Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Little progress

It's really not a huge amount of progress but it's something. I'm a bit distracted tonight. I still may come back to this tonight more than likely I'll just set it aside until tomorrow. I am feeling better about the chine, and I think I smoothed out the nose some. The cheek still has that dark post that is refusing to blend. I did start adding in the hood and hair, I'm pretty happy with those. Actually now that I'm looking at the bottom of the chin might need to be lighter or maybe when I darken the cheek it will look right. For now it looks a little awkward. I think I'll leave it and see how it looks when the cheek is done. I can always come back to it.

Looking into memberships of different sites

I've been looking into some online venues to sell/showcase my work. I'm starting to look at some that come with membership fees, also a few that don't. I'm going to take my time to research the sites that require membership fees, then in a few months maybe I'll try joining one. I think I could use the time anyway to build up my portfolio of work to sell. A good bit of my work is not available for sale, though I do have prints available for everything. The one site I'm looking at is the site for the Maryland Federation of Art, and they have some members only exhibitions. So I'd like to get some work in my portfolio that is available to hang and sell.
The rest of the sites I'm looking at are online, with a wide range of fees. I already have a free portfolio on AbsoluteArts, the Premier portfolio has a jury fee and annual fee but gives you the chance to be on the front page. I'm the most uncertain about upgrading on there because I don't really like the interface of it. I just found out about EBSQ and it seems really interesting to me, it does offer to pay monthly rather than annually which would be a bonus since I'll be just wanting to try it out. I definitely need to do more research into that site though because I don't know a lot about it. I also just learned of BoundlessGallery, they also seem like a really good option and they offer a free-trial. It's also worth looking into.
RedBubble seems to be free to sell through, but at first glance it looks like a Zazzle or CafePress with original art. I don't like the idea of selling though Zazzle or RedBubble with prints because I'd like to sign my prints by hand. I think it gives my prints a little something extra. So I need to be able to handle the prints between the printer and client.

If anyone has heard of these sites I'd love to get some input.

I'm going to update later after I beef up my porfolio and try out some of these sites. I'll give my reviews of them. Later I may come back and write up some reviews for the free sites I'm a member of. I have quite a few profiles out there and I should probably trim that down.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Progress

I'm not sure how I feel about the progress I made on this. I'm a little unsure of the chin and the lips. The lips don't look so bad from far away though. Those nose might need a bit more work, and I'm not done with the cheek. I have the dimensions mapped out now. I'll try to work again tomorrow, I may post updates depending on how much I get done or how late I'm up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some progress

I got kind of stuck on the eye and the angle of the nose. I like how all the angles and proportions turned out, though the iris looks a bit odd. Of course it's close to what I have in the photo. I do think that maybe I should just add a little more to it in the drawing. Now I'm thinking the top maybe looks a little too low. I'm not sure, I've erased it so many times I'm loosing the tooth in that part of the paper. It's frustrating me right now. I kept thinking the eye looked too wide now I think it needs to be wider.

I've also added some updates to my website. I have prices on my available artwork and a price list for prints now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A little progress

I wasn't able to get much to time work over the past few days, I was just focused on other areas of my life. I am still hoping to get this done before June 12, we'll see how that goes. I pushed my self to get a little work done tonight. It's not much because I'm not really interested in being up late. I'm also having a little trouble focusing after today. I'm going to try and get a little more done tomorrow though. I am struggling a bit with the angles in the face this pose has come with it's own unforeseen challenges. Everything feels a bit off, I also think I didn't pay close enough attention when I was editing the photo and the contrasts are bit off in this photo. I think the shadow looks to dark. I'm tired though, so I need some sleep and to approach this whole thing with a clear head.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Drawing

I haven't thought of a title yet. This will be a Father's Day/Birthday Gift for my grandfather. It's a portrait of my daughter, "Baby Girl" as he likes to call her. Soon after this drawing I will be working on a drawing or painting of him. I haven't decided yet. I do have plans for a portrait of him and my grandmother together for an anniversary gift. That may be a painting though. I have a few portraits I want to do lined up for next few pieces.
I only have an eye done but I really like the progress I've made. I choose to use pencil in this one because I wanted to focus on the small details, and I feel I can do that better with pencil. The reference photo I'm using has a soft contrast which I think compliments her face well. I also find the angle of the face interesting, so I'm looking forward to working on this more. This is going to be one of my smaller drawings, but high in detail. I haven't decided completely on the background yet. I may include the actually background from the photo, do a flat value or bring in a second reference.

Some general updates

I haven't started a new drawing yet, though I will more than likely be starting that tomorrow. I took tonight to update my site and sort through some photography. I added some extra images to my front page of my site through an image scroller. It's easy to update so I can keep the images fresh.
I'm starting to second guess the link to my Etsy on my website. I just read an article that it may not be the best idea, especially if you are looking to get into a gallery. Which is lovely since I just sent an email to a gallery with my website attached to it. Of course Etsy doesn't seem to be doing much for me. I really don't think it's a good fine art market anyway, I see a lot of ATC's being sold. My work seems to be on the higher end of the price spectrum. I've had in inquiry about a commission, so word of mouth so far seems to be the most effective method for me.

I took some photography shots that don't quite fit with my site but I still enjoy so I'll share them through here.

