Monday, March 30, 2009

Selling Your Art Online: Getting started

I've decided to blog on a topic that I get asked all about all the time. Selling online can seem like an unknown world to many fledgling sellers. It is usually a lot different than what they bargain for. I figured that I would offer up my experiences all in one place. Keep checking back Mondays for more in this series!

Please keep in mind that these are merely my experiences. I have seen other artisans sell far more at far higher prices and others that try it and stop because they have sold nothing. What works for me, may not work for you and you will likely find someone else who does it far better than I do.

One thing I do know is that selling online takes a combination of plenty of factors - it is up to you to keep tabs on all these factors and assemble them into something that works for you, your art and your schedule.

The first thing to consider is your art. Honestly, sell what want - but don't be surprised if it doesn't sell. There are thousands and thousands of people out there who are also selling art. If you have produced a small body of work that you hold in such high esteem that you cannot part with it for under $50 000, that is fine, but do not be surprised if it doesn't sell.

You are also not online to do the other new seller temptation: give your art away for free or even worse, at your own expense. $1.99 starting bids, free shipping on top of that and you see that it is a painting on a $4.00 canvas that took 5 hours to paint and will likely cost the seller $7.00 to ship. Not to mention listing fees, paypal fees and other associated materials. Why frustrate yourself? Yes, I know it is nice that someone likes your work, but if they truly liked you they would have paid something higher than that. This is the online equivalent to begging.

Online selling can be a fantastic way to supplement an income, to be a "work at home parent" or as a lead in to an exit from your mundane career. You can place the building blocks of your dream life by starting to sell online. The possiblities are as far reaching as you are willing to take them.

Remember though, this is hard work. You need to try your best, keep your ego (or low self esteem - whatever you struggle with) out of this and price yourself in accordance to the venue you are selling in. You may sell some work for a song... if the idea of this really bothers you, you might want to consider a different venue. If you view that as a building block or a way to establish customer relationships, it might be an option worth exploring further.

Your prices will increase, but it may not happen overnight. I have followed a number of artists over the years and I can remember their early days when they let paintings go for the price of a pair of jeans. They have worked very hard and years later, you can see that they have a sustainable career. The key here is that they didn't stop when something sold for less than they were hoping, they kept painting.

If you are looking to pop some pictures onto a website and waiting for adoring crowds to come flocking around, unfortunately the reality will probably be a little different. For me, it took two years to work up the courage to even list an auction on ebay. I can remember waiting with held breath to press the "list" button for a ripple in the universe or something.

The first thing that happened? Absolutely nothing. It was sobering. I did sell that piece, but there was only one bidder and I learned the "don't start with a ridiculously low starting bid" lessson right off the top. There are many many pieces that I didn't sell, more that I sold for not a huge profit and some that I did decently on.

Why do I do it then? I doubt I will ever be Elton John rich with online selling. I do know that I have built a core client list of regular patrons from sellinig online. It has broadened my audience from selling at local artisan markets to selling overseas. In this I have built relationships and gone on to do challenging commissions and other projects.

I find selling online keeps me motivated to paint. I know I can do more with my work, I may one day move to more traditional selling venues like a gallery, but for now this is working for me. It is nice to have my work going all over the map rather than collecting dust in my studio. It pays for all my materials and provides some icing on the cake in our budget. You may well take this info and do far more with it than I do!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pearls Before Breakfast

An interesting addition to yesterday's post. My mother would call it "synchronicity" that I came across this Washington Post article talking about whether or not people appreciate beauty out of context.

In this article it explores what happens when a world famous musician plays for 45 minutes in a bland Washington subway station during the morning commute. There is an accompanying You Tube video to enjoy as well. The results of this are fascinating, the article is worth a full read.

One discussion I had early on in my relationship with my husband was going back and forth on whether or not art is autonomous - does art stand alone to be appreciated for what it is, within itself or does art gain value by being tied in with whoever created it, the story behind it, the setting and mood behind the production. I've never been totally sold on the art is autonomous argument, context, publicity and a good story weigh in so heavily for most artists.

I'd be interested in hearing thoughts on this.

Further to yesterday's post, I am ashamed to admit that mere hours after hitting "Publish" I found myself not only in an Ikea, but enjoying a meal with my kids in McDonalds. The irony of this did NOT escape me. I promise to try harder in the coming days!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why You Should Buy Art Friday - You Are What You Eat

We've all heard this term before, usually in conjunction with the consumption of food. I think it also applies to the consumption of media.

