Monday, March 20, 2017

A cuff round the ear ...and a trick involving a box

If you look at photographs of the New Zealand early settler women many of them look hard as nails and very unimpressed with life. They'd give you a cuff around the ear and a tongue lashing you would never quite recover from.
Coming to a new country and living in the amongst the bush in makeshift tent houses would have been hard  yakka...

..and then there were the bugs that became your bedside friends....

My painting entitled "The Settler" is a two sided idea; on one hand this woman is the early settler  in her long Victorian dresses forced to live amongst the strange insects of Aotearoa in damp unhospitable housing; and on the other hand she is a mother who settles babies to sleep, perhaps even the powerful force that is 'mother nature' who gathers up her beloved creatures and protects them.

The Settler
Acrylic on Canvas
540 H x 375W

Now showing at the Otago Art Society's "Off The Rack" exhibition at the Dunedin Railway Station. The Exhibition Opening is Wednesday 22nd of March at 6.00pm...all welcome.

Detail of NZ Insects


Over the years I've changed how I do a painting. The best way I've found is to paint in the base layers of each coloured section and then work each section up in layers. I do the highlights and finishing touches across the whole painting last.  

I find that by blocking in the colours on the whole canvas it means you can gauge how your colours/highlights/shading are working together and it tends to avoid a lot of rework. 

Years ago I used to paint one section of the painting until it was completed and then attack the next section which led to all sorts of hideous stuff ups as I wasnt able to cross reference colours and highlights.

Example of "The Settler" painting at each stage (apologies for bad lighting in these photos!)

And lastly....THE BOX TRICK for getting your pencil drawn image onto your canvas very quickly....

I've spent years trying to draw grids on my canvas to copy a drawing across at the right scale and its so painfully show and frustrating as I was stoked when I found this clip on YouTube: 

To save you some time, learn from MY mistakes.....make sure you only use a clear glass bulb in your lamp (not frosted) AND make sure the plastic you draw your image on is also clear (pages out of an old clearfile are perfect for this).  If your light bulb or your plastic sheet is frosty/obscure then you wont see any image projected.

Have a good week everyone! :)

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