It’s been a rough couple of weeks. As some of you might know, my sister was pregnant. She lives in Taiwan and I have been here for the past month with my mother to help my sister. She was frustratingly several weeks late but it’s been worth it. She has delivered a beautiful baby girl.
There was a damper on our happiness as my niece developed Tachypnea. The poor child has been in the NICU for the past week. Now she is better and will be discharged tomorrow. Can’t wait!
Just wanted to share my happiness with you, my dear readers. And also this colored pencil piece I had finished in June. Enjoy!
The next step:
There were lots of individual white hairs (fur) overlapping the orange areas. I forgot to indent them and when I remembered I couldn’t be bothered 🙂 So I used gouache to do the work for me.
I was aware of those folds in the upper left corner when I started with the kitty but I ignored it. As the work progressed, the folds felt too visible to ignore. Normally, I wouldn’t use a paper with a fault except for sketches etc,. So now the fold is there, what’s a girl to do?
I used an iron. Honest! Set to low and ironed that corner, on the back side. Although I was terrified, it worked. The fold isn’t that noticeable now, is it? I lightened the image so you may be able to see the difference.
Cropped and ready:
Still haven’t a title. Suggestions please 🙂
I have been experimenting and here’s one I tried with marker pens (Letraset Flex Marker). Markers first, colored pencils on top.
The reference is not a royalty free photo so I don’t intend to finish this one. It was just an experiment. Here I used the colors : Light Fawn, Blush and Cinnamon and some Nutmeg.
I started layering with colored pencils, above.
The problem with markers is, yup you guessed it, the smell. If you are okay with it, it’s quite a nice medium. Expensive though – each pen will cost you Dhs 10/-
Until, next time my dear readers. Take care. And keep toxic people out of your life 🙂
So this is how the recent commission had looked midway (I had put morning glories in her hair – a Lefebvre-nymph style):
I thought I’ll write a post on how I managed to edit out the flowers:
- First, I asked myself why did I have to experiment in the first place?
- Then, I called myself an impulsive idiot.
- Sighing and armed with a green tack (Faber Castell multipurpose adhesive putty), I dabbed out as much as pigment I could from the flowers.
- Then, using a regular eraser I gently rubbed out the colors that didn’t come out with the tack. For the really dark colors, I used a battery powered eraser (Derwent).
- Since her hair is black, going over the spaces of the absent flowers was easy. I resisted the temptation to press hard with the browns and blacks.
I want to try flowers- in-the-hair again, not very soon though. Take care everyone. Till the next post, bye.
Couple weeks after the last blog post, I started work on a portrait I was commissioned to do for my sister’s friend. Even though the going was slightly rough, I enjoyed it. My client was satisfied, the portrait and money exchanged hands. Everything was fine for the next three days – I mean my mood. Then it hit – depression. I don’t know if it was depression returning or worsening or if it was an episode. Maybe the term depressive episode is more apt. Will clarify with doctor.
The episode didn’t happen just like that (there were reasons) and the past two weeks were really baaaad! In my desperate search for relief from the emotional pain, I searched the Internet (where else) for answers. My doctor had forbidden me to do this because some, if not most, Internet information on depression are not reliable. I remembered this and although I did read a few dozen articles, I looked for books on depression. I came across an audio book on youtube – The Mindful Way Through Depression. Here is the link:
I don’t know what to think of the book but it gave answers for a lot of my mental and emotional distress. Very interesting. Even if you don’t have depression, it may help you to understand a relative or a close friend who is suffering.
I feel a little better now – hence the new post 🙂 But you know what? From now on, I am going to post no matter my mood. The posts might be less cheery, that’s all! So, with my client’s permission, here is the portrait I did:
For some inexplicable reason (i think it is called inspiration), midway through the work, I put morning glories in her hair – a Lefebvre-nymph style. Then I srcubbed the flowers away and went back to the original path. I took a picture of it though and am going to put it on my Facebook page.
That’s it for today. Till next time, take care and remember to breathe….
Random Kitty Picture:
I recently bought this (because I wanted to see if I could live without Strathmore and Stonehenge, which is only available for purchase online):
and decided to do a test run with graphite, colored pencil and water colors (because the paper says ‘ideal for pencil, ink, markers, watercolor). I cannot comment on how the paper is with markers.
Here is the graphite work I did on it:
With colored pencils, it may not take many layers like Stonehenge (I love you….) but you can get the work done. Everything was going well until I thought – “Hmmm….use watercolor for the background? It will be easier!” This is what happened:
As you may notice, the paper buckled (I used a light wash). Maybe it might take dry brush technique but not actual watercolor as the paper claims. I tried to straighten the paper out but it didn’t work. Maybe experienced water colorists can handle the situation? Moral of the story: Don’t take the easy way out and don’t spend bed time watching Youtube videos.
On a positive note, you can erase colored pencil quite nicely:
All this brings me to the main topic of this post – being an artist in Sharjah (miles away from exclusive art supply shops in Dubai) and being in love with more than one medium and not having a car. I love oils, watercolor, colored pencil, pastel and (gulp) a new love has taken seed – markers.
Oil painting supplies are readily available; there is a shop just 10 minutes away from my flat. For others, especially colored pencils, I have to go to multiple shops and online. For a decent water color paper (and by decent I mean Arches, Fabriano etc,.) I have to spend Dhs 100- 200 for a taxi to Dubai. Just for a sheet of paper.
Online shopping gives you a lot of options especially with paper but can be expensive and leave you feeling guilty. As though I don’t have enough of that already!
I could just stick to oil painting considering the easy availability of the materials. Only that leaves me insatiated. I can’t seem to commit to one medium. I want to play around. Does that say something about me? Okay, easy now those who are poising to comment 🙂
Wanting to work in multiple mediums is fine, I guess, for the hobbyist. For the artist who wants to be a professional, committing to one or two mediums, at least for a time period, is not only efficient, it’s economical and time saving. This is just my opinion. Please feel free to write in if you are an artist in UAE in the same predicament or have a solution or even if you disagree.
There IS a solution to all this y’know – having a sugar daddy? But where’s the fun in that? I mean, if everything is easy, how will you get the drive to make a career as an artist 🙂