Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sneak Peek: Portraits

I've got two portraiture commissions on my desk at the moment, and have been dividing my time between them and a project on the computer. Here's a look:

Almost everything you see here is using a 0.5 mechanical pencil with a #B lead. I'll be using some #8B later, but haven't yet. For more information on the tools I use for portraiture, check out my tutorial.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Activity: Fireworks Over Perth

I put together an art project as a test for my mother to use in her class, based on something I vaguely remember doing myself in year 2. That was (horrors!) nearly 20 years ago, so I improvised quite a lot. =P
I set my camera up and was filming it so I could get process screenshots, but it turned itself off half way through (for no apparent reason, full battery, empty SD card....) which I, seated in front of it, didn't notice. So I'm afraid the process shots stop abruptly halfway through. 

This is the final product, using wax resist and collage, with embellishments and an exploration of mirroring. It's intended to be the Skyworks Fireworks over Perth and the Swan River on Australia Day, but it can be any city.

You Will Need:
Thick paper
Black paper/card
Crayons or oil pastels
Paint and brushes
Scissors, pencil & ruler
Glitter pens

Step 1:
Find the midline in a piece of sturdy paper. I'm using 300gsm watercolour paper here; the thinner the paper, the more it will buckle when wet.

Step 2:
Using a white crayon or oil pastel, draw some fireworks in the top half of the paper. Press nice and hard so lots of wax gets on the paper.

Step 3:
Now use coloured crayons/oil pastels and draw the same fireworks in colour. Try and put the coloured lines between the white lines, but it doesn't matter if they overlap a bit. 

Step 4:
Now draw the coloured fireworks upside down on the bottom half of the paper. These are the reflections, so you draw each firework directly below the 'main' firework, upside down. Check where each firework is in relation to the middle line, and if it's close, you draw the reflection close, and if it's far away, you draw it far away.

Step 5: 
Now use a waterbased paint (I'm using Ecoline ink, but watercolour, edicol dye, poster paint and watered-down acrylic will work just as well.) and paint a dark blue over all of the paper. The wax will resist the paint and you will see your fireworks.

Step 5: 
Put the wet paper aside to dry, and get a piece of black paper or cardboard the same width as the painted paper. Fold it in half.

It was at this point that my camera died, so you'll have to bear with me.

With the black paper still folded, draw the outline of a cityscape on one side. Make sure you don't draw all the way down to the fold, keep some short buildings so that the city stays in one piece when you cut it out. 

Step 6:
With the paper still folded, cut out the city around your lines. When you are finished, unfold the paper and you will have two cities, mirror images of each other, joined together like paper dolls. 

Step 7:
Use a yellow oil pastel (or some poster paint, acrylic, whatever) to draw some yellow windows onto your city

Step 8:
Now for the tricky part. The upside-down city is the reflection in the river, so chop it up a bit. Glue the intact city onto the paper so that the fold line is on top of the middle line on your painting, and then put the reflection back together. It doesn't have to be perfect, and make sure you leave spaces between the pieces, so it looks like the reflection is broken up by the water. 

Step 10:
Lastly, add some glitter to the fireworks in the sky. I used a glue pen and loose glitter, but glue pens would be just as good, and much less messy – I just didn't have any to hand. With the three layers to the fireworks (white, colour and glitter) you get a more three dimensional effect.

And you're done! 

If you use these instructions, or have any questions, I'd love to hear from you. =)

Other activity posts:

Or click the 'activities' tag to your right =)


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