This is where I will discuss my current art projects. Although I paint in a variety of mediums, I do almost always use an easel whether I am painting acrylics, oils, pastels, or other medium (unless the canvas is a miniature that I can hold in my hand).
I've been doing a lot of drawing, mostly of illustrations for my books. I am determined to complete several in 2014 and for at least a half dozen or so of the stories I've written, all I need is anywhere from one illustration to a dozen or more. With so many stories written you would think that I would be motivated. I am...mostly. What I have to realize and learn is a different way of looking at art. Illustration is different from painting a picture. So, I'm using a few reference books that I picked up along the way and searching the internet for help with getting started.
My first project will be for a children's book that I wrote and I'm going to have just one illustration for the cover. I thought about doing an illustration for each chapter (there are 33 chapters in this book) but then I realized that it would take me most of the year to complete this project. So I decided to stick with one for the cover. Wise choice!
I spent the day at my friend Shirley's house yesterday and I got a good start on my cover illustration. I've also had to think about drawing a child's face (the main characters are 10 and 13). Not only have I not painted children before, I haven't painted people at all. I did one or two quick self-portraits over the years but nothing that I would share with anyone.
In my next blog I will share the illustrations that I've been working on. I need to fine-tune them a little more before I put them out there in the public.
Ah yes, the holidays are here. And with them comes shopping, chaos, hustle and bustle, cleaning, cooking, visiting, and every other kind of "ing", just not painting! That's right, I'm in a slump again. But I think the slump has more to do with my direction rather than not being motivated. I keep thinking I'm just not motivated but in the meantime I keep writing, have finished another book and started another children's story that is mostly complete. Where I need to find my motivation, though, is for illustration. I have a pretty thorough book on illustrating children's picture books and I really need to give it a good look-through and actually read some of it. This is where I will be putting a lot of my time and energy in 2014. I have several books that are complete and with just a little fine tuning, they will be ready for the printers. I'm also going to spend time building my publishing website (with a lot of help from my Internet-Architect husband, Jim). So, this will be an interesting addition to my roster of qualifications - I hope I can come up with the quality of illustrations that I believe my stories deserve!
These are the two quick studies I did when I was at my friend Shirley's house. I spent a little more time on the still life but did the pup's head in just about 10 minutes. I like the medium and as I mentioned in my blog about the pastel sticks, I think they will be great when I'm traveling. I did notice a little bit of dust but since they are hard sticks, there wasn't much as I was using them. And then when you wet them with water the majority of the dust is washed away.
These two studies were very small so I would like to try the sticks when I paint a little larger piece.
Yesterday I spent the day at my friend Shirley's house. Although the goal was to paint, we managed to spend an almost equal amount of time catching up on news and also discussing a variety of art-related topics. I brought my oils with me but decided I wanted to try out the water-soluble pastel painting sticks I had recently purchased from Jerry's Artarama. I must say, I was intrigued by the term 'water-soluble' in the same sentence as 'pastel sticks'. So, I took them out and in combination with my Aquastroke watercolor brush pen, I played around with a couple of paintings. One was a small still-life Shirley had set up. The other was the head of a Dachshund puppy on the cover of a book she had. I really enjoyed using this new medium and enjoyed the relatively dry pastels with the watercolor. I felt like I had a lot of control but that I could also be more free with it, if I wanted. It was so strange to feel like I was using a hard pastel stick and then softening it up with water to create what looked like a watercolor painting. I think these sticks, like the watercolor pencils, will be great for use when on the road.
Last week I visited with my friend Shirley and she had a still life of vegetables set up. I used oils, something I want to use more often (I also use water-soluble oils but many people have suggested I use the regular oils because of their lush quality). Although she had an off-white table cloth with an off-white background, I made my foreground and background more colorful. And when I got home, I changed the color again. I love the old-world style of painting that David Leffel has in his works and I decided to go more for that. I did the foreground but decided that I'm also going to add a darker background. And since I'm still getting used to oils (I have been using acrylics more than any other medium recently) I'm making very slow progress on the vegetables. It also doesn't help that not only do I not have a photo of the still life we set up (I forgot my camera!) but I do not have the vegetables. So, I'm painting from memory. I think I'll have to take a trip to the supermarket!