Friday, 19 December 2014

Products I'm Interested in Trying

Despite the fact that I have too many art supplies, there are still some things I'm interested in trying. Not sure about the dylusions sprays since finding out that they are water soluble even after they dry, but we'll see. I still have some empty spray bottles I need to fill with acrylic paint and see how that goes. I might update or add to this list later as I think of more things I want to get. It will serve as a wishlist/reminder so I don't forget what I've been thinking about getting.

Dylusions Sprays

Watercolour Paper

Stamp Carving


Disclaimer: These are all Amazon affiliate links. If you click them and purchase something I'll get a small bonus from Amazon.

Fedora Girl Sketch

This is a sketch from my lunchbreak the other day. I didn't have access to the internet so I drew a random girl wearing a hat from a reference picture I had saved. I didn't do a lot of drawing on the plane to England like I had intended, but at least I can still make use of all the reference pictures I saved.

I don't care what anyone says about fedoras, I like them. I'd get one if I was ever out in the sun for long enough to require a hat. Maybe I'll pick one up if we go camping again some time.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Chris Pratt Sketch

I decided to draw a quick sketch of Chris Pratt from Guardians of the Galaxy this morning. I think the likenesses to my reference pictures isn't great lately, but I have ups and downs. Even if it doesn't look quite how I wanted, I still don't mind it as a portrait of a person generally.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to paint this one when work calms down in a couple of weeks. I'm thinking of getting a lot of sketches ready to paint, then doing a big batch of paintings at once. I'm starting to get an idea of the process and the things I need to set up in order to create. My painting area is tidier than it was before, just need a better selection of colours at my fingertips if I can arrange that. I'm also getting into the habit of updating my blog more often, so I'm pleased with that. Hoping to get back into the Pals Paper Arts and Color Throwdown challenges again soon.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Hayden Panettiere Sketch

Hayden Panettiere is a lady I saw in the news recently. Apparently she had a baby. It's strange how I have a huge list of names of people that I can draw, but most of the ones I've been keen to draw have shown up in the trending news on the side of Facebook. I wonder if there's some subliminal reason I'm thinking "THIS PERSON IS SUDDENLY VERY INTERESTING TO ME".

Not sure I like how the shape of the mouth came out, but there's still time to fix that up before finishing it off and painting.

Christmas is proving to be a very busy time at work, which is making it harder for me to reach my goal of 52 blog posts by the end of the year (one for every week of the year). I think I have to post one per day until New Years Eve in order to do it. That's what I get for putting it off for the last month and a half. Still, it can be done. I'm still trying to at least sketch something every day. When I have a bit of time to myself I'll break the paints out again.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Jennifer Aniston - Mixed Media Portrait by Renee Dillon

This artwork was a pretty big experiment for me. Even though the image itself is quite simple and straight forward, it was an experiment in applying finished artwork on paper to a canvas. I figure if I can glue a finished artwork on paper to a canvas or other kind of panel and make it look finished even without a frame, I can be more free to work on different sized artwork and experiment without worrying about finding frames to fit. Canvases seem to come in a wider variety of sizes than standard photo frames do, and I can trim a piece of art to fit the canvas as well.

I'd like to be able to complete a few pieces of art before picking my favourites to go on canvases without having to have a huge room full of canvas art that I like enough not to paint over, but not quite enough to hang. This way, I can store the others as flat paper without taking up as much space.

Something I've learned from this experiment - Paint on thicker paper. The paper I painted this image on was quite thin and wrinkled as it dried. I flattened it out fairly well by placing a couple of heavy books on top of it, but it seemed to wrinkle more when I glued it down with matt medium. Air bubbles getting stuck between the paper and the canvas also seemed to be a problem, which I tried to smooth out a bit until I ripped the paper. Thicker paper definitely would have held up better to the moisture. 

The picture above is how it looked before I glued it to the canvas. I might post an update picture of it on the canvas after I've trimmed off the edges. Still need to buy a blade or sharp knife in order to do that.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Adele - Mixed Media Portrait in Yellow, Red and Teal by Renee Dillon

This portrait of Adele is one of my favourite recent artworks. I've really been enjoying getting used to working with paint and mixed media. This one uses black coloured pencil for the lineart. I like the kind of rustic, expressive look the pencil lines give that I find hard to do with pen. Maybe I should work on making my pen lines more expressive in future. I also love the colour scheme in this one. The contrast between the bright reds and oranges and the cool blues and greens is nice. I'll have to use them together again.

I had a go at using various layers of shadow to the face. Still not perfect, but I'm pleased with it. 

