Alhambra

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

Hello all!

It feels like such a long time since I posted. To be honest, I haven’t done a lot of art. It’s been fairly non-stop between buying a flat (not yet exchanged contracts so keep fingers and toes crossed for me) and music concerts and festivals means my weekends have been fully booked over the last month. But I’ve found myself in the National Gallery cafe having just come back from Spain, killing some time before I go for dinner and stay in a hotel before a very early flight to Milan (that’s what this post was about), and I thought what better place to talk about art? Disclaimer: my life sounds more elegant and exotic than it is, I’m actually in need of a shower and wearing my paint covered trainers.

Years ago (like, an embarrassingly long time) I started a painting for my dad. He loves an artist called Chico Montilla because of the vibrant colours and subject matter: the Alhambra palace in Granada, my parents’ favourite place in the world. They spend just under half the year there and that’s where I’ve been the last week. It’s always relaxing and beautiful (despite the weather being practically the same as the UK this visit) and has all my art things ready to go.

I only tweaked a few things here and there, but I’ve included a few photos of the progress anyway. Somewhere I’ve got photos of it right from the start, but not in a way I can access from my phone in a coffee shop.

The style is inspired by Montilla, but I am nowhere near his level of skill, nor do I work on it regularly enough to be able to pick up where I left off, so it’s become it’s own hybrid.

Next time I’m out for a longer period of time I’d like to just start again and apply everything I’ve learnt so far. At the moment I find myself painting over the same areas and not really progressing with it, but in a way I’m quite happy with where it is. For the next Montilla inspired landscape I’d like to:

  • Plan the colours in advance rather than ad hoc and changing all the time.
  • Have a consistent approach to introducing texture – it’s a little “I’ll go abstract here” without reason which I feel flattens it in some areas (although I do like the blue of the mountains).
  • Use one consistent reference picture early on rather than taking elements from a few.

Having said that, I do love that this piece feels like a colourful record of my own progression and I always find copying an artist (/drawing inspiration) so helpful!

I’ll try to catch up with everyone else’s posts when I can charge my phone.

Any comments or thoughts always welcome!

Julia

A Couple of New Projects

Acrylic, Chatty, Ink, pen

Hi all,

Recently I’ve found it much easier to make time for art. Maybe you just need time to settle into a new year, or maybe it’s having that little bit more daylight. Either way, I’m trying to make the most of it.

Since I’ve recently painted a lot of pieces based on the garden, I’m getting a bit bored of the colour palette. Instead, I’ve started painting a version of this photo:

spainsunset2

It was taken in Granada, Spain, and when I finish I’ll give it to my parents. I’m not too far along yet so there’s only really the sky to show.

A couple of things I want to practise with this piece:

  • I’ve never really worked on the texture of clouds/the sky. Especially when it’s sort of wispy and blending together.
  • I want the colours to be really vivid. My paints aren’t the best quality in the world and up until now I haven’t used any extra materials with them. Usually I’d do a piece like this in oils but I just love how instant the results of acrylic are, so this’ll be a new challenge.
  • I want to show the detail in the from of the roof houses without overworking it or getting the wrong shape (I will be doing a cropped version of the original though). I guess this’ll need a suggestion of shapes but without looking blocky. Again, something to work on.

I’ll update you when I’ve got a bit more to show.

The second mini-project I’m working on (read: current doodles) are some absinthe spoon designs!

We took a day trip to Brighton (I’d never been) and passed an art shop. I don’t have any near me that sell copic markers, and I’d been meaning to try a few other colours since Inktober.

Teal (especially Duck Blue) is my favourite colour so of course that determined the colour palette. I found it so helpful limiting my colour choices when I used them before so I’m doing the same again.

The first thing I think of when I see that bright teal colour is absinthe and absintheries. In fact, it reminds me specifically of this beauty we passed in Prague:

IMG_0140.JPG

So when deciding what to use them for first, I thought I’d play around with some spoon designs where the sugar lumps would go.

Not the most practical, but then it’s all about the show really.

I’ll add more detail to them later. Starting it made me excited about inktober next year. It was such a good way to get some momentum and really prove something to myself. I’d highly recommend it to anyone.

That’s all for now, folks. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Julia