Monday, 15 December 2014

Stand by your work

"Backhand on the Gallop"
Original Acrylic on Canvas
©Kaye Parmenter 2015

At an event this autumn, upon setting up my exhibition area, my painting above prompted an early visitor to enquire about a commission.  A great start to the day.   

An artist's life can be a solitary existence and sometimes it is easy to hide within the confines of the studio.  But, here's the thing.  Despite the wonderful advantages of social media and the internet, there is still a huge potential audience who don't see your work online.

Although your most productive time has to be in the studio, I firmly believe that you need to allocate some time to "get out there". an event or show, here are some tips I have gathered along the way:

  • When your work is on display anywhere, try to be in close range of your art
  • Listen and pick up on comments about your work
  • All comments are valuable
  • Always have literature to hand out to prospective clients
  • Small notecards and business cards are good
  • Don't be afraid to ask for email addresses, explain about your mailing list and newsletters
So, in 2015, if you feel the need to plan, allocate some time to show your art to the offline world!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Simply Watercolour

Minimal detail in portraying a subject in watercolour

I have seen many artists paint roses in watercolour absolutely beautifully but, if you've ever tried,  it is not as easy as it looks! 

So, in this post, I'd love to help with just a few suggestions:
  • Sometimes it can help when painting a complex subject to break it down into very simple shapes.
  • With my rosebud, the most obvious step to simplify the subject is to choose a bud rather than a "blooming" flower :-)!  There are fewer overlapping petals, so it is less complex.
  • By squinting at your photograph or flower, study where the darkest and lightest tones are.
  • The darkest tone should be in the very centre of the flower bud and also where the sepals join the base of the flower which may be in shadow.  The lightest tone should be on the petal tips.
  • Paint a pale(ish) wash to represent the total shape of the whole rosebud, leaves and stalk.  You can either paint wet-in-wet or wet-on-dry.
  • As the wash is drying, begin to add more concentrated paint to the darker areas.
  • Leave to dry
  • Add a few darker tones with a concentrated wash to the very darkest parts of the flower and leaves.
Remember that simplicity is the key - try not to fiddle too much with detail.