Saturday, 19 April 2014

Happy Easter Everyone!

coloured pencil on watercolour paper 1999

I have always loved doing illustrations and I'd often send them to greeting card publishers in the hope of selling my designs. These two were among those that I sent off - to no avail.
Easter for us happens in autumn and has very special memories for me from childhood. The first hint of a chill in the air always gets those magical Easter memories flooding back. I also had beautiful children's picture books that depicted Easter in the northern hemisphere where the spring flowers seem to go hand in hand with the Easter theme. Hence the inspiration for the above illustration. 

In the last few decades in Australia the Easter Bilby has come on to the scene to also deliver eggs. The Bilby is an endangered marsupial that lives in the more arid areas of the country.

coloured pencil on cartridge paper 1994

Sunday, 6 April 2014

My Pet Tree

                                           Watercolour and ink on paper 10" x 15"

I've been wanting to try plein air for a while now, as well as try my hand at watercolour and ink beyond illustration. The ink outline got a bit lost in the end and I regretted painting the background first as I made a dog's breakfast of it - I wish I'd left it out. However, I thoroughly enjoyed getting outside and painting from life on a glorious, sunny, autumn day. I love this eucalyptus tree that is in our garden, and have been wanting to paint it for years. The trunk looks stunning in the dappled light (in real life that is!). I painted this over the course of two hours this afternoon and by the time I'd finished, the shadows were getting much more pronounced. I began to deepen the shadows as you can see on the right hand limb but then I realised I was losing the nuance I had captured originally. So it is a rather flawed piece but successful enough to inspire me to try again.

I want to get a light-weight outdoor easel so I feel I can go further afield. Now that the weather is cooling down I won't get burnt to a crisp. I didn't have a very practical set up today. I just sat on a camp stool with the paper clipped to a board and I held it on my lap. I brought down an old kid's chair to put everything on.   Here are some progress shots.

Oh Yes, this is the best shot I've been able to get of a stingray so far, so I will keep trying! Yes, it is that black shape in the middle of the photo!!