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Archive for April, 2012

These are a couple of 300 x 320 mm pics I painted up a couple of weeks ago for two of my friends who were over to visit – I was looking to do something bright with block colour, that was a little different from my other cartoon style work.

Sugar skulls feel like a nice lead on from the Día de los Muertos work I did last year… I always wanted to do a painted up version from the sketches I did at Outre’s Dr Sketchy class, but I’ve never really been into doing people – Skulls on the other hand, although seemingly everywhere at the moment, do work well.

I like how the resin top coat I painted on at the end has flattened out the colour even further, and how the indian ink outlining has glossed up, while most of the gouache paint has stayed matte.  Think I may need to add to this set when I find the time… Maybe with some more detailed patterns worked onto the skulls.

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I’ve spent the last two years travelling back and fourth between Melbourne and Wellington… Just often enough, and long enough for any plants I’ve brought home to die from lack of attention.  This year however has been a bit different. I’ve been settled in one place since December, and so have finally been able to collect a few green things which have been greatly missed in my house. Still a far stretch from the lovely jungle I had to give away when we left Wellington… Maybe one day I’ll manage to accumulate another one.

Anyways, I found a couple of cute colourful Bromeliads at the local markets – I’m aiming for plants that do well in the heat.  Thought they’d make some nice sketchy paintings. For a change I worked them up as Watercolours… Not my usual choice, but seemed like a good fit for flower studies.

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This was Tui at 4am yesterday  *Well, apart from being the being a cat bit*  …Fun…

Vomit cat is actually a rather old character I came up with back when I was 19 or so.

This is how he looked the first time I drew him, on the whiteboard in the flat of the boy I rather liked at the time… Probably not so surprising that things didn’t go anywhere with the boy, though 10 years later he still remembers my little cat sketch in all its projectile glory – Even though vomit cat has never again featured with said byproduct anywhere outside my sketchbooks up until now.

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So here’s the latest panting I’ve been working on – A native bush and bird scene on handmade flax paper.  It was commissioned as a wedding present for a couple who got engaged at Pukaha Wildlife centre at Mt Bruce in the Wairarapa.

Above is the finished painting, before adding the resin topcoat.  Because the flax paper I used as the support was unsized, I needed to start with a base coat of acrylic before applying gouache.  This prevents the gouache from soaking straight into the paper and bleeding through the layers – Which also makes this particular paper feather and break up.  However, the acrylic layer means the gouache just sits on top without binding, and would slowly crack and flake off over time.  The resin I use as a top coat stops this, and still keeps the paper flexible.  Here it is with the resin :

It adds a beautiful crystal gloss finish and deepens the colours up too – Back to what they looked like when I mixed them up wet. Le Franc gouache dries lighter.

The resin has also brought out different colours in the layers of the flax paper as its absorbed more in some places than others.  At first I thought I’d add a second layer of resin to try and even this out, but when I looked at it again after the resin had set, I decided to keep it as it is.  The flax border is matte, with slight sheen in some places where the paper has absorbed less and the resin is sitting on top – It’s rather reminiscent of tree sap on bark and also contrasts really nicely with the shine on the painted area.  I’ve decided it fits really well. Better than if the whole piece was gloss.

*If you click on each of the photos, it should bring up an enlarged image to view.

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Here are the finished pair of A4 Tui paintings that I tried out on a landscape positioned paper, after seeing how well my fantail turned out :

They’ve been good practice for the commission piece I’ve been working on, which is a bush scene with a couple of native New Zealand birds.  I’m just up to pouring its resin topcoat now – So will post it up in the next few days once the resin has dried.

In the meantime, I’ve added these two up to my shop page on Felt.

Hmmm… I wonder which little birds I should have a go at painting next?

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