Monday 17 March 2014

Emerald Eyes

I knew if I hung onto my shamrock paper doilies and paper punch long enough they would come in useful one day!! So, in the spirit of Saint Patrick's Day this little colleen was created.

I would also like to clear up a little confusion between the shamrock and clover. The shamrock is the traditional Irish emblem and has three heart shaped leaves, the clover has four leaves and is more rounded. Both the shamrock and clover have come to be associated with luck. How true this is I don't know, I am still looking for that pot of gold!


A small jar of walnut crystals was given to me and I decided to try them out on this page. I found them to be similar to coffee granules and applied in the same way with water. Then I used a spritz of teal dylusions spray ink. I also sprayed the paper doilie with green and white inks. When everything was dry I glued the doilie to the background with gel medium. A spray adhesive would also work well here. Gesso was used over the cleaned up sketch.

Next layers of acrylic paint and watercolour pencils bring this girl out to the forefront.The shamrock shapes were punched out of the paper that was lying underneath the doilie from the spraying, these were then glued into place.

I turned my attention back to the paper doilie, I wanted the shamrocks to stand out a  bit more but still remain subtle so I gently rubbed a white oil pastel over them to bring out their lace detail. A white paint sharpie cleans up the edges and adds detail to the girl.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Saint Patrick's Day! and leave you with this little Irish blessing.

"For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way - good health, good luck and happiness for today and every day." 

Until next time, Happy Creating!

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Blue Butterfly Fairy

There must be butterflies on my brain! probably left over from the last post "Emerge". I had a dream about blue butterflies with pink bodies and look! - A beautiful blue fairy on her way to the Fairy Ball agrees to take a few minutes out of her busy day to pose for me. I reach for my small tin of watercolour pencils and quickly get to work.


I like to draw long necked girls but I think this girl might have the longest neck yet! It seems to work with the curve of the pose.

I have large and small pieces of watercolour paper cut offs lying around. The smaller pieces I use for trying out colours and taking off excess paint or water but I was ignoring the larger pieces because they are all odd sizes. Now I find they are great for quick sketches or maybe cutting up into ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) which I have not tried doing yet.

I wanted the butterflies in her hair to be more of an accessory piece. I decided to go with yellow orange eyes to add a little bit of interest to this whimsical fairy. The first layering of colour many artists call the ugly faze but I like to think of it as foundation layers, to which you build upon.

Just like working with paint, I built up the layers of watercolour pencils and activated them with water. A little warm white acrylic gives a softness to her skin. In the background I used a cross hatching technique which is enhanced with the rough texture of the cold pressed paper.

I manage to get finishing touches of white acrylic paint and graphite pencil for extra detail to this fairy before her friends came and whisked her off to the ball.

This was a tricky task, as you might know it is very difficult for fairies to sit still, so I was quite pleased with this portrait. How do you think she turned out?

Comments are encouraged and welcomed.

Until next time, Happy Creating!