Thursday, 16 December 2010

Pen and ink today

I did calligraphy when I was younger and have the dip pens, books and layout paper ready to get into it again, it's on my USS list,  but I hadn't thought of using it for drawing.  This work is in black permanent ink, both as a line and as a wash, and I love the uneven line the dip pen gives.  I really liked this graphic style, and again I have no idea why it's turned sideways.  One thing difficult to get used to was the strength of the ink, but I'll get there, I'm happy with the drawing

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Charcoal and putty rubber

My local library is my lifeline, I couldn't afford my bibilographic habit, there's no two ways about it, and I get to consult books that maybe aren't excellent but have useful material.  And then there are books that are out of print but are an absolute goldmine, like Learn to Paint and Draw by Hazel Harrison.  I must admit, before this class I would have thought that using an instructional book was 'cheating', if you can't draw you can't draw, but this book takes you through loads of different drawing and painting mediums and techniques.  It's from this book that I picked up the technique of charcoal and putty rubber.  You cover the entire drawing area with a thin background of charcoal, taking time to rub it and get it smooth, and then begin to work with charcoal lines and then lift out highlights with a putty rubber.  Working big makes expressiveness easier

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A tribute to Lucy Boston

When I was starting my Painting and Drawing night class I needed a brush roll to protect my acrylics brushes, and thought the brush containers I saw in art shops expensive, unimaginative and that I could do my own.  So I took a lovely piece of Austrian fabric and some contrasting green fabrics and pieced these four sets of six diamonds in the same way as Lucy Boston on the back of her quilt Toby Hemming's Cot Cover.  Lucy Boston was the lady who wrote The Children of Green Knowe and it's sequels about a boy Toby who goes to live with his grandmother and finds he is also living with the ghosts of three children who happily haunt the house and become his friends.  She was also a quilter of incredible talent who worked by paper piecing, I have her granddaughter Diana Boston's book The Patchworks of Lucy Boston which combines excellent photographs of Lucy Boston's quilts with extensive and useful commentary on history, fabrics and construction.  This is my humble tribute, I fussy cut the diamonds to make use of the patterns of each fabric.

Quilters' Guild Mystery Quilt

Have finally got pictures and self together with regard to my mystery quilt.  This was a set of pattern instructions run over 4 editions of The Quilter, the Quilters' Guild quarterly magazine.  In the end I took so long I had all four issues by the time I got down to it but I did follow the instructions issue by issue, which caused its own issues when there were problems, but I got there.  I had good fun also doing a book of the quilt including why I chose my fabrics.

The mystery quilt instructions were to use 12 fabrics, 4 lights, 4 mediums and 4 darks, no stripes.  I decided on blues, as I now know from having to pay attention to and carefully choose my colours I am using soft warm blues.  My choice was partly indicated by some pretty blue and white Austrian dress fabric I had (think Heidi and Sound of Music), a lightweight cotton that I've always wanted to use, and a navy used for a pirate costume for Caitlin.  Also, blues remind me of my mother.  Blue has always suited her but even more so now her hair is a fine silver, and soft blue is like her personality, soft, quietly beautiful and warm.

The central panel is the diamond you can see here, I added a border of 6 by 1 and a half inch strips, due to the fact that the stripes on my leftover Austrain fabric ran the wrong way!  I then decided to add a double sawtooth border, 1 inch squares on the inside and 3 inch on the outside, which will look amazing but 64 large and 192 small squares later!  It will be worth the effort, and I'm very good at making half sqaure triangles using the method of sewing either side of a diagonal now...  I then laid all the squares out to try and make sure the same fabrics weren't too close together and carefully numbered them all and pinned them with pieces of paper, we'll see if it works!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Acrylic and a little bit out of hand

This was my first try with acrylics and the drawing was fine but then I was faced with the problem of how do you keep the drawing when you paint.  Apparently you can paint in the lines, use charcoal which is darker or build up in layers 'thin to thick' but I just went for thick right away, and the effect is certainly striking if a little overly spontaenous!  Had great fun with the one thing that was under control, the colour, because I was only using alizarin crimson and one shade of blue with white, although I learned never to walk away and come back with acrylics, it's dry by then.  Oh, and that alizarin crimson is very very strong!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Coloured paper is lovely

There's something really nice about drawing on coloured paper.  This week I was fascinated by the hands of the model so got myself up close and worked with white pastel on grey paper and really enjoyed myself, my only issue was fixing it, I used hairspray and it, well, dribbled a bit, so I think I need to buy the real thing.  There goes this month's pocket money!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Watercolour in sepia

Another first, this time working in varying intensities of ochre on watercolour, learning how to build up glazes to create depth of colour, very much first steps.  This lovely lady is much less podgy and more beautiful than the picture suggests, slowly developing confidence with drawing.  What strikes me is how long everything takes, I get totally absorbed and the time has gone just like that.  I'm finding that ears are much bigger than I thought they were, I guess I tend to judge the size of the organs of their face by the importance of the function, so eyes would come first.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Drawing and Painting

Am slowly taking my first steps in the big world of drawing and painting, am really enjoying it but am a bit lost in the world of materials and techniques.  I'm going to a Thursday night class at Duncan of Jordanstone and we have someone sit which gives a chance to do life drawing, not the naked kind!, and that's challenging and great.  This picture was worked in pastels on untreated canvas, a very rough surface, the proportions are a bit iffy but working big allows you to free up the hand

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Three new people

I took a break from my current projects to create bunting for two of the new babies born to three of my friends, all very much wished for little people.  The bunting was fairly easy to make and really gave me practice in applique, although I quickly discovered that I needed to use stabiliser to stop the points of the triangle from going into the sewing machine and getting snarled up.  Having said that, they seemed to take forever to make, but then I was making two sets! A third set, in High School Musical red and white colours, is on its way, slowly as my friend is making them and I'm helping when she needs it.