Here are my favourite drawings from #Inktober in just over a minute.
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#Inktober Week 1
Having stretched and prepared a canvas I was ready to give oil paints a second chance.
When I previously tried oil paints I didn’t have a great experience as I didn’t know then about turps, linseed oil, thin and fat.
On this occasion I was fortunate that a local artist guided me through the essentials and I started to paint. I was sceptical that the oil painting experience could eclipse acrylic painting, as I love the bright pigment and neons available in acrylics.
However as I started to paint I enjoyed the feel of the paint on the canvas as the brush passed over it. I enjoyed the line, the texture and how the canvas felt so different than when using acrylic paints.
I was keen to create a painting from a marker (then digital with photo and watercolour elements) piece that I had created of a woman enjoying calm under water. Before painting I drew the lines in charcoal. I did this quickly and in future would spend more time on that stage.
I am normally keen to create swiftly and achieve the end outcome, but as I painted I enjoyed the action and, similar to my experience with life drawing, I found it a very pure form of art. I could have painted with those materials hundreds of years ago, there’s something magical about that.
So here is the final piece, plus the fun little duck (inspired by Jeff Koons) to place the lady in the bath. I’m pleased with the outcome, can’t wait to start my next oil painting and I learned a lot in the process.
I learned to plan the piece out well beforehand.
To think about the layers of the painting.
To have a clear picture of the face that I want to create, trying to oil paint from my head was tricky.
To think about the proportions of the canvas to ensure they are standard, as this will make it easier to reproduce the artwork if you wish.
Not to paint too close to the edges of the canvas as if reproduced some of the painting will be lost.
Set up the easel in a position with consistent light and in a place that you can get far enough back from it so see it from a distance, as this can reveal things not apparent at close quarters.
Developing the artwork
I took the image digital to test out different elements during the process.
I used the key elements of the artwork to create a lino cut for printing. I used Picasso‘s reduction technique to add to the effect. Here are some of my favourite prints.
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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.