Karl Stefanovic - Mixed Media Portrait in Blue and Orange by Renee Dillon

This is the first of a series of portraits that I've decided to work on (the last few blog posts were kind of practice faces or experiments that lead to the idea). I'm always looking for new faces to draw. One of my favourite places to look for faces is television. You can capture a screenshot at a particular moment and get close up shots of faces of different shapes and sizes, at different angles, showing different emotions. TV and movies can be a much better place to find drawing references than using posed photos as they offer more variety and movement. Also, once you have the basic gist of the face, you can add or remove details, change the hairstyle, create patterns and use colour combinations that didn't appear in the original image.

Over the next year I'd like to create a collection of portraits of famous people and characters, as well as unknown people that I find interesting reference images of. I'd like to get better at creating a likeness between the original image and the artwork, as well as experimenting with colour and texture. I've already been putting together a list of people that might be interesting to draw, as well as keeping an eye out for news stories about celebrities. Celebrity news isn't something I follow personally, but if people are interested in and talking about particular people it might increase the chance of people liking and sharing my art on social media. 

Of course, that means I have to get into the habit of creating art quickly and posting it while the person in question is still in the spotlight. Or alternatively, creating art of celebrities and resharing it when they come into the spotlight again. I'm not sure if this is even a remotely useful way to garner an audience - people who are reading celebrity news might not be all that interested in portraiture - but if I'm going to be drawing anyone it might as well be them. 

Goals for this project:
- Draw more men. Most of my portraits so far have been of women.
- Draw more older people. Draw wrinkles. They're interesting.
- Draw faces I find attractive and faces I don't find attractive.
- Draw the same person multiple times, changing things to make a completely different artwork.
- Pay attention while watching tv shows and movies in case a good opportunity for a screenshot arises.
- Don't be afraid to admit who the person is supposed to look like, even if it isn't a good likeness. 

I chose to draw TV host Karl Stefanovic because he was in the news recently. Apparently, he did an experiment where he wore the same suit every day for a year in order to prove that his fashion choices weren't under as much scrutiny as his female counterparts in the industry, As he predicted, nobody seemed to notice or care that he wore the same suit every day. I thought that it was an amusing way to make a point, so I decided to paint him first. He looks a little smurf-like in blue, but I wanted to make him blue to match the blue suit.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Green and Purple Lady

Another portrait that I painted while I was in Birmingham, England. Still not much else to say about these, just spent some time doodling while I was waiting for my Mum.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Pink and Yellow Lady

This is one of the faces that I drew while I was in Birmingham, England. I didn't draw as much as I would have liked while I was over there, as we were pretty busy a lot of the time. There was also a lot of waiting around time, like on planes or in airports, but I never felt like getting all of my drawing stuff out during those times. Sketching isn't too tricky in a public place, but getting out multiple coloured pencils or markers is more trouble than it's worth if you have a spare ten minutes to doodle.

I'm finding it a bit hard to find the words to go with these blog posts. I've been letting my art pile up while I think about something meaningful to say, but ultimately I think I just have to post the pictures and let them speak for themselves when I have nothing else to say about them. Not every blog post has to be a novel.

Friday, 5 December 2014

The Tattooed Lady - Acrylic Paint Mixed Media Portrait by Renee Dillon

This was my second attempt at the patterned face technique that I tried in the previous post. This time I broke out the acrylic paints and my one decent stencil (a lovely damask stencil by KaiserKraft). I wanted to be a bit subtle with the pattern, to make sure I didn't overwhelm the face again. I think that went fairly well. 

Below are some of the things I used to create this artwork or suitable alternatives (Amazon doesn't seem to stock the brands of paint I have, but it tends to be cheap acrylic paint).

Products Used:

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Patterned Face Experiment 1 and 2

This portrait was an attempt at adding more pattern and colour to my faces. I've seen a few different artists that draw or paint portraits over a patterned background, with the background patterns peaking through the shading and highlights of the face. I like this effect, but it's trickier than I had imagined to pull it off. This first attempt contains too much doodling and the colours are too dark. The lineart gets lost in the chaos and isn't very clear. I think this technique requires larger shapes and brighter colours to work, or at least for the doodles to be obscured under layers of transparent paint.

Since I had liked the sketch so much, I decided not to give up on this particular face. I drew the lineart again on a seperate piece of paper. I like to trace over my original sketch on a new piece of paper to prevent lead pencil smudges on the finished piece and so I still have the original in case I mess up and want to start again (as I did in this case).

