It paints again…

I didn’t stop forever, just for a while. I finished the Alice painting, which I will post once its owner gets her sexy mitts on it. In the meantime, here’s some weird shit I’m working on. I’m frustrated with it because, well, look at it. It’s a frustrating thing. I suppose that’s why it’s an in-progress picture and not a voila-done picture.

I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s been a weird few days. I’m out.

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Painting is complete…

It was completed the other day, I just failed to update here.

The night I finished it I had a stress dream.  You know how once you stop driving after driving for hours, you feel like you’re still going?  That night you might dream that you’re driving and repeatedly wake up in a panic, feeling as though you’re still behind the wheel?  I also do that when I finish a painting that I spent a lot of time and energy on.  The ones where I’m often holding my breath while I paint and screaming in my head “DON’T F*CK THIS UP”, because…motivation.  Also, the husb felt it was necessary to tease me and say there was just a bit more to do to the painting right before I fell asleep.  Just…a bit…more.

Most important thing is whether or not Grandma likes it.  Hopefully I’ll get it shipped tomorrow and we’ll all know in a week.  Fingers crossed, y’all!

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Some slight progress…

Added shadows and highlights.  And polka dots!

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I’m still proscrastinating…

…but the year is almost over, so it’s okay.  Maybe I’m getting a jump on 2015?!

For the past few months I’ve tied myself up with artwork (creating, not literally).  I’m not at my computer (thus, this might be short and stuffed with typos) so I only have one photo to post that is semi-clear.  I promise, I’ll show you more next year.  I’ll also write more about what I’ve been doing.  And will practice *technology* so I can write proper posts on my tablet or phone! 

So, here is the clearest pic of any of the pieces I’ve worked on.  It was done for a play called “Scenes from the Cliff” written by Nina Childs, first run will be in January 2015.

Thanks for reading!

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Hot Press Watercolor Paper

…makes me want to cry.

I’m trying, I really am, but I am not winning at this type of paper.  I’ve read comments and perused tutorials and all of that stuff.  “Don’t soak it”, “Soak it for 15 minutes”, “Gesso the front and back so it doesn’t buckle”, “Only use it for drawing!”, etc…

My first attempt was using watercolor pencils.  I sketched my figure out, did a bit of shading, and liked how it turned out!  Then…I added water.  Mistake.  I only added a little bit of water, not a lot, and it was still a disaster.  So, in an attempt to fix it, I added more paint/water.  Of course, it got worse.  The paper buckled and pilled.  In some sections the paint just lifted right off, leaving my lady speckled.  Frantic, I tossed aside all water-related mediums and attempted to smother her with oil pastels (that I don’t even know how to use).  I was desperate.  Hopeless.  The painting was destroyed.

I started off my second attempt being a little cocky, giving a little sashay in my step.  “I’m going to gesso the shit out of it!” and that I did.  Paper didn’t buckle or pill!  It made the surface a bit rough, and that was okay.  I lightly sketched an image on the paper, using a ruler, gettin’ my perspective right and everything.  Then I added the paint — acrylic this time.  Watered-down acrylic.  It wasn’t the best move.  It didn’t do what I thought it would do.  The paint still sort of lifted off, so I reduced the water and added more paint.  That seemed to help, but the background lost its subtly tinted sky and bare landscape and was replaced by rough spots and brush marks.  I like dry brushing.  I might even say I’m not terrible at it.  But, I didn’t want to dry brush this one.  I wanted it to be smooth, fluid, and pretty.  It, too, is a disaster.  It looks like I squeezed a whole bunch of acrylic paint on my hand and mashed it on the paper in a fit of rage.  It’s terrible.  I threw my brush against the table, took a hot shower and cried while in the shower.

I’m a basket case.  I’m not giving up, though.  Today is a new day!  A new day to completely wreck anything I touch!  A new day to make a zillion more mistakes, possibly cry some more, but also figure out what I did wrong and try something else.  I thought that what I was doing wrong was to even attempt to do any artwork at all, but I need to nudge that out of my head with a hard elbow.  Maybe.  I’m full of self-doubt today.

If you have comments or advice, I’d love to hear them!  In fact, I think I need it.

And it’s done…

I’m not sure how I feel about the finished product. I do know that I’ve fallen in love with Golden soft gel medium, though. So…hooray for love!

I think the bristol was a good idea, along with the canvas. I needed more coats of paint on the bristol, but it seems like it made more sense for the ravens than the canvas did, due to its smooth texture allowing more light to reflect (as with feathers).

I will be doing more work like this. Scissors are hell on my hands, but I like the idea of what could be.  If you have thoughts or ideas, share them!

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The Sketchbook Project 2014

This thing has to be postmarked in three days. THREE DAYS. I’ve been making progress — more progress in the last week than I made in 6 months — and I still have a bit to go. 9 pages, I believe.

My biggest issues with this project (or any creative project) are fear, poor planning, and choice of medium/mediums/media. When I’m making something for someone else, terror strikes and I feel paralyzed. If it’s for me, then I don’t care and somehow it turns out well. Anything else, though, and I feel incompetent. Smooth lines become jagged from a shaky hand, choosing a color palette is nerve wracking, subject matter–forget about it.

However, in the past few days, I discovered a workable theme, a palette, and — most important — the medium! The pages of the sketchbook are not typical heavyweight paper; they have their limit. In the past, I’ve attempted marker (which bled through) colored pencil becomes time consuming depending on how it’s used (I like to make it saturated and blend blend blend), pastel gets all over the place, and paint wrinkles the pages too much. I have a tin of Derwent Inktense pencils. I use them once in a while for various things, but didn’t use them on the sketchbook until recently. HOLY HELL! They’re magical!

Granted, I’m only using a variety of reds, but still. The paper doesn’t buckle, the color is saturated, but isn’t bleeding through, and adding water gives my hand a much-needed break from the blending of colored pencils.

So, with three days left, I’m pretty sure I can swing it.  Also, sorry for the bad photo!

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