Thursday, 28 January 2010

Life Drawing with Oils, Beanssss & The Jungle Book

Today we used oil paints in life drawing class. It was sooo much fun that I am going to buy another canvas tomorrow and maybe do some stuff at home! Here's the result of 2 1/2 to 3 hours work:

I'm really pleased with the outcome :) Next time we're doing a colour oil painting... how scary is that!?!

I'm still munching on bean soup.

My copy of the Jungle Book illustrated by Robert Ingpen came yesterday, and is FANTASTIC. The illustration are to drool/die for. If you haven't witnessed this amazing man's work, i suggest you do so by clicking on this link:

Unfortunately, no jungle book illustrations in there, which for me are by far the best.

Happy eye feasting!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Scraping away, Argument Project & Tough Spanish

I finally found a bit of a solution to my argument project problem. Scraperfoil!!! Yes, a severely underestimated material. There's a lot of scope for it once you paint over the scene of dolphins flitting in and out of the water, or some cute little bunny rabbits rubbing noses. Gouache is good for the overpainting. I have found that it emulates Mexican woodcuts very well! Just a few awesome mexican woodcut artists include:

Leopoldo Méndez

Ángel Braho

Ángel Zamarripa

Here's my first attempt at emulating the amazing Ángel Zamarripa in scraperfoil! Do you reckon he would be turning in his grave? Probably. But he would have the joyous grin of a mexican day of the dead skull, so thats ok. I promise to get better señor!


Its not as nice as the lovely cream of Zamarripa's work, and not nearly as finely crafted, but its a tester about an inch wide by half an inch tall, so i cant be blamed. Plus being given such a rubbish scraping instrument by the scraperfoil company. I shall endeavor to try out some different tools on some other scraps.
Needless to say, its rather fun! I think an order of plain boards...may be in order! We shall see how it pans out.

Also there's a very interesting artist called Stefan Thompson, I think he comes from Canada, and does his work with wax crayons and homemade eco paint! Well done to you sir! And look what lovely things he comes up with:

Slightly like mexican woodcut with those lovely lines etched into the face, but this time in glorious waxicolour! I've had an attempt at this already, and as easy as it may look, let me tell you that NO! No it is not easy at all. It could take years and years of careful crayon practice. Infact, children are probably better versed in its use than you are at this very moment. But thats because they're allowed. And you are too! Don't forget it! Go and pick up some lovely cheapy crayons and get scribbling you kiddies! If you want to attempt this chap's lovely style, simply get a needle or any other scraping implement and scratch back those layers of crayon. I may invest in some crayolas, to see if their quality is superior to the cheapy crayons i bought. Yus.

Meanwhile in the happy homestead, Max is off panning for gold in some remote region of the Ecuadorian amazon, and I am left here, struggling to get to grips with being back at university, my healthy eating program and projects that seem to be never-ending.
Spanish tonight was ok, though a lot of us were struggling. So I'll be attending beginners spanish as well as intermediate to brush up on my vocab and get things going again. Plus more practice is always good for learning a language, especially if its free!

Tomorrow is another day eh? I plan on getting my History work done and out of the way, and then getting my jazz on with the scraperfoil in the final bout of the argument project.

Good luck to you all this week! I hope this encourages you to pick up tools from your childhood and use them again... but with the knowledge you now know today!


Sunday, 24 January 2010

Oil Painting, Illustrated Book & Quechua Corrections!

Ok, second post in a week, not bad going I think. Soooooo..... what have I got for you today? A small oil painting, another spread from my illustrated book, and some corrections to last post's quechua  (kichwa) lesson!

The oil painting in my personal sketchbook... got a bit messy as I had to close my book before it had properly dried. Thankfully they're water based oils, so they dry a tad faster than real oils.

'Bear vs Monkey'
This was the outcome from painting over one of my duplicated life drawings (see 2 posts back).

And this is the last page of my illustrated book. I think it needs a bit of tweaking, but thats not a problem, it can all be done in photoshop :) I'm yet to put in any of the text to the spreads, as I think I'll be doing that on the computer. It may be that this image gets reduced down a bit to fit in some more detail from the original drawing, and to get things sitting nicer on the page. We'll see!

What else what else! Ah yes, corrections to the previous Kichwa lesson.

number 5 is infact - pichika, not pichka
number 8 is spelled pusak, not pushak
number 9 is pronounced isgun, but spelled ishkun

number 10 is pronounced chunga, but spelled chunka

ok, so I think that is all the corrections... remember that most 'k's are pronounced as we would a 'g'.

Let me know if you would like to continue with Kichwa lessons, I'll probably continue as I learn anyway, but let me know if you're interested and I'll make a more concerted effort to learn faster! 

Max is away for a week, so unless I can get hold of Flavio or Geranio, no more kichwa for a week.

Hope that's satisfied your tastebuds this Sunday, I shall see you soon with more stuff for you to devour! 
I may include some recipes here soon... for ecuadorian dishes, and maybe just tasty bean recipes for students on a budget! 


Thursday, 21 January 2010

Paintings, Spanish & More Quechua (Kichwa) for you!

It would appear that I've been quite productive lately. Thank god I seem to be getting myself out of a rut.
I've started drawing the final artworks for my illustrated book, and they're looking good! No doubt I'll be told to change them once I show them to a tutor.

