Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nemo Found.

Last weekend I took my youngest daughter and a couple of friends south to the not-quite-'the city' city for some shopping. While there, we stopped into an exotic fish store to look at.. well, fish.

One of the tanks featured close to, if not all, the different fish featured in the Pixar film 'Finding Nemo'.  I snapped a few kind of blurry pictures with my phone and played a bit with the filters in Instagram and ended up with decent shots (although blurry and not always well-composed. Fish move fast, and are not great models).  The whole set up was very colourful.

I've been back in a painting slump.  I have two projects on the go.  One, I have to have done by mid-july, but I'm stuck at a point where I'm kind of freaked out about messing it up, and the other I am at a standstill with until I can talk to a guy about getting my hands on a stencil because it involves lettering and well.. free-hand lettering is not my strong suit.

So I decided to do a quick one off using one of pictures of the fish from the Finding Nemo tank.

Acrylic on 6x6 Masonite board
This was my first time using Masonite as a support.  I ordered a few smaller boards from Curry's after seeing them in-store.  They seemed nice and light, possibly good for attempting some plein air painting later in the spring and summer.. much more portable than canvas - even small canvases.

I'm not sure if you're supposed to prime them, since they say on the label that they are already Gesso'd.  So, I decided to forgo the Gesso and just dive in.

I found it really hard to get a matte finish without visible brush-strokes.  In an attempt to correct this, I mixed some retarder with the cobalt blue, hoping to make a smoother finish.

In a happy accident, I found that while it didn't help me get rid of the brush strokes, it did mean I was able to kind of scrape away some colour when it came time to add the plant and Nemo in the foreground.

I actually like the way you can see the heavy brush-strokes in the plant.. Unfortunately, I scraped away too much in areas, and you can kind of tell where I tried to repaint the background.

I really like the vibrant colours and high-contrast in this piece (and the original photo).

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Fun - Beach and Abstract [UPDATED]

Today is Mother's day, and as a surprise, this morning my kids set up a number of 'stations' consisting of things I could do to relax on mothers day, including taking a bubble bath, reading, and going for breakfast.  One of the stations was painting with them.  I thought I'd share what I came up with.

It was nice, since I've been in a bit of a slump the last two weeks, with little to no motivation or inspiration.  Just painting for a bit of fun kind of reminded me that the process, sometimes, is just as important if not moreso than the final product.

Here's what I came up with.

Beach. Wet-in-wet acrylic on construction paper.
Abstract, acrylic on black construction paper.
UPDATE: My co-worker saw this post and asked if she could have the beach picture for her office.  It looks quite nice framed:

All's professional-like.