Friday, October 28, 2011

Craft: Hat

I love the way this fabric is knitting up! It's got a gorgeous red that's muted by creams and blue and green splashes. And gold! I love the thin slivers of gold.

This is going to be a beanie hat without ears. I'm hoping it fits because I just sort of guessed at the size. But it's going to be ribbed so it will be fairly stretchy!

I'm starting to think making a swatch might be useful.

Maybe :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fiverr: Beach

I need a better photograph of this. Made it look better and the dog is chasing some birds. But this is the one I have. Beaches are cool. I wish I could do one from life. I'd add some sand to the paint. Probably by dropping it, but I'd be in good company:

Craft: Hat!

Look! I have ears now! Bigger ones.

And I feel this craft is complete. My cousin has just told me she doesn't want to be seen with me in public.
But I think the hat is adorable and I at least didn't add the tassels to the ends. Though I am thinking about using the pink fabric that came with it to make the insides of the ears pink so it really looks like cat ears!

For my next hat? Beanie! Though I am in love with the ears, I am not sure if any of the people I will be gifting these to will like them as much as me.

I think mom and Jaya are gonna be the only ones I could make them for who would appreciate the loveliness that is this specific hat!

It was really simple. Cast on 68 stitches (I did 74) on 16" sized 10 round needles. Then I did K2P2 for about 7 or so rounds. Then I did K1P1 until the fabric was 7.5 inches long. Then I bound it off, and sewed it together at the top.

So simple!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artist: Alexa Meade

I have to say I found this artist and I just love it! Instead of tricking the eye with paint to make a subject look real, she uses paint to make photographs look like paintings!

Anyway her site can probably explain better than I can.

Makes me want to invest in some body paint and do something fun down in New Orleans!


Craft: New Hat

Well, I will have a hat tomorrow if all goes well. Right now I just have fabric yarn and new knitting needles. I'm hoping everything fits once I get done too because I have a "children's pattern" oddly enough.

Ok. It's not odd at all! I have very out there taste.

But tomorrow I hope to have myself an adult sized hat in a children's style. The package says "five hour craft" and I spent two of them getting the fabric strips tied together and rolled into a ball, so in three hours I better have a wearable hat!

We'll see... Won't we?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fiverr: Weirdness

Medical Corset
Oil on Matboard
Get Your Own Tiny Painting! October Special

I wasn't sure how this one was going to turn out, but I actually really like it! It's sketchy and weird and definitely in my weird style. I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but I think it ended up pretty okay. Weird, but I like weird. Especially so near Halloween!

And I finished a commission and that made me really happy! But I can't put the drawings up because of artist/model confidentiality and some stuff. But they turned out pretty neat, if I do say so myself. If you want a drawing done, just send me a message, leave a comment, drop by my Etsy store and see what I have ready. I'll have more up as soon as possible, but if you need something specific don't hesitate to ask!

I also received my knitting needles today, so I'm going to do my best to knit myself a hat out of fabric. I don't know what I'm doing, so if it comes out looking like a hat, I'll be thrilled. If it turns out not looking like a hat, I'll still be thrilled if it will fit on my head. I've also made some new beads, I'll have to wait till tomorrow to get some good photographs of them with my good camera, but after I do that I'm putting them on Etsy. Along with some other drawings and paintings I have!

And I'm still working on my website. I had something that looked pretty neat, but my computer was not plugged in and then it just decided to quit and I lost everything. Not fun. I feel like just paying someone to do it, but I can't really justify the price when I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself. I'll give myself one more try.

Anyway, I have a lot of work to do! Let me know what you are all up to!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fiverr: Artichoke

Oil Painting on Mat Board

I was really excited about how this one came out. I'd never painted and artichoke before and I wasn't sure how it was going to come out. So I just followed my process and it started coming together.

I do have a slight confession. I try to only give myself 15-30 minutes on these paintings. Sometimes it takes me more time, sometimes less when I'm at the top of my game. So far less hasn't happened a lot.

I also sat down and worked on a website last night. An actual site, not just a blog or a page of some old art, but something I can use! I started coding it myself, then I realized I needed to actually have my artwork organized and ready to plug in. So that's what I did last night! I have organized art files! And the very beginning of a site! whoop!

Do you make your own sites? Pay someone? Use free templates? Just have a blog? How do you use your site?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fiverr: Bride and Groom

Bad photos, I know, but it's been raining all day and I can't get non blurry photos in this light! They were a fun couple to work on. I really liked their photos too.