This time I went for a cleaner, more simple colouring. The hair is acrylic paint and the face is coloured pencil. I like how this one turned out much better. The background is plain white but I might try cutting out my faces and glueing them on patterned backgrounds in future. This gives me the freedom to splash about creating the background, without worrying about being able to get the face how I want it. When both pieces are created seperately and joined at the end, I can create each without the stress that I might ruin one or the other.

It was interesting to see how two very different looking pieces came from the same lineart. I should try this again in future to see how different techniques and colourways can affect the outcome.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Places to Find Renee Dillon Art

There are a lot of different social media platforms these days. Which is good, because it means that there is more likely to be something that has the features to suit your needs. But it's also bad, because it means that reaching your audiences in the different places they want to see your work can be tedious and repetitive. When every new post needs to be shared on several different websites, it can get pretty time consuming. It can also be easy to forget a site when you have some new content to upload there.

Because of this, I decided to make a list of the social media outlets I've tried and the pros and cons of each as far as artists are concerned. Or at least, as far as I'm concerned.

Renee Dillon Art on Blogger
Of course, there's this blog. Almost forgot to put this one on the list. Blogger is pretty intuitive and easy to use. Anything I haven't figured out how to do on my own can be googled and someone will have explained it. There aren't any limits on the number of characters you can use or any nonsense like that, so you're pretty free to talk about whatever you like. 

It took me a while to get into Instagram, as you need to have the app on a phone or tablet. It has pretty limited function if you're using a computer. This can be annoying if I just want to upload a picture to a couple of different places (like Facebook or this blog). Otherwise, I'm rather enjoying Instagram. There are some other great artists on there, and I've found quite a few people whose artwork I'm interested in.
Images have to be square, which keeps your gallery looking tidy, but it can be frustrating if you're trying to avoid cropping something out of an image. Also, I'm not a big fan of hashtags, but I don't think my images are searchable if I don't add a few relevant hashtags that people might be looking for. I seem to be getting over my aversion to hashtags the more I use them, but I still prefer tags. The thing I dislike most about tags, apart from the fact that they make the post untidy, is that you have to be very specific. #Colourful, #Portraits and #Colourfulportraits yield different results depending on how they were tagged, and you can't search for more than one tag at a time.

Having a public page on Facebook is pretty simple. There is a category for artists, and I can switch between posting as my personal account or Renee Dillon Art pretty easily. You don't have to log in and out of accounts to do this, which I like. The biggest problem I have with Facebook is that I share my posts to my personal page so more people see them, and people who like the shared post don't appear on the original page. This means it looks like no one is liking or commenting on my images, even if they are. I'm not sure how to encourage people to go to the original page to like or comment if they see my images on a shared post.

Pinterest is definitely one of my favourite social media outlets, even if it isn't particularly social. I like to make collections of different kinds of images, and it can be useful to determine what you like about certain collections of things. I have examined my art and clothing boards to determine what common features I like about the things I pin, which can be useful information for buying or creating things of my own. In my art board, for example, the common features of the art I pin are things like bright colours, bold outlines and busy patterns. I also like animals and people's faces to be the subject matter, though sometimes I like landscapes and abstracts too. 

Renee Dillon Art on Society6
This one is a website where you can have your artwork printed, either as framed prints, or on various products such as clothing, throw pillows, quilt covers, mugs and greeting cards. Having my own quilt cover is very exciting to me, as my day job involves selling bed linen, and I'm definitely going to design something and have it printed up one day. Apparently you have to pay $1 to have your identity verified to sell on Society6, which I haven't got around to just yet.
EDIT: I have now paid the $1 and have two designs, Samantha and Jasper, uploaded. More will be coming soon. I'm particularly interested in getting my colourful patterned dog art up there and printing myself some nice cushions.

Renee Dillon Art on Fine Art America
This one is another website that offers prints of your artwork, focusing more on different types of wall art than Society6. The metal prints look pretty interesting, and I'd like to print one up to see how they look. You can also sell your originals through Fine Art America.

Renee Dillon Art on Saatchi Art (Formerly Saatchi Online)
This is a website that I quite like to browse. It has more of a fine art focus than most of the websites I've listed here, but anyone is still free to join and submit their artwork. Unlike Society6, you can sell originals as well as prints on this website, with a commission going to Saatchi Gallery if it's sold through them.

Renee Dillon Art on Etsy
I do like Etsy. There are a lot of beautiful things on there. But I feel like a lot of the people on Etsy are either there to sell or there to look at beautiful things. It definitely seems hard to stand out from the crowd enough for someone to actually buy what you have for sale. That said, I have sold art a couple of times on Etsy, and I haven't really given it much of a chance, so it can happen. Maybe when I have a bigger portfolio of art for sale I'll give it another shot, if only for an extra place to do some advertising. After all, every place you post your work is a chance to expand your audience.

