Saturday, 28 May 2016

A day out sketching

On Wednesday I did something I haven't done for ages. I went out sketching with a friend. We started our morning with coffee and a sketch of an interesting tree and house nearby.

I remembered seeing an impressive church in the area so that was our next stop. A large tree provided shade to add to our comfort. Corpus Christi Catholic Church Nundah was opened in 1926, replacing an older wooden church in the area. It was built in the Romanesque Revival style with polychrome brickwork. The massive copper-sheeted dome topped by an octagonal lantern. 

Since I was rather out of practice, I decided to start with the lantern before moving on to tackle the dome, then finally the front facade. It was the ideal opportunity to use my Perfect Sketchbook.

Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Nundah - The Octagonal lantern ink and watercolour in The Perfect Sketchbook. 

Copper-sheeted Dome - ink and watercolour Zeta sketchbook 

Front Facade - Corpus Christi Nundah ink and watercolour in The Perfect Sketchbook. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Testing the Mars Lumograph Black Artists pencil

When drawing with graphite and you are creating dark tones, as the values are increased by layering more and more graphite, the end result is often not black but a shiny grey. I've used the Mars Lumograph Blue range for sometime. Pencils marked 7B and 8B are different in that the graphite has a higher carbon content. The result is matte jet black lines.

The Mars Lumograph Black Artists Pencils are a new addition to the range of Staedtler pencils. These have a special formulation with a higher proportion of carbon like the Blue range. These pencils 2B, 4B, 6B and 8B now provide more choice. 

I used Mars Lumograph Black 6B for this drawing. The core is much harder than a 6B in other brands. A matte black finish can easily be achieved, and because it's not as soft as other 6Bs, it can be sharpened easily to a fine point. Marks erase quite easily which is useful!

Catie Daniel - image from Sktchy 
Mars Lumograph Black Artists Pencil on Arches 300 GSM Hot Press paper

Note: Art Shed Brisbane gave me a sample of this pencil to test. Stock of the full range arrived in Store this morning. I guess even though I don't need another pencil I'll be back to Art Shed for more in this range!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Dragon Vase with Kintsugi and Magnolias

This painting, Dragon Vase with Kintsugi and Magnolias, has a special place in my heart. Many years ago, I found the vase in a back alley in Hong Kong. I think it's a really old one.

Dragon Vase with Kintsugi and Magnolias - oil on canvas 610mm x 610mm

I have painted it a number of times in various mediums. A few months ago, disaster struck. While moving a canvas out of the studio I knocked the vase off the cabinet. It fell on the floor and some large pieces were broken off the foot of the vase. I was devastated and carefully packed the vase and pieces away.

For a long time I couldn't bring myself to try to repair it. Then I remembered the Japanese art of Kintsugi - the repair becomes an embellishment and acknowledges and honours the object.

Eventually I did repair the vase but my attempt at Kintsugi was extremely feeble. When the pieces were glued together there was no trace of any gold. Then I realised that I could create a painting which would honour my Dragon vase in a different way.

Recently I have been preoccupied with flowers and magnolias in particular. A still life including these blooms which are associated with nobility, perseverance and dignity it seemed fitting to include these with the vase. In my painting the vase has been repaired with gold. I love being able to paint!

I'm pleased to say that Dragon Vase with Kintsugi and Magnolias has been selected as a finalist for the Lethbridge 10,000. I'm so proud and humbled that for the fourth year in a row I have had a painting selected.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Good News and 5 more rescue steps

The good news I'd like to share with you is that three paintings have been selected for the Rotary Art Spectacular to be held at the Central Plaza, Queen Street from Tuesday 31st May to 3rd June 2016. Through this exhibition, Brisbane Rotary supports the AEIOU Foundation to create brighter futures for children with autism.

Damask Peony will be on show while Magnolias and Magnolia Diptych will be featured in the online exhibition.

Damask Peony - oil on canvas 760mm x 760mm ©2016 Carol Lee Beckx

In the previous post 5 Steps to rescue a painting, my comments were directed at an artist working on a painting. In fact these steps apply equally well to any artistic discipline.

Here are a few more options of a more practical nature:

1. Return to your original reference
2. Take a photograph of the work
3. Convert to black and white 
4. Use a piece of paper
5. Use a digital programme

1.Look at your original reference again and see where you found your initial inspiration. Often we lose sight of the concept and message we wanted to express. sometimes it helps to write down your ideas.

2.Take a photograph of the work and view it on your computer monitor. Often viewing the painting or drawing on a screen will show up areas that need attention.

3.Convert the image to black and white. Now you have a photograph of your work, This will give you a useful tool to assess the value range of the work. Generally paintings and drawings fail more in this area than any other.

4. Use a piece of paper to cover up the area that is giving you a problem. Try a different colour, or a different shape. Maybe something could to be added here. Perhaps you need to be brave and edit out a part of the work. An element might have been beautifully painted but if it has no value in the artwork let it go, take it out. In this way you are brainstorming a solution without putting paint to canvas.

5.Use a digital programme such as Procreate to make the adjustments suggested in #4. These programmes facilitate trying many alternate solutions before taking the big step on the canvas.