April 27, 2015

Acrylic Sampler at Swinton's April 26, 2015

I've been a very very busy bunny. Got big projects on the go and stuff I can't quite show and tell about yet so stay tuned, it is going to be very informative here in the next little bit. I have a mural I've been working on being unveiled this Thursday, a show pice I've been working on coming up soon and 10 new pain tined commissions and their process to share. But for now I have my Swinton's Sunday Sampler to share.
It was the smallest size class I've had here so I gave them extra supplies and assigned a value cart and colour wheel on canvas board for them to experiment with and have something they can take home to refer to before getting onto their more creative try out.  I showed how to make black using a limited palette as well as how to use just the primaries to get all the colours they may need.
I did the speediest loosest laying down and blocking in of colour so that they could see how easy and fun it can be. So quick that the intimidation level should have gone way way down plus I shoed them how to make a basic skin tone and how to lay out and plan their work after rubbing in a tone to knock back the white of the gessoed canvas.
 This participant used a round 2 brush in his first time using acrylic. He did a wheel showing how he mixed certain colours for what he wanted to paint and practiced a face above, I felt like it looked like she had a monster mouth when looked at together so I snapped this shot for inspiration and prosperity sake.
Here he is giving it another go on the provided 7 X 9 Fredrix canvas board. He struggled with having wetted the paint a little too much, having had prior watercolour experience, but I taught him that acrylic is a different beast. It likes to be more like oil and it is best to add mediums when wanting to alter the consistency of the pigments as water weakens the overall structural bond of the polymer based paint.
Another first timer went the portrait route based off a pic of her nephew on her blackberry. Portraits are difficult subject matter as it is but for a first time painter, and in the time given she has made a really nice start. I like the tones being developed. It feels reminiscent of early picasso works to me.
Her mom also participated and made this lovely painting based on an image found in Doug Swinton's collection. There are so many great references up for grabs but maybe in the future I'll list that students are welcome to bring stuff with them if they like.
Here is it after the short hour they have to sample the materials and give painting a quick go. I'd say excellent but the students are most often the most critical of their own work.
Bright bold colours and simplified shapes represent this landscape scene so beautifully. Needless to say I am very happy with how everybody did with me this gloriously sunny Sunday after a successful Stanley cup win for the Flames after an exhilarating game. I heard there was quite the Red Mile debauchery the evening before. No wonder a few people signed up didn't show. lol.
Before leaving I was able to pick up the custom frame job they did for me down there. So excellent! Frames really help make the window to the painting and elevate the work. I shelled out a good amount picking the top of the line and heaviest frame I could find………..but then got a great deal due to a Groupon Swinton's is offering for custom framing. Hurry up, it is still on if you need anything frames, Its way better, higher quality, quicker and cheaper than anywhere else including the dreaded Micheals.  I can't recommend it enough!

April 12, 2015

Rich, thick, creamy, and sometimes messy.

Today I taught an oil sampler at Swintons Art supply. I love showing people interested in trying out oils for the first time. They always impress me with what the colours they mix and they create in such a short time given.
 I start with an overview of the materials and process then we get right into mixing paint. I could teach an entire course on colour mixing, and I count away the hours in the joy of mixing colours. Warm and cool, high chroma and all the values in between. I just love colour so much, and when its oil its so rich, thick, creamy and bordering on delicious enough to eat. But don't eat it!
I give a quick demo of how to prep the support, plan the composition and apply the paint. This time at the end I had some wow factor when I completely scraped the finished painting away, destroying it completely. After all, paint is cheap.
The participants select a reference image and undertake painting it all a prima. At the end of the class they have their first piece to take home, I'd say thats an amazing way to spend a Sunday.
They try different brushes, mediums and even get some practice with the palette knife.
There are many stages to oil painting, and often you have to wait for it to dry so you can work with layering and glazes as it tend to get "muddy" the more you work it. It is a bit of a difficult medium to handle your first experience with it.
What keeps me going is there is so many interesting things you can do with paint, an infinite amount of ways you can do it and there is never a shortage of ideas to explore.
I painted this icon as a gift to a friend. recently I clear coated it with a thick layer of Pour on epoxy resin. Having no previous experience with it, it was a risk. There were too many bubbles on the uneven surface so I had to borrow a sander from my best friend who helped me take it down, get rid of the imperfections and smooth it out. Lesson learned. I reapplied a new coat of thick clear epoxy resin. This time to remove the bubbles I used a hair dryer on it which caused the bubbles to rise to the surface and pop. The end result took it to the next level. I decided it looked so good I'd flip the bill and get it framed. Swintons has some groupons for custom framing worth getting. I got a frame worth $560 for a mere fraction of the cost. A frame really helps set off the work, I can't wait to see it when its done!

Did I mention I have booth N01 in Artist Alley at the Calgary Comic expo April 16-19?!
Come by and say hello if you are checking out the show!

April 7, 2015

Drawing from life and sketch club 1

I have booth N01 in Artist Alley at the upcoming  Calgary Comic expo April 16-19?!
Come by and say hello if you are checking out the show!

Here are some pics from a session we did in drawing 1 with a live model.
We had some lights set up so the students were better able to move away from line and begin working with tone.
Having a piece of charcoal and one single source of light can be really fun.
This class was really exceptional, I also received my best class evaluations to date.  It inspired me to use the class time once the class was over for my brand new sketch club!
Our first session was out at the zoo, here are some of the crew that came out and joined me for sketching some animals. If you'd like to join in send me a line and I'll tell you where and when the next session is :D