Sunday, 30 June 2013

Heartsong Arts Academy, blog challenge 1

I would like to start by wishing my friends at Heartsong Arts Academy all the very best with their new venture.  You can read all about this exciting new group here

For the very first blog challenge it is Zoe's turn to choose a topic, and she has chosen the word 'Pride' this word is then taken to create a journal page - here are the details

Here is my page.  My first thoughts on the word 'Pride' immediatly spring to 'gay pride' as one of my closest friends is gay, and she has attended the gay pride marches and told me all about them, and the great people she meets when there.  This gave me the opportunity for bright rainbow colours, a full page rainbow and jazzed up clothes on my model (who was all in white).
I have a little 'Pride' piece in the left corner from a dictionary, and the 'Heartsong Arts' logo at the top.  A picture of my Lurcher Jaja, who is such a good boy he always makes me proud of him, he is a rescue dog but I adopted him at 14 weeks old, so he had no trauma in his life - just us.  At the bottom of the page is my departed and beautiful girl Tess, who went to Rainbow Bridge just before last Christmas, she made me proud most days as she was so timid but tried hard to be brave when she was with me.
In the writing I mentioned my latest rescue dog Custer, who at the time of doing the art work was NOT making me proud at all, but he did today he was a good boy today, so there is hope after all.

On Friday I did another 'face' she is even more scary than the rest, shame as the background of the  page was pretty good.  She got worse after that, as I then knocked all my paint water over her, this one was done with water soluable oil pastel (you see the problem with the spilt water?)

Please take a look at the Heartsong Arts challenge, and the blog hop with other entries, I'm off for a looksie now - I didn't look at the others earlier, wanted to be influence free.

Looksie here

Friday, 28 June 2013

Loving the Journal

Here is my first page in the new hand made journal.  Must say I have missed playing in the journal and I do enjoy it.  As much as I would like to say I painted this face it is a paint over, so is the first girl (magazine cut outs with paint added) but I do enjoy having some help, it helps me with the shading at the shaping of the features, Not so sure the hair is as great as I could be but is certainly fun hair.
I did this one with oil pastel and paint yesterday - I have stopped 'trying' to get realistic, and tried to just enjoy the process - I have to stop trying to hard as it really does not help me.
See, she is certainly a bit more fun.  I also had a try with soft pastels - it was an 'experience' but not one for me I dont think.
Whilst shopping today I purchased some great fashion magazines with the most interesting faces, ideal for painting over and learning - look forward to starting with them.  I do have another face on the board too, the charcoal is just setting on that one, might get to it tonight, might not? depends on how it goes, have some family stuff to do, and a shed load of housework ready for the onslaught of invasion of inlaws tomorrow!!! 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WOYWW - Whats on your Workdesk Wednesday

Oh dear, that is a bit of a scary sight, right?  For my very first 'WOYWW' too, should have made an effort, but then that would not really be me would it?  So, here you have it warts and all this is what is on my work desk today - I have made a brand new art journal, its previous life was a 'photoshop' magazine, I did try to find a tutorial for this yesterday, but gave up and just 'went for it'.  I decided yesterday I was putting too much pressure on myself with the faces and needed some playtime to focus better. This coincided with a new venture from my friend Zoe at Top Floor Treasure here who has also taught me now how to do a 'blog hop' so I can join her new venture (read about it on her blog).

I often wondered what a blog hop was, and what WOYWW was all about - I now have over 100 blog entries to read to see if anyone else is as messy as me.  Oh, here is my other desk with the drawing board, an even scarier sight..
You can find out more about WOYWW on this link

Before typing up etc, I did finish the front cover of my new art journal - I hope to join in with  Zoe's new venture this week in my new journal, as long as the time scale is good - I dont have enough time for art just now, still got the wayward new rescue dog to train, which is not an easy task and the inlaws are visiting this weekend, which looses me all of Saturday and Friday to clean up for their arrival.

Finishing up with my finished cover of my new journal..
Now I go try join in with a 'blog hop' over at WOYWW

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Bored Yet?

I have often been taught that the way to improve is to keep up the Practice, so I have been doing this every day this week.  I dont manage a face a day as I do have other things going on in life, and especially with backgrounds and some underpainting there is drying times.
These are the faces I have done this week. Again they are with oil pastel which I just adore to work with.  I do still feel my faces are a bit 'flat' and need more dimension to them, so more practice is still needed - probably a lifetimes worth LOL - but still, I enjoy doing it.
I have ordered an A3 display book so I have somewhere to put them and to log my progress, funny thing as some days I think 'thats great' then the next day I seem to go backwards again?  Today I have been working on a cover for my new book (I say today, was yesterday too), also running out of some of my pastel colours, so I have invested in some new ones of the more expensive and professional brands, only 4 sticks but its a start, wonder how they will affect my progress?
Here is my last one, finished her off yesterday...
I think she is a bit on the scary side, not sure what went wrong there.............

