was working on Kip.   When I work on a pet portrait I usually have several photographs: a coloured one, a gray scale one and then some blurry thing printed out to the size of my drawing.  For big pictures this can turn into 5 or 6 pieces of paper taped together. 

Then you get busy and paint/draw the picture.  Things flow along nicely.  Working with the big shapes and values, work really moves along quickly.  But suddenly it happens. . . .

You begin to draw what isn't there.  

KIP - Close up in gray scales.  

Look at the lines coming out from Kip's white nose area.  See all those tiny white hairs.  You get the magnifying glass and check carefully for detail.  You zoom in on your digital picture.  Because you 'know' those white hairs are there and you must draw them.  Everyone.

Pretty soon you have this wonderful detail of white hairs (read mess) painted/drawn out.   His face is so cluttered you have almost lost the dog.  But . . .but . . .  there are white hairs and they must be included in the picture.  

Step back.  Move away from the picture. . . .

Think about it for a minute.  When you take a full grown dog's head and shrink it to 5 or 6 inches wide, can you really see every hair?  I think that is your Right Brain talking.  

KIP - in life

In fact when you look at Kip in a more realistic size you will see that yes there is some white hairs but very few.  Some of those whites are in fact light spots/areas rather than individual hairs.  And they are not white.  The hair on his chest is white. (Value 1)  But the other whites mixed in his hair have values.  Some might be a 2 others a 3 but they are not white.  You as an artist can pick and chose which ones you want to emphasis.  There certainly isn't room for all of them.  Suggesting a few will of course give the idea that more are there.  (Learn more about Grayscales and Values here  and Values and Colour here. )

Now your saying, I don't do dog portraits and what does this have to do with life.  Here is another place where I see this happening: 

Mermaid Cove - lovely little spot in the Saltery Bay area south of Powell River.  

Drawing  trees in landscapes:  The Right Brain says there are needles/leaves that must be drawn.    In fact if you take a full size tree and reduce it to a 16 x 20 painting you will probably not be able to see any needles.  What you will see is the pattern of the darks and lights that tell you the kind of tree it is.  

Line drawing of Mermaid Cove - note the different marks for the kind of leaves/needles

Looking for the pattern of the values tells the story you want to tell.  Zooming in to see individual needles/leaves has you painting/drawing something that really isn't there.

Have you thought of this before?  Do you find yourself drawing something that isn't there?  

One instants when this is not true is if you are doing a Macro Drawing of a very realistic subject.  Then go for it.  Zoom in.  Get the detail.  Paint it all.  But be careful, even then you can end up drawing something that isn't really there.  After all, you are not using a microscope!!


Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery is always Open: 


Looking to move your Drawing Skills to the Next Level?

Book a 3 Pack of Private Lessons with Me - 3 Lessons 2.5 hr each $225
Drawing/Painting lessons in graphite, ink, watercolour, watercolour pencils or coloured pencils Or any combination of these.
Flexible Schedule, at my Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey. 
Gift Certificates Available 

February is Marketing Month for Artists!!

Each February I offer an all day workshops “Let’s Get Your Art Out There!!”
2020 Date: February 23, 10-3pm
Having trouble getting started or knowing where and what to do?
This workshop gets your Marketing Plans fired up to new and more successful levels. Learn the basics of today’s Marketing World, learn how to develop markets both online with Social Media and off line in your community, learn how to develop a productive network, and set up a Marketing Plan that will work for you. Taking this workshop is a valuable step in moving your business forward. Workshop runs 10-3:00 pm with a lunch break.    Class limited to 8 people
Cost $90 Tax Incl      Pre-Registration Required, contact Wendy      Gift Certificates Available

Save the Date . . . . . 

January 18, 2020 - Opus Langley Demo:  Put WOW! into Your Mark Making with Wendy Mould, AFCA, CDM  11-12:30pm and 2-3:30pm.  Free but must Register: (604) 533-0601

See you there!!


My Etsy Store is always OPEN: Etsy - WendyMouldsArt

Originals, Prints, Commission Work and Instant Printable Cards for all Seasons available.

Be sure to like and share my posts to keep me coming into your box, 
You won't miss a single post if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page.
Have a great Artful Day,

Wendy