Monday, 30 September 2013

More Crayon Art and Exciting News

I decided it was about time for a change, I will still be practicing faces daily, but about time I tried something new.  This is my first try at a wild animal, all in crayola crayon again.  I thought I would go for something easy to distinguish, so even if it went wrong most could at least tell what he was 'meant' to be.

NOW, for my news....................... my arty friend Dawn, (the one who comments here LOL) had an idea for starting a new group for people like us.  The ones who are trying really hard with their art, but often feel a bit intimidated by the wealth of talent in the groups we belong too, and often feel a bit of a confidence kick with some well meaning but ill thought comments, or more often no comments at all.  You can find Dawns blog here - Dawn's Blog
So, she has started a Facebook Group called "Absolute Beginners Art" for people out there like us.  Now this is NOT for established artists, unless they would like to help out with encouragement.  But for beginners and those who need a bit of support.  Not one to be left on sidelines I have volunteered to help Admin the group too, although we are hoping it will just stay quite small, but who knows?  depends on how many of us are out there.

The new group can be found here Absolute Beginners Art

One last rule, it is not a group for selling or promotion either, just support.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Pencils and Crayons

I think its safe to say I am fully back in the swing of things now.  The above face was the first thing I had a go at on my return from holiday, just got out the pencils and had a play, the face is not copied from anywhere just appeared on the paper, so no idea who (if anyone) she is meant to be.  Just some shading practice really.
I then had a go at copying a face from a photo - alas he really does have an 'odd' face, but not this odd... If anyone can recognise the poor bloke its meant to be the lead from the group "Train".
Took me a good few hours to do that one, I know I still have a way to go - but can see improvement so thats the main thing.
Yesterday was not a good day, Friday's are always pretty busy - but I had little sleep the night before, then my car broke down and that was a HUGE hassle to deal with, all I really wanted to do was return home and hide back in bed, but no! I forced myself to just have a play with the crayons, have some fun and learn how to shade better..
These are with the Crayola Crayons I purchased, I have the box of 96 which are fabulous, and some decent sharpeners to go with them.  I realised that working with the crayon's is very similar to colour pencils, so got those out too and had another play with them - I had bought rather a lot with my Christmas money, and never really got to grips with them - might be another worthwhile medium too.
Next week I am going to try some new projects with crayon, not just faces for a change.. might do me good to have a break.  Never much in the way of free time at weekends, so trying to learn not to stress about it and just go with that, there is always next week - not sure its a good thing but I would always rather just be drawing that much else really, but weekends are about family and visiting, so must leave the pencils behind.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Then I tried Watercolour

This was the very first face I tried whilst on holiday, again I really do not think any artist needs to worry about the competition just yet..
Then I tried again when I got home....
I thought she was quite good (from a distance) but the husband said she was one 'scary' face - so back to the drawing board then............. Its is interesting to just paint and not draw first, not quite as good as Christy yet, despite trying to catch up on all her September video's, but then I am a few years behind all her work too.  So today I tried one Christy style........
mmmh, I don't really need the husband to tell me how scary this one is!  just using the paintbrush I find too difficult so I also use some watercolour pencils.. not that it is helping much.  One last attempt for today, this one took me much longer..
Oh dear, a way to go yet then?  I do prefer a background so might await my watercolour ground to arrive and just work on some backgrounds, always a relaxing process.