I've started a couple of drawing commissions as well, and I think that'll help with my painting too. I can't show photos, but just know I am working hard and getting paid for it!

:) That thrills me to no end!

If you want to buy some of my work I've got several paintings still up on Etsy. That includes a five dollar painting deal for the month of October.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


While walking to the post office I came across these tea cups. They were just sitting there on the sidewalk just like this. I didn't move them or touch them, just whipped out my phone and captured the rather strange scene.

It's been in my head for awhile now, trying to figure out how they got there. What their owners had been doing. Where they went....

There's a story here I can just sense it!

Fiverr: Baby

I thought the expression on this baby photo was just too adorable. Slightly annoyed and slightly amused! I hope she likes her painting!

Fiverr: Doggy

Dogs are pretty fun to paint I think. I wonder when I'm going to get a cat?!

I've been super busy, but that just means I'll have a fair amount of posts coming up!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Free Tickets to Japan?!

I am still very interested in going to Japan, despite not being picked for the  JET program. Oh well, their loss. I would have still gone to Japan even with the earthquakes and the tsunamis and the radiation had I been picked and it would have been great getting to teach and help out.

Though it would have been nice to get paid to do that, I suppose the next best thing would be free tickets.

The catch is I'd have to blog about it.

So really, what catch? I plan on sketching and painting and photographing and just experiencing all the beautiful things there! Of course I'd be learning more Japanese as well.

I suppose that means I have a better chance with more blog followers, a more active blog, more comments. I'd better start working on it!

I can't wait until there is more information. Do you hope to go? Do you want to go? Afraid to go? Is there another place you wish would do this? Let me know!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Artumn Madness: Autumn!

I've been away this weekend, with a fairly unstable Internet connection and no phone signal at all. Yay!

And I did a lot of painting. Yay!

And all the paintings came out badly. Boo!

Which is why I'm updating with photos. I did plein air painting and I guess I was completely out of practice because they turned out fairly badly as finished work. But as color studies and sketches they're pretty good. So I'm going to work on a finished pieced based on what I have done this weekend!


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Artumn Madness: Arkansas

The leaves have started to change in some areas and even though you don't see bright reds and oranges everywhere yet I've noticed the greens aren't the vibrant young greens we get during spring, and have even started turning from the full green of summer.

I'm up here in Arkansas painting great views like this badly for awhile. I'm much too out of practice in plein air painting and right now I am trying to get better. I've been doing so well I must be having an off day. Plus I've been used to tiny still life work for so long my brain is having a time adjusting. But I am painting. Even if I don't want to show my work! Just a quick photo.

How soon do you first notice the shift to autumn? What do you notice first? Do you have a very pronounced autumn where you live?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Process: Step by Step

(Edited, because I should apparently not type when I have a raging headache!)

After my friend asked me about my painting process when it comes to drawing from life, I thought it would be best if I show as much of the process as I could. I do try and show myself painting on video fairly often, but a lot of times I'm painting at night and it's a pain to get my camera set up so it can see anything I am doing. I decided that step by step pictures would be a bit more helpful. 

Also, most of my process is fairly left brained. I follow a formula for a good chunk of my set up. But there comes a point of complete right brained-ness where a "how to" or a "step by step" doesn't really work. That's why there is such a jump in the last couple of pictures. But I will do my best to explain my thought process and choices. 

Step One: Choose a Subject

This is fairly simple. I raid the kitchen fruit bowl and my stash of handmade pottery a lot of times. Some people trick  ask friends to pose for them. Other people beg their dog or pet of choice to stay still. Others pay people to sit still for long hours. Clothing optional. And some people go outside and sit. That last one has a fairly different starting point for me. But I'll talk about plein air painting later. Right now, we're just drawing with people or objects in front of us. 

If you can use north light, which is a wonderful cool, diffused, stable, natural light, then YAY! I'd use that. But if I'm painting at night I find it much easier to just turn on a light and have it illuminating my fruit. During the day I use north light though. I'll write a post about why that's the painter's light of choice soon. 

So after you have your fruit arranged and the lights on, what's next?

Step 2: Place the large shape on a toned ground

This is the large shape of your objects. There are several ways to do this, depending on what you are drawing. You can see that here, I just put down the large shape all the fruit kind of made. Because I'm working small, I like doing it this way.

