Thursday, 17 October 2013

flourish

I have an artwork in the
Illustrators Australia Annual 9x5 Exhibition 

wee wish you a merry Christmas card art

Wee wish you a merry Christmas
available as printed Christmas cards


The exhibition is at St Helliers Gallery, Abbotsford Convent
From October the 19th to November the 3rd

The theme is 'FLOURISH'
Each artwork has been done on a 9x5 inch piece of plywood

If you happen to be in the vicinity of the Abbotsford Convent over the next couple of weeks this exhibition is worth popping in to have a look at. I promise most of the works are more tasteful than mine.

For further details and to see previews of the artworks
see the Illustrators Australia page about the exhibition


Responding to the theme 'Flourish'


Illustrators Australia like to give us a tough theme each year for this group show. Flourish was no exception to this rule. I struggled for weeks with what to do.

I had originally planned to paint a clean edged graphical style  highbrow artwork portraying the most flourishing thing on this planet, LUCA - the Last Universal Common Ancestor. This is the little single cell critter that all life on Earth descended from. It has to be agreed LUCA really has done pretty well for itself, flourishing to the nth degree.

But that concept was just a bit too serious and I wasn't in the mood for serious.

I decided if I was to spend hours doing an artwork it may as well have some sort of practical application. A Christmas design I can sell as cards fits the bill pretty well. Great idea but I still didn't know exactly what I should be painting.

Three days before the deadline, exasperated, I commented flippantly to my partner "Why don't I just paint some kid peeing a flourishing Christmas message into the snow".

A concept of questionable taste, but at least it wasn't too serious.

rough pencil sketch

Painting process

I tried a painting technique I have seen others use to great effect - starting with a dark background and painting light shapes over this to create form, leaving gaps to make outlines. Sounds easy, but nothing is ever easy. Especially painting. And snow, what made me think painting snow would be a good idea? Snow is a bugger to paint, especially in acrylics which dry substantially darker then when you apply them. I now hate snow.

9x5 plywood


characters

trees and sky

snow base

shadows on snow


Fortunately I wasn't totally unhappy with the end result, but it was an exasperating journey with brushes not acting as expected and colours not looking as intended. I don't do much painting. Maybe these vexations are just part of the deal.

Any painters out there, what say you? Painting always tricky, or does it get easier with practice?

2 comments:

  1. Hee hee hee - very funny and rather cute at the same time. I loved seeing how you layered it up -- especially the white snow over the black. Which is as it would be in nature!

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    1. Hadn't thought of that - suppose that is how it would be in nature. Alas I don't think that makes me a natural painter.
      Glad you like it. R :)

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