Monday, 21 March 2011

Portrait Miniature is BRIGHT!

This weekend I have been painting more on the following portrait...

Here are the images I briefly uploaded onto Twitter (E_M_Portraits) yesterday, plus one more image from the work, as I continued in the evening.

Now, I am aware that these colours are VERY bright and almost uncomfortable to look at, but, once I am happy with the overall painting, it will be darkened, but 'low-lights' and 'high-light' being added. I hope to add a great deal of darker shading to this painting, but you must start light and then go darker.

This painting has a lot of work to go, but it will not be this bright when finished!

I have also just seen Bill's blog and realised how new (practically baby) I am into this world of 'portrait miniature painting' nevertheless, he has painted hundreds and this is my 3rd, plus I have no tutor and I think I just need to keep practising and all will fall into place. Sigh*  I also admire his work greatly, but I want to bring a new style to painting miniatures, my own... more illustrative, brighter, newer subject matters etc... I just hope I can make this work!

Thank you again for reading. More updates will follow through the week.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Illustrations and Twestival Ipswich

I have mentioned before that I like to be creative with art and try to draw in a variety of styles...

Below I have posted some of my other illustrations for you to have a quick look at :)

Please note, that the first image is available to win, at Twestival in Ipswich, Suffolk on 24th March 2011.

Ipswich Docks - Win this illustration at Twestival Suffolk




This was a sticker set I created of myself - Make Me!

This was a sticker set I created of myself - Make Me!

Antonia - This was for a magazine article in USA

Sketch book

Sketch book

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend! 

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Miniature Painting and Framewerks, Colchester

The past week, has been frantically busy again.
I have had very limited time to paint, but have tried to get a small section painted with every spare minute I can find!
Below shows the progress of the portrait to date...

tiny brush strokes
It still has many hours till completion and over the next few evenings and the whole weekend I hope to have it finished.
When painting so small, you must be completely focused and in the ‘zone’.  Otherwise the painting can be ruined, with the busy week and 6 hour nights of sleep, it has been hard to get into the ‘zone’.
However I hope to crack on with this painting soon, as I can’t wait to pull all these vibrant and strong colours together!

I am also getting this framed on Saturday 26th by ‘Framewerks’ in Colchester, they have been so helpful.  I would seriously recommend their work to any artist looking to get something framed.
I am very glad that they found me on Twitter and contacted me when they did!

Thank you for reading and I hope to update again over the weekend.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Update on Royal Academy Portrait Miniature for Ipswich Artist

Here is what I have been working on tonight.  The scan has made the image rather 'bold' but rest assured, when all the other colours are dropped onto and around the skin tones, they will balance out. :)

I am enjoying this painting.  Although Dasha and I look rather 'dirty' in colour at present... Like we need a good wash. Haha.

I'll continue painting tonight and tomorrow.  I will also update more progress tomorrow night.

Evening and thanks for reading. :)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Weekend Plans for Ipswich Artist

This week has been rather mad at work and in the evenings... researching, painting, finishing emails and trying to sleep!

Nevertheless, I had promised that I would update my blog before the end of the week...

I have painted around one hour on this portrait miniature so far.  I am trying new techniques again, as the paper I'm now using is ‘Smooth Board’ it feels silky smooth to the touch and is extremely considerate to the tiny brush strokes.

I have uploaded a picture of the image before I started painting, with just an acrylic white wash...
I have now begun to add colour to the face, just to keep that’ balance’ I spoke of before.  After I have added a few more skin tones, I will move back on to the background and complete it before resuming the portraits.

I normally get very nervous about sending out images of my work before its finished, I feel it can jinks the painting.  But I’m going to try and overcome this, by keeping my blog up-to-date for your pleasure :)

This weekend I hope to remain calm and paint, I need rest this weekend from the hectic week at work.

So, painting, tidying the house, buying some new music and my Sunday pleasure... boot sales!