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Finishing things

I am trying to drag myself away from my new love of the oil pastel and get things finished.  I started the background to this Butterfly Girl Canvas some time ago, its the second from a lesson from Andrea Gomoll's latest course for Summer Girls, you can find more details here  This is only the second canvas I have done, the other one was in my last post of the sun.

Yesterday I also thought I would have a change from the pastels I use watercolour pencil, neo II watercolour crayons and gelato's, to create this one..
She is ok, but the hair was a disaster, so I added a little hair band for her - seems the use of the pastels is teaching me much more about shading.

After creating a very busy background and an acrylic paint face - today I finished off this one, back to my loved oil pastels, she is pretty good for me, but I found there actually IS such a thing as too much mixed media, afraid I over worked her so the background started to object somewhat....
you can see better in the close up below.  Shame as I quite liked her, might try another on the Mi-Tientes paper which does do a better job.
I do feel I am 'finally' starting to improve.  Very true what all my on-line tutors taught, it is all about practice.  From my first on line tutor, Shoo Rayner who is always telling us 'Practice, Practice, Practice', my next one was 'Effy Wilde' who I remember being in total awe of when I started her classes and she would often say it took 2 years of drawing faces every day to be as good as her, well I have done about 18 months now, most days - its been tough, but I think now well worth it to one day achieve my goal.
Currently I study with Andrea Gomoll and Gulfsprite (link on right of page) both of whom are also always telling us its all down to PRACTICE, I think I get that now.

So, today's message is one I have used before... "If you want to do something - DO IT" life is far too short not too, and you can do anything if you try, just might take a while to learn.

Monday, 17 June 2013

still in love with oil pastels

Yes, I am still totally in love with this medium.  The above girl was even done on the correct paper, which made the pastels I have easier to work with.  I still dream of the professional art brands but they are out of my reach at the moment.  I just adore working with them.. 
I had quite a good arty day today (for once) not easy these days with a new rescue dog to work with, who rarely sleeps, but with the aid of a 'nylabone' I had some peace today for me.  So, I 'finally' got around to binding my 30 pages in 90 days journal, which was great (and time consuming).  So, started a new journal page, with plenty of mixed media layers and then an oil pastel girl
..and at last got around to finishing one of my canvas projects from Andrea Gomolls 'facecinating faces' course, this one was a lot of fun to do..
As usual I never have as much time as I would like - and even less than ever now, as the new dog needs a lot of training, and we do an evening walk with them now too, so I loose the couple of hours I had of an evening too.  But, at least I am lucky enough to have my own Art room so my supplies are still there for me to pick up when I can find the time.

Weather today has been very weird, quite warm and close but dull and cloudy outdoors - I dashed out to get my washing in around 3pm its not 7.30pm and still not rained though looks very threatening still.  Rumour has it we are going to get a heatwave, oh noooooooooooooooooooo - I just hope they are wrong, sorry to you who like the heat but I do NOT, and neither do the dogs.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Discovering oil pastels

This is my attempt at the first exercise in Andrea's new 'Facecinating Girls Summer Add Ons' course. The face and hair was to be done all with oil pastel.  I never really knew what I was doing with this medium before, but now I am hooked.  So much so, from this picture and the one below - which are with simple  'pental' pastels (the cheapest you can get) I have now ordered some new better quality ones, and cant wait for them to arrive.
I did the background for the above yesterday, and the face today.  Just to be sure it wasn't a complete fluke I had another go at a face, of course I do still need a lot of hair practice... or a lot of practice in general, but I am finding the shading and effects far more to my tastes than other medium I have used.
Too much leaning over desk however has played havoc with my neck again, so have to break now - tomorrow will use the drawing board.
Just need a windfall now so I could afford the ultimate in oil pastels - a bit on the pricey side those though. one day..............

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Its still about those faces

Although I have had a very long break, due to the arrival of 'Custer' (see below post) I am still trying to keep up with my faces course.  I have discovered though the 'Practice' thing is very true!  I felt I was doing quite well with them..
..and then, with Custers arrival, and the fund raiser we did I lost about 6 or 7 days without the time to even pick up a pencil, I really missed this - and did get very frustrated, but not only that I then went back weeks with my faces, they just got worse again - after all that hard work and practice.  So I am now trying to do 'something' each day, even if it is just a ball point sketch.  I have also started Andrea's new course for Faces, details here but the first exercise was a collage piece which was then gesso covered, so its still drying out, probably will not be ready until tomorrow.  I have been finishing off a few backgrounds and drawing some more..
After evening dog walkies (a new thing, with the new dog - so even less time) I hope to watch another of Andrea's videos at least, I love to watch them,. they are always so inspiring.
Hopefully things will settle down in the household soon and I can do more drawing and painting.  Also, the weather has turned very warm and despite my lovely art room being light and having a door to open, it does still get too warm to be in their so long just now.  I know people hate those of us  who complain about the warm, sunny weather but my house is not friendly towards it at all, and just keeps on heating up and up.  I dont sleep either as its too hot in our room, even with windows, doors open and two fans.  So, sorry to you sun worshipers but I will be happier on Tuesday when the weather returns to what we in the UK are more used too.