We are a consumer society. Every aspect of our lives is tied to a consumer element to some degree. Every day we are faced with a myriad of choices of things that we will spend our time and money consuming.

I've compared the price of artwork to eating out at fancy restaurants before, to point out the long term enjoyment of a beautiful piece of artwork over the short term enjoyment of a nice meal. Also, I discussed how artwork is not merely an indulgent decorator purchase, but rather could be considered a long term investment.

What I've been thinking about lately is how we spend our media time and money. I think in the pursuit of well crafted art, literature and film over commercial hype and the blockbuster mentality we are feeding our minds quality media.

Instead of listening to the advertising gimmicks we need to be taking the time to place our dollars in the hands of people producing quality. By being intentional in this we are working towards moving our society in the direction that supports creative thinking and craftsmanship. These industries are often at the brink of disappearing, by funding them, you are creating a sustainable environment for these creative businesses and giving them the potential to flourish.

They say that a mark of a society at its pinnacle is that there is a thriving intellectual and creative culture, this cannot happen unless people place their time and resources into developing and supporting this. If our culture spends all of its time and money supporting McDonalds and Hollywood, what does this say about us? (the term "garbage in = garbage out" comes to mind)

Also, we know what can potentially happen if we consume a steady diet of junk food, our health deteriorates. Same can be said of a steady diet of junk media, our mental and intellectual health can stagnate and deteriorate. By seeking out media that is thought provoking, engaging and intellectually stimulating, you are keeping your mind fit and vigorous - potentially elevating your own creative output.

My challenge to my readers this week is to seek out something that is not the lowest common denominator. I honestly think it can be anything that supports craftsmanship and quality over "more for your money". Value for your dollar doesn't always mean the lowest price or the largest quantity.

Be intentional in this, replace something that you would normally spend money on. Go see a lot of movies? Go to a repertoire theatre and check out a foreign film. Buy a lot of magazines? Spend a few dollars more and get an independent publication in the genre of your choice. Shop a lot at discount home stores or Ikea? Go to a site such as etsy and support an artisan. Try something organic - really, your possibilities are endless here.

I just want to encourage you to not to be afraid of "getting less" or "spending more" I think you should try to savour and enjoy something special. Lets support our creative culture somehow this week. I invite your thoughts on this or what you discover! Have a great week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tools of the Trade: Brushes part two

I'm pretty consistent with the types of brushes I use. When I first started painting, the teacher gave us one large flat brush (1") and one smallish flat brush (1/2"). We didn't get any round brushes, we didn't have any fancy fan brushes, nothing was particularly high quality or special.

There were a few reasons for this. One is that students have a tendency to get buried in tiny details. The composition shrinks to the size of a golf ball, even if the support is 2' x 2'. This is something I have found true for most young students... they want to make convincing details while ignoring the "big picture" so to speak.

By not giving them the tools to get buried in the details (ie a 30/0 liner brush) they are forced to deal with making the larger elements of a painting work.

Also, like having a hobby or a sport, tools have a tendency to make people reliant on what that tool does, rather than learning how to nail down the basics without the tool and picking up a tool here and there for ease of execution or enhancement.

Take something like golf for example - a great golfer can use a set of average clubs with excellence, they can take their sport to a whole new level with really high tech clubs. You rarely see someone achieve excellence in golf having started out with all the bells and whistles and needing a specific tool for every specific shot... there is too much reliance, not enough base skill. Take away the fancy clubs and what is left?

This background has stayed with me. For years and years I painted with the same two brush sizes (actually literally the same two brushes.... one of them I almost wore down to the ferrule!) I didn't worry about having the right brush for the job, I just worried about learning how to paint. Once I got those basics down, then I wanted to explore a little more in my techniques and that is when I started out trying an angle brush here or a filbert there.

One thing I never understood is the traditional artist brush depiction of the fat round brush dripping with paint. (You know, you look at cartoons and there is a man with a curled mustache and a beret with a palette slung over his thumb, holding this big brush drooling paint.) This is pretty far from reality for me as a painter - those big round brushes are the WORST thing for me to use. I never ever got the hang of them and gave up experimenting with them long ago.