Daily Paintworks
This is another site I like to browse. There is a pretty high volume of quality work, and I almost always find an artist whose work I want to look into on the front page. Unlike most online galleries and social media, the posts on the front page are the newest, rather than the most popular, so people that don't get much exposure elsewhere or don't have a lot of followers already can have some time in the limelight. I'm a fan of that. However, to display and sell your art on Daily Paintworks, there is a monthly fee of $12.95. This membership comes with a lot of features like a website, auctions, competitions, etc, so I think it will be worth it, but I'd like to get some of my free options on other sites going and build up a larger body of work first.

This one baffles me. Twitter seems to be hugely popular, but it's really my least favourite form of social media. The strict limit on characters makes no sense to me. Unless you're a celebrity or already have a strong following from elsewhere, it just seems like yelling into a void.

I'll update this list as I find more places to display my art. I know there are others, some being more appropriate or useful than others, but every little bit of exposure helps. It's nice to finally have the list together and have a good idea of what I need to do to get my artwork out there and available to the people that want to see it. You never realise what a huge task marketing your work really is until you have to do it.

To add to the list:
Color Throwdown
Pals Paper Arts

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Back Home - Coloured Pencil Sulfur Crested Cockatoo Art by Renee Dillon

Looks like the month of November has been creeping away from my. Or sprinting. Whichever. I've had a bit of a break from artmaking and art blogging again, as I spent a month on an overseas trip. I travelled to England, Scotland, Venice and Greece before coming back to Australia. I intended to pick up where I left off with the blog when I got back, but you'd be surprised how much there is to do when you come back after a whole month away. And, apart from that, being sick and jetlagged and not wanting to do any of it.

Now that I've recovered and gotten myself back into something of a routine, I'm ready to dust off the old blog again. This particular blog has been going for almost a year now. I haven't quite kept up with the four blog posts a month that I intended at the beginning, but there is still time to catch up. I think I need to write another twenty blog posts before the end of December to meet that goal, which is still very achievable. 

I'd also like to start doing Youtube videos, detailing how I make my art. It's the sort of thing I'd like to watch other people do more, but I've been finding it hard to find videos of people just splashing around with paint. Art journalling Youtube channels seem to be the closest to the things I've been looking for, particularly videos by artists like The Frugal Crafter, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and The Artistic Pagan. Hoping to find some other Youtube artists to add to my list of inspiration. I haven't tried putting together a how to or technique video yet, but that's something I'd like to have a go at too.

Despite the fact that I haven't been blogging in the two weeks since I've been back, I have made a little bit of art. I've also started to clean up my art space to make it easier to film. Little things like having a clear space will make it so much easier to just switch on a camera and start making art when I feel like it, rather than being daunted by the thought of setting everything up and putting it off.

"Rainbow Sulfur Crested Cockatoo", Coloured Pencil, Crayon and Ink

This is something I drew not long after leaving home. It's a sulfur crested cockatoo with a colourful rainbow crest. I tried to make sure I bought all the art supplies I could possibly need with me, but at the end of the day I didn't use much. Could have got by with a mechanical pencil, eraser, black pen and about ten coloured pencils. Instead I had a big pencil case of pencils, brush tip markers, twistable crayons and other nonsense I just didn't need. You really notice that you have things you don't need when you're lugging them through airports and around the streets with you. I'll try to travel light in future. You can do a lot of things with very minimal supplies if you put your mind to it. There's no point saying "I might need those other things later" if you aren't going to sit down and find the time to make yourself use them.

Products Used:

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Larry the French Bulldog - Watercolour Pencil Pet Portrait by Renee Dillon in Orange, Pink and Grey

I finally got around to trying out my new camera and uploading a video to Youtube. I've been wanting to post a video of my art for a while now. I'm still a little daunted by the process, but it was more simple than I thought it would be. My camera setup and editing skills will get better with time and practice.

The beginning of the video is cut off because the camera went to sleep while I was setting up and pressing the record button just woke it up rather than starting recording. That's something to keep in mind. I've also found out that recording sessions are recorded to about 29 minutes on still cameras, as the sensor heats up more quickly than conventional video cameras. That wasn't an issue on this occasion, but I was a little wary of it because I don't want to burn out my new camera.

For my first video, I painted a french bulldog with my Derwent watercolour pencils and waterbrush. I haven't used watercolour pencils in years, so I need to get back into practice using them. I like the control of coloured pencil combined with the softness of watercolour, but they can leave scratchy pencil marks that don't blend out very easily. The lineart was drawn with my Bic Mark-It in Tuxedo Black, which is the best waterproof pen I've found. It's important to have a waterproof pen when working with wet media or it will bleed everywhere and become a mess. Trust me. I still remember the times before I knew waterproof pens existed.