Have a good weekend and thanks for reading. :)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Lazy Weekend for a Portrait Miniature Artist in Suffolk

On Saturday I went to Colchester, visiting Framewerks. I placed an order for my portrait miniature – Royal Academy Summer Exhibition piece.  I have chosen an ornate gold frame, with a gold bezel to surround the miniature and a black velvet backing.  I can’t wait to see the finished product!!  You’ll be the first to view it, as soon as I can get pictures.
This weekend I hadn’t completed the 10 hours of painting set aside, which has put me slightly behind schedule.  Nevertheless I now have many busy evenings ahead!
Sunday I went to the boot sale and purchased, yet another 24” frame (very cheap and tacky – but I love retro frames) for £1.  I also bought an old vintage Victorian photograph for £2.... I was not so keen on the photo itself, but I loved the logo design on the back...

I may use this as inspiration for some ‘Elsie May’ adverts later this year.  I also loved this as the photograph was taken in Ipswich, where I live.

Last night on ‘The Antiques Road show’ (a programme I normally watch with a hot chocolate in  hand), they had a 5 minutes section on a collection of portrait miniatures.  They were beautiful, the skin tones were perfect and the detailing was so delicate.  I also found it highly amusing, as I was saying the same comments as the ‘valuator’ about 30 seconds in front of him! Turns out I know a lot more about portrait miniatures than I realised!
Please follow link to watch this again and fast forward to the 20th minute
This also makes for an interesting read...

However a comment was made regarding the painting techniques of miniatures, that only one hair is used to paint them, this is a myth!  And from my personal experience would be impossible!  Think about it; look at the hair on your head, do you think that with something so fine, you could paint with that?  No, that is crazy!
I have uploaded a picture below to show you the brushes I use when painting miniatures....

The red brush is a ‘00000’ size brush and this is my preference, it is just the right size and I can load the brush with watercolours pretty sufficiently.  The middle two brushes are ‘0000’s and I would use these for slightly heavier work, normally with the base coat covering of the skin tone. The black handled brushl is a ‘000’, this size is a little too big, but sometimes I would use this as the base coat covering for the background.
Thank you for reading and I will update again soon.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Brief Portrait Update and Old Illustration for Magazine

As promised very very brief update...

Last night I managed to paint for around 25-30 minutes, around the nose, slight shading to the neck and a few more orange tones to the ears...

Whilst going through my old scan folder on the computer a few days ago I also found this...

After leaving University and told that my art held 'no substance', I had a desire to prove them wrong. I approached many illustration agencies and magazines and managed to draw an illustration for a magazine based in America. It was only a small job, with no fee, but it made me happy.  It is by no means anything amazing! But it was how I used to draw, as I was stuck in my mind drawing a certain style to please the people around me (ie - Tutors) and not how I felt fit as an artist at that time.

After finding some of my illustrations recently I have come to realise, that as much as I enjoy drawing in a 'fashionable' illustrated way for my own eyes, I don't actually like it anymore, I was so deterred by my tutors, that my work had no style or 'story' to it, that it totally transformed my view on art... But to them I suppose I should be grateful, because without their 'blunt' comments, it made me discover true art and skill - portrait miniature painting :) After all, drawing like a 5 year old within the illustration world will only get you so far...

So on that note, I am happy to paint much this weekend, sitting in my cosy studio, doing what I love best.

Have a great weekend and thank you for reading :)

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Suffolk Art Studio and Portrait Miniature Update...

Yesterday evening I managed to get around 1 hour of painting in... I had the equivalent of 'writers block', where my hand and my artistic brain would not connect, so I spent a lot of time planning the image in my head, thinking where to place the paint...

I have started to add extra hair line work to the neck and the ear, I have also added a few hints of black to counteract the balance of the light colours with the dark, this is so important to do!

I have added close detailed images for you to see the hundreds and hundreds of brush strokes better.

As for my studio, it is 6 x 7 ft and I love it, its a little space of heaven, I always keep the heating on in there, door closed, curtains closed, so that it is always ready for me when I have a random urge to paint. I also listen to the radio in there and zone out from the world...


Whilst going through my old 'scans' on the computer I found this image of my old watercolour set that I scanned it, a well loved piece of kit and I thought I would share the image with you.

Thanks for reading.