Friday, 4 October 2013

Return to Oz



Well I am back on the Central Coast of Australia after our trip home to Ireland. I miss everybody already, especially our beautiful granddaughter Lucy. The weather got so wild and windy here on the Coast the other day that it reminded me of the movie "The Wizard of Oz". A personal favourite of mine as a child growing up.

What started out to be a simple idea for this illustration ended up a more complex piece to paint. The challenge were the textures of the gingham dress, wicker basket and the sequin shoes. All textures which I hadn't painted before.




After going through my art supplies, I decided the blue Letraset aquamarker was the best choice for the gingham pattern. It would give me crisp lines and reasonably quick to do. But then after the pattern was applied on the dress, I realised that where the two lines crossed I would need to go back in and redo each cross section!

That I discovered was the easy part, now to tackle the basket weave. I referred to a picture from the movie and studied it for a while. As you can see from the photo below, I tried out a sample section using acrylics on a spare piece of the hot pressed 140 lb watercolour paper. I knew this would work and could outline the wicker weave in darker colours using caran d'ache II watersoluble crayons to make it stand out more. Again very time consuming!




Ok, last challenge, the sequin shoes! I began with light and dark areas, taking in where the light would be coming from. I stippled black sharpie dots in mostly the highlighted areas and then with a white poster paint sharpie, went over the tip of the black sharpie dots. Varying the size of the white dots in clusters gave it a more of a realistic look. Adding in a deep orange here and there over the white dots also added to the effect. I applied this same technique in the form of slightly bigger dots to the wand, to add a bit of contrast.




Close up of basket.




I changed the direction of the Koala's eyes slightly, so he was looking more towards the wand. Adding the finishing touches, highlights to the Koala's eyes.




Close up of Koala.




I am very happy with the end result and glad I persevered with the textures. Sometimes we need to push ourselves in order to grow as artists. Will I be racing to do these textures again? probably not for a while haha! However, if there comes a time that I need to use one of these, at least I know what I have to do now.




How about you? Have you had similar experiences? As always comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Enjoy your weekend, thanks for stopping by.
Until next time, happy creating!






18 comments:

  1. I wish I could watch you... I did 2013..... many are too far out for me... but I would love to know of any other workshops on line you are doing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Trish, at the moment I have no plans to teach any online classes other than Life Book 2014. That's not to say that won't change, keep an eye on the blog! x

      Delete
  2. Wendy O'Keeffe4 October 2013 at 20:03

    Wonderful blog. Yes it has been wild and woolly in oz. Safe trip back to Ireland - I was there last year and it was wild and woolly there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wendy, yes I had forgotten how well we have acclimatized here in Australia and we certainly felt cold while back in Ireland! x

      Delete
  3. I think you did a fantastic job!!! I especially love the sequined shoes, those look awesome. I really want to try and paint sequins now! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristin, I love a bit of glitz and glam, give it a go. Let me know how you get on! x

      Delete
  4. This is so beautiful Serena - I love your attention to detail! Welcome back home - I hope you have a lovely long weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie, you are very kind, enjoy the long weekend also! x

      Delete
  5. Hi serena, another great post from you, Lovely work as ever. I think you got home just in time as the weather is now dreadful here - it is only 2.30 in the afternoon and it is dark, cold and rainy outside.

    Love your textures - I have to say i never throw old brushes away unless they are hairless and things like rocks and bark are great to do with an old brushstamped on a work surface a few times to spead out the bristles and dry brush with any medium such as gouache, water colour or acrylic. You can get a great look if you do this in two or three colour layers using the same technique and finalise with a 'glaze' for the highlights or shadows.
    Your work is really professional looking, love what you do :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will definitely keep that in mind with the old brushes Steve, thanks for the great tips and comments.x

      Delete
  6. So amazing Serena!!! Thank you for sharing some of your process! It's making my fingers itch to play with my copics which I haven't done in a long time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad I inspired you to play with your copics Dana, have fun! x

      Delete
  7. Welcome Home! (I trust it's every bit as good to return as it was for Dorothy.

    Thank you for sharing this art adventure - it will certainly assist me in my learning.
    Wonderful Day to You!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maggid, yes I miss everybody back in Ireland terribly but it was still a great feeling to walk through our own front door here in Australia. Delighted you have learnt something that you can make use of in your creative journey.
      Have a lovely weekend! x

      Delete
  8. Thank you for sharing your art work. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol, much appreciated, it's great to have the support! x

      Delete
  9. Serena, this is such a gorgeous illustration, thank you for walking us through the process, I also love aquamarkers, but I never knew you could get such texture as the crossed lines, this is a great post!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks so much Marta, glad you enjoyed it. I took advantage of the aquamarkers and added water to spread the blue colour a little, so the creases in the dress were enhance more.x

    ReplyDelete