I still mainly use flats (same sizes), I throw in the occasional filbert and most of my lines are done with tiny rounds or spotter brushes (ACEOs need eensy teensy brushwork).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On the Easel: Fairytale Commission - step four

We are nearing the homestretch now! As you can see there are high and low lights and a lot more lustre and depth. Next up will be finishing off the greenery and adjusting the contrast on some of the flowers. Keep checking back!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sketchbook Cover: Theodora

To switch gears today, I wanted to post my newest sketchbook cover. I have a book of medieval art that keeps catching my eye, the cover is a close up of a stained glass window. The image is a traditional Madonna and Child and what struck me most was the variations in the red and blue tiles. The soot of many years collecting and pooling in segments adding depth and texture.

Inspired by this, I decided to paint a "stained glass" cover. The subject is probably not familiar to many people. Theodora is a Christian martyr and the subject of a wonderful oratorio by George Frideric Handel.

Her story dates back to 300 AD, in Alexandria. Theodora takes a vow of celibacy during a time where women had a duty to the state of Rome to produce children. Once her celibacy for her Christian faith became known, she was sentenced to be imprisoned in a brothel.

In the meantime, a Roman soldier, Didymus, heard of Theodora's plight. He was secretly a Christian and his heart was torn when he learned of her fate. He made arrangements to visit the brothel that Theodora was transported to.

Didymus managed to pose as Theodora's first customer. Once inside her room, he instructed her to dress in his clothing and make her escape. She managed to pull this feat off and Didymus was discovered after the next man entered the room.

He revealed that he was a blessed man because he had helped free an innocent woman and now had a chance to die for his faith. He was brought before the courts and sentenced to death.

When Theodora heard about his fate, she could not bear to have him die alone, so revealed her identity as he was being sentenced. According to legend, Theodora was beheaded and Didymus was burned, both retaining their pure faith to the grave.

Not the most cheerful subject matter, but an interesting story nonetheless. I enjoyed painting this cover immensely - I think it turned out really well too.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

On the Easel: Fairytale Commission - step 3 (fairy)

Okay, here she is. Now begins my favorite part of illustrations like this, layering in shadows and colour washes. Adding depth and body to the image with thin layers of colour.

The basic image is pretty much decided at this point, now is the time to add lush details. Keep checking back for an update on the progress!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why You Should Buy Art Friday: Learning Experience

"Breathe" © Veronica Funk 2008

There is something about owning an original piece of art that constantly teaches the viewer something. I have had works in my possession for years that I'll be sitting near and half daydreaming when I'll suddenly catch a detail hidden in plain view that I've never noticed before.

I think it is especially important for artists to collect the work of other artists. This does not matter whether or not the style is similar to yours, you just have to enjoy the work itself.

The piece above was painted by my talented friend, Veronica Funk. Through a series of complex art negotiations (this has been a fun week!) we have bartered an exchange. Amongst many treasures, I am the proud owner of the above piece.

As I've mentioned before, I am a lover of white on white, direct from the tube white, white juxtaposed with intense pigment - you name it, I love copious amounts of white in a painting. This piece attracted me way back when she first painted it.

Already, after having it in my possession for a few days, I've learned a few things. Veronica has had more experience than me with showings and galleries. I could see immediately that her packaging was crisp and professional, she's noted certain details on the back (I love looking at the backs of paintings - everyone has a different method!).

I've contemplated her application of paint, noted her layers, admired the simplicity of certain details she's executed. I know that I have a bunch more discoveries to make over the course of time. Art keeps teaching you things - things will pop out in different lights, certain colour choices will attract your attention depending on your mood.

So, what will I do with this information? Depends. Some of it will merely enhance my familiarity of an artist - you can come to recognize little nuances that are unique like a fingerprint. Other things one might think "well, that is a way better way of going about that issue" and it might be modified for future use. Overall, it will deepen your appreciation of that particular artist's viewpoint and craftsmanship.

I encourage you this week to seek out some fresh art for your own contemplation - make it a learning experience! If you need to start somewhere, check out my shop. (hey, its my weekly plug!)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the Easel: Fairytale Commission - step three (mermaid)

The fairy isn't quite to this stage yet, so I'll post the mermaid solo.

This step is the reason why I post the crummy looking early steps. I have an almost perverse enjoyment of posting transformations from sketchy, to slightly recognizable, to not bad, to better to wow.

