December 19, 2012

Kalk Bay Life Drawing #1

This was my first experience of drawing from life. The model is Kitty who did a series of poses for different lengths of time starting out with short times: 5 minutes and up. The two last poses were half hours each and I managed to complete, well, one semi complete water colour rendition (the last for the day) and one using some paint to lay in tone over white and burnt umber pencils on pale brown board.. 

This is such an amazing thing to have experienced and done. Afterwards there was a whole spread and party as it was the last one of the year. All artists chatting, Christmas pie in hand, I had a coke, some baby carrots. Wow also discover fruit cake.. this stuff is amazing too. Who knew. I must get some today. (Mental note)

In further describing the process, I did not know what to expect, I got the paper there and happened to have the right pencils to give me DUO Tone capabilities.. which was fortuitous. I became a little confused with drawing either the light or the shadow and found I was almost working against myself at times. That one should use one medium entirely first and then the other perhaps is the answer, but I cant really tell for sure now. This would be to assume I am trying to get a sketch sort of finish, versus a rough drawing, or single colour sketch vs a more painterly finish. And then it opens itself up to more mediums.. that was when I reached for a brush. The water sat well on the paper too! Finally having almost used up my provided provision of big brown paper I quickly placed the stretched water paper on a board I was lucky to have had it me and brought into the hall!! I do like what I did but will post this piece another time as I will need to either scan this or find a suitable camera to capture it. These are the few images I have deemed worthy of posting for now, in order from quicker sketch to 2nd last half hour.. 








December 13, 2012

Rayno's Tea Cup


This was done in class, except for the final layer of colour. I just saw its thumbnail in my folder and thought it needed to be posted. I'm not sure now, it needs two labels here, since it was done as an illustration exercise I will call it both an illustration, but also a still life, in water colours.

Rayno in his last class did a demonstration in water for me, at the same time re-writing notes on the sequence of working. I thought I could just post that here too. The image will need close inspection to make out what is written.


This is watercolour technique in 5 easy steps!


December 11, 2012

Plein air Two (Meditations)


Sundays little plein air. Yes I'm milking that term now, for sure. Its really just quite good practice, and honestly this photo does no justice whatsoever to the paintings energy. I am at least positive. It was so fun to do, having a time limit too, but with the weather and other conditions I imagine there is always the time factor, and I like to work quickly from life anyway. So much runs through my head it probably feels like an eternity when  caught up in it, yes. It did. It was enjoyable and that's that.. I will use a smallest image format to help do SOME justice.

My colours are wrong, my technique is anything but stabilized or established or even helpful and there are the mistakes some not good! What I think I was mostly conscious of was tone even though my colours did disrupt that and the composition overall with this in mind. I learned allot though! Water colour is the only way! Oh yes, its a scene from just inside the graveyard. It's a lovely mess to commemorate the time!

This image quality IS really bad, I will endevour to not upload as such again!

December 10, 2012

An Old Piece

This got photographed recently. I am not really equipped to do so but never the less. The image has only had a minimal colour saturation filter. Just a little ode to the past now that I have put so much emphasis on all things new.



Actually this was not meant to be a painting as such. This piece of paper just got some paint on it, so it became one, and I am labeling it that too!  


November 24, 2012

Gun Slingers


This isn't a finished work! But since I am posting on the topic and this piece was developed in the same vein as was the previous.. 

I am quite close to it now and perhaps if I let it have some space I will have time to reflect on it more and manage to integrate what I have learnt by doing it. That is definitely a point when it comes to watercolour, you cant seem to get enough space.. I had to resist the urge to keep dabbing and poking about on the paper! Really in the process I know I could actually ruin it, but then one shouldn't ever be that close in the first place.. attachment, obsessiveness, perfection, all sorts comes up for me. 

And now I am too irritated to elaborate further.. here they are: the gun slingers.

The reference was fun too since it was snipped with windows from a dvd.. films are good for lighting. Speaking of which how is that central glow? 

Master Yang

This is a finished 'illustration' as a result of the course that I have now completed under the wise tutelage of  Mr. Rayno Swart in my humblest Simonstown.  I thoroughly enjoyed the process which we underwent and which produced this piece. It does NOT however look great on the screen for whatever reason, whilst I have tried to enhance it, seems logical to me though that it wouldn't considering the medium used, which has everything to do with light (watercolors dear), then made to be captured by my own light emitting digitalia and this not of the finest grade assuredly (scanner, dpi yada yada). Never the less, I wanted to show and tell.. for my own completed expression of it. 



