November 24, 2013

Christmas Cheer is Almost Here!

Seems like forever since I've been here. In between working I've managed to fill another order for some Christmas cozies. 

But I have to say I'm a little annoyed that I couldn't pin myself down long enough to participate in this year's NaNoWriMo, write a novel in month challenge, like I'd planned on. It was supposed to jump start me into writing my next kid's book. Oh well, there's always next November. Then again, I could be stalling. I suppose there's nothing stopping me from holding my own little challenge after Christmas. 
But aside from being so hard on myself I have to say I really enjoyed making these cozies. Here's my Midnight and Snowflake Bunny cozy.
She's a six-cup cutie. All three cozies have been sold to Cobblestone Cottage, a kitchen store not far from me. They tell me the cozies are selling teapots! 
This is Norwegian Teal. She's a two-cup beauty wearing a traditional knitting pattern from Norway that I found in 
Then there's my two-cup Swedish Sweetie, wearing another traditional knitting pattern from that lovely part of the world, also from the same book. She's my favourite. 
And last but not least, my six-cup Jingle Bell Reindeers, wearing happy Christmas bells to herald in a joyful sound.

October 22, 2013

Bride of Frankenbunny Throws a Party!

It's a party!
Oh, how neat!
With lots of treats for you to eat!
When music fills the air so sweet,
We'll sing and dance on Frankenfeet!
And here is my hand doing it's Thing impersonation sneaking a treat. 

October 19, 2013

Iggy's Halloween Plan

 Halloween is coming and Iggy has a plan. A sure fire candy-gettin' plan. 
"What are you doing Iggy?"
I'm building a Trick or Treating brother who does whatever I say."
"Hmph. Is he a dumb brother?" 
 "No, he's a smart brother who hands over all his candy, no questions asked. 
Pretty good likeness, eh?"
Hooray for Halloween!

October 7, 2013

Blue Bunny Tea Cozy

Out of the six tea cozies I sold today, this little 2-cupper is my favourite. 
She's pretty cute and small as you can tell by the teacup and saucer beside her. 
My six-cup Sweetheart bunny cozy flew out of the store the minute they put her on a pot.
Better start knitting, the owner of the shop wants as many bunny cozies as I can make. 

August 27, 2013

Birch Bench Part 2

Outlined drawing ready for paint.
Sky first. Easy enough, so far, so good.
Shadow mass. Too early to judge.
Already this is not going the way I'd planned. Oh well, keep trying. It's a learning experience.
Building up colour with a pallet knife.

So that was way harder than I thought, but I like the blobby paint effect. I need a smaller pallet knife and a lot more yellow, the colours are wrong. I also need to stop and think about this for a while, like over night. I'm sure once I'm warmed up it'll go better. Though I have a feeling I'll be back to obsessing over the details with a paint brush in no time.

Aarrrhg! Must stay loose!
I thought I was quitting for the day but as predicted I'm already obsessing so I stayed and painted the trees on the right with my pallet knife. I managed to capture a little bit more of what I wanted. And believe it or not I lightened the sky. Acrylic paints dry so much darker than what I expect. I think it could still be lighter. I'm going to have to get used to mixing in a very pastelly way.
So now I'm really quitting for the day. I'm tired, I'm hungry and my hands are dirty, but I'm pleased.

August 26, 2013

Birch Bench

Well, I'm calling this new painting Birch Bench. I thought I'd go for a little harder subject this time, more of a landscape. And I really wanted to experiment with a different style too, a freer, more abstract look. There's a fabulous artist I found recently named Maxim Grunin. If you want to see him paint, check this video out on YouTube. He works with a pallet knife and I'm dying to try it. 

Anyway, I thought these two photos taken in Ft. Langley would make a nice painting.The river was too washed to see it clearly out so I took another shot of just the river and joined the two. 
This is the actual view from the bench the old man is on.
Here's the composition combined into one reference photo. In my finished drawing I've left out the fences and poles.  
 There's something about the old man and his dog sitting alone amongst all the high contrast shadows that I really loved. 
My pallet is a plastic tray from the dollar store. Here's a trick I saw in a book that's really helpful. You fold paper towel lengthwise into thirds, wet it, then lay it out along the sides of your tray to  keep your acrylics wet. Though with my Titanium White I find it easier to use wax paper so I can remove it if I need to. At the end of my painting day I stack two wet sponges in the middle of my tray so they're higher than my paints, then cover the whole thing in saran wrap. Works great for keeping them wet overnight. 
My canvas with my transferred drawing all ready to be outlined. It will be interesting to see if I can stick to a pallet knife style and keep my vision loose. Will be a challenge I'm sure since I'm such a detail lover.  

August 13, 2013

Morning Fuchsia Part 4

So it's been awhile since I posted my painting and I think I'm almost finished. This first picture is from a week ago. It's been very difficult trying to understand this paint. To see my process you'll have to scroll waaay down to part 1 from weeks ago. 
Nothing turned out the way I expected. 
Though once I started adding colour I felt a little more comfortable. 
On this particular morning as I was getting up my nerve to paint I saw that  
 some of the leaves near the bottom of the branch were all screwy. Everything was going in the wrong direction. Oh no! Hey, wait a minute. This is my practice canvas, I'll paint them out in white. See what happens. A little scary but not too bad.  

Then I took my pencil drawing outside to my plant, drew some new leaves that I was
happy with and transferred them onto my canvas
And after a million layers of paint and glazes, I finally made some headway. Fortunately, I was able to spend a whole week and at least 8 hours a day by myself, painting, because my husband was away. I'm not quite finished yet, I still need to detail the edges of the leaves and fix the main flower. 
But overall I feel better about it, not overly confident, but better.  

Though now I'm kinda sick of Fuchsias and I still have the real painting to do, the brainstorm that started this whole thing. 

July 25, 2013

Morning Fuchsia Part 3

So, here's where I left off last night. And today I put in another 8 hours. I think I'm making progress. It's been really hard figuring out how to handle the paint. In the last couple of hours I finally started to get it. 
I couldn't figure out how to make the colours I wanted either. I always go too dark, plus the paint dries darker which really confused me. But once I got the colours right things really started falling into place. Even my paint brush behaved itself.

 I used the colour picker on my Mac to help me make the nice light colours I was after. It's in the Applications folder in Finder and then in the Utilities folder. 

I opened my photograph to my desktop, put the Digital Colour Meter on my dock and just picked the colours from the photo. Super easy! I was really surprised to see how far off I was. But it sure made me look at things differently.   

July 24, 2013

Morning Fuchsia Part 2

Ready to paint my outline of Fuchsias with sky and clouds.
I started off by doing an underpainting. Ew! Looks awful. 
Next I blocked in the sky. I like the skritchyness of it but it still looks awful. 
 I've added hightlights, thank goodness for my tonal map!  
Finally I put in some detail with cloud shapes, outlines and colour. I need a better brush. My clouds need work. 

Boy, all of a sudden 5 hours has gone by. I have to leave it for today. I'm getting tired and really confused about what to do next. I think I'm getting the hang of it but I still need time to let it sink in. I'm all wired. Tomorrow I'll have a better understanding. 

I have to say, I like the way it's going and the challenge of the fast drying paint. Doesn't let you fool around.