Monthly Archives: February 2013

One Year of Blogging and an on-line exhibition

Hydrangeas Snippet of my next painting

Hydrangea Snippet of my next painting

It has been a year since I started this blog, and what a year it has been. I could not believe how much it has given me and how far I have progressed with my art.  Thanks Vettie you gave me the courage and support to start.

When I first started, I was not sure if anyone would even see my posts let alone be interested and now I have just passed the milestone of 100 followers and have made some great connections with artist all over the world.

I had no clear direction with my art when I started and now I have become comfortable in a style and have a body of work that I feel is good enough to start exhibiting.  In fact I have made a very small step along the way and have entered one of my drawings into the Australian Coloured Pencil Networks on-line exhibition.  It should have been two works but somehow the Hollyhocks failed to upload so it did not get in.  A shame but something to learn from. (Check your application really did upload!)

So thank you to all of you who have followed my blog, liked a post or taken the time to comment.  Know that your interest, support and kindness have made a difference to me and my art, and given me the confidence to take my art to the world and push through the fatigue to continue to create.

One of the artist that follows my blog and who’s comments I greatly value is Richard Klekociuk, who won the mixed media category and has a wonderful and insightful blog I recommend visiting.

Mixed Media

Richard Klekociuk

Richard KlekociukVisit Richard’s Website Tasmania

ARTIST STATEMENT: My artwork is inspired by the Australian landscape. I work from observation, drawings and my own photos. I am particularly interested in light and shadow, pattern and weathering. Abstraction and symbolism also find their way into my work from time to time. I work with a variety of pencils usually on pastel board.


For the mixed media category, I have selected Entry #04. The range of techniques used along with the vibrant color scheme makes my heart skip. I found myself looking deeper into this image, sticking my nose into my monitor, to see every little detail within this piece. There is a conversation of colors and textures here, and a sort of playfulness. This one made me feel like I was stepping into another world, complete with little surprises; such as the golden cracks in a cliff, the vermillion rock formations, the army of stones, and that little slash of cerulean sky – everything compositionally was unique and wonderful and exuded an earthy energy.

Congratulations Richard and best of luck with your exhibition.


Gerbera Re-worked

Gerbera reworked

Gerbera reworked 70cm x 48cm

I have been back a couple of time to the Gerbera and I think that I have sorted out a couple of problems and improved some others.  I have decided to stop fiddling with it as it is in danger of being overworked and loosing any of the freshness it has.

What I have done after the very helpful comments from fellow bloggers and friends is to

  • I looked at the shapes as a whole and shaded it accordingly, in the calyx especially it now curves around and works so much better.
  • With the petals I also treated them as a whole and lightened the petals as the front and darkened those at the back.  This has helped and I am better pleased with the outcome if not completely happy.
  • I didn’t touch the background, have really come to like it.

So it has been a difficult painting but I certainly learnt a lot from it and that is a great outcome.  See below for the First Draft and the final.


Gerbera reworked

Gerbera reworked

Gerbera first draft

Gerbera first draft


Grevillea 5 – Anatomy of the drawing Part 2

Grevillia 5

Grevillea 5 Finished painting

I have finished the drawing so here is the second installment of the Anatomy of the Drawing.


I decided to do a dark background for this painting as the flowers where so light, and went for complimentary colours to make the painting zing.  As the main colour of the flowers are yellow I went for a muted purple background.  I never use just one colour and this background is made up of dark greys (darkest at the bottom prisma colour cool grey 90% up to 50%), a great colour called dark grape and dark purple.

Grevillia 5 8

Background of painting before solvent

The background under painting showed through too much for me so I used a solvent (orange zest) to dissolve the colours and give a more even tone and then went back over it again in pencil.  I don’t like to use solvent often as it takes away all the life of the pencil strokes, but occasionally when I want better coverage or am trying to fix a problem I find it very helpful.  Here is a picture that shows how the solvent changes the work.

Grevillia 5 Solvent on the background pencil

Grevillea 5 Solvent on the background pencil


My last step is to outline the picture.  I do this to really emphasis the forms and make the shapes and colours pop.  I also really like a good outline, always have, ever since art school which drove my lecturers crazy.  It gives my work a graphic, print quality that I enjoy.

Grevillia 5 Ink Outline

Grevillea 5 Ink Outline

I used to use fineliner pens, put the wax in the coloured pencil would clog them up very quickly and kill them.  So I am now using old-fashioned nib pens and my Sennelier Ink.  This is sooo much better and I love to use these lovely pens, such a link to the past and the lines are much more alive.

So there my friends you have it.  This is my process in making my art, I hope you enjoyed your second instalment and others are also inspired to share their processes , it is so interesting and informative to see how others work.