Sunday, 25 April 2010

quite a few giraffes...

gouache and collage 220mm x 330mm




Where do all the days go...? Amongst other mundane things last week I followed up on a link recommended by several good friends and went over to "one million giraffes". As the name implies this site is after one million giraffes, created in any means except on the computer... as this would be (quote) "too easy" (OK, don't get me started, safe to say I don't agree with that ! anyhow...). Once I got began I just couldn't stop and so, 10 or so giraffes for the cause later, here I am. I guess I have to add giraffes to the list of other things I find myself drawing obsessively from time to time. Also it was a grand excuse to paint something again. I still think my colour mixing is letting me down... I got carried away and deviated from the earth tone digital colour sketch I started with, both for good and bad. At the least I really should have used the collage way of working as an opportunity to redo the chrysler building (which is veering too close to magenta for my liking). Similarly the giraffe on the left is too vibrant. As a whole though I can live with some points OK. In case you are wondering about the giraffes at the bottom with the blotchy painted outlines, they are from the waste paper left after I had finished painting the collage elements for the main painting. I dooodled in the gaps while I waited for the main painting to dry. Positive space giraffes, negative space... my desk is overrun!!! Enough long necked tomfoolery for now...I have more constructive creative work I should really concentrate on.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Fly Icelandic...


I knew I could do better with this idea and since I've been backing up my files all day I needed something creative to play with. I was aiming for the retro feel of the classic 1950 / 60's airline posters for TWA and BOAC, don't know if I quite got there, but it's fun to try, and as this is still very much a topical story, I thought I'd give it another go. For anyone reading this who isn't in Europe I don't know how publicized the story has been around the globe but the broad strokes are that a volcano with an unpronounceable name ( Eyjafjallajoekull volcano ) in southern Iceland has been doing what volcanos do from time to time and belching out great clouds of ash all over Europe. Playing on the safe side air traffic authorities have called a halt to most commercial flights as this ash can play merry hell with a planes engines, not to mention sandblasting the rest of an aircraft back to the bone. Kinda conjures up images from Dick Dastardly & Muttley trying to catch the pigeon and having their plane disintegrated around them to the sound of a buzz saw.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A boy & his monkey, the finished painting.


Gouache, watercolour and coloured pencil on cream watercolour paper. 210mm x 225mm


Finally, after getting back from my easter travels, I got chance to put brush to paper and finished the painting on sunday. The client was really happy with the scan I showed him (phew, a relief) and, all being well, royal mail will deliver it safe and sound today. Very rewarding to have completed my first serious gouache (well OK gouache, watercolour and coloured pencil) but quite nerve wracking to work without the safety net of an undo command, especially as I was putting on the finishing touches and couldn't resist adding a leaf here and there, or tweeking the iris colours. Just one slip of the brush! Makes me all the more keen to tackle more painting. So nice to have that physical artwork on your desk to show for all your days efforts.I'd also really love to marry up the best bits of gouache with the best bits of digital. Those things that take a lot of fiddling in the computer (natural texture and flow of line) come so freely with painting while those painting challenges (control of line, sharp edges, accurate colour and the all important correction of mistakes) play to photoshops strengths. Cannot wait to play further!