June has seen me being busier (and sicker) than normal, so my artistic output hasn’t been as much as it was for May. Still, I got some work done.
In the start of the month I continued my experiments with abstract watercolors. I started branching out with adding different types of mediums to accent the watercolor paint in the work. First, I started with silver acrylic paint in little dots – which ended up not standing out as much as I was hoping. The silver doesn’t contrast enough with light blue to really offer a ‘wow’ factor. Then, I kept going on another piece
with more colored pencil, using it to shape details in a piece that I had otherwise considered a failure. Now, it’s one of my more favorite abstract pieces.
After these pieces, I ended up returning to a figurative piece I had started a couple weeks earlier. My old ‘mountain laurel arts’ image that was on my shop banners, business cards and such was starting to look out of date – and the errors in the face were standing out to me way too much. It was also at least 4 years old at this point. So, I started a new piece based on a ‘mountain laurel girl’ that I could use to represent my art around the internet and with other promotional material. I definitely wanted to keep mountain laurels in there, as well as a cat. The space background is a new feature; my galaxy-inspired paintings are becoming more common lately, so it felt fitting to use the imagery. This piece took the longest – most of it prep work like just getting the face to be symmetrical, and getting a working color scheme. But, it seemed to pay off in the end. I bounced this piece back and forth between photoshop and paint tool sai a couple times as well.
My next piece was one of a batch of thumbnail painting ideas that I liked the most, enough to finish. Like the previous piece, this one was digitally done and bounced between SAI and PS. The end result wasn’t perfect – I don’t think the shine on the water came out like I wanted – but sometimes that’s how things happen. I also struggled with photoshop and SAI’s apparent disconnect with overall image brightness – the original I saved was much too dark.
After the above painting, ‘Carina’, was finished and posted, I was out of ideas – and time and energy to work. Recent and sudden stomach issues sapped my energy, and finishing up the last portion of mortgage paperwork sucked up time. I try to draw every day – I really do, I know it is bad for my work overall when I don’t – but, sometimes, what I draw isn’t worth posting. Either it’s practice sketches, or an idea that just doesn’t pan out, or an experiment that was unsuccessful. Unlike some artists, my sketches and studies are not always pretty. My sketchbooks mostly just contain drawings that overall helped me improve skill, but isn’t much to look at outside of that. And I would rather have the work people see be a reflection of some of my best, than a collection of mostly mediocre work.
Nearing the end of June I’ve been doing some pen studies – work like I used to do years ago where work was inked directly on the same paper as the pencil. Typically for a lot of my work the last few years I make a sketch and use a lightbox to paint and finish it – avoiding unsightly pencil marks from a rough sketch underneath. However, this work I just did with kind of a ‘who cares’ attitude – it’s going on mediocre quality sketch paper, it’s not going to get sold or put in a gallery. Unfortunately they actually seemed to come out better than expected, so I’m going to have to start working on better paper to accommodate… which won’t happen for a bit, at least until after we move and I can start hoarding art supplies again. The advantage of just working in silly sketchbooks with no regard to quality is the ease of use and lack of pressure. Additionally, I can just bring my pens and pencils and work downstairs where it’s not so darn hot.
July looks to be full of packing, moving, and unpacking – at least for the first half of the month. So, I don’t expect next month’s recap to have as much work. Perhaps in August I’ll have much more to show!