We are starting to turn the corner with this piece. I had to stop myself from working this to completion in order to catch the fairy up to this stage (that keeps them looking similar and keeps the palettes really close).

I know exactly where I want to take this from here, but I'll get her counterpart to this point before I go further. Keep checking back!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On the Easel: Fairytale Commission - step two

I've added black outlines to all the major features - this still looks really really rough and some of those lines will probably change.

I use them to delineate my major colour shifts - I like to butt the paint up a little over the lines, this gives them a liveliness and delicacy similar to using a very fine tipped nib on a pen. They look pretty blocky and thick right now though.

Check back to see more progress on this commission!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tools of the Trade: Perseverance

You can't buy this at the local art store or take a class at your local college. This is something that you need to muster up deep inside you in order to go beyond a dabbler to really realizing your potential as a painter.

I was reading a post on The Simple Dollar (a great finance blog) and in it there is a great little story about what 50 pounds of clay can teach you. The premise is that if a group was divided into 2 and one was asked to produce quality, and the other to produce quantity - the ones who produced quantity actually made higher quality stuff.

The gist of this is that people who are working are getting things done by practicing, practicing, practicing. The ones who sat around talking about perfection never really took the time and worked the kinks out.

I have found this to be true in my own work. When I've been producing ACEO or Painting Studies at a fast paced rate, my hand eye coordination improves, my eye for composition is keener and I am very often looking at the world through the eyes of a painter.

When one rests on minor successes of the past I view it as a sign of stagnation. Viewing a minor distinction as an indication of future success isn't developing or progressing. The more one develops I think the more they find that they have so much more to explore and offer to their craft.

If someone tells me all the could'ves of their life (I could've been a rock star, could've been a pro athlete) I lose interest pretty fast. Usually discussions like this prove that this person has never actually attempted even the smallest fraction of what it takes to become the top of their game.

I think some of the best artists out there are the best because they are prolific. Constantly changing, exploring, developing. Willing to risk things, willing to fail. Repeating past successes rarely takes someone to the top.

I'm not at the top of my game, not sure I ever will be. One thing I do know: I have found that with daily posting on my blog, selling at auction (even if I don't get rich from it), posting my rougher unfinished work and behind the scenes stuff has given me a great boost as an artist. I'm motivated, I have a deadline, I have a purpose for what I'm doing.

Hopefully I can keep growing and changing, producing my 50 pounds and eventual quality.

Monday, March 16, 2009

On the Easel: Fairytale Commission - step one

These two 9" x 12" paintings are being commissioned for two little sisters. This is very early in the game. I've only roughly drafted in the figures and blocked the basic colours. Keep checking back in the next few days to see how things start shaping up!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Painting Study: Woman's Hands

(Click on the picture to see the auction)

Yesterday I met some artist friends for a long awaited visit and a coffee. We were in a coffee shop full of the bustle that comes with a weekday morning. I was keeping my eyes open for some future study potentials and I kept watching my friend's hands as she fiddled with and regrouped a tiny art project she brought.

Of course, the best thing about hanging out with fellow artists is that when you say "hey, wait a second, I want to get a picture of your hands" no one blinks an eye. I have several hand pictures of both of my friends that will keep me entertained for a few days at least.

I can relate to Cheryl's hands - they have short nails, they are strong and would never be mistaken for delicate. They are hands that work with materials (and I'm going to assume this) are probably pretty scarred up from the occasional art project gone awry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why You Should Buy Art Friday: Family Heirlooms

Do you ever watch the Antiques Roadshow? Someone trots out a little oil painting that was bought by her great grandfather in a Quebec studio in 1854 and how dearly they treasure this little family relic?

I know I've seen this scenario played out time and time again. Usually the dollar signs start lighting up the viewers eyes as we wait for the appraisal value to ring up on the screen. I want to back up for a moment though - I think there is something important that is commonly missed.

Lets look at the this with the monetary value removed. Someone comes, sometimes a great distance. They wait in line for hours, clutching their item, braving inclement weather. They approach the expert in whatever field their antique is categorized as and they get the chance tell the story of how they came to own the piece.

Usually the story involves a relative from long ago. There may be a romantic component because the piece was given to mark their love for another. Sometimes it cost a month's wages, sometimes they got the item for a song. Usually there is a "and it was left sitting in the attic for 20 years wrapped in linen until my aunt Mabel stumbled across it". Little letters or references to famous people may be produced, all in all this is great television.

