Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sinister sunflower

I've become a little obsessed with this giant, decaying sunflower near my place. It's the largest one I've ever seen! So big, in fact, that it can no longer hold its own substantial head up. It inspired me to draw it, so I went and did a little photo shoot. Here's the first study I've done of it in pencil..

I really want to try and capture the sinister feel of it, so next I tried charcoal pencil and colour pencil. I was pretty happy with the result. It definitely has a much darker impact. My next step with this will be to try it on nice textured watercolour paper, and see if I can create some nice watercolour effects behind the charcoal. I'm not sure if this will work or not. Exciting!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

yellow roses

Yellow roses mean friendship.. but I'm still finding little cuts on my fingers from handling these! Not too friendly but definitely very beautiful to see and smell, with their golden colour and creamy scent. I've been trying to think of ways to illustrate the double edged sword of life.. the way that life rests on death and is always intertwined with it. I think the rose and its thorns may be a good subject for this concept. Here's a first sketch, which I then coloured in watercolours.

I polished it up a bit in photoshop and then put it on a dark background to give it a more symbolic, victorian feel..

Drawing in the new year

It's been a long break but I'm back to Trancing Pony for 2010! The end of last year was extremely busy with the Food for the Future Fair event in October, getting my calendars finished and also the usual festive season hoopla.
It was very satisfying to see my calendars through to the final product, and it made my christmas very special to be able to give them to all my family and loved ones! My project for this year is to polish them up to hopefully be able to sell 2010 ones towards the end of this year. I'm also developing a concept for another calendar, but it's still early days.
Currently I'm working towards developing some watercolour skills.. it's my new favourite technique! I was inspired by the Garden & Cosmos exhibition at the AGNSW (artwork shown above), which featured beautiful Indian watercolour artworks of the royal courts and gardens, and also artworks attempting to depict the cosmos, within and without.

My first watercolour attempt drew very much on the images shown in this exhibition. I drew an elephant (based on LukChai, Sydney's very own baby elephant!) in a (kind of) Indian landscape featuring flat areas of colour, with a detailed tree and bordered by a 'cosmic sea', a device used in several of the artworks to depict the constant flux of the universe.

I still have a long way to go in mastering watercolours, but am really enjoying discovering their unique abilities to create beautiful, ethereal effects.