Milan Cards

Painting, pen, Step-by-Step, watercolour

Recently at work my team and I won a trip to Milan! I feel proud of our hard work and it’s nice to be recognised for it. We’re hoping to go in June so I’ll take plenty of photos. As a thank you to the team, I made some Milan-themed thank you cards. I did it after finishing this piece, so used the same materials. Watercolour and pen are also useful for making something quite quickly so it was perfect for a last minute project.

I chose two different pictures from Pinterest of Milan Cathedral. Here’s the first few layers of watercolour paint.

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I didn’t want it to be too realistic with the colours, which was convenient considering the pens I have don’t really lend themselves to realism (or rather, I wouldn’t know how to use them that way).

I’ve used artistic license with the umbrellas (and general architecture) but that’s ok, it’s fun to romanticise an image and cut corners here and there.

Here’s the second card.

And both together!

If anyone else has ever been to Milan, let me know what it’s like! I plan to eat A LOT of gelato.

Julia

Norway Watercolour Pen

Painting, pen, Step-by-Step, watercolour

Back at the end of May last year, I started this watercolour painting based on a photo I took from Norway:

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I was in a bit of an art-funk, not knowing where to go with my work. Whenever I get into that kind of mood I like to go back to old projects and try taking them in a new direction. For my friend’s birthday I worked into a watercolour painting with pens to create this elephant piece for her:

(You can see the step-by-step in this post.)

I was happy with the result so decided to go back into my Arctic scene and inject some new life into it.

I started by staying as true to the original photo as possible and used the tones of the sky as a guide of where to add pen and what colour to add. After initially plotting out the pen work, I started following the tones of the watercolour paint itself, go back and forth between the paint and the photo.

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I really wasn’t sure how to balance out the sky, the ground and the silhouette, but I think adding a little bit of colour here and there helped get the overall feel that I wanted. A big part of that trip for me was FINALLY getting to see the Northern Lights so I think that had an influence too. I’m not sure if it’s finished, but I think this is all I can achieve right now.

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I would love to know what thoughts anyone has. I’m working on another piece that’s much more structured (the interior of a grand cathedral) and it’s proving to be much more difficult than this was which is not what I expected at all. I suppose today was just playing around, so there was no feeling of what it should look like at the end, whereas I started the other piece with a relatively fixed idea. Just goes to show you should never stop playing I guess!

Julia

P.S: Hope you’re all enjoying the first bit of Spring! I’m hoping to be able to start painting outside again soon.

Beardie Portrait #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

In my previous post I started working on a bearded collie portrait. I’ve carried on with it and got it to a reasonable standard to give to our friend in the Beardies in Need charity. I wasn’t sure if I’d see her again before their next event, so although there was lots more I would have liked to add, I decided to give it to her now. Here’s a few close up shots as well as the overall.

I am pretty happy with it overall, and I hope it goes to a happy home, but I was in a bit of a painting funk when I tried to finish it. You know when you just overwork something and it doesn’t really change/get better? I’ve had that over the weekend. Instead, I’ve started a new piece with watercolour and pens. I’m looking forward to trying a different medium for a little while to give me time to fall back in love with acrylic.

For now, here are the beautiful fur-babies from the weekend. The second picture is from Saturday when it was Molly’s first birthday! She’s such a grown up girl now.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter!

Julia