Thursday, January 31, 2013

Virtual Paintout 2: Vevie Goes to the Isle of Man!

Today I finished my January painting for the Virtual Paintout... I'm calling it "Moonlight Rendezvous":

(can click any pics to enlarge)

 Whew! Finished just in time. I am determined to learn better time management; this last minute stuff is for the birds! Each month Bill Guffey, who started Virtual Paintout (HERE) 
picks a new destination somewhere in the world, and we all "go" there via Google Street View, and pick out our own spot as the inspiration for a new painting. 

My first one for Dec 2012 was in Slovakia, titled "Moonlight Prowl" (HERE). 

This month Vevie (rhymes with Stevie) and I went to the Isle of Man, which is in the Irish Sea between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Oh, it was sooo beautiful! I have Irish ancestry, and it was so much fun to "wander" the island, wondering if my distant kin might have explored those same fields and hills.

Vevie, my Virtual Paintout muse:

Next is a close-up detail of the painting. The "making of" pics will follow, though there aren't too many. I was so caught up in the painting of it that I kept forgetting to take photos!

Here's the original location that I picked for my inspiration, near Cregneash, Isle of Man:

I ran it through Photoshop to play around and try out ideas, and this is the mock-up Vevie and I liked best:

And now the WIP pics (work in progress pics).

This time I'm painting on 9 x 12 wrapped canvas; as usual, acrylics. I already lightly textured the canvas with gesso; let it dry, and sealed that with medium so it wouldn't be quite so absorbent and suck the moisture out of the paints, causing them to dry too rapidly.

I painted over the light graphite lines with Paynes Grey; then started the underpainting with Indian Yellow. Instead of painting the edges a solid color, I thought I'd have fun and extend the picture around to all four sides:

Adding in some Quin Magenta underpainting:

And finally some Prussian Blue:

Added back some whites where I wanted to keep the lightest lights; darkened Vevie:

The top half of the block-in phase is done here. I started with the farthest away, and am working forward:

Block-in is finished; started the fantasy clouds; here you can peek at the side:

Final layers added; glazes, adjustments, highlights and sparkles:

And it's all finished, Moonlight Rendezvous:

So there you have it, the ancient, historical and magical Isle of Man! I can't wait to find out where we are going next. And this is an open event... anyone of any skill level in almost any medium is welcome to participate. Like crayons, or colored pencils?? Join us! Visit the blog for all the details, HERE. 

All the wonderful and varied paintings from the Isle of Man may be seen on the Virtual Paintout blog, HERE.

And, what's the deal with making all of these "moon" paintings?? Well, since this is too long already, with next month's painting I'll talk about why I am transforming the daylight locations into moonlit paintings... what the symbolism is to me. 

Happy virtual traveling,


Friday, January 04, 2013

Fun How-To Project #2: Doodle Universe!

Previously, I shared a fun "how to loosen up" project using Sharpies to doodle on an apron (HERE).

Well, this time we take The Sharpie to new heights!! We. draw. right. on. the. wall!!!

Yep, onto the walls. In Sharpie. Really. :-O

I have a dinky bathroom that has been plain white for almost 4 years. MyGuy has been too busy to apply the promised paint, so one day I was hit with a "great" idea: doodle on the walls with a Sharpie! 

Thus was born the Doodle Universe. 

Eventually, I will add color. But for several reasons it's taken me 6 months to get this far, so I'm learning patience and perseverance. :-) 

Drawing directly onto the walls has several advantages:
  • You let go of perfectionist tendencies
  • It's fun and daring at the same time
  • It's a way to let your imagination loose, and just allow the design to surprise you as you go
  • It actually increases your confidence as you just "do it"

My method was to relax and just gaze at it, and "see" it first in my imagination. If I liked it, on to the wall it went.

My only rule: no pencil and eraser.

That was just my choice, since I wanted loosen up. There are no mistakes with this method, only accidental adventures! If I slip (which I occasionally did), then the design takes a turn in a different direction. It's all good!

Here is the Doodle Universe thus far. First, here is the view as you walk into the tiny half/bath; this is the right wall, and then it goes on around to the left (can click on any pics to enlarge):

Before I started:

Took a big breath, and started on Wall 1:

Wall 1 day later:

Here are Walls 1 and 2 finished:

On to Wall 3, to the left of the sink:

This shows the design progressing around to Wall 4:

Wall 4:

Now Wall 5, over the Throne:

Close up of Wall 5:

Continuing over to the last Wall 6:

And a shot of just the last Wall 6, all done:

My next plan is to add subtle shading, and eventually color. The acrylic color will be in two parts: a pale sponged on background with hints of color; and some brighter color notes right on the main design elements.

And the symbolism?

-Within my Doodle Universe are separate Doodle Galaxies.

-Each main Galaxy has similiar components attached to it, such as the giant wings,  showing movement and change, albeit slow). 

-There are similarities, yet no two Galaxies are identical, they are unique, like people.

-There are cloud-like connectors between the Galaxies; they are separate, yet connected; autonomous, yet needing each other.

-Each Galaxy has tails hanging down, kind of like tails on a kite; they symbolize anchors, a source of stability.

-They also each have a Vine design, representing growth, change, new life.

-There are stylized stars and moons, symbols of reaching for hopes and dreams.

I may eventually add angels, little space ships, quotes... who knows how it will turn out in the end! 

I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into my Doodle Universe!

Happy doodling,