I've also been looking into the Icarus Drawing Board If you haven't heard of it, it's a heated pad that warms coloured pencil as you work and melts the wax to form a softer, blended image more quickly. At over $200 for the smallest version, it's a little pricey, so I've been looking for a homemade alternative to melting coloured pencil wax. Burnishing with baby oil works really well, but I've left oil stains on work before by accidently using too much. Finding the right art materials and techniques can be a long and complicated process, but I'm slowly getting to where I need to be.

I'll post a picture of the finished artwork later. For now, enjoy my speed painting of Larry the French Bulldog.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

New Articles on Infobarrel

No new art today (at least not yet) but I have been taking the time to write Infobarrel articles. Seems like a really good way to make some passive income. I'm also quite interested in hobbies that require having a collection of something, so each new article feels like a victory. In nine days I've written seven articles, three of which have already been published. Three are pending and one is still in the draft stage awaiting some small alterations. The articles that have already been published are How Much is Your Art Really Worth?Press X To Meow - A Murdered: Soul Suspect Video Game Review and How to Join a Link Party to Increase Your Blog Traffic. If you have time to check them out, I'd really appreciate some more views and reads. You might learn a thing or two as well, so that's nice.

Hoping to get more game and TV show reviews out there, as those are pretty fun to write and easy to personalise. But for now I should probably get back to painting and see if I can put some more artwork up on Society6. I need to start uploading to Fine Art America and Saatchi Art too. Always so much to do and so few hours in the day.

Thanks for looking. :)

Green corgi painted in acrylic paint on an orange background.
"Pete the Corgi", Acrylic Paint Pet Portrait, 6x6

Saturday, 6 September 2014

"Samantha" - Pals Paper Arts Colour Challenge PPA 218 - Moroccan Style Abstract Digital Art in Purple, Yellow and Grey

Time for another piece of abstract digital art for a colour palette challenge, this time for Pals Paper Arts. The colours this week are Hello Honey, Crumb Cake and Blackberry Bliss, which sound delicious and make me want a desert. 

This one has a little bit of a Moroccan or Arabesque style to it. Like the sort of thing you'd see on a scarf in a marketplace somewhere.

Moroccan style abstract digital art in purple, grey and yellow.
"Samantha", Digital Seamless Tiling Art, 6x6

I've also added this one and  "Jasper" from yesterday to Society6. You can now buy prints, cushions, clocks, iphone covers, galaxy covers, duvet covers and more with these designs printed on them.

Friday, 5 September 2014

"Jasper" - Color Throwdown Challenge CTD308 - Digital Seamless Tiling Abstract Design in Yellow, Orange and Pink

Yellow, pink and orange is one of my favourite colour palettes, so I was very excited when I saw this week's Color Throwdown Challenge. This week I decided to go back to seamless tiling abstract artworks. I haven't been making enough abstracts lately, and I need a few to get some greeting cards or post cards printed up. Also a few Spoonflower fabric designs. Maybe some throw cushions. I'll see where it takes me.

I went a smidge brighter on the yellow to get it a bit closer to the banana yellow shade of the bottles. That shade of orange is similar to the one I used on "Austin", which reminds me of orange sherbet. The shapes I've used came out looking like lanterns and hourglasses. That's one of the things I love about making symmetrical tiling abstract art - you can get an idea of how something is going to turn out, but the end result is almost always surprising in some way.

Geometric seamless tiling abstract digital artwork by Renee Dillon. Colours are pink, yellow and orange. Named "Jasper".
"Jasper", Digital Seamless Tiling Abstract Art, 6x6

Remember to follow Renee Dillon Art on Facebook if you'd like to stay up to date with my new work. Thanks for looking. :)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mallard Ducks - Color Throwdown Challenge CTD307 - Acrylic Painting Portrait of Two Ducks in Green, Blue and Yellow

I finished painting my pair of mallard ducks and thought I'd submit them to this week's Colour Throwdown challenge.

The challenge seems to be geared towards stamping and cardmaking, but I think this is okay. I plan on printing my small artworks onto greeting cards anyway, so I guess it still counts as card making, in a way.

"Mallard Ducks", CTD307, Acrylic Paint on Paper, 6x6

Getting the green right was pretty tricky. There's another shade of green under this one that was way too dark. It's still not quite the shade from the challenge, but mallard ducks are a little bit darker than that anyway. Hopefully doing these colour challenges will be a good way to practice colour mixing, rather than just mixing up something I hope will go with what is already on the page.

