15 June 2008

Watercolour Commission complete

I am proud to present the completed watercolour commission from the image provided in my previous post. A great challenge was this one and I must admit to refering to the 'how to paint buildings ' books. The trouble with buildings is the number of bricks you paint. Too many and it looks like something from play shool and too few is not representative of a building that is quite close, not to mention the focal point of the painting! You've guessed it, there has to be a balance. Then, there's the colour. A church painted drab grey will result in a drab painting. For trees and grass, there was a famous artist who once said, 'Any green, but not that green'. I must find out who it was. For those budding artists that happen to find this blog, note that the greens in the background are more blue and in the foreground, more yellow; cool colours at the back, warm colours at the front. For a tutorial, or lesson, in colour perspective, please click here, or here.

14 June 2008

Painting with Coffee

Purely by accident I dipped my paintbrush into my coffee as I was tinkering around with a watercolour painting. Needless to say that coffee colour was not the one I had intended to use but I was impressed with the rich colour it left behind on the paper. So much so, that a piece painted entirely coffee was to be my next project. The secret of painting with one medium and one colour is to add layer upon layer but only when the bottom layer is fully dry. A hairdryer can be used to speed up the process, or I leave the painting close to the radiator while you go off and make yourself another coffee. For this process, I guessed that black coffee would be the best because I unsure of the long term effect of milk would have on the 'painting'.
The background was built up of at least six layers of coffee and whilst drying for the last time, I wondered what to do next. Many years ago I practised calligraphy, so armed with brushes of different shapes and sizes I set to, writing the different coffee names on top of the background. The writing is fairly rich in tone because over ten layers were used for each font. Having left it to dry, I found some little known facts about coffe and wrote them on by hand. Cheers. Mine's a Latte.

08 June 2008

Watercolour Commissions

Just as the webdesign of the Art4Arts8 website was complete and the new look uploaded to the internet, a commission for a watercolour painting came in. The problem with commissions is that there is a lot of pressure on the artist. Unlike a painting that is done for the sheer pleasure of throwing coloured water at paper, a commission brings the added pressure of the subject matter looking right. In this case, the commission is for a painting of a church to be given as a wedding anniversary gift. The problem is that, the customer has been there and I have not! Instead I shall work from a digital photograph set as my desktop wallpaper and go from there. The other ever present issue with watercolour painting is that mistakes are very difficult to cover up, whereas with oil painting the paint can be scraped off and acrylics can be painted over. Wish me luck!

02 June 2008

Art or website design? That is the question.

I have a conundrum. I have not picked up a paintbrush for at least 6 weeks and, instead, I have been working on the fourth design of the Art4Arts8 website, as well as getting on with life in general. The main problem is that the more time I spend away from the paints, the less inspiration I have. So why start a blog because this is taking even more time away from those paint brushes? The simple answer is to create a valid back-link, or two, to the Art4Arts8 website. This is to help the site rise in the forsaken Google search engine ratings. If 'watercolour paintings' was typed into Google, the website had been stuck at number 31 for ages and having just checked it is now down to 71. This is clearly a 'Catch 22' situation: I must do something to the website to generate visits / hits / interest / sales but I also need to keep my hand in with the brushes in order to arrest skill-fade. That said, I have learned web design from scratch and I suppose it is a art form in itself. So, here's another conundrum ... which is the more skillful, being an artist or web designer? Perhaps my time is being used best afterall. By the way, I have not yet 'gone live' with the new Art4Arts8 look.