Even beyond that, lets think about this - this treasure matters to this person. They may have never met the long lost relative that purchased it, yet there is a connection. There is a pride in the past and the provenance of the item. Sure, there might be a monetary force behind bringing it in (and they might sell it the second they leave) but the fact that they are telling the story says a lot.

Maybe you will purchase something (could be a mundane household item, could be a piece of art) that may become someone's story. It might be their connection to their history, their connection to you. I encourage you to find something that might be someone's special future treasure. If you need a place to start, check out my store!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cartoon Collaboration

So, a few weeks ago I was trying to explain how to draw a comic strip to my 9 year old son. I drafted a rough strip, about 2" high by 8" wide and drew in three boxes. I drew some rough figures in the first box with some dialogue. (click on the image to see it up close)

He understood what I meant, and went upstairs to finish his project. I left the paper sitting by my computer. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a paper piling hoarding type personality. Soon my little cartoon demonstration was buried in an ever changing pile of debris.

A few days ago, I was sorting through this pile and noticed that I had a secret collaborator on my cartoon:

(this is really worth clicking on)

I don't quite know what the punchline is, but notice how in the second frame there is a carefully drawn speech bubble. The framed dog picture is pretty priceless too. I guess my 4 year old daughter likes drawing cartoons as well!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Available: Bird Study

6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

I'm finally ready to let this little bird study leave the nest. Hope it flies away to a new home!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tools of the Trade: Music

I really need to listen to music when I'm painting. If I don't, my mind tends to wander and I quickly lose momentum. If I have music on, I can paint easily for hours.

I find that the style of music that I listen to really helps shape the direction of a piece. I may listen to Nick Cave for jangly frenetic pacing, or I might listen Glenn Gould for minute brushstrokes that require precision. It really varies.

When I find my sweet spot in a painting, I have a tendency to play the same music over and over. If it is capturing the mood of the painting, I don't want to disrupt it. I have literally listened to the same song over and over again for one sitting because it was helping me through a patch on the canvas. That sounds so weird, but that is why I like headphones. No one has to endure it but me!

Some favorites that have taken me through many paintings are Sufjan Stevens, Belle and Sebastian, Anonymous Four, The Smiths, Henryk Gorecki... there are so many more.

Currently my over and over and over favorites are Sea Wolf and Arvo Part.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Painting Study: Shot of Espresso


6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

I've been meaning to paint this little cup for a while now. It isn't actually an espresso cup by design, it belongs to my daughter's tea set.

When I was thinking about painting it, I thought that it would look more interesting with a beverage inside. A shot of espresso fit perfectly. The cup is quite rounded, I love how it gets nice thick highlights and shadows.

The crema (the orange-y coating that sticks to the side and surface) was the most fun to paint. In a former life I was a Starbucks Barista for a few years - having a chance to capture this in paint was very enjoyable. I like the slight stain on the rim and saucer - brings a touch of warmth to the cool white tones.

Looking at this painting makes me want to have another!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sketchbook: Plants on Shelf

Eh, sometimes you have to draw what is in front of you, not what inspires you. This is an example of that! I used this subject as a warm up and then sketched a few other drawings afterwards that were more interesting.
Sometimes you just need to pick something and look so that you can get into the groove of creating art. The real stuff comes later when you are all warmed up!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Painting Study - Two Apples in Sunshine

6"x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

I have been experimenting lately with really sun drenched subjects. I love how the light is just pouring over the side of the apple, bleaching out the colour. I think this is my internal craving for springtime and fair weather peeping through.

Another thing I've been focussing on is the juxtaposition of the red and greens - those two can be hard to marry within a solo object. I think I'm improving with practice.

I also like the balance achieved with the inky black table with the hot white highlight.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Why You Should Buy Art Friday: Lowering Stress

Like it? Own it!

There have been a couple studies done on the effects that viewing art has on people with high levels of stress. The results were surprising in one study - researchers found that saliva cortisol levels (an indication of stress) dropped 32% after a trip to the gallery.

Normally this type of drop would take approximately 5 hours, but in the case of the participants it was an average of 40 minutes!

Now keep in mind, these took place in a gallery setting which, if you are a gallery frequenter, you will know they rank up there with libraries and cathedrals as a quiet contemplative environment.

