Sunday 20 October 2013

Children's name drawings

I've just become great auntie to twins - a girl and a boy - my youngest niece gave birth on Thursday last week. I had no idea what to buy as a present for them - I went baby clothes shopping, but everything was pale blue or pale pink, and I a) don't like those colours in clothing, b) haven't met them yet so I don't know what would suit them and c) what if I bought them something their parents didn't like?

In the end, I decided to go with what I know and drew their names on some watercolour paper, coloured them in, then framed them. Here they are:

They were really easy to do, only took a short while, and so I'm also doing another for a fundraising page on FaceBook, called A Mile Of Rainbows - parents raising money to fund their daughter's physiotherapy - she has cerebral palsy. They are holding a fundraiser tonight at 8:00 pm UK time, and I've offered to draw a child's name as a prize. Check it out on FB!

Friday 18 October 2013

Secret commission step 6

I brought the painting to The Olde Rectory and discovered I'd missed the weather vane from the top of the church tower! Thankfully, I had brought paints with me, for my pretend-sketching on the Saturday afternoon, so I could fix it.

We arrived about 4:30 pm on the Friday and set about decorating the buildings and trees with bunting, fairy lights and candles, and spent Friday evening in Gooch Hall sharing cheese and wine.

I spent Saturday afternoon drawing the entrance to the main building, repeatedly 'getting it wrong', rubbing it out and starting again. My BFF was convinced by my efforts, and seemed fairly happy with how the sketch was progressing. I may well keep it and paint it anyway, as part of my Doorways to the World series.

I had noticed there was a sign on the wall above the table, but couldn't work out what it said. I'd brought a very fine pen with me, thinking I could ink it in, but it said 'No Parking' so I left it blank!

On the Saturday evening, we had champagne and presents - I hid my wrapped painting in with the other presents. She had the most beautiful presents from people, it was wonderful to see how creative people could be. She liked my painting, and was baffled how I'd managed to to it that afternoon. I explained.

Here's the finished painting:

The whole painting:

The church tower:

The wall:

It was fun painting something not videogame related for a change, but I'm now doing some preliminary sketches for another secret commission, so I'll be posting other stuff for a while.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Secret commission step 5

Next, I did the rest of the trees and the shrubs, and the lichen/grass on the gravel. Its almost done,just the chairs and table left to do!

Monday 14 October 2013

Secret commission step 4

Here's the trees and shrubs started. I started off with the ones the furthest away - the dark conifer to the right of the church tower, then the dark one to the right of the image, then the closer ones.

I decided to do the gravel path next, as some of the greenery spills out onto it. Then I did the lighter, closer trees.

I was worried about it being too dark, as there were going to be three fairly dark conifers in the painting, but I hoped the contrast between them and the much lighter trees and shrubs would work:

Sunday 13 October 2013

Secret commission step 3

Here's the walls started - I had fun with this, as I decided to first do a wash for the pointing, then paint each brick individually. I wasn't going to do that at first, I was just going to paint a few bricks in and leave the rest just terracotta, but they were so beautiful, I couldn't help myself. 

I'm pleased with the wall, here's a close-up of it:

Here's the whole thing so far:

Saturday 12 October 2013

Secret Commission step 2

Once I arrived home, I started drawing the picture out. Having it on my ipad was really useful, as I could zoom in on the image to get the fine detail. The only problem was that I started painting before I took a photo of the pencil outline. Whoops!

Here's the sky and church tower done. I've painted more of the tower than will show on the finished painting as I'll be painting tree branches over it, but wanted bits of the building to show through.

I painted the sky an even blue first, then dry brushed the clouds in place afterwards, so bits of sky could show through them:

Friday 11 October 2013

Secret commission 1

I couldn't post about this at all, but now I can.

Its not a video game painting, but a painting of a place. My BFF was 50 last month, and she took 28 of us away for the weekend to the Olde Rectory in Whitbourne near Worcester.

She didn't want people to buy her a present, but asked for home-made presents. I'd asked her about 6 months ago what she'd like, and she said a painting. Easy enough, but of what?

In June, she said she'd like a painting of where we were going to stay for her birthday, but realised she couldn't have that painting until after we had been. She said she imagined me sitting and sketching on the Saturday afternoon.

Well, on the way home from the Glastonbury Festival, I googled The Olde Rectory, and discovering it could be on the way home, phoned them to arrange to go there to take photos. Sadly, there are more than one place called The Olde Rectory, and as soon as I pulled up, I realised it was the wrong place - it was far too small for 28 people.

The owners were waiting for me outside, so I couldn't just drive away - I took a few photos, thanked them then left. Whoops! Worse, I had my very tired daughter with me, who had just wanted to go home. She's very forgiving, though, and didn't complain.

I fared better on attempt #2, on the way back from London this time with my son. I didn't phone ahead, just in case it was the wrong place again. I arrived, and there was no-one there, so I roamed around the grounds taking lots of photos on my ipad.

I chose this image to paint, as I loved the church building peering through the branches of the trees. I also took a few close-ups of the church tower so I could get the stonework detail right.

I decided to focus in on just a section of the painting:

Then I headed home, relieved to have gone to the right place.