Monday, April 23, 2012

back to the hairdresser!

In my journey as an artist, I have had several teachers recommend maintaining a sketch book. I have been doing this for approximately ten years, and I try to draw regularly. I have found that this type of practice has helped me to become a better artist. I will draw almost anything. At conferences, when I find that I'm growing bored, I'll even set up a little still life and will draw them. I've drawn my own hand and my feet repeatedly. If I don't have the usual art supplies, I'll use ball point pens and whatever paper is on hand at the time.
On Friday (April 20th), I went to the hairdresser and I did some practice from a hairdresser magazine.
Here it is:
Here she is... hairdresser lady!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Claire's hat!

I had fun designing and decorating a hat for my little great niece, Claire. She is almost three months old and, to my obviously (!) unbiased eyes, the epitome of cute.
Here are three views of the baby's hat:
front view of Claire's hat

one side view

the other side view
Look for me to open an etsy shop with my hats and other usable art some time this summer. I will keep you posted.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

teatime in watercolor and acrylic

Watercolor and acrylic are definitely different media. I like them both but I've never tried to paint the same scene in both media. On March 8th, in the painting class that I take at Stella Niagara, instructor Virginia Kelley explained that we were going to make the same painting twice: once in watercolor and the second time in acrylic on canvas board.
We were given outlines to use as a basis of our paintings. The outline that I chose was of a tea set in front of a window. At least, it appeared to be a window. When I saw the original painting later, it turned out that it was actually a mirror. I drew a window. I drew the entire picture freehand before painting it. I did find that drawing was somewhat time consuming and it ate into my painting time. The instructor also noticed that, and she gave us the option of taking our canvas boards home so that we could get our sketching done before class, to give us more painting time.
Here is the watercolor painting that I did:
tea party still life in watercolor

Two weeks later, it was an unusually warm March day. I took a walk along the beautiful Niagara gorge before heading to the painting class. I had brought with me the canvas board that I had brought home after the first class. This time, I had a completed sketch and I was ready to spend my entire class time painting. For me, this was a much more relaxing approach to art. I brought with me also a set of acrylic paints. Since I had the luxury of lots of sketching time, I added a few details, including a full moon and a howling wolf just outside the window. The proximity of the wolf was probably the reason that the tea set was abandoned, even though the tea was ready to be poured. Who knows? I don't think that wolves are that scary. Nevertheless, it was fun.
Here is the acrylic painting:
tea party still life in acrylic
So, which do I like better? Watercolor or acrylic? I'm not sure. I'm still exploring. One of these days, I'll try oil paints. For sure, this was a good experiment in seeing how a composition changes, based on the medium used in portraying that composition. I might try this one next in colored pencils, to see how that works. If I do, I'll post it right here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My first hat commission!

I designed, painted, and embroidered a hat for a seven year old girl. Her aunt gave me the commission to decorate this hat. I was asked to incorporate the following elements into this hat: pink and purple, bees, and butterflies. I like all of those things so I was very happy to design this hat:
A hat to celebrate spring!