It was done with two washes, mostly sienna and blue on both, and on a good quality Bockingford 450 gsm sheet I did not even stretch. The subject is his honorable  Tai-Chi master in the single whip pose, which is a movement quite lovely to perform. When I saw these photo's in a book I immediately knew they would render beautifully for the purposes I was learning in illustration and watercolour, the originals also have an old almost newspaper print quality. 

Rayno's new book is being released today and I am very excited to see whats inside, I hope that it does have lots of his origional notes. During the recent course I did I also kept notes but I would always wish that I had written them down in the order he had, as I would be in a rush and trying to do the excercises and watch his demonstartions and write all at the same time and it would come out all jumbled. Rayno is a fantastic teacher and brilliant artist I look up to and definitely will remain in contact with.

I also highly advocate the practice of Tai Chi as a means of harmonizing and practicing mindfulness. I have a wonderful teacher for that too and belong to the Lin Ming School in Kalk Bay.

November 12, 2012

Seaforth on a cloudy day

Here is my first full fledged Plein air in watercolour. It is a milestone I am proud of. The painting itself is nothing to boast about, though with each new one I learn more, and also I believe I am undergoing a self taught process to this end. It was and is an inspiring and wonderful experience.. With this piece I put into practice the means of using a view finder (I used my fingers this time) so to have the right scale and proportions in the composition. Before which getting everything to fit in I was finding a real challenge! The initial drawing I did in a manner I am accustomed to when working from life, without much attention to light mapping as it were, and therefore not wholely considering the move into colour paints.


And so with this I also add a new category label! And I plan to add more to it very soon! 

October 22, 2012

Chalking Bertha's



So whilst there is so much creativity on the go for me, to name them: tattoo designs (which I am only helping with) for my bro, mural commissions (previously begun to explain), a Dali replica and not to mention homework for Rayno.. we are doing storey boards which is quite challenging but also surprising and energising.  I have had some time to do my own little sketches too here and there, for a quiet moment, but whats really kept me busy has been the work done for the restaurant down the road. My dear sister Kerry is managing it, so she made up her mind to ask for my hand at refurbishing and re making the chalk board signage.. CHALK. She has been heard saying: "you like chalk now hey?" over my shoulder for the past days  whilst I have been in the foyer of the restaurant applying mine hand..

It was great yesterday I had two young boys (5 & 6) keep me company in the morning during the proceedings, they were with family for brunch. Nice conversation really.. and complimentative as was the case generally with passers by, which was a certain esteeming factor. I am grateful to my sister. I also am getting paid I hear. . I have completed a number of chalk boards in the restaurant proper and then I did this large temporary work in the foyer, which will be swiped off end of the month to begin the mural in its place, the top half of the mural will remain for chalking on.



It was a really great thing to do these boards as I have learnt allot and upped my momentum incredibly. It is one thing to think about a work, and then actually get stuck in. So admittedly as is usual there was some process involved. I have tried to explain this to friends: that certain process of knowing I can do something, but not actually/realistically being able to in a sense, but then because I knew I could, I did.. with some effort,some gratification, some esteem. Its all about the action.. and the results are not un-likable as far as I am concerned. Obviously there's the closeness to the work, which of course I had to experience coming out of, and then doubling back, and taking the criticism: my West Coast Lobster is frankly missing a head (I stuck his eye ball stalks on the end anyway) and well, that's a flattering tail if ever I saw one.


The boats I strolled down the jetty this morning to quickly sketch as reference in a little pad to take back into the foyer with me. What I do know now is that I DO like the chalk you know.. its really fun, because you have to have clear intention (you cant really rub out without leaving a mark, so to keep the stark contrasts of which this medium is all about you CANT mess up! except on lobsters!) and its really attractive and fullfills its function therefore as it stands out, jumps out hopefully and grabs prospective customers. I think I would have upped the sales some over the next while for lunches, and I have upped my skills too so I am happy!


 If you are in the neighborhood pop into Bertha's too see the other SPECIALS!

March 01, 2012

Her Majesty's Victory



This shows the deck of a very famous naval vessel in history, coming to life in oil paints and a long worked on piece of mine which I thought to complete recently. I am uploading the pre-complete post and the next one will be a surprise, more info on it then.

January 26, 2012

Exit city

The man of wide girth makes his exit from the city - he came to find his parts and purchase them as he does, and then makes the long journey out, and into the green fields, away from all the buzzing and popping circuits. The best is the morning when he wakes to leave, and sets out across the city scape, soon to know the comfort of the open air...