I can't even blame the paints this time, they are decent watercolour paints (birthday pressie this year).  So... If you have any watercolour why not have a go? cant do any worse than I am, but with more practice who knows? I can draw a face now, just still totally rubbish at colour, but I keep on trying.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Lowly Crayon

Whilst browsing the internet on Sunday I made an amazing discovery, I found artists who used only the crayon! With the single most fabulous results, I set to work immediatly to follow my dream of being the first UK crayon artist... I think maybe I have a bit to go yet though.. See my first attempt above, although this is with the only thing I had at hand which was a 50p box of 24 crayons, so the quality would be about as poor as you could get really.  I did order a box of Crayola which I am eagerly awaiting.
I then did the more sensible approach and followed a tutorial from 'Glen Donley' who is a Crayola Crayon Artist..
Not bad for a box of ultra cheap crayons eh?  Even my biggest critic the husband remarked "well, at least it does 'look' like an apple" so that's good from him.
I did of course then get over ambitious again and try more faces - I dont think Glen needs to worry just yet though..
It is great fun though, and if nothing else for anyone who (like me) uses an art journal it is a great and cheap way to fill those pages, I do often worry about the cost of acrylic paints just to throw at a journal.  Once my crayola's have turned up that is it for me and art supplies for some time - unless I manage to create and sell a masterpiece, or some bags from my etsy shop (see link, hint hint).

Today I have been playing in watercolour, will blog about those next - I did after watching an excellent art video by Christy make just one last purchase of some 'absorbant ground' for watercolour so I can do backgrounds too, you can watch Christy here Christy's great pages

Have fun out there, and if you have access to some Crayola Crayons, I do recommend giving them a try its a lot of fun.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Back from Holiday

Hello all, anybody miss me?  Well, we are now back from our holiday to Devon - me, OH and the dogs.  We stayed in a beautiful self catering cottage in the middle of nowhere, with no mobile phone signal or internet - very refreshing, and the water supply from a well.  We travelled daily and saw quite a lot of Devon and Cornwall during our stay.  Here is Custer on a lovely beach in Bude, he loved it - I think this is his fave place so far.
Having said that he did rather like Woolacombe too..

Devon is a truly beautiful place, if like me you love the coast and harbour's - was the best time of year for us too, as we are not big fans of the heat (as you know).  We did not actually get an awful lot of good weather, we saw a lot of rain.. must be what makes the place so beautiful.
This is Ilfracombe..
The top picture was Jaja and I at Newquay.  We were a bit on the ambitous side taking our new rescue dog Custer on holiday, it was not the easiest of things as he is rather a difficult dog still... so lead walking in small coastal towns was not ideal, he did spend rather a lot of time in the car with one of us, whilst we took turns at having a look around.  When we could find a dog friendly beach for him to run on all was well.  Jaja on the other hand is very easy, but then he is now 10!  He takes everything in his stride, here he is at Newquay.
I did not get much of a chance for art, despite taking it all with me in a small (ish) packed case, I did one journal page, and one painting using my watercolours... cant wait to get back to it when things get back to normal, still sorting out pics and washing etc.

Back to normal soon hopefully....

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Drawing, Drawing.. always drawing

Still busy wading my way through the course, the one I told you about here above is my first try at the lesson on the 'mouth' not bad eh? I learnt a lot on that one.  Next was the 'hair' we were told to just leave the face part, but I had to just have a try while I was there..
I will have to go back and do that one again, must have been a lot to take in as next time I tried the hair did not do so well.  I do these exercises, then a few practice runs, then a bit of the illustration lessons, then have a blast in my art journal for fun, usually throwing plenty of paint and ink around, I was forced to remember last night a good way to get ink from your hands is to use shampoo - yes I got in a mess, but I did have plenty of fun.  My drawing's are improving but I still cannot paint for toffee, I enjoy it but not so good.  Having said that, I am going to have a try with watercolour soon, something I have not done for a very long time, went to watch some video's on that first, so I have learnt there is a bit more too it that just slapping it down with the brush, so will see how it goes.

I then had a try at our first portrait on the course, sadly her nose is a bit 'off' but still, she is an improvement on my past attempts which I think is the main thing.
I have printed out a fair few faces and a couple of dogs to practice on - so see how I get on, not finished the course yet of course, still the 'round up' to watch and some bonus video's, like there is one on more detail for the hair which I am sure will be most useful.

I do spend an awful lot of time doing this, but then I do have a dream to be a portrait artist....... maybe one day.  I would also love to be able to draw dogs, that actually do look like dogs.

