Sunday 27 January 2019

Polly the mouse with lavender

Hello everyone, today I have a little painting of Polly the Mouse to share with you all. 

She’s created on Bockingford watercolour paper which is 300 gsm. I love this paper as there is very little warping due to how heavy the paper is, it has some texture but not too much and the pigment is absorbed a little but doesn’t sink into the paper making it dull. You can add many layers of pigment and it stands up well to other mediums such as pencils, pastels etc.  I haven’t used it for acrylics but imagine it would handle the medium very well.

Next onto the paint I used, in this this case it was Sennelier watercolour tubes, which is one of my favourites along side Daniel Smiths. I bought a set of colours recommended by Billy Showell, a watercolour artist specialising in Botanical art. I also use brushes designed by her, my set consists of  a 2, 4, 6 in both sable and synthetic and I love them all. I use a ceramic pallet as I love how the colour mixes and is easily removed from it. 

So to start!

I first taped. My paper to my mat and sketched my composition.

I added a water glaze to the whole area of the background and started dropping in colour, blues, purples at the top and blues and greens at the bottom.
I mix my own greens (mixing video coming up soon)
Once the colour was added I then splashed on water to get the colour flowing. I dried and then repeated the process. The 3rd layer was also a repeat but more concentrated colour was used in blues and greens and then with a straw I blew the little puddles to form the branches of the trees. I love the unpredictability of this as you have to give up the control. Lastly I added the leaves with a no.4 synthetic brush.

Started to add more branches and leaves, as well as stems for the flowers. I was almost scared to touch Polly as I really liked the background and didn’t want to spoil it.

The lavender is painted loosely to fit in with the whole composition as I wanted Polly to be the focal point. 

Okay so now onto Polly, I had to be brave! I mixed up the colours using a small piece of paper to test I had the colours I wanted. And started building up the layers. I find that working on small objects is difficult due to my eyes, even with glasses the detail isn’t as sharp (so I have invested in a light/magnifying glass)

My painting skills are not as good as I would like so decided to move onto pencil for the detail. I used lightfast by Derwent. Starting on Polly I started to build up the texture of her fur, and the catkins.

Let’s look a bit closer

And here she is finished in close up

And the finished piece

If you have any questions please leave in the comments 



Monday 21 January 2019

Mixed media Cityscape

Hello everyone, brrr it’s been a bit cold here lately (it’s winter I here you cry) I know! It’s just been so mild that the cold feels a bit of a shock, lol. Well it’s that time again for my inspiration for Country View Crafts current theme of city/landscapes. I cannot believe we are over half way through January already, time definitely flies.

For my second piece I chose to paint a cityscape, now be gentle with me as this is very much a first. I don’t own any city/landscapes stamps so my choices were very limited, and as neither are a particular interest to me, a very big challenge. (One of the reasons I love this theme so much is that it really challenged me) nothing like a good challenge to get you creative muscles working. 
There really are so many faults with this piece but I’m pleased with it!

So I started by roughly sketching my buildings and street. I lost perspective along the way,
 I didn’t use a reference photo as I wasn’t going for realism, and quite like the whimsy feel.

I then added a water glaze all over my page and let it soak in while I mixed my paints. I used Sennelier watercolour tubes but you could use
either Prima watercolour pans or Jane Davenports. Any watercolours would do!
The colours I used for the sky were: Quinacridone Gold - a very warm yellow Sennelier yellow deep - cooler but still warm Sennelier red. For the buildings I mixed various blues greys and purples, using a mix of the primary colours varying the amounts of each to hues and values I was after. The blues I used where Pthalo and ultramarine. 

I plan to do a video on mixing greys and browns so watch this space!

Anyway now my colours are mixed I start adding the colour to the wet glaze, dropping in the different colours to the sky area. Once dry I start to block in the buildings, using lighter values at the back and darkening them as I come forward. 

I want a very loose paintily style so after adding a glaze of colour I add lots of clean and splashes to add texture.

Building up more layers

And more
Once it was completely dry I added some oil pastels in areas to added depth and the figures walking. I then used a black ink with a dip pen to add details to my buildings etc. 

Another way you could add buildings is to cut them out of magazines and collage them onto your piece or even cut them out from coloured card/paper, cut the shapes stick them in place and the windows doors with a pen.

I hope you have been inspired to take part
Hugs xxx


Tuesday 1 January 2019

Hi everyone it’s that time for a new challenge from Country View Craft  but first I would like to wish everyone a wonderfully happy New Year, and a big thank you for all the support you have shown me this year. I really appreciate all your comments and encouragement you have shown me here and on  social media, places like Facebook, instagram etc. You really are the best.

Now over to the challenge, as always there is a £20 voucher to be won to spend in the shop but you have to be in it to win, and here is my inspiration which was inspired by a fabulous print exhibition at Rheged  near where I live. 

So I started by blending several blues and green from the Distress Oxides range. I then flicked water over the page. I mopped the water then sparingly sprinkled Brusho in Ultramarine at the top and leaf green at the bottom with another spritz of water to activate. 

Once dry I used the leaf foam set and set from ranger and black ink all over creating a landscape. I heat set the ink and then with delusion paint pens I doodled over the leaves.

I then added a sentiment from Tim Holtz and there we have it. A really enjoyable piece to create. I hope it inspires you to have a go.