I have a few other shots, as well the new shots on my site but it getting a bit late so I'm going to cut this short.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New work, and maybe some website changes

I'm going to have a new piece started soon, I've been just trying to sort out some ideas the past few days. I also experimented a bit with my new oil paints, Holbein's Duo Aqua Oils. I'm actually going to work on a review of them soon. I read some reviews that I now feel were a bit misleading, but I think it's mostly because I work a bit differently than other people. Also I just read an article about the glazing technique that I've been hearing so much on the WetCanvas forum, but I'm not quite sure if that would be a good technique for me. I like a slightly thicker application. I may try it but in the end I'll go with what works best for me and gets the effect that I want.
I also read another article about enhancing your website. I'm still stuck a bit in my redesigns. I like the overall feel that I have, I like the simplicity. I think I could use a few elements added in but I don't want to over do it and have a ton of clutter. I may see if I can create downloadable price lists for prints and artwork. That way I don't have to have the prices directly with the work, and no one has to email me to get the price list. I saw a suggestion of adding a mini essay on technique or concept with the work but I like my work to speak for itself most of the time. I don't mind explaining my thought process on here or adding my story behind it to this blog, but on my website I just want the focus to be the work. I'd like to get more opinions on my site but I never really get any insight, I keep getting the same broad suggestions but there is no hint as to how I should execute it. I get told add more images to the front page, but I don't get told where or how. I've added in one image but I'm not sure where I would put more. Every place I try to add more images to ends up looking cluttered or the image ends up looking completely out of place. At this point I'm thinking maybe I need to start over, but I wouldn't know which direction to go in or how to exectue it. I don't want to work from a template I just feel that would be a step backward, since I created this from scratch through Dreamweaver.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Website updates and new work

I made some changes to my website. I've narrowed the focus of my drawing gallery. I took out most of the older work. I'm happy with how my portfolio looks and is presented now. My latest work has been working within an entirely new focus than my older work.

I want to start oil painting but I'm still very interested in drawing. I don't have any painting surfaces right now, so I'm going to work on another drawing. I'm going try some small ATC size drawings, but I'm going to work on something larger too soon. I'm just trying to find inspiration in my stock of reference photos. I have quite a few that I plan to turn into paintings, but they will have to wait until I can get some good canvas.

I do have the one painting that I started that I think I will attempt to finish. I just need a new copy of the reference photo or I at least need to borrow the one I had back from my husband. I may start trying to work on a drawing and a painting concurrently just work on them at different times of the day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

First painting

I haven't painted since high school, the surface I'm working on is sub-par at best, the reference photo I chose is a bit challenging, and my style naturally goes against everything I was taught in high school. Though I think it is a good start. I'm concerned that it may all fall apart when I move into the second face. Which is ok, since like I said the surface is sub-par. I really wasn't hoping for a finished piece out of this anyway. It was supposed to be just a practice run. If I fail with this painting I will attempt this same subject again either in another painting or a different media. I decided to take a break from this to let what I have done dry. I like this new paint, Holbien Aqua Duo. I like that I can use water with it, and I can dillute it with water just like I would regular oil paint with turpentine. I actually like the consistency I get from this better though. I'm looking forward to working on a larger painting soon. I just need to get the canvas. If this painting doesn't dry fast enough I may start working on a new drawing in between.

"Angel on my Shoulder"

I finally finished it. I decided to just leave the background black. I think anything else added in would just be too much. I like the simplicity, and the negative space. I can see plenty of improvements that could be made, but I just need to stop working on it. I'm going to start a painting soon, I'll have updates about that soon. I'll update my site with this drawing tomorrow it's getting late right now and I need some sleep.

There is a story behind the concept of this piece and I had wanted to wait until I had finished it to tell it. My grandmother was very important to me, she was like a mom for me. Years ago she was about to go in for lung reduction surgery and she was a bit worried about complications that might arise during the surgery. Honestly, so was I. I remember, quite vividly being in her kitchen talking to her about it. She was trying to prepare me for the worst. She told me that if anything happened to her, she would still look out for me. She would be an angel on my shoulder. That memory is so vivid I can still feel her hand taping on my shoulder. She made it through that lung reduction surgery, and got a little better for awhile. I lost her my senior year in high school. I've had some pretty big moments since then that I've really wanted to have her there for, moments that I had talked with her about. Through those moments I've remembered what she told me about her being the angel on my shoulder, and I've felt that she's been there for it all. Since my wedding I have been trying to think of way to visually express that moment and how I've been feeling about it. Thinking about her being there for me has really helped me out. I wanted to capture the happiness that thought brings me, in this piece. That sudden feeling of her hand on my shoulder that makes me feel not so alone.
She gave me so much, and she was always there for and will always continue to be. Just now she's there for me as that angel on my shoulder.

Friday, May 1, 2009

"Angel on my Shoulder" Updates

I think I've finished the right arm though I may need a little tweaking and I may need to go back into the shirt a little too. I did turn this photo black and white, which I probably shouldn't have done because it just doesn't look as true to life. I started layering in a bit more of the background. I have some light lines laid in to define the arm so if I decide to go for a more gray background I can go back over it with some white and lighten it up. I just want to see the black first and go from there.