Thursday, 24 April 2014

Art Jumping From The Page!

Hi everyone! 
Some of you may recognise this page in my art journal from my latest video where I cleaned off a stencil. Well, today when I got to the studio I opened up this page to work on it and almost instantly seen a figure within it. This is a rare occurrence so when it happens I go with it like hell!! I don't know if you can see but I lightly marked out a woman in a dress with pencil. Can you see that? 

 I then painted in the face, neck and arms with white acrylic to allow me to add more colour later.

 I further developed the girl's body with charcoal and then added flesh tones using some new alcohol markers that I purchased at the weekend. I found these by accident in a kind of cheapish art/craft shop for 99p each! I only bought 4, to try them out first but they seem to be good quality. Not as good as the more expensive brand of alcohol ink markers though but you get what you pay for don't you?

 I blanked out the background and then used my Neocolours 11 to create a cheerful splash of colour!
It is so refreshing when a piece of art emerges from the page in front of you and you don't have to go fishing around for it for too long. Some days are a struggle but some days are an absolute joy.

Have a great day!
Ciara x

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Two Faces To Share - New Art + A Video

Hey everyone!
I haven't posted in nearly 2 weeks.. I didn't even feel the time going! Lately I have been doing a lot of sketching and some of those sketches I have turned into paintings.
Now, any of you who have been following me along my artistic journey for a while will probably know that I don't usually sketch out my work. As a matter of fact, sketching hasn't been a part of my art practice at all for a long time now but lately I feel like my creative direction has changed a little and I have been exploring sketching and painting people's faces, more specifically, women's faces.
It is something that I have wanted to try out for a long time now but for some reason I got it into my head that dreaded thought (that I'm sure a lot of artists will be familiar with) "you can't do that, your sketches are not good enough" or "you can do this kind of art no problem but not that kind of art" Does that make any sense?

Well, I don't really know what changed in me to make me feel comfortable with sketching faces but I think I just started off slowly sketching with the mindset that it was "only for me" and "no one is going to see it anyway"
But then once I started to sketch more and more, gradually filling up sketchbooks I realised that I CAN sketch and paint faces and my art IS valid and beautiful even if I am the only one who thinks so.

So, today I want to share with you a couple of new paintings I have done recently that are of women's faces.
They both started off as simple sketches in my sketchbook. I sketch almost daily now (I miss some days) and not all of my sketches work out, as a matter of fact a lot of my sketches are U-G-L-Y! But that is the beauty of it I find, I never know when one of the faces will turn out to be beautiful and to speak to me, letting me know that they have a story to tell .And these two faces did just that:
Both wear expressions that I felt held a story that needed to be told. So I developed these sketches into full, finished paintings.

What do you think? I love how they both turned out, I find it interesting how their expressions developed and changed throughout the painting process, in my opinion, further revealing their story to us.
You can see how these paintings started off in this video of me in my little old studio!

You can subscribe to my channel here to follow more of my art adventures!! Hope to see you over there and see you leaving some comments.

Speaking of comments, I'd love if you left me one here to let me know what you think of these two women paintings. I really enjoyed creating them and so would love to hear any feedback you have to offer.

Take care
Ciara x

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Mark Making On A Spring Day

Today in the studio I played around with the idea of mark making and ways of easily transferring them to my work surfaces instead of simply drawing them. Using ink on tissue paper, I cleared my mind and began painting different marks such as dashes, crosses, dots, hearts, flowers and whatever else came into my head. This way I have a ready stash of images and symbols to go to in the future. I also created some stamps using craft foam. I cut out different shapes and hot glued them to cardboard. Again, this is an easy way for me to be able to repeat a pattern in my work that is completely unique to me. Keep an eye out for use of these images in my future artwork!

What about you? How do you get marks and symbols into your artwork? Are there any symbols that are special to you?
Leave a comment and let me know, you know I love to hear from you all.
Have a great day everyone!

Ciara x

Thursday, 3 April 2014

"Don't Be Unhappy, Kind Friend!"

Today I just have a quick little post to share with you my latest art journal page where I created this lovely lady. I love this girls expression and the story she holds just behind those eyes. The caption that I added from book words reads "Don't be unhappy, kind friend!"

This painting started off on one of those art journal pages that I had started but had then lost interest or inspiration. You know those pages, the ones you promise to revisit another day but usually don't? Well today I did. It was all messy with paint and stencils so I added a little bit of the yellow paint you can see. I then cut out the girl's face from my sketch book and added her to the background. I have a new nightly ritual now of sketching a few different faces in a little sketch book usually using simple materials like pencil and charcoal while watching tv or whatever - it is obviously turning out to be a very useful exercise!
Using acrylic paint and other materials, I blended the girl into the page and then went ahead and completed the painting. I also used watercolours and oil pastels to shadow, highlight and contour her face.
I added the little heart above her head from paper I created using a alcohol ink marbling   technique which I will be sharing either on the blog or on my Youtube channel soon.
Here are some of the products I used on this painting:

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