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook at Renee Dillon Art or look up ReneeDillonArt on Instagram.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

"Dobby the Whippet" - Colourful, Contemporary Acrylic Paint Pet Portrait

This charming little fellow is a whippet I've called Dobby (because of the big, floppy ears, of course). He's the first in a series of small pet portraits I've been working on. I've been wanting to get more into representational painting since I had some success on Austin. I also wanted to see how much water my sketchbook paper can withstand without warping (turns out, very little, but it can be mushed back into shape with a heavy book, so that's nice). 

"Dobby the Whippet", Pet Portrait, Acrylic Paint on Paper, 6x6

I intended to have a bit more purple when I started, but I quite like the bright primary colours together. It's a bit Fauvist. At least, I think that's what the Fauvist movement was about. I was never that into art history, personally. A quick Google images search shows me that I can't be too far off.

I have a bunch of sketches of different animals - dogs, cats, cows, ducks, bunnies, llamas, etc - so expect more animal portraits in the near future, hopefully as delightfully brightly coloured and cheery as this one. 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Work In Progress - Corgi Acrylic Painting

More pet portraits coming up today. I've been working on painting a few at once, and this is my favourite from today's batch. The others...possibly need some work. Maybe. But let's not worry about that right now, let's look at the doggie.

"Pete the Corgi", Work in Progress, Pet Portrait, Acrylic Painting on Paper, 6x6

The colours are a bit less bright in this photo than they are in real life. The orange comes out nicely, but the bluey-green shades on the corgi look a bit faded. I'll take a better picture once I've finished with the lineart and shading. Thinking of going a bit more mixed media with this one and adding coloured pencil or crayon too. Will see how the mood takes me. The other animal portraits I worked on today include mallard ducks, a cow, and an american pitbull terrier.

In other news, I'm super excited that I finally found square, black frames with white matboard for sale in my town. There are a bunch of places that sell standard size frames, but square ones are really difficult for some reason. I would have thought Instagram would have made square photo frames more common by now. But at least I have an option for framing my portraits now. After I've finished painting this little guy I can try it out.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

"Austin" is Now Available for Sale

So, remembering that I have a blog today. I'm not nearly as consistent with it as I would like. I've been posting nearly daily on Instagram to try and build up a following on there. I find that I get very single minded with social media, and post in batches on one while neglecting the others. Then realise I haven't posted anything on my blog or Facebook page for a month. The difficult part is that blog require words as well as pictures, and what I have to say isn't always relevant to the artwork. Maybe I should talk generally about my life more, I don't know.

Anyway, I finally got around to putting a Paypal Buy Now button on my blog so I can actually try to sell some art. I couldn't find out how to set it up so the button doesn't let two people buy it, so in the unlikely event that two people buy before I have a chance to disable the button, I'll refund the second purchase. EDIT: Fixed this problem and hopefully it will now only sell one painting to one person.

"Austin", Geometric Art Nouveau Style Acrylic Painting, Acrylic on Canvas, $1800

Will try to get a decent photo of it hanging up on a wall. So many things to do. I've also made a list, below, of the social networking sites and galleries where you can find my work (or will be able to find my work in future). Thanks for looking.

Renee Dillon Art on Blogger
Renee Dillon Art on Instagram
Renee Dillon Art on Facebook
Renee Dillon Art on Society6
Renee Dillon Art on Fine Art America
Renee Dillon Art on Saatchi Art (Formerly Saatchi Online)
Renee Dillon Art on Etsy
Renee Dillon Art on Twitter

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Spoonflower Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen Giveaway

Spoonflower have just posted a competition to win a Wacom Inkling. I was looking at these a while ago when I was researching graphics tablets and thought it was a pretty good idea. Apparently you draw directly onto paper and the little sensor picks up each stroke and makes a digital copy of it.

If you click my referral link and enter, I get an extra entry, so I thought I'd post about it here. Click Here to Enter.

Also, since I need a pretty picture to go with this post, here's a sketch which might become one of my next paintings.

"Pink" (Working Title), Pencil Sketch, August 2014

Monday, 4 August 2014

"Austin" - Geometric Art Nouveau Style Acrylic Painting

I've had this post on hold for a few days, mostly due to a busy couple of weeks at work. But also due to the fact that I'm a little apprehensive to call this artwork 'finished'. Everything that that entails is a bit daunting. While I intend to hang this piece on my own wall for now, having a finished artwork involves putting it up for sale, as I intended to do from the beginning of this project. 

