Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Art Tips from Marionette - Collecting Reference Material

From my May Newsletter:
There is no time like the present to increase your library of reference material
for your painting. