Monday, March 31, 2008

PWM - 28 Sorting my head out.

I've spent the day so far sorting my head out! If you compare it to the photo in yesterday's post, you will see the suble changes I've added...including the glasses at last!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

PWM - 27

I'm running out of things to say that might be interesting about this picture...I is my life my occupation, my passion..I will not stop until I get to the end.

I was reminded the other day as to why I call this blog 'Dancing for Beginners'. Have you ever wondered? Well,back in 2006 when I was considering starting a blog, Jan and i had just begun Salsa Lessons..for those of you who don't know what Salsa is, it's a name given to a type of multi tasking that only someone with six legs, an IQ of 175 at least and the patience of a Saint and the fitness of an olympic gymnast could ever hope to master.In other's a style of dancing. now having dancing and a natural leaning towards rhythm already in my blood , I considered this particular pastime would be relaxing, fun and would help Jan and I have a life apart from our children and meet new people. how wrong could i be?..I found every fibre of my body aching, my mind in a whirl as I tried to comprehend the moves that my body just refused to attempt. But given time, weekly visits to the classes and time on the slippery floor of my kitchen practising the moves..I finally had it..

Looking back , I wonder why I was so all seems so natural...I think dancing is a metaphor for life..we fear, we avoid taking the 'steps' because they seem so difficult. but given a good teacher and the knowledge that those around you are also in the same 'boat' suddenly seems easier..broken down into manageable steps..practised and tried again and again till the steps were right...

OK, so life doesn't always give you the time to throws it all at you sometimes..and it seems all you can manage is to duck out of the way as "The midden hits the windmill"..but hey!..NO ONE expects you to get the steps right first time..some times we have to take lessons..let others show us the way.

That's why i think of my life as that...Dancing for Beginners..I'm rubbish at it..but then again, so is everyone else...but let's learn

Friday, March 28, 2008

PWM - 26

Spent the day working on the arm and table area..fairly tedious stuff compared to yesterday. I now see that I need to deepen the contrast yet again on the fact you can see on the left figure that I've started adding red as a layer like I did on the other figure. It's a case of continually balancing the contrasts as I go along. I've reached 107 hours in total today!

'House Of Kewpie' - Great gift ideas.

As you know i'm a big fan of Julie's's an opportunity for you if you haven't already seen her work to get aquainted.Dark, surreal, quirky and individual, Julie's work covers many areas of inspiration weather twisted tales of nursery rhyms , gentle little sketches or formal portraits.Julie's work is available to buy as originals or as prints.Commisions are also accepted. At the bottom of the page is a link to the Schuler Gallery..take a trip over there and have a look..'Paypal' is accepted there for payment and shipping is worldwide.'Eating Bread And Honey'
'There Was a crooked Man'

Wedding portrait

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Knights and Pawns - Close up 3

OK! Here we go for the last time today. I've filled the area in with yet more blue and started to put the shadows in at the bases of the chess pieces.I'll not finish them yet until I've put the light source in the picture..then I'll be able to gauge the correct angle for them to fall at.

This picture seems more yellowy but this is due to the previous one being shot in daylight.I use a 'Daylight' bulb to work by, but it still has a yellowish tinge! I've deepened the colour of the pieces here and refined the highlights. there is still lots to do strengthening the background here, but it will wait till tomorrow.

I took this at the end of my working period today..I've left the shadow of my lamp at the top of the picture because it looked interesting. you can see the nearly finished chess pieces down at the bottom left hand corner. I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into the process?...See you tomorrow!

Knights and Pawns - Close up 2

Right!..the next step as i said is to bring the dark blue of the background up to the edges of the chess pieces.
I then bring some of the red from around the board up to the pieces and start to put the next layer of colour down., in this case it's a mid blue.

I then continue the red over the mid blue until it surrounds the chess pieces.The is still a line of white around each of the pieces..I need to fill that in and begin blending the shades...

Having filled in the white lines, I now put down a layer of Yellow Ochre..I know I always say this, but it's a colour that somehow brings everything to life...

I next add in more red to deepen the tones and add more mid blue to the table...The next job will be to work on defining the chess pieces a little more and refine the highlights......more later!

Knights and Pawns - Close up 1

I thought I'd post a series of pictures today detailing the work on these Knights and Pawns. I'll try to illustrate the process as I go along from pencil sketch to finished standard.In this first photo, you can see the pencil outline of the pieces and the surrounding area which is the table top..this will eventually be dark red/brown . (See wider shot in yesterdays post) My first job here is to identify the highlighted areas then begin applying a base layer of scarlet dots..I keep the coverage fairly even at this stage.
Once I've covered the area, i begin to erase the pencil lines...believe it of not, if I ink over a pencil line and then try to erase the pencil, it remains in the ink showing through much darker.

All the pencil has been erased it's time to add the next layer of colour.

Yellow ochre is next..I'm not being too careful as to where I place the more colour is introduced, they will overlap's just a matter of avoiding any large congregations of the same colour.

Having applied the first layer of yellow, I'm now attempting to create areas of shadow using green..again this will be deepened as I go on.Now that I've defined the pieces I will go on to bring the background to meet the edges. Each piece although in shadow, radiates colour beyond it's edges into the darkness around it..(you'll what I mean later)
I'll get back to work now...see you later!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

PWM - 24

Work on the chess board is now nearly complete. The pattern around the edge has been a real challenge.I now have to work on the shadows under the board edges.I shall also extend the table top to reach the other 'me' and put the rest of my arm and hand in.

Monday, March 24, 2008

PWM - 23 . Monday

The slant is purely down to my photographic ineptitude.Also the black chess pieces have turned out much darker than I'd originally intended..this means i will have to deepen all the shadows and dark areas to correspond...doh!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

PWM - 22

Work on the chessboard is intricate and time consuming...I'm really enjoying it.Some of the shadows on and around me will have to be strengthened, but this is something that will be done at a later date.For now i want to finish the foreground and decide what will go behind. I have a few igeas, one in particular which should look good, but i want something to echo my concept regarding the meaning of the picture.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Come Into My World.

Something a little different today. As a thanks to my friend Devil Mood who kindly posted a video by Kylie minogue, i'd like to post my favourite kylie video..not my favourite song I must add, but what begins as a fairly normal scenario slowly becomes one of the cleverest vidoes I have ever seen! The sentiment also echoes my love of this crazy thing called Blogging..As Devil Mood rightly describes the process of opening one's virtual home to you the visitor..Don't believe me?..then push the button and come into my world>">

Thursday, March 20, 2008

PWM - 21

With the approach of Easter..I did what any self respecting bloke does at this time of year..followed his wife down to the DIY superstore.Yes's time to do some decorating.paint the lounge/hall/stairs and probably myself and a few other things not in the list! so that's why i haven't been able to put in the hours i wanted to today.

I've begun the chess pieces, and I can say that they're bloomin' difficult!To get the effect I want, i run the risk of over saturating the colours..this will make the pieces look flat and I need to take it slowly , and gradually build up the layers.

On a slightly different note, I've had a steady stream of visitors leaving comments with requests to visit their own blog/web sites . I always reject publishing these as I will not be used as an advert for other sites . As a matter of course, I will make visits to anyone who leaves a comment, and if i like your site, I shall add it to my blog roll or even publicise it in my posts. I hope this clears matters up!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

PWM - 20

I hope you can see the difference between yesterdays and today's pictures?..I've increased the density of colour on my arm and the table and begun work on the chess board at last.
Here's a close up showing the jumble of colours...One of the things which has always attracted me to this technique was the texture of the dots..sometimes I just like to look at my work through a magnifying glass.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

PWM - 19

I've continued today to concentrate on the arm and table area. I'm trying to give definition to the tendons and muscles in my arm by slowly deepening the layers of colour. It's a slow process because as I spend so much time looking at the same area, the subtle shades seem to mould together. so i need to get up and walk away for a while..coming back i can see what needs doing. for instance, now I've uploaded this photo, i can see that the highlights on the chess pieces are too garish..i will need to reduce their size and mute the edges a little.
You can also see where I've extended the extra red layer across my t shirt.It's very tedious to do, so I'm doing it in stages. I'm now beginning to look at the actual chess board with some'll be great fun to do! Incidentally, I've just reached 84 hours..I think I'm on course for this to be the most hours spent on a picture....I'm not even half way!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

PWM -- 18

I decided to spend today working on the lower right area.I wanted to get the first chess pieces in..there was also 9and still is) a lot of work to do on the arm and the shading.You might also notice a kind of shadow progressing up the picture on the extreme right, it goes up to my shoulder, this is an extras layer of red dots which gives a warmer feel.
Here is a close up of the chess pieces..the shadows have yet to be drawn in so at the moment they look like they are floating. I'm enjoying the challenge of this piece , the subtle colour changes require constant new layers of dots to achieve the effect I'm after.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Something you may not have known.

Here's a little something about me you might not know. I've always been an active person, infact up until I began my professional art career two years ago, i would always be off doing something weather it be cycling, swimming, football or squash.

In 1989 I started work at a local Psychiatric hospital as an Occupational Therapy assitant...a job which afforded me enough time to continue drawing on my days off.It was there I met Rob who came to work there in 1992 . We discovered our similar liking for the game of squash and booked a court. We then went on to play each other every week for 12 years until an injury stopped Rob from continuing. I miss those days, but have never felt a need to find another partner. It would probably kill me now!

I have as a reminder of those days the 'Young ,Burrell challenge Cup'..which we awarded to the person who won the most games in the year.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

PWM -17

The two photographs show the progression of colour layers I use. I have to make sure the colours flow from light to dark to form a smooth transition. The time difference between the two shots is about two hours!

