Friday 30 September 2022

ICAD part six

Hello friends

You may be relieved to learn that this is the last instalment of index card art for this year. It's taken me awhile to share it all because I've been so busy with all the other art I've been creating.

I've put three photos. For this first image, because the paint is so shimmery, it just doesn't come across with a straight facing forward photo and I really wanted to try and show you the proper full effect of the shimmer.

The rest of these photos are all mixed media.

The first two are working dry watercolour crayons onto a wet background and letting it all bleed out.

The rest are all mixed media collage. Mostly based around one large scrap of tissue paper, which I managed to stretch over almost all of the cards. 

Many of you know that I take part in this index card art challenge every year. However, this year has been very different. There was no big index card art group on Facebook. However. I joined with a very small number of fellow artists. And we shared our work within our small group, which was very nurturing and supportive. We've helped each other along the way to learn and explore new techniques and new ways of creativity. It's been great fun, and we've stayed together since.

Show my friends that concludes index card out for 2022. Thank you for looking at the mall and thank you for your kind comments and support.

Until next time 
Stay safe. Stay well.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Fantasy Portraits Makeover

Hello friends! 

I've really been enjoying creating some fantasy portraits lately. Here are some more.

This first one is a reworking of a previous one I've shared with you. I didn't like the lips. They were too big. They were too red. They were too bold. They were like a slash of fierce red lipstick across her face. It did not bode well with me. In the meantime, I've been taking more online classes, and one thing I have learned is that gesso is quite a miracle medium, in that you can use it not only to stabilise your substrate but also to wipe things out. So guess what I did? You've got it. I just gessoed over those dreadful red lips and painted some new ones. Hurrah.!

In order, first is the original. The second one with the lips gessoed over.  The third one, the final amended one.  I used pink ink instead of paint for the final one.  I also added eyelashes, which is some facial feature I do need to practise. However, I think they've given the eyes an extra lift. And I also slightly reworked the shading in the eyes which is something I have learned to do since I painted this originally. Altogether, I'm very happy with the improvements made. I'd really like to know what you think. 

The lips gessoed away, makes me think of a horror movie where a spell is cast and mouths are sealed with web like bonds, but which one, I can't think.

I'm not going to pretend it wasn't scary. It was utterly terrifying!! However., I plucked up the courage and committed to it. I don't know how I did it, because it was frightening putting that first layer of gesso down over the lips, knowing that I could easily ruin everything with no going back. It was at work down the drain so to speak, but I think it's paid off dividends and it's a much better portrait all round now.

I may have mentioned that I subscribed to Tamara Laporte's. Life Book 2019 but because Mum passed away, I didn't even begin it. Once you've bought one of her classes you have lifetime access to all the components, so I've decided to go back in and work through the lessons.  Because I bought at the early birds price, I also got a free bonus class. It's called Garden Fairy; this is my result. I'm very happy with how it's turned out.

One thing I have learned is once you have set down your original line drawing and start applying your paint it can be quite a daunting process. I'm sharing just a few of the stages here with you to illustrate what I mean. To be honest once I start laying in the flesh tones, they really look quite frightening, as if you've ruined it before you've even started, but you just got to keep the faith and keep going.  Layer upon layer of paint builds up gradually and you hopefully end up with a finished outcome that you're happy with.

So, I create my drawing, with which I'm very happy.

First layers of flesh tones, and I already feel it's ruined. This is the point to keep going.

Now I'm terrified. What have I done?  Keep the faith. Keep going.

Then as soon as I start adding features, the colour of the eyes and the lips, it all calms down again.

Final Outcome

I'm showing you two versions of the same painting. First one is without the vine leaves hanging down in the background. The second one has the vine leaves added. I'm not sure which one I prefer. I can't make up my mind whether the hanging vines are a step too far or whether they add something to the portrait.  That's the thing with taking photographs at every stage of development. You get to see how things looked and compare. Photography can be a very useful tool with painting analysis.  I am very happy with how she turned out, either version!  Do you have a favourite?

Just bring everything up to date before I start on the taster sessions for LifeBook23. That is a fortnight of taster sessions with various artists similar to the previous one, Artist Soul Gathering, I did with Ida Lang Anderson.  I have already started it.

Until next time.
Stay safe, stay well.

Friday 23 September 2022

Pumpkins Galore!

Hello friends!

Warning. If you don't like pumpkins, look away now!!!

Once again, it's Autumn and pumpkin season is upon us. My friend owns a sunflower farm, which at this time of year becomes a pumpkin patch farm. I'll be putting a link in later if you're able to go, but I know for most of you will it will be impossible.  I'm sure you'll find your own wonderful attractions near where you are.

Imagine my delight to be able to photograph some freshly harvested local grown pumpkins on a warm Autumn afternoon. I jumped at the opportunity. Those of you who know me well, know I have a bit of a thing about pumpkins. The more patterns and the gnarlier, the better!!  These are beauties. The varieties here are: Turks Turban, Harvest Moon, Sweet Lightning, Harlequin, Crown Prince, Casparita, and Kabocha.  

Could anything be more versatile? Firstly, you decorate with them. Secondly, in my case, you paint them. And thirdly, you eat them, turning them into delicious soup, stews, breads, pies, risotto. And more. My friend says they make excellent crisps, or chips depending which side of the Atlantic you're on!

Before I forget, here's the link to the Facebook page, which has all the details if you are in the area and wish to visit.  Pembrokeshire Pumpkin Farm.  There's loads of seasonal attractions. A haunted barn. A hay bale trail. And other things to do besides picking out beautiful pumpkins to decorate or eat.

Here are my photos. The first batch are taken with my Panasonic. DMC FZ45. The second batch which follow that are all square are taken on my phone.

Taken with my phone

Well, my friends, I hope you've enjoyed the trip around the pumpkins. I hope to get more photographs again. There are long lasting fruit and it's nice to take advantage of the different levels of sun light at this time of year. Also, they'll be popping up in my seasonal decorations, which I'll share later.

How do you like to use pumpkins? Do you use them just for decorating or purely for culinary purposes? Do you have a favourite recipe? Are you like me? Your pumpkins will be decorating your home from now until the end of November. I'd love to know.

Until next time. 
Stay safe, stay well.

Saturday 17 September 2022

Index Card Art Part Five

Hello friends!

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to look at my art, especially my previous blog. The work in that has been quite different for me. I'm taking a few days off from arts at the moment. I've done over 100 days straight now since June the 1st. I've made at least one small piece, sometimes a large piece of art everyday since then.  It's quite a lot, so like I say, I'm having a few days off before the taster session for Life Book 2023 begins on the 26th of September. Mind having invested so much time in doing art the house workers let slip so I won't be having any time off, I'll be cleaning house!!

Here's another roundup of index card art. I think I've just got one more weeks worth to put in, so that'll come sometime in the next few days.

These ones come in a variety of media. I was doodling on a card and somehow came up with a basic shape which you will see is repeated throughout every one of these cards. I've taken the basic shape and worked into it with adding bits or changing the media. After all, that's what index card art is all about. Experimenting. Oh, and of course having fun!

It's surprising how you can change the look of something just by changing how you colour it in or adding a few extra bits here and there.

Until next time.
Stay safe, stay well.

Debbie xo