Monday, 31 October 2011

How to Embarrass Your Children in One Easy Step - Part 3


I thought you may be interested to see how my nudie-rudie lady has come along in recent days.  Here, have a look:

What do you think?  Like how she is turning out?

Sadly, I must confess there is one aspect of this painting that is continuing to really bother me and cause me great angst. Now, before I go on, I need to disclose that I'm aware this particular issue is rather like an elephant in a closet - however, I've decided regardless that I am going to be upfront and honest and will just put it out there and say it as it is.  Here I go:

I just can't "do" boobies.  Oh, sorry, I actually meant to say, paint breasts. (Sorry about that.  Sometimes I know I lack a little decorum.)

I am *so* *frustrated*.  In my mind, they should be easy to paint.  Afterall, I have a pair - I grew them myself.  And I see them every day.  I've even spent years putting them to good use. (Now don't go having a dirty mind, I meant feeding my children when they were babies.)

Yet despite these incredibly important facts, for the life of me, I just just can't seem to paint them.  (On a canvas I mean, not my own pair. That, I probably could do if I wanted.  Except I don't think I want to go there.)

Be honest with me here, when you look at her and notice her breasts, don't you agree that they are *so* incredibly pert that you feel like you just want to hate her?   I mean, who on earth has a real set of breasts as pert and gravity-defying as this?  Certainly not anyone I know.

Oh well.

I think I've nearly finished painting this lady.  The biggest thing I've got to decide is whether I leave her as a perfect vision of a "reclining implant" or whether I try yet again to paint her breasts in a way to make them look more realistic and natural.  What do you think?

Friday, 28 October 2011

SHH - Not feeling the love... (Finished)


I hope this finds you all well and delightfully happy.  Me? Why I am just fine and dandy, thanks ever so much for wondering.

Today's post features a completed oil painting of my pal Sooty-Hoot-Hoot the owl (affectionately known as 'Shh').

Yes, for those of you who realise that I actually started Shh in July, I realise I've been naughty not posting about him 'til now, but trust me when I say I truly have paid a penance for my sins. Now, don't go rolling your eyes at your screen - I *so* have and I'm going to tell you why!  Can you imagine my horror when I just stood on the scales last week and discovered I've somehow miraculously managed to put on 7kg in three months?  It wasn't pretty.  (At least I can say I've well and truly disproved my hypothesis that cheese and wine are diet products.)

Anyway, now because of my sudden "blow out", I have the unenviable task of removing said 7kg from my frame.  Do(ug)h!

Why, you may wonder, would I mention this in an art blog? Well, you see, I figure my aberration is severe enough that it's worth at least one "Kate didn't post her finished painting on time and is a naughty girl, but I understand and forgive her" get-out-of-trouble-pass from you.  Did it work?  Do you feel any pity for me at all?  No?  Well it was worth a try.

Anyway, enough rambling.  You probably actually want to see the painting, don't you?  Here you go:

(Yes, that is the reflection of my WATER (not wine) glass on the painting.)

When you look at Shh, I want you to recall that I'd mentioned back in July that I was finding Shh incredibly frustrating to paint.   Well, as I continued my painting, I can tell you that my feelings didn't change. His head may be tiny, but caused so many problems he nearly became kindling for my teacher's fire on many an occasion.

Looking at the finished study now, I think he looks pretty amateurish (go figure, maybe that's 'cause I am(!)) but I like to think I managed to create what resembled more of an owl than a blob.  And for that I'm grateful.

Anyway, thanks ever so much for stopping by today and seeing whatever happened to Shh, I hope to see you around next week.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, 21 October 2011

How to Embarrass Your Children in One Easy Step - Part 2

Hi there!

