So my dear giraffe is a little further along, and I think she’s coming on nicely.
Needless to say though, the fear is starting to set in. You see, every time I do a painting, it is pretty much the same. I love the underpainting, then hate several of the in-between stages when things look as if they’ve been poorly cut and pasted together like a three year old with a magazine and a pair of dull safety scissors. Then it starts coming together again, and I like what I see. I go, ‘Ohh, this is starting to look good!’ and I can finally start seeing what I’ve been trying to achieve. That is an awesome time. A brilliant time. A whimsical, magical, fantastical time.
Until I have to pick up the paintbrush again.
Until I stop procrastinating and stop thinking, ‘Maybe I should just leave it there… it’s good enough, right?’
Because that is when the real nerves kick in. And that is where I am at. Well… I’m actually already a little bit into that stage, but we’ll ignore that. Wish me luck, because the next time I post a picture of this darling lady, she will hopefully be done. Phew!
This is a little something I’m working on at the moment. I’m happy with how it is progressing, but it still has a bit of work left to go!
I’ve only been home a bit over a month now, having returned from living and working in Tokyo, Japan. It was definitely a different experience from living at home, especially when it came to my capacity to create. While sketches and drawings were easy enough to do, I lacked a good workspace to paint in, and I must admit to missing my computer at home quite a bit. While the laptop did work well for simple things, actually working on anything graphics-intensive was a little difficult… which is why I didn’t produce much in Second Life while I was over there.
Good thing I’m home now, huh?
There is a lot I already miss about Japan. How couldn’t there be? Convenient and delicious food, fantastic fashion, a public transport system that is second to none… it was awesome. There’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning and deciding, ‘You know what? I think I’ll pop on down to Harajuku today and do some window-shopping before I head to work.’ It is an incredible place to live and work in, and I was blessed with a fantastic company to work for and people to work with. But I’ll tell you a little secret: I’m glad to be home again too!
Oh the land of meat pies… the land of sausage-rolls, decent sausages and houses that have more than a couple of rooms. I have my studio back, and for that I am grateful. So what better way to make use of it than by getting some painting done? Admittedly, one would think that my first decent painting after getting back would be of something related to Japan, or to Tokyo, but this one has a theme that is a little bit more offbeat. I hope it turns out well!
Phew… my first little painting for 2010! A friend of mine has a 30th birthday coming up on Tuesday, however the party was held yesterday. Although I posted that I was going to draw the card (because she reads this blog – I couldn’t give the surprise away!) I also painted her gift.
So… why a green dragon, on a green background, looking very green? Not really too much to say – she likes green, and she likes dragons. I’m really deep, aren’t I? I was going to add a splash of another colour, but then I liked it so much the way it was that I just decided not to. The completed work actually contains a grand total of 4 colours – I’ve decided that I love working with a limited palette when painting. While the colours used are limited, I still think it pops rather nicely. I realize that the composition isn’t exactly grand, but I like it that way!
I would have liked to have taken some better shots of the final product – the problem with using a satin varnish is that it gives the painting a very nice sheen, but for taking photos, it isn’t the greatest. Well… at least not at night with just the room light to illuminate the room. The light in my studio (in photos, at least) makes everything appear very warm, which unfortunately just doesn’t show off green in the greatest light without a flash.
But anyhow… happy birthday, Toni! I hope that you enjoy the dragon, and that you have a wonderful day when the day actually rolls around.
On an unrelated note, I’m getting the distinct feeling I should really add a dragon category.
It feels too early in the morning, but I have a feeling that that has come from a combination of little sleep, and the fact that I’m about to get my house invaded by painters. Not the fun, creative, interesting types either… the types that just paint walls, and paint them all the same boring shade of pale cream. Not that pale cream is a bad thing, mind you, but I do tend to think that it is somewhat overused in every bloody rental property known to mankind. No, wait, I lie… that horrid, horrid shade of pale peach tends to stretch the boundaries of colour-love when it is plastered on every room in a place too. Same goes for pale blue – and I actually do regularly like pale blue!
With that said though, I have to say, annoying though it may be to always be surrounded by these particular colours (though I have been lucky enough not to have to live in a ‘peach’ house yet), I would prefer them over some of the ungodly alternatives. I’m not sure who exactly advised some of the people out there about how to decorate, but really… a splash of colour should not have to equal DIY disaster. Unless you are really good at sponging, and know what you’re doing, for god’s sake, don’t sponge! Don’t decide to do an entire room of faux marble paint effect on the wall unless you’ve practiced beforehand! And seriously, just because someone showed you how to do it on TV does not mean that you are going to be able to replicate it perfectly in your own rental property.
Now if you like experimenting in your home, go to town – your home is your home, and you have to live in it and love it… and possibly correct it if it all goes wrong. But I am still stunned at the amount of rental properties on the market that are, in my opinion, not fulfilling their potential (both in appearance, and the resulting long-term earnings) for lack of a few weekends of work and a few hundred bucks worth of paint. Cream all over might be boring, but at least it isn’t bright yellow with uneven white sponging and bright blue trims through the whole damn house.
That is all. This somewhat-rant has been bought to you by the Kat Johnston Society Against Ugly Rental Properties. I just want the damn rooms painted: I need to get those boxes out of my studio so that I have room to move again!
A little further along, I’m continuing with the progress shots of the other day. I’ve been doing a bit more work on my bunny here and there, and thought I’d better put up a couple more pictures! In this particular one, the bunny has become a bit more refined and I’ve done some rough sketching of the viney curly things for the background. When I do this, I do it in water-colour pencils, so that I can easily remove and rearrange the marks as I need to. I find this, for me, to be a better way of doing it than lead pencil, or pastel, which seem to be a bit harder to remove completely, especially from darker surfaces. Water-colour pencils in a light shade provide enough of a mark without any view to permanency that might occur with other mediums. A simple smudge of the finger or a tiny bit of water and a smudge, and the marks disappear. Perfect for sketching straight onto a canvas… and we all know how I like to sketch!
And now a little further along again – I’ve used a fine brush to describe the curling vine-like growths behind the bunny here with a darkish shade. The painting is not yet done – the curling viney thingies are far too precise around the edges – very sharp. I’m thinking that I need some purple, some orange, some vibrancy… I still need to lift out pieces here and there, and, well, I dunno! I’m still working it out. In other words, stay tuned! There is more to come.