However, this might be worth a try for you if you lead a fast paced, high stakes life - take some time to visit a gallery and soak in some masterpieces. Consider it another tool to help you cope with the stresses of your job!

If you want to surround yourself artwork so that you can experience that relaxing effect in your home or office, it might be worth a shot. At the very least you will have beautiful surroundings to soothe you on a daily basis. Check out my store if you need to stock up (you know I had to do a plug!)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sketchbook: Guys Watching Hockey

My poor kids have been really sick. Disrupting everyday life sick. Hence I have no new auctions or anything to show.

Instead, I am taking a page from my sketchbook. Two guy hunched over and watching the game. I like the simplicity of this sketch. The fellow in the foreground is wearing a toque. You can't get more Canadian than that!

Hopefully my sick little kids will be back to good health so that I can get some painting done tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Published: Twilight Appears in AirdrieLIFE Magazine

A painting of mine was selected recently as part of a photo spread about the Airdrie Regional Arts Society. It can be found in the Spring 2009 issue of AirdrieLIFE magazine.

Also in the issue is a feature on a local artisan and friend, Cheryl Bakke Martin. If you live in Airdrie, have a peek at the latest issue!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tools of the Trade: Masonite Boards

Masonite. You might hear it called hardboard or fibreboard as well. What is it? It is a pressed wood pulp product that you can prime and paint on just like a canvas or board. It is great for study paintings because it is low cost, can be cut to any size, resists warping in smaller sizes and is a firm consistant surface.

When you purchase masonite, you can get smaller boards (appropriate for someone without a table saw) or you can get a board 4'x8' in size and cut it down to whatever sizes you prefer. (Hint: if you are purchasing a large board like that from a place such as Home Depot, you can have 2 cuts for free. Often I will buy it and have it cut in thirds for easy transport)

The surface is super smooth on one side and bumpy on the other. You paint on the smooth side 0 but not without preparing it properly first!

The first thing I do with my cut piece of masonite is sand the edges. Just like filing one's nails, this keeps the appearance neat and trim. Any little bumps are easily removed with a quick sand on each side. The surface side can also be very lightly sanded to give it some tooth.

The second step is applying primer. You should do at least two evenly applied coats. The sides can also be primed. I know some people who prime the bumpy back, and some who leave it or sometimes paint a corner to corner X on larger pieces to keep it from warping. Really small ones don't need the X applied.

After this is all dry, you are ready to apply paint. Some people may not like the grain marks from the primer - they can take a fine sandpaper to smooth things down again. I personally need a bit of tooth to my surface, so I leave it as is.

Applying acrylic paint to masonite is nice - it is a lot like a non absorbant watercolour paper. Paint kind of sits on the surface till it dries. This gives you opportunity to blend it into the other colours and you can be rougher to the surface than a paper. Should you water it down, you will notice that the water mark sits till it is dried, nothing soaks in.

Anyways, for something to experiment with, this is a very economical way to develop your painting skills. They frame beautifully too! If you use acrylic or oil, just remember that they don't want to be put under glass.

If you want to see some of my recent studies, you can check out my current ebay auctions, this is a great way for me to offer lower priced, high quality artwork while our economy is in a slump!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Painting Study: Apple on Floral Plate


This one took a bit longer than usual. I find painting two toned apples to be a bit of a challenge. First you are contending with your highlights and shadows and then you have to keep your green to red hues in check. A bit of back and forth is required in the matter.

I chose my floral pattern plate here - I liked how the green of the foliage complemented the green-y yellow of the apple, plus there is that white hot highlight on the right hand side where the light hits the gold rim of the plate.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sketchbook: Woman Waiting With Drink

I love catching people when they are unaware of your presence. They sit differently, they move differently they fidget differently.

This woman was waiting for her companion. She just sort of hunched over flicking her hair, pretending to be interested in the hockey game on the television. She was a mixture of bored and ready to spring into attentiveness.

I can tell I've been sketching from real life a lot more - the images are emerging from a scratchy tangle of lines. I like the fact that I'm loosening up somewhat, sketching has become a regular part of my artistic diet again.

My bird sketchbook is almost finished - that was August till March. I bought a new one today, I'm thinking about what I want to paint on the cover this time. I also want to finish this new one in under 6 months - totally doable.