Following on from my first post a couple of weeks ago regarding my quest to cause my children eternal embarrassment by painting a nudie-rudie woman, I'm pleased to say that I'm on my way to achieving this mile-stone following the application of my first coat of oil paint on the canvas.  Here you go, have a look at my progress:

Yes, I know you've noticed it and I will confess upfront, I am having a few issues with her boobies, oh, I meant to say breasts. However, I feel relatively confident I can rectify this issue over the next couple of layers of paint application.  On a more successful note, I really like how I've painted her thigh and I don't mind her face. Oh, and I wouldn't mind having her abs of steel either.  If only I could paint mine to look like that.  Hang on a minute, that's not a bad idea..... ;-)

I guess I can say that this one is going to take a little time, and there's most definitely still a way to go, but at least it seems to be a relatively strong start.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, I'll see you next week!


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

In Pursuit of Pastel Perfection - Finished

Hi There!

Following on from yesterday's post where I started work on a pastel creation of a 1920's lady, I'm pleased to say I've now had a chance to do some more work on her and she is now pretty much finished.  Here, have a look:

Better?  I hope so!

I don't know that I ever claim that she's perfect (of course not!), but I can tell you that I really have tried my best.  It was an interesting experience and I can say I learnt a few new tricks in the course of completing this pastel work.  In that respect, I consider this artwork to be a roaring success.  (Gosh I sound mature, where on earth did that come from?!)

Anyway, thanks ever so much for stopping by and seeing my finished lady, I hope to see you have a return visit soon!


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

In Pursuit of Pastel Perfection - Part 1


I am suddenly feeling so inspired to just draw women from all different eras.  I loved my 1920's lady in yesterday's post so much, that I just had to use my pastels to draw another one.  This lady has also been drawn freehand on the same Canson paper, using my Art Spectrum and Conte pastels.  I looked at a couple of photos for how to draw the hats and then had fun creating my own.  I decided she needed a glamorous fur across her shoulders.

Here, have a look at the portrait so far (probably around two hours worth of work):

Do you like her?  I have to be honest with you and say even if you don't, so far I am utterly thrilled with how she is turning out.  I love the fact that she has a look in her eyes that says "Just you try me you scoundrel and I'll knock your socks to kingdom come!".  Or something like that.

Of course, as you may have guessed by the Part 1 in the title, she isn't finished yet.  I need to do some more work to do around her neck and chest.  I need to get the skin tone correct; emphasise the collar bones and hollows of the neck, strengthen the shoulder line a little and making the fur look even more furry.  Oh, and colour in the background.  I was thinking of going for a dark olive green, to really make the red pop.  What do you think?  Do you like the colour choice?

 I just really hope I can finish her tomorrow and that I don't muck her up!

Take care and I hope you'll stop by to see the finished product!


Monday, 17 October 2011

It's a P-P-P (Pastel Portrait Practice)

Not of me (sadly).

Today's post features a study of Art Spectrum and Conte Pastels on Canson Paper of a 1920's lady. The background paper is actually the terracotta shade of her hair.  You'd never guess looking at the finished portrait, would you?!

No, I don't know what she is looking at, or thinking.  Perhaps her 1930's children are also refusing to give her a moment's peace and quiet as she comes running out of the bathroom yelling "I told you NOT to put marshmallow's up your brother's nose!".  Or maybe not.

I have to say that I am feeling rather pleased with this particular pastel work.  I'm particularly proud of the fact that I drew her freehand.  Yep, no copying, tracing or general cheating - just me, my pencils and then my pastels.  I'm also pleased that  feel I'm starting to get a little more of a feel for creating a natural looking skin tone.    I think the only thing I could maybe improve on is really emphasising her shoulder-blades a little more.  The are hinted at in the painting, but I think they are not strong enough.  Oh well.  I didn't notice until I saw her on my screen and I most certainly haven't the energy to change her now.

Anyway, thanks for sharing in my pleasure today, I hope to see you around soon!


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Self Portrait #4 - Yes, it's Me Again!

Hi There!

