Category Archives: Photo

Falling into winter

The weather here in the north east is starting to change. The leaves have turned and are falling everywhere. On days when it’s sunny and warm this is a wonderful time of year. It’s not cold and not too hot and there are no bugs to drive you insane. The colours of the leaves do nothing but inspire.

But when it’s chilly all you see, or I do, are dead leaves and then wait in expectation of the coming snow. Ugh the dreaded snow. I’m still in denial, I actually don’t like snow and I live in an awful snowy place 🙂

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When the weather starts cooling off I find it harder and harder to go up to the studio, the fingers do not work as well as they should in the cold room. The cozy living room and TV has more of a draw.

Right now the walls in the studio are white and the room is a bit clinical and I’m thinking it may need a nice warm Colour and maybe a cozy chair and throw. If I can make it cozy it will be easier to sit up there and work. My latest work in progress is spring flowers the flowers are a way of keeping those warm days in my mind and brightening the room.

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What tips and tricks do you all use to keep the studio warm, and yourselves moving and inspired during winter.

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Redwoods

A few weeks ago my oldest came to me and we got talking about our futures and lack of spontaneity. She’s also a creative person and we have both been neglecting that side and fun! We both laughed about just taking off and doing something crazy. Spend time collecting wild flowers, sketching and journaling. What about Redwoods she says laughing.

So last Friday we hopped a plane and flew to San Francisco then drove 300 miles to Eureka. 22 hours of travel. Soo tired but soo worth it. Warm weather unlike here on east coast.
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We had a list of things to see and things we wanted to do like hug a tree, pick 3 flowers, eat organic. The redwoods are breathtaking just walking in the quiet the birds and flowers. We spent Saturday in the woods. Sunday we did the ocean. California reminds me a bit of home. Mountains, cliffs, ocean and forests not to mention the rolling pastures.

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We talked about our business idea and took many photos. We flew back Tuesday.

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I have to say I felt wonderful. The freedom the fun. So much inspiration. Everyone thought we were crazy, who in their right mind flies to California for a weekend…….We Do!

Sometimes you have to just ‘Live Out Loud’

In the Pink

I have always had an issue with coloured pencils; I just couldn’t get the colours or the blending right. So it’s been my mission lately to keep working with them to refine my craft and learn other mediums. I have seen so many wonderful images done in coloured pencil that I really want to learn to create beautiful images, not to mention it’s soo easy for travel compared to Pastels. I also want to create more work so that I have something to offer when I finally finish setting up my Etsy store, as part of the point of all of this is to start a good freelance Art and Design Studio.

I choose 2 projects to work on. I took this great photo with my iPhone, I wish it had been with my trusty camera I would of had more pixels to work with for a print but alas like me its age is showing and it has decided it’s time, ‘sigh’ ‘sniff’ ‘sniff’.
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Project one…..To recreate this image with pencil. I used Canson Pastel Paper because it has two sides rough and smooth, I used the smooth, white. I pulled the pencils needed and using my phone with the reference photo set to work. I knew I didn’t have all of the colours so this is where trying the blending was going to come in. I loved the fact I could sit on the couch in front of the TV with a cuppa rosy and work on this project. I spent some time each evening and this is what I came up with. I really like it; it didn’t come out quite as bad as I was thinking it might, per my previous forays into the coloured pencil realm.

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Nellie the Belgian

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Last year my sister got a new horse, Nell. She is huge they have other Belgian draft horses but none are quite this big. I headed over for a visit and took some great photographs. But I took this one close up of her face, just one eye and piece of face I just love it. It’s been sitting in my ‘studio’ (bedroom) for awhile now, I really wanted to paint this it was such a great shot.

This weekend I moved my work area out of my bedroom to the kitchen. I got everything nicely set in front of the window, I feel more comfortable in this spot and I am close to everyone instead of far far away. The kids were gone and I had bought my very first piece of sanded pastel paper. Perfect time to paint.
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I have never tried this sanded pastel paper before I had read an article on it and really wanted to test it. It was just like the fine sandpaper you get from the hardware store. The paper was a nice reddish colour and so is Nell…..perfect. Laying down the base colours was great this paper blends beautifully and takes far more punishment than regular paper.
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I put a few layers of colour down building slowly. Once I was happy with it I started on the details, adding a bit at a time. I used both the soft pastel sticks and the harder pastel pencils which give me a finer detail for the smaller areas. The sanded paper does wear down your pastels quicker but I can put several layers down where as I cannot on regular paper.

Fort Foster

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Every year we make a day trip up to Maine to Ft. Foster. It’s one of the few places where there are no crazy beach dwellers, tourists crowding every spot plus you can bring your dog. Our dog loves to go here, she’s not very fond of the water but having a whole day outside with family is a big deal. Every year we get her into the water a bit more.
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Last summer she freaked out when she saw a lab go in for a swim. Poor thing was beside herself, what would possess a dog to get in that wet stuff. She cried until the lab came out. On the plus side she gave a try at getting in to save the other dog she was so worried about it.
We always stop at subway and get lunches for later. It’s like a family tradition now.
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I think the best part for me is how calm and relaxed I feel near the water. I think it’s because I spent so much time near the ocean growing up. We would spend summers in Jaywick, Clacton and sometimes Brighton.
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Being up on the cliff looking out at the water the warm breeze blowing it always inspires me to get out the sketch book (which I carry everywhere) and make lots of quick sketches of the water, boats and my favourite the rocks. The colours that come off the rocks from the water and the sun is sometimes breathtaking.
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So looking forward to the weather getting warmer so we can head back up to Maine for another day of water sun and relaxing with the sketch book.

Amusement Park Collage

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I’ve been quite under the weather lately. Sore throat, ears, sinus and a cough which I think I’ve managed to bruise something doing. Instead of getting better I’ve gotten worse, but think I am finally on mend.
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In effort to feel a bit more cheery I looked at some of the photos from my holiday to Florida at the end of last year. The trips to amusement parks in particular. Then it hit me how would those parks look combined, take pictures of the parks and put them all together as one.
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So I took some of the photos from Sea World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Magic Kingdom I then took sections of each of the photos and lay them on top of each other in photoshop.

Using photoshop (one of my favourite pieces of software) and my Intuos I carefully blended the photos together using layer masks. I moved them around and tried different placements for each piece. I love the way the turrets come out of the rocks and waterfall. This gave me my own magical kingdom. A place that’s fantasy and where animals can just wander freely.
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Digital Portrait

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I have been trying to hone some of my digital skills. I have never really done a portrait digitally. So I have this photo I grabbed online of David Bowie as the Goblin King from The Labyrinth movie and thought I would use it as my inspiration. Love that movie…dont you.

I am using an old version of PS CS2 and an Intuos graphics tablet. All done on my old laptop which is really feeling it’s age when I work. Like me it’s having memory and processing issues, I feel it’s pain. I started to lay down some base colours and lines, using very faint colours. I had about 20 layers and as I get to a point where it looks okay, say on the eyes I will flatten some of it down so there are not too many layers.

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As I move forward I just keep adding colour and shadow, highlights. Trying to get all of the facial features. I am at a good point, it looks like Bowie. This weekend I will be adding some of the finer details. I was thinking it might make a good print or if I come up with a tag line/text a card.

What do you think. Any feed back is welcome.

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