When I initially started this blog, it was my intention to give you as rounded a picture as to the experience of my life as a professional artist.Whilst I do not always 'wear my heart on my sleeve'..I do like it to show through my clothing.

At about this time for the past two years, I've prepared for a solo exhibition of my work at the Derby Guildhall.This year however, I am not because I was advised that it would be a waist of time and effort. Each year i've covered my costs, but made very little profit..but I thought it was equally important to just get my work seen...and since I have heard yesterday that i've been rejected from exhibiting with a group I really wanted to exhibit with, i'm now without a exhibition to plan for this year. I have applied for one other which i've almost given up on, and then a festival towards the end of the year, applications for which don't open till later in the year. So I'm not feeling very fulfilled at the moment..other things are contributing to this greatly too.

So please bear with me if at times i come across as a little negative..I suppose if i use the photographic analogy, a little negative can be used to make a positive enlargement!

Friday, March 14, 2008

PWM - 16

A rubbish day for me..didn't manage much ..but here's the progress so far.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

PWM - 15 the chess board, drawing.

Here I've drawn on my technical drawing skills from 'O' Level days to draw in the chess's important that the centre line of the board is in the centre of the picture.
I've begun drawing in the pieces..I made a note of the state of play when I took photos for reference. Now i must admit to being a little reluctant to push the depiction of the chess pieces as anything other than what they are. I could have gone for more symbolic representation and Freudian references...but to match the overall lack of sharpness, I've decided to keep the original piece shapes. I will do a more symbolic chess set in the future..perhaps with my 'Starman' playing!

With the pieces now drawn in roughly ( I'll refine each piece when I get to it.), I can begin dotting. Many of you may be wondering how I decide where I'm going to start..that's something I'm wondering too...join me next time to see what I did.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PWM - 14

Having completed over 60 hours on these two, I'm keen to work on another area of the picture,so since this photo was taken, I've started work on introducing the chess board, an incredibly complex thing to draw and get right..more tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

PWM - 13

I'll get around to finishing the glasses soon....thought you might like to see a close up.

Monday, March 10, 2008

PWM - 12

You know..i think i might start to put the chess board in this week.It's the third week on this piece and to me it seems to be going slowly. It isn't, in fact I've put more consistent hours in than many recent works..i think all along I've know that it was going to be a big project.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

One of those days...

I'll be brief..crappy weekend..I feel low, unappreciated,unwanted..a hindrance..old..fat..everything I say and do is wrong...ever have one of those days? Cue Annie with this gorgeous picture, maybe I'm not so bad after all!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Tagged -7 Weird things about me you may or may not want to know.

My thanks (I think) to Julie for tagging me to do this one. remember..'One man's weird, is another man's normal' Also, since this will be visible to the collective of 'Blogland'..some of the things that make me 'Me' which you might consider 'weird' are not included here..we'll have to know each other a little bit better for me to reveal those!

so here you no specific order...

1.I love lying in the bath after i've pulled the plug out.I like to feel the water drain away from around me as my body becomes heavier.( I only have one photograph of me in the bath..I was much younger and very drunk..and you're not going to see it!)

2.I love to see and hear things that make me cry.Not withstanding ET, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, a good book or specific music tracks.... one of the most likely things to bring tears to my eyes is the sight and sound of a low flying fighter jet...or even better..a Supermarine Spitfire!The sound penetrates every inch of my body and vibrates every organ.I love it!

3.Despite being a serious 'Progressive Rock' fan...I also like good cheesy pop including Kylie Minogue(pictured)...Abba..Steps and Sophie Ellis Bextor....go figure!(actually looking at the pic it's not hard to understand why!)

4.I love cereal in milk..nowadays I generally like muesli or bran types..but the thing that I REALLY like is the milk at the fact, I'd be happy to forget the cereal and just have the milk.I eat the cereal draining the milk off the spoon..then drink the milk .It's best if it's been left for the taste of the cereal to permeate the milk. Why can't I buy Cornflake flavoured milk !

5.I used to be a good particular talent was to be able to swim two lengths of the local pool,UNDERWATER without coming up for air!(around 150 metres!)

6.I love the Australian TV 'Soap': Neighbours(picture shows Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan as Scot and Charlene)....I've watched since it's beginning in 1986.

7. When I read a book..I put a marker in at the beginning of the week..I then use another marker to show how much I've read during the week. I'm a particularly slow but thorough reader and aim to read at least 100 pages a week.....weird eh?so even if it's a bad book, I know how long it'll take to read it!

So there you have it..The more 'user friendly' weirdities I'd like to share with you. According to the universal law of Meme's, i now have to tag some other poor unfortunate readers. ( Preeti, Devil Mood, Bobkat, Jonice, Tysonice and Maria to name a few)..But if you've read this an enjoyed it..consider yourself tagged.