If I were working larger, I would first give myself a margin all the way around the painting. Then I would put down a gesture, before putting down this large shape. I wouldn't have the gesture forming the outside contours of the objects, but focus more on their center placement. More like a constellation than anything.

And the toned ground. Normally I tone with raw sienna, but right now I've been using a lot of shellacked illustration and mat board. The shellac I use is amber colored, and the mat board I use is all sorts of colors. This gives me a fairly wide range from a nice pale amber to /really, really, really/ almost black dark. This was amber on top of a dark orange, so it's darker than even I'm used to. But it was next in the pile.

After this comes

Step 3: Psudo Giacometti and Contour

As you can see I'm obviously not drawing with vertical and horizontal lines as I would were I doing the Giacometti Technique in its purest form. You can however, see where I was using it to figure out where to place the bottoms of the aanar and the top of the lemon. It's very useful that way. I should also probably mention at this point that the photograph I took of the fruit was done fairly low to the table. I was sitting up a good one or two feet above that, hence you can see the top of the aanar in the painting. Remember, I'm painting this from life, and not from any photograph. 

Always be exact in your drawing. If you make a mistake, don't be afraid to correct it! There are several times I redrew parts of the fruit. If you pay attention during this step, the following steps will definitely be easier, but you should always be looking and asking, "Is this right?" and then LOOKING for the answer. Painting is like taking an open book test. The answers are always right in front of you!

Then we come to,

Step 4: Valueshapes

Here is where I start to place dark values down. Most of the time I use burnt sienna for my first shadows, but because the board I used was incredibly darker than I'm used to, I used burnt umber as well.

Here I'm drawing the shapes of the shadows, trying to make sure my line drawings are right. I'm also picking out the dark areas, and asking myself, what is darker? Squinting helps a lot here. It filters out color and hue and leaves you with swatches of dark. I then paint those shapes. I use the unpainted canvas as my lights until

Step 5: Add some lights

For awhile now I've been painting fruit just sitting on a simple white table. So right about now I fill that in so I have paint around all my objects to paint into, and pull to into their form when I need to redraw some things. You can see I've kind of worked it into the lemon here.

Step 6: Relative Color

This is the first step that I'll add color. I won't be really picky about the color, as long as the value is correct. I'll try to use warmer variations of the color in the light, and cooler in the shadows. Here you can see I used cad red light for the side of the aanar in the light, and alizarin crimson for the cool side. The side of the lemon in the light gets cad yellow light, while its shadowy area is more of a raw umber with cool yellow, or green. I think I also warmed that shadow a bit with burnt sienna in some areas too. Because my light is so warm my shadows will be cooler, with cool north light the opposite would be true. But I still like to really warm up my darks. 

Anyway, after that, I do

Step 7: Right Brained Magic Time

The next thing I do is pretty much playing with color and value. "Is this the right value? If I squint does it look right? Is the color intense enough? if it's intense enough, is it the right value? Did I mess up that shape??" 

As you can see I've only really started on the left aanar. I'm trying to build up values, and add more paint to the lights here. And that's pretty much what I did with the other fruit. Add more paint to the lights. I'm afraid I didn't take a picture before I added the highlights...

Finally at the very end:

Step 8: The darkest darks, The lightest lights

Here is where I add the final things: The darkest bits of the painting and the high lights. I really think the highlights make or break a painting. You can get away with a lot with a lot of paint and some well placed highlights!

And then after that... well, I usually wait until the next morning to get a good photograph of it in natural light. And fix anything that's still bugging me the next day. I always need that extra time to really go back and look with fresh eyes.

I can already see the shape of that lemon and that right aanar can use more of that light pink color, though it is darker than the other one. I'll see if there is something I can do to it. 


I hope my little step by step process helps, at least for the beginning stages. I know I didn't talk about color mixing or details or anything important! But I hope this allows you to tackle some blank canvas of your own!

Museums: I suppose I've been doing it wrong then!

I suppose if looking at the art in museums gets security all over you, I should be doing this:

In case you're wondering about it being safe for work or not, there is one picture of his wife naked from the back, fairly small, all the way down at the bottom of the blog post.

I've been using museums incorrectly my whole life!

(This blog post is meant for humor. And because I like Neil Gaiman.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Fiverr: Doggy

Quick painting and post! I'll explain my absence soon. Pretty much just busy, tired, and painting!

I've been doing a lot for Artumn Madness!!! Any one else joining me for October?