Goldfinch and Robin Commission

pen, watercolour

I’ve recently had a couple of watercolour commissions. One was a gift, the Robin, and then the lady liked it so much that she requested a matching goldfinch.

IpadArtChallenge Day 26

Challenges, Digital

In 2020 I realised I am way more of a perfectionist than I thought I was. The solution to that is to churn out as many happy digital birds as possible.

Day 26: A Striking Starling.

I’m posting them over on my Instagram first (@artjmtinsta) so you can follow along there.

IpadArtChallenge Day 20

Challenges, Digital

In 2020 I realised I am way more of a perfectionist than I thought I was. The solution to that is to churn out as many happy digital birds as possible.

Day 20: An Angelic Arctic Tern.

Fun fact about me, I am slightly obsessed with the Northern Lights. His Dark Materials is my favourite book series and seeing the Northern Lights was number one on my bucket list. So here’s an artic scene – let’s imagine it’s Tilda Vasara’s daemon.

I’m posting them over on my Instagram first (@artjmtinsta) so you can follow along there.

Bearded Collie Engagement Party Invite

Drawing, Painting, pen, Step-by-Step

I mentioned before that I’m recently engaged. My partner (fiance? woah) and I are really keen to not get overwhelmed with wedding prep or saving every penny before we’ve properly celebrated with friends and family. We therefore decided, let’s have a party!

I’ve also mentioned that we have a family friend who does a lot of work with Bearded Collie charities. We wanted to invite her but also wanted to make it a bit special, so here’s a quick little invite.

I found a picture on Pinterest to use as a reference and did a quick sketch.

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Once I had a sketch I used gouache to build up some colour in the right shape. Between layers I needed to wait for it to dry. There’s always a risk when relying on colour bleeding but, other than the hat, I think it worked out ok. I know I got a bit impatient before introducing the darkest colours so it’s my own fault really.

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Once I had the basic shapes put in I went back in with some smaller brush strokes.
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And finally I went in with some pens to add teeny details. I’m very aware that that is definitely my safety zone, but I’m kinda glad that I’ve got a go-to option that means I know I can quickly produce some art, however twee.

I think it’s tempting to feel like art always has to be highly thoughtful, detailed and showcasing your skills, but sometimes it’s fun to just do it for the love of doing it and sharing something fun.

Hope you’re all well!

New Year Projects

Acrylic, Chatty, Step-by-Step

Despite my lack of posts, I’m pleased to say I’ve actually been doing a lot of painting.

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to create pieces with my friend to eventually sell. We’ve got the ball rolling (though nothing finished quite yet) and are finding our feet in terms of style and materials.

Here’s a couple of progress shots from. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to show you a finished piece!

As you can see I’m taking inspiration from previous projects and trying to really master creating an art nouveau style. I want to restrict the colour palette And stop it looking so, well, primary. I’m also trying out an acrylic base and following up with oil paints, which so far I really like! It feels like there’s more scope to make changes as you go but with a gloss finish.

When I was younger I hated the idea of having multiple projects on the go. Maybe it’s something to do with my reduced attention span, or just the realisation that I have a lot less free time now to actually finish a project, but now I find I’m much more motivated and actually likely to finish a piece if I have the chance to step away from it and work on something else.

I’d like to be at the stage where I can make these compositions quickly, so that’s what I’ll be practising most of for the next little while.

I want to try mixed media a little more (which is another thing I never thought I’d say!) so before we add the embroidery I also want to create a textured surface using paint. For now I’m using very cheap acrylic paint. In the past I’ve used a plaster mix but that’s on MDF board, not watercolour paper.

I’ve been really enjoying working on these! I love when you seem to stumble upon a style that suits what you’re looking for.

I’m going to try to catch up with everyone else’s posts tonight and tomorrow.

P.S: it actually felt like Spring today! Such a lovely change!

Beardie Portrait #1

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

I’ve got so much to share! I thought about posting all the updates in one post but decided it’s more fun to track each project individually. Anyone feel differently? I’d love to know!

Last year I started this. It was going to be for a Beardies in Need charity event but I didn’t finish it in time. I’m hoping it can go in the raffle of the next event. I started right when I was getting back into painting, so it’s nice to see how far I’ve come already.

I really need some more very fine paint brushes. At the moment I’ve only got one and it’s looking worse for wear. I tried adding finer details and building up texture that way. It’s not an ideal way of working but I think I’m pretty happy with the results so far.

I’m worried about losing the depth of colour, especially as I add the lightest part of the fur (it’s basically white). I suppose I’ll know better when I go back to it with fresh eyes.

That’s all for now. I plan to tackle the right side next time.

Happy Easter everyone!

Julia

Josh and Bike #1

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

I’ve started another painting to get a bit of practise in. This is Josh in front of our bike and cabin (and my messy set up).

He is such a fluff bear so a great chance to practise painting fur. The canvas is only A4 so it’s a nice size to fill a space quickly (which, at least to begin with, I find motivating).

I’ve realised I’m quite an expressive painter. Lots of mark making rather than realistic strokes. Obviously this painting is still in it’s infancy, but when I’ve worked a bit more on it I’ll try to challenge myself to fine-tune it a little bit.

The weather this weekend was relatively warm and bright. There’s the promise of painting outside in the air!

Happy Monday all ❤

Acrylic Study #3

Acrylic, Chatty, Step-by-Step

Gosh, a whole month since my last post!

In that month I’ve been to a wedding, spent a week in Norfolk and visited my beautiful puppy Molly a lot! She’s not coming home until the end of July but I am SO excited. I hope she loves Josh (our rescue dog) and doesn’t miss her current pupmates too much.

ANYWAY – here’s the acrylic study of my garden with a bit more detail.

Finally I had the chance to work on it when the weather and time of day was the same as when I started it.

The leaves have grown over the fence so I’m having to start paint in some more leaves in the shadow next to the cabin.

When I looked at the painting for the first time in a while, I was pleasantly surprised! I wasn’t particularly pleased with it when I left it last time. It’s amazing what a difference fresh eyes can make. I’m especially pleased now that the layers of different leaves are beginning to look more distinct. If you saw my first post about this, you’ll know that painting realistic leaves was something that I was really struggling with. Now I feel like I’ve definitely improved!

I’ll keep working on this piece. The big thing I’ve taken away from it so far is that I need to start off being confident with the contrast of light and dark so that I’m not taking as long to create form.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to the month!

Acrylic Study #2

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

Another beautiful day.

When I got home I found an hour in the evening to spend on this painting.

I’m happier with the trees in the background. I still really want to create realstic images, but I know I’ve got a way to go. Still, all progress is good!

Some thoughts this time round:

  • I know I’ve always thought you should avoid mixing with black, but if the colour is actually grey, it’s ok to add a tiny bit of black.
  • Varying the direction of the brush makes for more realstic leaves.
  • Plotting in the most contrasting highs and lows of shading early on would have made it much easier to have an accurate understanding of how the colours fit together. Otherwise, as the light changes, you’re doing a bit of guesswork.
  • I seriously need to pick up more white paint.

That’s all for today.