Meet "Country Kate" - my latest attempt at completing a self-portrait.   The medium used to create this self portrait was charcoal pencil and was inspired by a favourite photo taken of me a loooooonnnnngggg time ago in the mid 1990's, when I was but a wee-lass.  My, how time flies.  I never thought I'd get old back then, that's for sure!

Overall, I found it to be a pleasant experience to draw "Country Kate" using my  cheapy charcoal pencils for the first time (12 for 3 bucks, what a bargain!).

I must say I really liked the way I could easily apply a smooth layer of soft grey colour - and the 'lead" didn't snap at all and was easy to sharpen, which was fabulous!  What wasn't quite so appealing was the fact that I found it incredibly difficult to erase any mistakes (not a good thing when you are a beginner like me); it was difficult to smudge and nigh impossible to get the image any darker than a mid grey.  Oh well.  I guess that's what I get for nabbing a bargain.  Sometimes you do get what you pay for.  (Darn it.)

Overall, I don't mind me.  I like my lips. And my nose.  I can however, still see a few dodgy areas which I need to address, but figure I'll work out how to address these "issues" in the future with more practice.  Like how to place and draw ears.  I still must say I just don't get it.  I am at the point where I am starting to find it ear-ly annoying.  (Ah-hahaha, I love a bad play on words.)

I'm also not sure whether the finished "Country Kate" actually looks like "Kate".  Nevermind.

Still, it is an improvement on my earlier drawings of moi, and that's all I really ask for.

Anyway, I'll wrap it up now and just say thanks heaps for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to - I hope to see you 'round later in the week.

Oh, and wish me luck, for it's a pupil free day tomorrow and I have all the kidlets home from school. Eek!


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I Have Officially Become a Pencil Pusher


Because I swear I am so determined to improve my ability of drawing faces, that I just can't stop trying to draw them.  It's almost like an obsession.

Yes, it really is true. At any given moment, I'll grab a pencil and a pad of paper and try my hardest to draw a face.  On 'proper' paper (as my kids call it), on the back of envelopes, on bills.... on anything with a small blank surface I can get my hands on really.

The only catch with this wee obsession is that I cannot begin to articulate to you how utterly frustrating it is to see a face and then try to draw it, only to create what could best be described as being a clownish, outer-space freak. ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Still, I'm not going to give up.  You see, I believe I am very slowly seeing some improvement in my sketches and the 'placement' (for lack of a better word) of the features on the face.  I figure that surely, if I keep studying and keep practising, I will improve.  (For those who are wondering about my mind-set, let me remind you all that I do live in Kate-land - a place where reality changes according to the phase of the moon and how much sleep I've had the night before.)

Ultimately, I think it is fair to say consider these artistic endeavours and 'quirks' to be part of a journey I'm on.  As a result of this, I don't mind the fact that it is taking time to get the hang of some pretty important skills.  I'm not in a rush (much).

Honestly, I truly consider the biggest issue I've got with this whole pencil pushing business is that the trusty family dog keeps getting hold of my pencils and chewing them in half.  Yep, she sees a pencil, she eats it.

I can't tell you how many she has eaten.  She'll pinch them off a table; she'll knick them off my desk and she will most certainly devour any she discovers on the floor.  Yet she won't eat Shmakkos (an Aussie dog treat).  No sir.  Only the finest 2B leads will suffice for my little furry princess.

Clearly, I need to work out how to draw teeth. And eyes.  And noses.  Oh well.

I hope my scribbles in today's post haven't made you cry out in pain.  Just feel comforted that the dog ate the pencil that drew these images.  And I ate the paper.  (Nah, only kidding.  I don't have a pica complex.  The drawings have been safely hidden away in a place, never again to see the light of day.)

Ultimately, I just hope you can tell from today's post that I really am trying.... ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope to see you 'round here again soon,


Monday, 10 October 2011

How to Embarrass Your Children in One Easy Step

Why hello there.


Yes, in case you haven't already worked it out by the title,  I've discovered an amazingly easy way to make my children blush.

