Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Surrealistic Sunset In Acrylic

Still on a role with these miniature paintings!

My fourth post-card sized painting in this media and format. I don't know why but I do love sunsets and the colourful displays which are possible. This painting is actually based on a reference photograph which I "borrowed". I never actually copy - I am not clever enough for that, but inspect my reference photos (maybe try one or two thumbnail sketches) and decide how I am going to tackle my version.

I decide on:-

  • Size (although to be fair this is often decided and I look for subjects to match)
  • Format (portrait / landscape)
  • Media (for me, the choice is watercolour, pastel or acrylic)
  • Colours (I often use alternative colours to express the mood I am trying to capture)
  • How to simplify the chosen subject (I usually do simplify most of my paintings as it is colour and texture which I use mostly in my artwork)
  • Exactly which elements of the reference to include (or I may add something else to tell the story I am describing)
  • Lastly, knowing what I am going to do, I decide how I am going to tackle it. Maybe which colours to lay first, will the colours be built on layers or individually laid down and such mundane but important constructs. Will the be laid wet-on-wet or otherwise. Do I need to do any drawing before putting down any colour.
Finally, I am ready. And once I do start the actual painting I aim to finish it as quickly as possible. I am not like many of my art group colleagues who will spend week after week on the same painting. Often necessary for the realistic work they choose to paint. I am a fan of the slap it on and watch it dry school of art. I always did like the impressionists way of working. Work quickly to capture the light of the moment.

Well after all that crap, here is the painting itself:

In the reference photo, the foreground trees / bushes were in silhouette, I decided to capture an earlier time before the light was completely gone. The foreground is therefore completely from my own artistic dictionary.

Well there it is, I hope you like it. Having used up all my postcards(?) I will have to try something else next week. If you enjoy my miniatures, check out one of my posts on my atc-sized miniature canvas paintings - also acrylic.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Acrylic Paintings - The Northern Lights

I am intending to include all image-based artwork on this blog, returning to its original objectives as a diary of my travails on the road to creating art. I am reducing the number of blogs I currently manage from seven (check out the Nav Bar under the header image, above) to 3 or possibly four.

This is the first post on the subject of my painting for quite a while, but will become its home in the future.

Have you been watching the Big Art Challenge on the BBC. Not a great art program, maybe a good TV program but that's a matter of opinion. Anyway, The BBC is running a competition alongside the TV show called The Little Art Challenge. It supplied a quartet of four post-card sized cards for the use of participating artists. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I have used these to paint three paintings (so far) using acrylic paints. As plain card not usable for watercolours and too small for pastel (my main media) and so I called up the back-up acrylics. I don't use it very often but have painted miniature canvasses and abstracts, which have been exhibited at my art group's exhibitions.

So ... what have I done? Well the two paintings of the aurora borealis are (as is my style) quite stylised and were taken from photographs I came across and used as references.

I enjoy working on this sort of subject. If you have followed my painting blog I will have said that sunsets / sunrise / etc are my favourite subjects. I can allow myself so much freedom, it is quite exhilarating. And after all I paint as a means of relaxation -it is one of my main leisure activities.

Well hope to see more of you on this blog as I write about all aspects of art based around imagery.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

My Last ATC's - Probably?

So many things happening in my life at the moment, I have had to sever the last links with the last site which involved me in creating "craft" rather than "art". A very subjective statement but I guess what I mean is that I will be spending lots more time painting rather than creating art in other ways. So please don't be upset, I do not mean to suggest that painting is in any way superior to making art in other ways.

Here are the last pair of artist trading cards which I made for the ATC challenge which I have been leading. I have had great fun for a number of years but I started papercrafting when I was at a low point with my painting. I had been painting ACEO's - and selling them on Ebay - and accidentally found collaged cards on the site. Thinking it was something I could do, I joined a number of sites over the years looking for ever more creative ideas / inspiration. I have a large collection of these miniature works of art collected by trading with friends from across five continents.

However, I have now found my muse again and need to spend more time painting. The site I referred to above, PDA, has not been very active for a good while and although I kept the challenge alive it has been in a long slow decline. I finally burnt my bridges last weekend. I intend to take this blog back to its roots and write about my art journey whichever media it involves. I will be mothballing the "Painting With John" site and including all art related posts on this blog in the future.

OK, here are the ATC's I promised. The theme was, "A magical recipe":-

Look out for more art in the weeks to come .... thanks for reading about my artistic journey.

I have just realised, I wrote along similar lines when I first started creating ATC's using collage. Check out what I had to say then in a post written in 2008, 

PS, I will be carefully looking over my "stash" collected over the last few years and will be reducing it considerably. Look out for the free give-aways of  material which will be happening over the rest of this year.