It can be pretty scary sending your creation out into the world. It means seeing how it will be received, after you've already imagined the best and worst scenarios possible. It means taking a first step towards being taken seriously as an artist - a first step towards even taking myself seriously as an artist. It means acknowledging that it won't happen straight away, that I'm still many hours of advertising and marketing and art making away from having fans or making sales.

The scariest thing about taking this step, though, is that it means testing my mettle. I'm seeing how far I'll go to accomplish the things I want to accomplish. I'm betting hours of my time and a large portion of my dignity on the idea that I'm willing to keep going until I can say that I feel successful as an artist. I don't know what form that success will take just yet, but enough that I reach a moment where I can think "Yes, this was a worthwhile endeavor."

"Austin", Geometric Art Nouveau Style Acrylic Painting, Acrylic on Canvas

I've decided to call this piece "Austin". While I was painting the bright colours, Austin Powers came to mind and I couldn't quite shake the idea. As soon as I thought of it, I knew I had the name. I still have a couple of spots to touch up, but for now I'm calling it basically finished. Time to start on the next one. Stay tuned for more geometric art nouveau style paintings.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Art Nouveau Work in Progress Continued

My Art Nouveau painting is coming along nicely. I've been adding colours here and there to see what it will look like. I'm thinking of adding purple and a little lime green in parts. I might make some of the yellows a bit more orange too.

If you'd like to see regular updates of this work in progress, follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook page, Renee Dillon Art.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Art Nouveau Style Acrylic Painting - Work In Progress

Admittedly, it's been a little while since I've updated my blog. Mostly that's because I've been thinking of taking my art in a new direction lately. I enjoy making tiling patterns. I enjoy fabric design and scrapbook paper design. But the design part of that equation was where I stopped enjoying what I was doing. There were things to contend with like deciding how many papers to go in a pack (while still fitting the upload limit on Etsy) and working out what size repeats should be to fit people's craft projects. I wasn't feeling satisfied about the end result because the colourways I really loved got lost among the colourways I figured someone else might like.

So ultimately, I decided to work bigger. Rather than making art that exists only in the digital world, I'd like to get back to creating art that exists in real space. A real, tangible thing that I can look at and say "Yes, I made a thing." Put it on a wall, maybe, I don't know.

I like the idea of creating something that is infinitely reproducible, that can be used and enjoyed by many people. But I also like the idea of something of which there is only one - something collectible and coveted and rare. I like the thought of somebody seeing my art and loving it so much that they want to put it in their house and look at it every day. And I like the idea of people seeing my art on this blog or social media and just enjoying what I do for free, as I've enjoyed the work of so many artists who share their work with the world.

All of this soul searching has resulted in me deciding to try a big canvas artwork for a change. Not something I'm typically comfortable with. My usual working size is less than A4 (usually even less than A5). I wanted something with large visual impact, though, and I knew for an abstract that the scale would be an important factor. What I've ended up with, so far, is this.

I'll go through the process in a future post, but basically it's a geometric Art Nouveau style abstract. It will be painted with yellow, orange, sky blue and hot pink acrylic (Jo Sonya and Monte Mart Silver Series paints). The thick black lineart was painted with a Posca paint pen. I'm sticking with my love of tiling, seamless, repeating patterns. I actually really liked it at the lineart stage, so in future I might work on some purely black and white pieces too.

Once it's complete I'll have to think of a name. Once again, I'm thinking of giving my abstracts people names rather than vague artsy nonsense. There's just something I like about a painting called Margaret or Georgia or Sam. It makes the painting seem friendly and relatable. After that I'll probably set up an account on Saatchi Art. Maybe I'll put it in my (currently empty) Etsy shop.

Come back soon to see the colours start to go on. I'm already really pleased with how it's turning out and can't wait until it's finished.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Pals Paper Arts Colour Challenge - PPA 195

Getting in just in time for this challenge at Pals Paper Arts. I liked the colour scheme so much that I couldn't quite decide what I wanted to do with it. In the end I went with some bunny silhouettes and a cutout rectangle Happy Easter banner. I like the cutout words technique over patterned paper and will be using it again. Probably with a smaller print next time.

I've been finding that I like using simple card designs and letting the patterned paper speak for itself, but I'd like to get into a bit of pattern mixing. Maybe next time. As always, you can find my papers at Sixth Floor Studio on Etsy. These bunnies might be up in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Cardmaking Challenge - FTTC 262

I tried my hand at another digital greeting card tonight. This one was inspired by the Flourishes "It's a Wash" Challenge. The theme was washi tape, and I'm not sure that fake digital washi tape counts but it looked fun so I thought I'd try anyway.