So here's one of the first to be attempted, although it isn't the first page.

This is some recent work from my sketchbook

And my completed piece from visual studies today

I've been painting recently, I tried out oils the other day, and it came out alright :) I'll post it up soon, but for now you have enough delicious things to feast on!

I started my Spanish class this Monday, and it was so good to be practicing again! I find that I understand a lot more now, even just listening to people. I've kitted myself out with a spanish verb and grammar dictionary, so thats cool, I can just practice conjugating verbs.

I've also been learning more Quechua (Kichwa), and so will now give you a quick lesson in numbers so as you can say how old you are!

I'll start with how to say 'I am 21 years old'
ñuka charini ishki chunka shuk wata

(BREAKDOWN= I am (ñuka charini) 21 (ishki chunka shuk) years (wata)
That should be right, I was having to translate from Kichwa to Spanish to English, but it means roughly the same. You would say 'yo tengo 21 años' in Spanish which literally translates to 'I have 21 years' in English.

Ok, so onto numbers.
1- shuk
2- ishki
3- kinsa
4- chushku
5- pichka
6- sukta
7- kanchish
8- pushak
9- ishkun
10- chunka
100- patshak

To make up a number like 24, you would say 2, 10 & 4 in that order. So its like saying, 2 tens and 4.
The same for numbers in the 100s. For example- 386. You would say 3, 100, 8, 10 & 6 in that order.

Examples in Kichwa;
56- pichka chunka sukta
783- kanchish patshak pushak chunka kinsa
12- chunka ishki
984- ishkun patshak pushak chunka chushku

alright then! You should all be able to say the numbers 1-999, and your age now!

more coming... sooooon.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Life Drawing, Double Vision & Frozen Food Aplenty

So these started out life as a singular 10 minute blind contour drawing in life drawing class. Then I decided to take them into photoshop and mess them round a bit. I'm really happy with them. Next I'll print them out and work into them with paint and such!

Normal Life Drawings:

There we go, I feel much better after creating a body of work and not really having to think too much about it. I'll post up my London sketchbook soon, and the outcome of the overpainting. Also some recent sketchbook work!

I did a huge cook-off yesterday, and made 2 weeks worth of food... half chili and half lime spaghetti bolognaise. Now my freezer drawer is full :S

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Plan for 2010, A good start & Nostalgia

This week has been a good start to 2010! Hurrah! Today I worked out all my finances... what I will definitely have come the end of accomodation fees going out etc... and its looking fantastically well! I can afford to get a few more things for the trip, like a dictaphone and a headtorch :) Unfortunately I looked at flights, and thought that they were amazingly cheap if i went at the beginning of July, then realised I had mistakenly put June in the search box... perhaps  some wishful thinking on my part! Nevermind. July it is, and its still the same as I paid last time, so I'm not all that worried.

Today was an unexpected pay day! My friend Hazel's sister gave me even more money for a board game that she bought from me over the christmas period, and a friend who had commissioned me gave me the money that got lost in the mail! So all is good, and I am richer for having seen my friends :)

I promise to post up some london photos/ sketches soooon when I get back to Fal, its just hectic here with work, and I don't even know where the scanner is.

I've started on drawing and painting up some of the frogs for the field guide. A few testers, so will put them up soon. I can't wait to get back to uni and have my evenings free to paint in! You really appreciate just how much time you really do have of an evening when you dont have to get up at 6 for work the next morning, and when you've only just got in from work 7pm the night before. So relatively I will have bucketloads of time when I get back. It looks like I'm filling up my evenings though, I have Spanish class on a monday, yoga on a tuesday, running perhaps on a wednesday afternoon  and then football on a sunday afternoon :) Then all the time in the world inbetween to watch David Attenborough and paint and do lovely things like wash my clothes!

I'm looking at things positively at least for the meantime, and it seems to be working! Things are going well on all levels at the moment, and I think if I can maintain a good mood, then they will keep on being good!
I know it sounds like I'm obsessed with money half of the time, I get fed up of having to think about whether I can really afford to get a bus into town and things like that. But the pressure has eased off a bit... not a lot, but a bit. Any savings left over from the Ecuador trip will most likely go towards the next Ecuador trip after that! Hopefully there will be another trip after this one.  SO happy joy joy!

The Plan for 2010-
Paint more,
Leave photoshop behind for a while... its not like I'm going to forget how to use the damn thing
Experiment lotssss
And get back to a looser, more expressive style
I'm looking forward to using oil paints in life drawing class :)

Think Positive! I'm putting up speech bubbles in my workspace to remind me of this, and to give encouraging words from some of the people I admire the most.

We're nearly on the countdown past halfway until Ecuador, so I'm generally happier... only 7 months to go! Possibly 6! I miss everyone from the expedition terribly, I'll have to go visiting, or hold a reunion next year when I have my own flat.

So Hurrah for a happy Steph...
and my advice to you for the new year... no matter how corny it may sound is...
Think POSITIVE! It really does work. And putting up signs reminding you to think positively about something are actually a real help... because if you have pessimistic tendencies like I do, then you'll know that you tend to make yourself spiral down into a negative mess. This year, DONT!

Happy new years everyone,
I hope this decade is a good one for you.
I know it is going to be a very exciting one for me, whatever it brings.