So long, farewell!

Hi guys! Just a quick note to let you know I have moved and won’t be posting here any more.  My  new art process blog is http://sarahmac.dreamwidth.org/ where it’s easier for me to present the blog in their HTML format. I’ve uploaded all the posts from here,over there as well plus my newest one so I hope you can stop by!

Thanks

Sarah

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Queen Bee painting process

Time for a new process post. This one came about as another in the series that started with Lucinda. I was looking for a bee theme here and always had these colours in mind for it.

I started with my plywood, sanded down with a clear binder medium which works as a primer. I sketched the face on with my charcoal, using my initial sketch as reference.
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I then painted in the face, I wanted her to be darker than Lucinda but she has a similar face. So that I could keep the grain of the board showing through somewhere I chose a victorian type collar, keeping it plain. I really like Victorian clothing and using them in art, so I use old photos from that era a lot when getting ideas.
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Playing around with her clothing then I added her wings, keeping then as understated as I could, didn’t want her to be fairy-like.
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I added her ruffle and earrings, keeping my palette simple. Her diadem, or tiara gave me a lot of design frustration. It’s very easy to get cutesy which is exactly what I didn’t want. So I came up with a mish mash of ideas that tied in with the rest and left me satisfied enough to move forward.
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Hair. It took forever! I played around a bit with some ideas but it turned out that I just didn’t need them. I added my bees and tweaked and shaded and spent a bit of time with her every few days.
Finished!
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Closer:
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Thanks for taking a look!

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Drawing a coloured pencil portrait.

Hi! I’ve done another step-by-step process, this is the first one I’ve done of a drawing. I hope this interests the curious or can maybe provide some tips to anyone wanting to draw a colour portrait. I’ll put in any info I’ve found useful myself, sorry if I’m telling you what you already know. :)

Firstly, these take a lot of time so you need to like the subject! This is John Krasinski, he plays ‘Jim’ from The Office (U.S version) and I find him absolutely adorable.
Make sure you have a clear photo. If it’s a standard photo size, print it larger so you can get a good look at the detail.

To start you need to sketch out the face. You can do this using the grid method or freehand or transfer paper, whichever way you like. I start in graphite pencil and sometimes shade a bit because it helps me with placement, but then I go over the main lines in a chocolate coloured pencil and then erase all the graphite because it can get muddy when coloured over by a coloured pencil.

Once you’ve drawn out the main features and erased all graphite or grid lines leaving just basic lines in a brown colour, look at the reference and establish the colours in the skin. You’re going to use a lot of layering so you’ll need a few colours that compliment each other and give depth rather than layers of the same colour. I get a yellow like raw sienna, a red brown such as terracotta, a dark and light brown and you always need a dark blue. So, I start with Raw Sienna, hatching all over the face to fill it in. I then get the terracotta and cross hatch over the raw sienna, but now I’m paying more attention to where the darker parts are and giving them more attention. Always keep your pencil sharp.

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Next I go over the face again and again with each pencil I’ve selected and using ones I’ve already used when needed, eg more yellow tone, more red tone trying always to keep them cross hatching each other for a more even result. You get a better result if you do more layers rather than pressing hard on just a few layers. As I’ve shaded I’ve used the darker browns on nostrils, lip line, eyelash line etc. I save black until I’m closer to finishing the face shading. Remember to look for reflective light, like the light you see around the bottom of the chin there. I mention it because no art teacher ever taught me that (or that’s a day I skipped school) and it’s so important!
I’ve also started on the eyes here.

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Keep going over it with layers, leaving the lighter parts, paying more attention to the dark. Once you think you’ve done enough layers, do some more then get a paper stump out and gently shade over it lightly to blend a bit. Then get your black, sharpen and do your corneas, eyebrows, lashes etc. To shade your eyes to look more rounded, use pinks and purples around the edges of the whites. I shaded lips using a few colours, built up gradually. Use your dark blue/grey type of colour to cross hatch shadows like those under the hair or furthest from the light sourse but mainly to stipple in the slight tinge of facial hair around the chin and where facial hair grows.

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At this point I start on hair, stubble, fixing colour that isn’t quite right. Hair is a weaker point for me but what I can advise is to section it out into where the shadows are and where the light hits rather than focusing on individual hairs. Draw the darker parts in the direction of hair growth, then the medium, then leave where the light hits. If you were wanting photorealism, this is the part where you’d probably be a lot more detailed, but I’m not so I move on.

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Shading in the clothing and I decided to add background to highlight the hair which is backlit. Now I’m done!
Details: Drawn on cartridge paper 110gsm like any standard sketch pad. Using Derwent and Prismacolour pencils. Time taken: 3 seasons of The Office or approx 3 1/2 days.

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Thanks for looking, and thankyou John Krasinski!

Closer detail:
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Link to print: http://www.redbubble.com/people/artsez/art/7445250-jim

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Earth Hour

Remember Aussies, it’s Earth Hour tonight and tomorrow for mostly everyone else.

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney’s lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008. Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at participants’ respective local time.

www.earthhour.org.au

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Painting a Landscape

Hi! I just finished a painting and I’ve been photographing it along the way to share the process, as with some other art here on my blog. This one is the last in a series of four this shape. It started as a summer landscape with a different outdoor activity than snowboarding, but as I went along the painting was pushing for another direction so I went with it. I’ll try with the other idea next time.

First I primed the canvas, even though I bought it already primed. Just in case. I had the design sketched in my book so I just drew it on and then figured out (using pencils in my sketchbook) what my colour scheme would be. I like to stick to 3 colours or tints and shades of that colour.

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I work background to foreground, overlapping because it’s acrylic and dries quickly.
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This is the point where I realised it would become more of a winterscape, I think these foreground mountains look a bit like custard on Christmas puddings. Oh yum.
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Time for some life. I paint the trunks and work on the wiggly foliage one at a time.
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And add some more and the shadows and highlights.
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Lastly, I added the little snowboarder and then his mate, cheering him on. I positioned the snowboarder carefully so as to give him a good sense of movement and make sure he would be able to land the jump! Also some birdlife, powder and finish!

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Closer:
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You can view the painting over on my Redbubble as well as other landscape paintings in the series, one being up in my blog header.
Thanks for taking a look!
Sarah

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Carn’ the Saints!

Go Saints! Come marching in tomorrow! Please?

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Painting a Portrait #2

Hi! I have just finished another painting. Much like last time I have taken some photos as I went along if anyone is interested in the process.

First things first, I primed the board with clear gesso (binder medium). Good to stop anything damaging coming up through the timber in the long run.

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Once I drew the design on, I got to work painting the hardest area first. I ended up tweaking her face during the whole painting process though.

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I then painted the peacock and started the hair, working right to left so as not to smudge any wet paint (I’m a lefty). Originally there was no peacock but just the feathers in amongst her hair. I changed my mind because whenever I see peacock feathers in fashion I worry where and by what means they were obtained. At least this way the feathers are with their rightful owner!

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Background. This shows how new I am to acrylics, I started getting into the detail of the hair before the background was done, once I stepped back and looked at the big picture, I realised I had to do a background and basically ended up having the do the hair again. Time wasted? 2 hours. Lesson learned!

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Starting the feathers, they took the longest.

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And added more detail to her dress and brooch and a few other things. Finished!

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I finished this in 2010 but was never quite happy. So I changed her face slightly in 2012. This is Eloise, she measures about 60cm x 45cm. She took a few months in small sessions so I have no idea in hours how long it took!

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Thanks for looking!

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