Art Challenge 15 – Animating Paper Pictures

The amount of detail in each of the paper cut pictures meant that I wanted to find a way to enable people, who weren’t able to see the original pictures in real life, to be able to zoom in and see the features. If you haven’t seen the blog post that was Art Challenge 13 – Paper Cut Pictures you can enjoy it at this link. I wanted to move elements of the pictures to bring them to life, but having glued all the picture aspects in place I was too late. I therefore decided to animate the pictures through the choice of stills I used and also by drawing the viewers attention to aspects of the picture by using relevant sound effects. The first picture I animated was the allotments picture, I was keen to keep the animations short and to the point so that the viewer would hopefully keep watching to the end. You can watch each of the three movies by clicking on the images below – they are all around one minute long.

Allotments Animation
1:12 Minute Allotments Animation

The second picture I animated was the ski chalet, I found this less charming as there weren’t as many ‘characters’ birds and so on, as in the allotments.

Ski Chalet Picture Animation
37 Seconds Ski Chalet Animation

It was some time before I could gather the courage to animate the beach huts picture. As this picture was the first paper cut picture I created I was afraid of an animation that did not do the picture justice. I was worried but am pleased with the result. With all of the pictures the choice of music and sound effects is so key to the atmosphere created in the videos.

Beach Huts Thmbnail
1:02 Minute Beach Huts Animation

How I Created The Animations I used the Stop Animation app on my iphone to photograph each picture. Then added the video to Apple iMovie and titles, sound effects and finally the sound track. I am proud of the paper cut pictures and hope that more people can enjoy the detail of them through these short animated videos.

Painting Fish – Part Two

I enjoyed the Painting Fish challenge whilst on holiday in Sharm el Sheikh. This is the post about that for anyone who didn’t see it.

Click on the picture to see the Painting Fish Art Chalenge
Click on the picture to see the Painting Fish Art Challenge

I always enjoy seeing Parrotfish and Clown Fish/ Anenomefish (the famous fish from the movie ‘Finding Nemo’).

I studied them when snorkelling and tried to really observe and mentally note the features and colours, and also how the colours change in the different light and from various angles when the fish is swimming.

Here are the paintings. I am not happy with the parrotfish, I really struggled as the paint set didn’t have the UV kind of shades I needed and my skill let me down.

Lunar Fusilier, Red Sea Bannerfish
Lunar Fusilier and Red Sea Bannerfish


Red Sea Anenomefish
Red Sea Anenomefish


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Art Challenge 13 – Paper Cut Pictures

A couple of months ago I created three pictures from cuttings of the lovely patterned including paper by  Simple Stories. The first picture was inspired by a visit to the Lincolnshire coast, Chapel St Leonard’s to be specific, where I was enchanted by a wonderful row of brightly coloured beach huts.

Chapel St Leonards Beach HutsBrightly Coloured Beach HutsLincolnshire Beach Huts

The second was a ski chalet, inspired by our visits to the resort of Courchevel in Les 3 Vallees in the French Alps. The third was inspired by the allotment sheds that I see on countryside walks near my home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

I wanted to share these paper cut pictures on the blog as they are art works that I am very proud of and as they grew and developed on the paper were a delight to create. Secondly I wanted to show them as I have been working on an Art Challenge which refers to them.

With each of the pictures I started with no vision of what I would create but built the pictures up piece by piece as I went along. In doing so I was able to layer aspects of the picture, add something, replace it if i liked. I enjoyed the freedom of the medium to be able to change and tweak the pictures and add aspects as they popped into my head. Something that I don’t feel would be possible with painting unless you were using oil paints and they had chance to dry in-between.

Grab Beach Hut 2
Beach Huts. Kim 2014
Chalet Picture copy
Ski Chalet. Kim 2014
Allotments. Kim 2014
Allotments. Kim 2014

Each of the designs features a small white dog, sadly our Maltese Terrier Sam died after I had created the first picture so I added him, then featured him in the chalet and allotments pictures as a tribute to him.


