Wow...I was super behind here! I've been posting more regularly on Facebook and on Instagram (@artistkierstan), so if you want to stay up to date, I've been a bit more regular there! Blogging, unfortunately, is harder for me to keep up with but I'll try harder ;)
So, for the pieces posted above from bottom to top are: Avocado Maki, Black Tobiko Nigiri, Green Tobiko Uramaki (with salmon, cucumber and avocado), Kani (crab legs) Nigiri, and Ika (squid) Nigiri.
These were all created using a scanned ink drawing of each sushi piece and then painted using Photoshop. I'm still pretty much a beginner with Photoshop but I figured out how to create my own brush, which helped with the Green Tobiko Uramaki. I started off just making random dots on top of the rice for the tobiko eggs but I realized that was going to take forever so I made a selection of some of the dots I already made and defined the brush settings. It was great! I was so proud of myself because I haven't learned how to do that yet but I had noticed the option because it's right above the define pattern option, which I've used a ton when designing repeating patterns. So proud of myself!
What's your favorite kind of sushi? Still more pieces to come :)
Today's piece is a watercolor painting/illustration of a pear I bought yesterday. Unfortunately, it's already turning south and has lots of bruises and soft spots, some of which I tried to depict. I really just loved the color combo of the red-violet and yellow-green on the pear and I think I got a lovely impression of it here. Mother Nature really knows about color theory and complementary colors, doesn't she? The page size is 7" x 10" and is actually watercolor paper...finally I use the proper surface for the medium.
Just a simple offering tonight...pink watercolor leaves. I was playing around with trying to control watercolor in a wet-on-wet application. I lost a little bit of control on the bottom left leaf but overall, I'd say I managed to keep the paint from spreading around the page, which is what I was after. I love the color variations (one of the most interesting aspects of watercolor) but I decided to go in and add the veins with black ink. It's simple but I think it's lovely :)
Two in-progress pieces today. I started the long one first thing but the paint needs to be fully dry before I finish it so I figured it would be best to give it a full day to dry...and I didn't feel like holding the hair dryer over it. The diamonds page in my sketchbook (well, the other is in my sketchbook, too...I have like 45 or something :)...is also in progress as I intend to paint each diamond. I started on this one too late in the afternoon before my coaching/tutoring student appointments to get it finished and I don't feel like working on it now so I'll finish it tomorrow. I'm really enjoying this sketchbook stuff. A new lesson opens tomorrow for Sketchbook Skool so I'm super excited about what's coming next but I'm really pleased with what's happening in my sketchbooks so far. I've never been much of a sketchbook person, never really saw much value in "goofing" around in a sketchbook when there was "real" art to make but I've made some really beautiful art in these books so far and I think some of them I'm going to make again in a larger format but I'm also really seeing the value in having a place to play and experiment. It's so much easier to just turn the page when something isn't really working. Yay for sketchbooks!
Gonna be honest, I don't have much to say today. I'm really tired, didn't sleep that well last night, or the night before...or for many nights, I guess. I spent much of the morning prepping for a drawing lesson. I have a great woman who I met when a friend of hers gifted her a Zentangle class with me. She has taken several Zentangle classes with me in the last couple of months. Last month she asked if I could give her drawing lessons (non-Zentangle) and it has been so much fun teaching her, especially because it's forcing me to really learn the foundational aspects of drawing that I've resisted learning. Anyway, I was able to finish this painting this evening. I am enjoying this style and I really like this particular paper. I wish I had made notes about the colors and process I used when I stained it because I just love the combination of colors that occurred. Well, good night world...I wonder what I'll come up with tomorrow....
What I'm about to say might be "out there" for some people. I've never really been into butterflies. They're pretty and all but I've never really had the fascination with them like as decorations or adornments, etc. The only thing I can really recall about butterflies is from a Simpsons episode where they go to Italy, run into Sideshow Bob and his kid, who's set on vendetta, is chasing after a butterfly saying "Vendetta, Farfalle Vendetta". My husband and I cracked up at that. Of course, butterflies represent change and transformation. I'm getting to the "out there" part...in the days after our beloved dog died, we were "buzzed" by several butterflies. We just had this sense that Kagero was sending them to us to give comfort. She, in our beliefs, had transformed from a physical being to a spiritual one and was telling us that she was not only ok, but still with us. Since then, I've regularly noticed butterflies, especially white ones (she was primarily white colored). Since then, not surprisingly, I've thought about incorporating butterflies into my work but nothing has felt like the right opportunity....until today. I decided that one of my ink-stained pieces of paper would look lovely with a butterfly. I think this will be very beautiful when it's done. I often forget to take progress pictures so I managed to remember today and posted the first 3 stages above. I haven't talked about my grief much lately, but it's still very present in my daily life but I'm managing/coping with it. It feels really good to be finding another way to honor her in my work. I miss her every minute.
