Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Doncaster Demo

Hi everyone, I've just been having  a little play with paint and stamps in preparation for next weekend. I will be demoing for PaperArtsy at the Doncaster Dome Show on Sunday 19th October. 

Come by and say hello if you are there. 

This is what I made tonight, might just make some of these at the show too. 

Darcy x

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Studying under the Masters Week 1.part 4

yes I have skipped a part.. 

Part 3 is sculpting, and mine is started, but I am waiting for it to dry before I can carry on. So in the meantime I am doing...

Part 4. This was an exercise in drawing faces, getting proportions correct and using a specific blending technique. 

The first part involves drawing a face in charcoal (shudder, I really dislike charcoal)

{After a black crayon sketch by Van Gogh 1885}

Then we were to blend with gesso. Not a fan of this outcome at all, I have no idea why. 

I have done this blending technique many times before, but using neocolor II crayons and blending them with white acrylic. 

So I decided to draw the old peasant woman again, but this time give her some colour. 

Drawn out with 2b

Blending the skin tones of neocolorII crayons with white acrylic. 

I kept the colours simple and muted, after all his paintings of the time were all dark and murky, it wouldn't have been a good representation to to her in hot pink clothing lol 

So apart from the skin tones and white acrylic,  I only used Sepia. 

I could have added so much more, .. more layers , more washes, gone back in with graphite or finished it off with coloured pencils. 

I didn't want or need this to be a finished piece though, this is merely a blending exercise, so I am leaving it as is.. 

She looks much older in the colour version, this is I think down to the initial sketch. it was finer, and so I was able to make her face slimmer in the colour one. In the charcoal one, the charcoal spread a lot and made all her features more chubby, making her look younger. 

I do prefer the colour one. 

as a quick experiment, I also tried blending 6b with gesso, a pitt pastel with gesso, and a stabilo pencil with gesso.. 

The pitt pastel blended away into nothingness, the 6b and the stabilo, once blended were almost identical to the charcoal/gesso combo. 

*twiddles thumbs while clay dries*

Darcy x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Studying Under the Masters {Portraits}week1. Part 2.

Week one. Part Two. 

For this exercise we were asked to choose one of Vincent's watercolour paintings and recreate it. Vincent was in part a mixed media artist, he loved layering different mediums. Often using watercolours with graphite, chalk, charcoal and inks. 

I chose a piece titles Schevenigan Woman Sewing. 

I began with a sketch using a regular hb pencil. So far so good. 

Now to start painting, watercolours are so out of my comfort zone. I used a combination of  a Koh-i-noor set and a Winsor and Newton Cotman set. Here I just blocked in the shapes and added a little shading to the flesh.

Now to add more layers to create the shadows. 

Refining of shadows, and then going in with a graphite pencil to add the details. 

Finally adding some droplets of paint on the right as Vincent had those in his painting. 

I am glad I attempted this one, I found it quite hard. 

Next up is some sculpting, that should be fun.. Though I would like to go back and do a few more pen and ink sketches... decision, decisions.. 

Darcy x

Monday, 6 October 2014

Studying under the Masters{portraits}week 1. part 1.

Week One. Part One. 

A while ago I was intrigued by  a link that Jane Davenport promoted, the link led to her blog on which she talked about an upcoming class that she was taking part in.. as a teacher. The class was to run for 6 weeks, with 6 teachers, and would focus on portraits. However not just any old portraits. Each teacher would pick a well known artist, and would construct their lesson around that artist. Teaching, in that artitsts style. This sounded fascinating. 

I am not a fan of 'the masters' I find those old painting dark and dirty, grim and miserable... I just don't see in them what others see. That has frustrated me somewhat. So I decided to sign up for this course and see what it could teach me. 

The course is hosted by Jeanne Oliver, she has a Ning site where you will find over 30 courses. The course that I have signed up for is Studying Under The Masters {portraits and self portraits}

Click HERE to read more about the course content and the teachers. If you go to THIS LINK you will find a short intro video by Jane Davenport, where she talks about the 'master' that she chose to use in her lessons. 

We are coming to the end of week one. Our first lesson was all about Vincent Van Gogh. Jeanne Oliver has been teaching this lesson herself, and has provided a wealth of information for us to digest. Not only are there inspirational photos and quotes, but also a great list of references and links. 

Jeanne has also made 19 videos for this lesson.... how's that for good value. Wow! remember this is only lesson 1. 

I signed up and paid for this class a while back, and I am so glad that I did. For a few reasons. Mainly because I am feeling like I have art burn out at the moment, and I am struggling to create anything. This class is forcing me to focus and just get stuff down on paper. Hopefully it will be the kickstart that I need. 

So in lesson one we are encouraged to do all kinds of exercises in different mediums, inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. 

The first exercise looks at his sketches, and we are told to really examine them and look for the types of lines and mark making that he used. i was struck by how many patterns he created using simple lines. He really was the original 'zentangler'

We were asked to pick out our favourite line patterns and coping them into our sketchbook. 

Here I used a regular hb pencil to copy the patterns. 