I was delighted with the results and proud to display them, I also had some bags, mugs and t-shirts made with the first design of beach huts which were gifts for friends and family. I also added the designs to products at my  Zazzle Shop – click on the link to go there.

Tote Bag. Kim 2014
Tote Bag. Kim 2014

I will be posting short, (1 minute) animations of each of the pictures. If you would like to see those please revisit the blog next week or subscribe to receive a notification of when they are posted.

I really enjoyed creating the pictures and the nostalgia of the scenes, if others can enjoy seeing them that is wonderful.

Update: If you liked this post you can see animations of these pictures at this link Art Challenge 15 – Animating Paper Pictures.

Art Challenge 11 – Painting Fish (seen when snorkelling)

Having had a wonderful early morning snorkel from the beach at our Red Sea hotel in Egypt I decided to paint the key sealife characters I had seen.

I have taken my Reeves set of watercolour paints on my past few trips. The set is small with a great range of colours and has space for a paintbrush. The colours are vivid and give good coverage, despite being watercolours.

For the first time I wanted to draw and paint the fish. I love the colours and shapes of the Red Sea fish and coral.

I used a biro to draw the outlines, (note to self, pack a pencil and eraser too for the next trip).

I would love to be able to draw the fish from memory but I find that once I get out of the water I struggle to recall their exact form. So I drew them from the small Fishes of the Red Sea book By Geodia, a handy little guide that gives key info about the most common species of the over 700 found in the Red Sea.

I have seen stingrays, eels, a turtle and thousands of fish on trips to the Sinai peninsula and Hurghada, my favourite are the parrot fish and I always like to find Nemo in his sea anemone home.

I carefully drew the fish then started to add paint adding a base colour first the. Adding the detail as carefully as I could. I was able to add the next colour soon as the paint was quickly dried by the sun.

The first fish species of note onmy 8 am snorkel were shoals of the piteously unremarkably named Common Bigeye. They are nocturnal so I was surprised to see them in caves close to the surface of the reef. They were not swimming but appeared to be suspended in the darker water.

Swimming on I saw five Onespot Snappers, these are larger fish these were close to the normal maximum length of 60cms. My book states is as a nocturnal predator.

Next was a large shoal of bright yellow Striped Butterfly fish. My book says they rarely leading a solitary life, and as I swam on there was a shoal of maybe 60 then a huge on of over 100. Stunning almost like fairy lights against a blue night sky as the yellow shone in the deep blue of the underwater environment, quite magical.

I saw a fish I haven’t seen on many occasions and he was a good size, the Bluespine Unicornfish. He looked petrol blue in the water, however my book shows him as green so I was torn between painting the colour I saw and the colour depicted in the book. I am least happy with his painting.

Final stand out fish was one of my favourite species, liked for its curiosity which means it often swims very close and it can feel like there is a connection as he/ she looks ate and I him/ her. On this occasion I spotted the Klunzinger’s Wrasse swimming with maybe 10 babies with the same distinct markings and I guesstimate they measured just 4 cms in length. Delightful to see but the parent became protective and se towards me to discourage going close.

The resulting paintings exceeded my expectations so it was a positive task which is idyllic what sat on a hot beach, bathed in sunshine whilst the waves lap the shore. It is November but still the sun is hot and soothing.

Part Two –
I often find that these art challenges make me want to explore a style or art task further so I am adding a section to the blog of secondary tasks in which to capture these.

I am quite a private person but public accountability and stating intention helps me to focus and gives me an output which gives my art explorations some feeling of purpose which alleviates my own hang ups about my art journey being too self indulgent when considered in the context of the world’s issues. I hope that this is a stage of my art development that wil enable me to develop my skills, increase my learning and will enable my style to emerge. If those who are intrigues to read the posts enjoy, feel some sense of inspiration or pleasure at reading the posts and seeing the pictures then that is wonderful and I am content. I only hope to have a more positive imprint on the planet than any negativity which my humanity creates.

Thank you and enjoy.