Crystal Moody, who is working on a year of creative habits, mentioned the Collect app in a blog post. It's a way to keep a visual diary of each day. Here's my collage for the work I created/worked on in August. I took the 2nd off as a vacation day and some days have more than one pic uploaded but it's pretty cool to see all of my work all at once!
13 weeks in the bag and it keeps on going! I made the blue ink-stained paper a couple of weeks ago but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, so I figured it best to wait for inspiration to strike. I really loved the koi I did last week and feel drawn (no pun intended) to do more of them. I think the inky paper looks kind of like water so it makes sense to use it for the koi. In the other ink paintings I've done, I've let the colors form the objects by obscuring the rest of the background but I want to preserve the background in this one so I'll be painting the koi with more opaque paint, covering the blue where the fish will be. I'm thinking I want to use white, cream, yellows, reds and oranges on the fish to create a nice contrast between the background and the fish. I sketched out some compositions to get an idea of how to set up the painting. I'm leaning toward the composition with two fish, which will be different colors to set them apart from one another since they are so close in proximity to each other. We'll see :)
90 days! Wow...I'm really impressed with myself. I am so good at giving up on/quitting things, especially when it feels hard but I haven't quit this project, and it hasn't always been in a walk in the park. I really have no idea when this project will end but it's helping me be more focused on art making and learning that I just can't let it go yet. In fact, I could stand to be even more focused than I have been. I'm going to think about if I need to be a bit more structured with my project.
Today's contribution is my completed "The Great Escape." I added in the gold wire details on the birdcage and a few details on the bird. I wanted to keep them simple so that the vivid colors aren't covered. I free-handed the lines on the cage so they are pretty wonky. Part of me wishes I'd spent more time and gotten more precise with them but another part of me really likes the wonkiness...the cage is quirky and I like quirky. I like how this came out. I especially like my bird. I'll have to draw that again. Like I said yesterday, I like this imagery and will likely use it again!
I mentioned yesterday that my hand was feeling pretty sore after working on the colored pencil stained glass piece. When I woke up this morning, my poor hand was very painful and I wasn't confident I'd be able to do anything today. But, I took some pain reliever and the pain abated. But I figured it best to lay off the colored pencils today. So, after considering my options, I decided to work on another silhouette piece. I've had this idea of a bird escaping its cage for a while, just not sure how to use it. I'll probably use this imagery in other work as it resonates with me. I really am enjoying the process of this style and seeing the background colors/patterns emerge as the objects while the white obscures the rest. For this one, I'll add at least one more coat of white, probably two. I started the white layers with pearlescent acrylic ink but it was just too shiny. For the last white layer, I think I'll mix the pearlescent and regular white together to tone down the shinyness but still add a little sparkle. I'll be using yellow pearlescent ink for the cage and blue pearlescent ink for the bird. I'm excited to see how this one comes out!
I have several pieces of those inky drawings I did last week that just didn't work and that I decided to cut into pieces. When I started painting again last year, it was really thanks to the work of Flora Bowley. She is one of my favorite artists and I just love her style...vibrant colors, organic imagery, they are so lovely (and so is she...I had the pleasure of meeting her twice since she also lives in Portland!). Having fallen in love with her work, I of course just had to learn how to make art like hers. I bought her book and made a very lovely painting (that actually looks nothing like her work, the second image below). Then I took her online course and made another lovely painting (again nothing like hers, the third image below). I just really struggled with the imagery part. Her process is amazing and there are definitely many aspects that I continue to employ but I have come to realize (and have posted about before) that her style is simply not mine and I can't force myself into that hole. But I decided to try again with imposing imagery on top of the abstract work but not worrying about laying color over color...just focus on the images and making them stand out.
I picked out one of the leftover drawing pieces and just started drawing in flower shapes on top of the dried ink/paint with pencil. Then I added in the stems and vase. With a brush, I painted white acrylic ink around the pencil marks. I used the ink because I wanted to keep it fairly transparent so you can still see something of the abstract patterns underneath it. Once the shapes took form, I used green acrylic ink for the vines and to outline and shade the stems, and pink acrylic ink to give the petals more definition. I also used some diluted acrylic inks in a couple of colors to make the vase form more cohesive. Finally, I added in the white details/highlights on the flowers and vase. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Like most of my projects, I had to employ a lot of trust, perseverance and persistence. It's so easy to let that critical voice win and to just stop/give up but once again, I prevailed and the result is pretty much how I imagined after I had drawn in the objects. I think I'll have to make more of these...maybe with different colors to cover the background..