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.

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