Friday, January 31, 2014

Creating a Cherry Blossom Tree

Greetings and Salutations!

It's been a few days.  This schedule that I'm running is turning out to be all consuming.  Between class, projects, work, and the kids, I just don't have much time for anything else.  It's sad really.  But time marches on.

The main reason I'm posting today is because I had 4 major art projects due today.  Between them all, I put in something like 36 hours this week.  I am beat!  But done!

So, yeah, let's check out the first one...

Because I really like it when people give hints tips and tricks along with their art, I'll do the same here.  This lovely lady was sketched out on 140 lb. watercolor paper.  I used watercolor pencils and acrylic paint.  Her kimono is a piece of scrap booking paper that I scored from Michael's for $0.15! and collaged onto the watercolor paper using Gel Matte Medium.  Once dry, I cut her out.

On a 16x20 canvas, I used acrylic washes for the sky and grass.  Once dry, I began some of the details.  Trees are my arch enemies.  I've never in my life ever ever ever been able to draw a realistic tree.  I was on Skype with an artist buddy of mine while painting this and for what ever reason, it just flowed.
To add the bark and highlight details, I used oil pastels.  On canvas, it gave it a really "scratchy" appearance.

I had gotten so excited about painting the actual blossoms, that I'd forgotten about background details.  Silly me!  So I tossed in some nondescript bushes and a temple.  After I'd painted this icky brown path along the bottom right of the canvas, I decided I absolutely hated it.  But it was done and I really didn't want to try to gesso over it and start over.  Mainly because once you use gesso, acrylic washes don't behave properly.  And I was digging the grass.  Oh well, I'll figure out something later.  Also used oil pastel over the path to give it some texture.

Point blank...I was too excited to do my cherry blossoms than really think clearly.  But they turned out wonderfully, didn't they?  Used acrylic for the blossoms.

I collaged my geisha using Soft Gel (Matte) Medium.  I love that stuff. 

Wow, what a difference sunlight makes when taking a picture!

To "fix" that ugly path, I added lots and lots of blooms around my geisha.  I'm not uber thrilled with them, but if I keep messing with it I will end up destroying the parts I love.  So I'm leaving it alone.
The edges of the geisha are curled slightly.  I left it like that because it creates a natural shadow behind her and gives it a little bit of a 3-D effect.

So, yep, there you have it.  One geisha walking in her magic garden.

That's what the assignment was - to draw a "Magic Garden".  I took mine in a bit of a different direction than my classmates have.  But I figured, why not.  And I'm in love with this tree.  I will definitely be trying another cherry tree or two at a later date.

Assignment 2 was a futuristic city with only geometric shapes.  Nothing much to it, just had fun.  Media used: 90 lb mixed media paper, markers & crayon.

Assignment 3 was to draw a still life using the positive space.  Assignment 4 was to draw the same still life using only the negative space.

So yep, I'm done.  For this week anyway.  I have 2 more art projects due next Friday for the same class.  I'm sure I'll put up at least one of them here.  And maybe I'll get around to finishing Mr. and Mrs. Owl.

Until later!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Progress in Stop Motion

  Hey there!  Welcome back!

I didn't have the opportunity Sunday (over a week ago!) to do anything I wanted to do.  Which was really sad, but my free time has become non-existent.  As soon as I get home, the demands of supper, children, and homework are all consuming.  And then of course, there's work to contend with as well.

However, thanks to the school holiday this past Monday and no class on Tuesday, I was able to finally get moving on my latest canvas.  Mr. and Mrs. Owl are no where near complete, but they are certainly further along than they were.  Or, well, Mrs. Owl is anyway.

As you can see, I still have quite a lot of work left do do on them.... like making the gel medium disappear!  I'm having a slight bit of "art block" with them at present, so they will just have to sit on my wall until I figure out where I want to go with them.  There are many many more layers to go.

But for now, they are as they are....  which is, a mixture of watercolor and acrylic on watercolor paper adhered with Golden's Soft Gel (Matte) onto acrylic on canvas.

I need to take better pictures when I've got daylight.

The other things I managed to get done were to gesso and begin an art journal page - which I got stymied on (I hate waiting for things to dry!  Even with a heat gun!), and to experiment with some home made alcohol inks.  Those are working out fairly decently, but I want to experiment a bit more with them before giving the final verdict.

I'm out of my Bio Lab by 10 in the morning, so hopefully, I'll have time and the bug to get something done with my lovely little owl couple.

See ya next time!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

In the Beginning

My life is taking off in a whole new direction.  I'm both excited beyond belief and thoroughly frightened.  Classes start in the morning.  Not in a few weeks, not later this week, but absolutely in the morning.  At eight a.m.  The prospect is daunting.  I have made my decision, however, and there really is no time to chicken out of it now.  I will be an Art Teacher one day.

In order to prompt my slightly rusty cognitive skills, I've decided that this year is a fantastic year to really start doing some art journaling, especially since I'm unable to take any hands on art classes this semester.  Art Education for Elementary Teachers, online, does not put me in the studio with paint dabs on my nose, regardless of how necessary and fun a class it may be.  So yes, I'm determined to finally (and I say finally with all the exasperation I can manage) start and finish something worth wile this year and truly get my behind back in the swing of being, becoming, and living as an artist (as well as student, employee, mother, and general "get it done-r").

I turned 30 just over a week ago, and I'm pretty sure this abrupt (because let's face it, I never ever saw it coming!) arrival in to middle life is what's prompting the panicky feelings fluttering around in my abdomen.  The feelings of non-accomplishment and "what have you to show for your first 30 years of life" feelings.  They're not great feelings.  In fact, they're down right snarky!  I am deliberately setting myself up to take on and tame those feelings.  My Lion Tamer's costume has been ordered from Amazon and should arrive within the next week.  Unfortunately, the "How-To" book will be a little later arriving.  They didn't offer it in a Kindle Version.

My fingers are itching to get home... only 2 more hours of work and I am a free agent!  I want to dive head first into my unfinished canvas projects that I haven't touched in four days and to start slapping gesso on my Art Journal.  I am in the mood to get very messy and have lots of fun.  Hopefully I'll have pictures to post soon!

Hope y'all have a great Sunday!
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