Then I switched to a Lamy pen and black ink. Van Gogh used pen and ink in many of his sketches. 

Finally I used an oriental brush and brown ink {Winsor and Newton, peat brown}

see what I mean about the 'tangling' 

As well as researching the art, we have learned so much about 'the man', his life, his family. All so very interesting, and actually moving. His life was definitely strange by our standards, and more than  a little sad. 

Our next assignment was to pick one of Van Goghs ink drawings and try and copy it, paying careful attention to the lines and patterns that were used. 

I chose 'Peasant of the Carmargue' and this is my rendition. 

Our next exercise uses watercolour paints, which frankly scares the pants off me... so we shall see what I manage to produce... 

Darcy x

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Halloweeny Bag

I am feeling a little mojoless, so just taking a couple of weeks out to recharge. However I do keep playing with bits and pieces, not making anything special, just messing about. This is the result of one 'messing about' session. 

I started with brown wrapping/parcel paper. You could use a ready made paper bag, but I decided to make one. I formed a large rectangle into a tube and glued in place. 

Then I scored the sides, and glued up the bottom. 

Folded over the flaps, and Voila! I have a flat bottomed bag. 

I trimmed the top of the bag with decorative scissors, just to add a little interest. 

So now I have my paper bag, how to keep it closed? a simple peg of course. 

Obviously it needed a bit of colour. Uaing a kitchen sponge, and the foam side... I dabbed on some Snowflake Fresco paint. 

I sponged Pea Coat and Eggplant at the bottom, and Autumn Fire and Pumpkin Soup at the top. 

Then I added the brick stamp from EDY10. to form a wall. I used versamark clear ink and Bmuse embossing powder in Amethyst. 

Then I added the tree stamp, from EDY06.. using black ink and embosssing with wow clear embossing powder. 

I painted some deli paper with Taupe Fresco paint, and stamped on the mechanical cat in black archival. I added a few dots of orange Fibralo pen to the screws on his body. He was then cut out and glued on the top of the wall. 

Finally I added some bats from HPH04

I love how the embossing powder picks up the texture in the wall. 

I painted some more of the brown parcel paper with Pumpkin Soup and Autumn fire. over this I stamped the text from HPH04. I ainted another piece black on both sides. Once dry I embossed the bats on one side. 

Once glued together, the plain black side provides a border to the orange. (the batty side becomes the back of the tag) I added sparkly black yarns. 

I painted the peg to match and stamped on the bats. 

Here it is all together, the tag hanging down the back. 

and the front. all ready to be filled with sweeties. 

Darcy x

Monday, 29 September 2014


The winner of my marker giveaway from my previous post is ..

Please get in touch with your details, your prize will be sent out directly from Letraset. 

Darcy x

Monday, 22 September 2014

Canvas tags

These canvas tags are so quick and easy to make. If you are anything like me you save the tags from new clothes, especially the ones that come with fabric tags.. now you can make your own. 

Canvas on a roll is fairly cheap and can be bought from art shops, you can also find sheets of canvas sometimes in the pound/dollar shop. 

Cut your tags, either by hand or using a die cutting machine. 

Take a selection of markers and add some random scribbles, or more deliberate patterns... up to you..

Put a little rubbing alcohol into a small pray bottle, and spray your canvas tags. the ink will disperse, if you tilt the tags the ink will run. You can leave it to dry or if you feel there is too much ink then blot some away with a paper towel.  You are left with these lovely softly blended backgrounds. 

Distress the edges

Then add your favourite text stamps. I used Hot Picks XT03

A bit more stamping..

Final bit of distressing and some eyelets added. I then coloured the 'brass' eyelets with my markers to match the tags. 

You could use these on a card, or a scrapbook page, or just add to a gift. 

I have a pack of Vibrant Tones to give away. To be in with a chance of winning please do the following TWO things.

Go to my post on the Letraset site and leave a comment AND add your name to the linky below here.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Bag Journal/Fairy Alpha

I have decided to fill my Bag Journal ,from the previous post, with fairies. A few years ago I decided to do a fairy alphabet, chose a letter at random..P..and did a poppy fairy. I got no further. 

So here is attempt 2. 

I began by adding gesso to part of the first bag. I love the kraft paper of the bag but it does dull the colour of paint, so adding gesso first will keep the paint colours true. 

I then added some stamped tissue paper. 

I then started layering up various greens. 

Next I pulled out lots of painted tissue, and other painted papers. I stamped one of my leaves, and cut them out. 

I glued them around the page..

 This time I am not picking random letters but starting at the beginning, so this is A for Acorn. I want to use lots of techniques and mediums in this journal, so I have started with Deli paper. I sketched out the fairy and blocked in the base colours with promarkers. 

Another layer of markers. I have found they blend really well on Deli paper. 

All coloured in and cut out. 

I added out Acorn boy to the page of leaves and finished off with touches of shading with graphite pencil and white pen. 

I love his acorn hat and acorn teapot!

Here is how the whole page looks. 

and how the page looks against the rest of the bags. I think it will be a very colourful happy journal. 

Darcy x