Not all my time is drawing, I am still working hard to train the wayward rescue dog - this is now involving 'clicker' training which I am learning too, as is he.  Custer is doing pretty well 'off lead' but on lead not so well, he really needs to learn to calm down which is what we are working on.

Also been doing some cooking, my wonderful friend also bought me an indian cook book for the slow cooker, we had 'Lamb Red Chilli' the other day which was good, bit too much chilli for me but OH liked it, today is 'English Curry Pork Chops' certainly smells good bubbling away in there.  Its Lamb Madras next, but have to remember to marinade that over-night for best results.

Hope all in the UK are enjoying the rain we are getting - I really dont mind the rain, but could do with a day or so to get my washing dry now please it is starting to mount up.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

sketch practice

Just as it was all going well tragedy struck and my on-line video instructions stopped working, so less than half way through my portrait class I am all alone.  Just waiting to find out which end the fault is at, may well be mine as I did struggle with youtube yesterday too - though that is working fine now.  So, yesterday I thought I would tackle a face on my new sketch pad - sometimes it does help with nice pencils and posh paper LOL.  You may be able to tell I have not covered hair as yet, so this is not one of my strong points ....
.. but I did think he was an improvement on other efforts, also I was once asked on here to try a male face - this one was not really intentional, but must say he is the third one I have done that has turned out male.  I had another go today on watercolour paper - dont think this is ideal for pencil work, but you dont know till you try..
Hair really is not one of my best points, and I know there are many a fault with this face, but I do still think she is an improvement - so as long as I am going in the right direction I am quite happy.
I fully intended to join in with the 29 faces this time, but alas I am not available to blog all the way through this month so missed out again.  Shame as I do draw at least one face per day and have done for some time.

The weather has taken a turn today, was fairly pleasant earlier on, though did keep clouding over which meant I needed to take a coat on the 'many' and I mean 'many' dog walks I have done today (dont ask) so often been too warm.  Not something I will suffer from tomorrow and over the weekend, I believe we are in for quite a lot of rain - always hard to get things dry at this time of year, as not time for heating yet, and many waterproofs are not dryer friendly.  The dogs are not keen on rain either, so thats always amusing, I dont get to walk so far and have sulky, wet dogs in the house.

On the hunt for a recipe now, had some pork belly in the freezer for sometime, it needs using now - but what on earth to do with it? lets go see what Delia thinks..........

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Art at the Speed of Life

It really was not my fault this time!  This book has been on my Amazon wish list for some time, so long I had forgot what it was about, knew it being by Pam Carriker it would be good, but clueless as to why.  Then this weekend my wonderful friend brought me gifts she lifted from my Amazon wish list (we share them at Christmas) no its not my birthday, or Christmas - I am just lucky I have a great friend.
I am half way through this book and I love it - another one for Dawn I'm afraid, it has oodles of juicy art journal hints, interviews with some fab mixed media artists, and the whole thing is as the name suggests, its about how to cram the creativity into our busy lifestyles - just perfect.
I am still wading through my art courses, but life is in the way this week - just a few things that need my attention, so art is on a back burner really - but I do try find as much time as I can, even if its just for a quick sketch as above, and my journal pages... that if all else fails I can stick in one of my sketch faces onto a busy background - journal backgrounds are just the very best therapy..
Not going to make WOYWW again this week, I would manage a chaotic picture and post but no time to visit all the desks, so not fair to take part I feel.  As if I dont have enough on just now, on top of the 3 dog walks I already do daily I have volunteered to help out a friend and walk her Kelpie and Border Collie Pup this week, so that will keep me busy, and an extra dog on Thursday too - think my legs are going to be shorter soon - just wish the weather would settle a bit, its a bit erratic at the moment.  (Weather changes are bad for arthritis sufferers). 

Righto, free afternoon today so must get on with some valuable sketching time.......