The end of the home decor plate assignment and what I learned #makeartthatsells with @lillarogers

What a week! I worked hard, hard. Had highs and lows , a brief teary moment then great happiness when I put together this final plate which was my fifth design:

GABRIELLABUCKINGHAM_SUMMERGARDEN_1A_WEEK2

You’ll see what I mean! I ended up with a plate design I loved after a detour away from water-colour to acrylic on wood, which is lovely to paint on. I actually was very happy working on this pale delicate plate with its winter palette and think that it does work but it’s not a plate that jumps off the shelf at you, or necessarily one that could be produced faithfully either!?

7inch_circle_outlineHow different they are. And yet… see the swirls the shapes of the icons… the icons themselves? similar. I’m learning what shapes I like and that I love circles and movement.

I needed to do this acrylic work because after hours of painting separate water colours I looked at the pieces and felt flummoxed. Many were delicate little studies which I couldn’t envisage sitting well together. Once I’d finished my detour and had a sleep I woke early, made a cup of tea and sat playing with purpose on my computer, manipulating scans. It wasn’t quite there… I ended up with these:

7inch_circle_outline

The one on the left is my favourite and last of my fiddling before going to my summer-house to paint some more. To me it’s the most quirky and striking but not there yet – quite, but I think I will revisit it, I can see things I’d like to do to it. The amalgamation on the far right looks like swimsuit or skirt fabric! I like it but to me it says fabric not plate. I like the sparseness of the one in the middle but it probably needs one more element at least.

I think I am learning a lot, not least that I can paint with water-colour still!

Here’s a composition I’ve just finished as a pair to the one at the top, what do you think? Which do you prefer of the two? I can’t really decide myself, what I love here is  line over bold colour and little details too. Something to pursue 🙂

secondplate

Week 2 #makeartthatsells with @lillarogers – Pods and Flowers

I decided to challenge myself in a different way this week. Years ago I was fairly good at water-colour. One of my first jobs on leaving college was to paint in front of a camera all day while my work was photographed for a ‘How to paint’ water-colour book by Dorling Kindersley. I’d be nervous of that now! ( I’ve never earned that much in one day before or since 😉

closeupinks

Last week I drew in brown ink and then used Illustrator to finish the piece. Something very VERY new to me. Normally I work in acrylic on gesso.

This week I’ve decided to use inks in a watercolour style and Photoshop to finish the piece off in layers but essentially all hand done. We don’t yet have the brief but it’s likely to be some sort of dinner ware  that we need to design a pattern for. I can’t wait until tomorrow to find out.

worktoday

When I started using inks again, for the first time in years really, I felt uncomfortable and started to panic a bit .. ‘Should I stop and revert to acrylics and use those in a watercolour style…?’ ( which is what I used to do all those years ago when I graduated from Kingston Poly (as it was then). Are the images I am making too simple – too old fashioned, too bright? too plain?!

what started to excite me was the white space and some of the lines created with the square flat brush I used to paint this large forget me not.. You can't see it that well from these phone pics!

what started to excite me was the white space and some of the lines created with the square flat brush I used to paint this large forget me not.. You can’t see it that well from these phone pics!

I decided to stick with it and found my excitement growing. I’ll carry on tomorrow as I am starting to find out what I like. It’s so true that the only way to be happy with your art- work is to do lots of it. I’ve a long way to go to get back and then progress from where I was but as I often say “It’s a start!”

This is a glimpse of my cram packed studio and inspiration gathered from my garden..

studio

As you can see from this last image of my desk and the piece of paper I’ve been using as a surface for my scraps of water-colour, I have a cartoony style in me too. Makes for head spin!

soldier

I am going to get an early night tonight as I was up working til gone midnight on private commissions  – itching to get back to water colours in the morning and to read what Lilla has in store.