Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

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Mixed Media Girl, part 2

In my last post I included a pencil outline of the girl I am working on in mixed media collage. This week at class I started adding colour and some paper collage.

It was a really interesting process. Using water soluble crayons in three colours I coloured in the background. Then I added a layer of slightly watered down gesso to activate the crayons. The colours were too vibrant and needed to be pushed back a little, so I added a thicker gesso and blended the colours until they almost turned pastel. It was interesteing to see what happened to the vibrant yellow/orange, crimson and purple once the gesso did it’s work on them.

The face was done the same way, only it was one colour at a time. A pale skin pink, followed by small amounts of an orange and a rust brown and inbetween each colour a coat of gesso working the colours to liquid from crayon.

I only managed to get the first colour for the hair on with a quick coat of gesso. I look forward to seeing how the hair turns out once the other colours are added.




Soft Pastels: Kookaburra

It feels so good to have space at home to paint/draw/play again. So today after I dropped K off at school I returned home and started getting dusty! I felt the itch to get out my pastels and draw an animal, so I pulled out my trusty reference pics and found a pic I took of a kookaburra a few years ago in the backyard of a friend’s place.

Eye_webAs always I started with the eye (only one in this pic).

Kookaburra_1_webTook this after I started to lay some colour on the rest of the bird.

Kookaburra_2_webI decided to get some background colour in.

This is where I finished for today. I can see lots still to do, especially flattening the railing the bird is sitting on and the feathers on his back.

Such fun!



Colour Mixing tool

A very talented artist, and blogger, Cindy Lane from Western Australia, posted a link on her blog to an online colour mixing tool from Golden Paints. It looks like a really useful tool for artists beginning on the painting journey.

(image courtesy Golden Paints)

Have a look at Cindy’s blog – she does really beautiful pastels, acrylics and watercolours as well as calligraphy, but you can also go direct to Golden Paints.

Thanks Cindy for sharing this!


Painting: Crabapples (WIP#2)

Decided to do some more work on the acrylic crabapples today. It was fun as I had company at my local art & craft group.

I painted in the yellow for the crabapples and started a background wash of burnt umber, ultramarine blue, with a touch of alizarin.

Then I decided to try and get some of the red onto the crabapples. This didn’t work out as I had hoped. I can see too much of the strokes from the gesso showing through. I didn’t use enough paint to cover the apples so will do them again next time. It will be trial and error as I know we didn’t really cover a lot of acrylic techniques last year, but luckily I can paint over anything that doesn’t work.

At least I have grounded the fruit on the table surface well – they are not floating in space!

A few more washes in the background should get that to the way I want it to look. And I just need to play a bit more with the colour of the fruit. The light yellow here is not quite right. Will work on that.

But it is progress and that is what’s important.

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Painting: Crabapples in Acrylic

I have had a hankering to play with acrylics for a while now, so yesterday I pulled out my paints and some canvases – and realised I needed to gesso them before getting started – how frustrating!

But today, thankfully after some sunny weather to help dry the gesso, I have started. There are two images I want to paint, but I am starting out with a still life just to get back into using the acrylics again.

Using Yellow Oxide and water I have completed the underpainting.  No time to continue with it today, but I am so glad to have made a start.

This is where I stopped after about half an hour of tweaking and making sure I had the position about right. I wasn’t so happy with the tone of the background and shadows so I tweaked some more…

I think I have lost some of tone in the apples and need some more lights in them – so I stopped tweaking 🙂

But I can solve a lot of that once I start using colour.

I am glad I have made the effort to use the acrylics again. I only had a short amount of time that I could do this in today, but I decided that if I didn’t start  I wouldn’t start at all! It is so easy to put off something – procrastination is an old friend – but I have set my mind to getting some more work done, not just pastels, and I now have to right frame of mind and the time to do it.

Step by step is better than no steps at all.


Painting: Watercolour Tulip study completed

I finished the small watercolour study of the tulip today in class. I did start the larger version but because of needing to allow it to dry naturally so as not to lose the natural movement of the colour on the paper, I had to do some of it and then leave it aside to dry.

There are definitely imperfections in this, but this is a study so this is what I am practicing on. Not really happy with the shading, but hopefully this will improve on the larger version. There is more I could do to this, but I am going to leave it here and finish working on the large version.

I have decided whilst doing this class that for each larger painting, I will do a smaller study to test out techniques. I think this will work well for me as I am definitely looser on this study as it doesn’t matter too much if I succeed or not and that makes it better for the final version.

And on a side note, I went to my graduation for my fine arts certificate course last night and happily discovered I came first in my course. Felt very chuffed and it made all the hard work last year really worth it. I caught up with some of my friends, some of whom have gone on to do the Diploma. I wish I was doing it with them, but maybe next year?

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Painting: Watercolour Tulip WIP#2

Preparing for class tomorrow, I have played a bit more with watercolour. Using Rose Madder I have played with glazes and dropping colour in to try and create the tulip.

My brush marks are a bit messy to my eye, but I think it is beginning to look interesting. I have to use some water and a bristle brush to lift out some colour on a couple of the petals, but I have to wait for it to dry some more first – and I want to leave it to dry naturally this afternoon.

I’ll work on the larger edition of this tomorrow in class. It will be interesting to see the difference when I have the tutor to give me guidance.