I shrunk the pattern on my paper called Christina to make faux washi tape strips. Not sure how I feel about the empty space in the top right corner. Maybe I should have made the strips horizontal to full that a bit more, or made the card square so it wasn't such a large space. Never mind.

If you're interested in checking out this patterned paper for yourself, take a look at Sixth Floor Studio on Etsy. Thanks for looking.


Abstract patterns are harder to name than figurative ones. This pattern started with the name 'Diamond Rift', but I wasn't sure I liked that. Then it had the working title 'Circular' while I finished it off. Eventually I decided that I'd rather give my abstract patterns proper names. This one is Christina.

It took a bit of fiddling, but I'm glad I finally managed to make this design tile properly. If you'd like to buy it, head to Sixth Floor Studio on Etsy. Thanks for looking. :)

Monday, 10 March 2014

Pals Paper Arts Colour Challenge - PPA 194

I'm not much of a cardmaker, but I like the idea of challenges, especially colour palette challenges. I thought I'd have a go at the Colour Challenge at Pals Paper Arts.

Above is the colour palette I had to stick to. Not my usual cup of tea, but I guess that's the point of a challenge. It can be good to try things that aren't in your comfort zone.

My friend has a birthday coming up and his favourite colour is blue. The flowers might be a bit girly, but hopefully he won't mind. So that works out nicely.

If you'd like to see the rest of this scrapbooking paper set, have a look at my Etsy shop or look at the previous blog post. Thanks for looking and have a great day.

Overlapping Flowers

Finally opened a Twitter account today. My opinion that I would not like Twitter has not yet changed, but apparently it's pretty big in the scheme of social media and reaching new audiences. You can find and follow me @6thFloorStudio (apparently typing "Sixth" made it too long). As a known rambler, having an arbitrary post size limit bugs me. I don't like changing the grammar in a sentence so I don't have to remove content, but that's what needed to be done to fit my first tweet within the limit. What was the problem with blogs, anyway? You can be as long-winded or brief as you like, and people can follow you and see what you have to say. And you don't have to figure out this ridiculous hash-tagging business. I sound so old.

Anyway, here is my new scrapbook paper set. I'm still playing with ways to make tiling images. Spacial thinking isn't necessarily my strong point, but I'm getting better. It gives me one of those special headaches that mean you must be growing new neural pathways in your brain.

I've made one of these papers into a digital card for Pals Paper Arts Colour Challenge. That can be found in the next post. If you'd like to purchase these papers, take a look at Sixth Floor Studio on Etsy. Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 8 March 2014


One thing I anticipate about starting up a blog and a business selling art is that the beginning will be fairly quiet. The internet is a big place, and content doesn't come up in a search necessarily because it's what you're searching for. What I've learned about Search Engine Optimization so far indicates that there are a lot of little rules to follow if you ever want anyone to find you. Apparently having a free blog rather than a paid website and domain name is a bad start for SEO purposes. Links from other websites (particularly high traffic ones) boost web search ranking. Frequently updating content can apparently help. 

But despite the tiny amount of SEO tips I've learned, I figure I'm still going to have to be pretty patient. Every time I see a new page view on my blog or Etsy shop, I get a little bit excited. It means that a person, even a single person, maybe only for a brief moment, has seen what I've created and acknowledged it in some small way. They might not even like it, but that's not the point. At least someone else in the world knows that it exists.

It's weirdly validating for your efforts to be seen. I could draw every day and keep my art in a box in my bedroom if I wanted to. But I want to share it, as scary as that is. It's like sending a tiny, vulnerable piece of yourself out into the world. Hopefully one day soon I can share my art with more people.

This happy corgi design is one of my favourite papers so far. I need to draw more dog papers.

If you want to see more of my papers or purchase this one, head to Sixth Floor Studio on Etsy. Thanks for looking. :)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Wobbly Lines

This one is more abstract, a wobbly line design. I feel like the colours are a bit all over the place, as I wasn't planning as I worked, but I've learned from that experience since making this set. It can be important to think of how a set of papers will look as a whole, as well as individual papers, as that's the first impression customers get of your set.

I like the white page with black lines. It could be used like a colouring in page for people that want to make their own colour schemes. If you want to buy this set, go to Sixth Floor Studio on Etsy. Thanks for looking. :)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Broody Chickens

My new Easter design, Broody Chickens has just been uploaded in my Etsy store. It comes with a simple polka dot pattern set in matching colours. Not sure if I should keep working on Easter designs or if I should build up a stock of year round patterns. Either way, I think these chickens can be used for other projects at other times of year.

If you want to buy this set, go to Sixth Floor Studio on Etsy. Thanks for looking. :)

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