"So, Kate" you ask, "How did you manage this awesome and fearless feat so quickly and easily?"

Why, I'm glad you asked!

I've discovered (purely by accident) that all you have to do is start to paint a nudie-rudie woman in art class and then show it to your kids along with a gleefully sounding "Look what Mummy painted at art class tonight!". Then just sit back and wait.  That's it.  Seriously.  How *easy* is that? ;-)

On a slightly more serious note, today's post features an under painting that will become my third ever oil painting.  I'll be adding colour and texture over the next couple of weeks.  I chose to paint a nude figure (tastefully posed I like to think), because it is a way of learning how to paint the human figure.  And that is something that really interests me.  I feel that if you aren't aware of how the body is formed in the nude, then you most certainly are going to struggle to paint it clothed.    So, as you can see, my intentions are actually quite noble and true.

No, in case you are wondering, it's not me or anyone I know.  I may like to show off, but I am most certainly not game to "show off" if you get my meaning.  My model was featured in an incredibly artistic and tasteful photograph in an impossibly artistic and highbrow magazine.  Yes, it so was artistic - no more of those thoughts.  I'm not *that* naughty you know!

For anyone out there with delicate sensibilities or in case blogger for some reason takes exception to my painting, I've got terribly creative with Picassa (my photo editing tool) to ensure all rudie-nudie bits are covered.  Yes, I did giggle as I strategically placed my "stickers" on my painting.

So, after such a build up, are you ready to see what made my children blush?

You've been warned.  Try not to giggle!  (Oh, all right, I'll allow you to smirk.)

Yes, I'm aware her nostrils are a little funny.  My main focus was on getting the important lines down quickly and my paintbrush accidentally slipped. Honestly, that's all.  I figure I can fix the nose when I go over her with my oil paints in class later this week.

So, did I make you blush as well?

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll see you 'round later this week, with more of my Kate-land artistic exploits.


PS:  For those of you who are itching to see the finished painting, all will be revealed by clicking HERE!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Finished! Does Anyone Else Love Tree Tunnels?

Hello there!

Hope this finds you well and happy on a wet and gloomy Brisneyland day.  Honestly, whatever happened to Spring?

Anyway, after a couple of weeks waiting for the oil paint to dry, I'm (sort of) happy to present my completed tree tunnel painting:

To be honest, my feeling is the painting isn't quite as successful as I would have hoped, but I figure ultimately that it will do.  I am however, quite pleased that this experience was great practice working on the notion of perspective and exploring the blending capacity of the oil paint.  It really is quite different to working with acrylic, that's for sure!

In case you are wondering, my incredibly scientific conclusions regarding the blendability of oil paint is that it blends - it blends- it blends but then suddenly it turns to something that looks suspiciously like the contents of a newborn's nappy.    Truly.  All that's missing is the smell.  So, if you want to use oil paint, please learn from my baby doo-doo experience and don't repeat my mistakes! ;-)

On that smelly note, I think I'll wrap up this post.

I hope you kind of like it and you have a wonderfully relaxing weekend full of sunshine and laughter.

I'll see you next week,


Monday, 3 October 2011

There Was a Wee Lass Named Kate

Whose palette knife made her irate.

The harder she tried,

The more that she sighed,

So she flung the knife in the bin; stomped her foot really hard on the ground; threw a tantrum that was more impressive than all three of her children combined could ever hope to achieve; and decided that it would be quite some time before she used such a tortuous implement again.  She then ate half a chocolate cake in an attempt to assuage her battered artistic soul.*

*It wasn't quite that extreme in reality - I didn't eat the cake.  Mainly because it was getting late and I couldn't be bothered baking one.  I had to settle for a bowl full of stuffed olives instead.  They don't sound quite as impressive or soul-satisfying as cake though, do they?  Nevermind.

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll see you 'round with a hopefully more successful artwork later this week. :-)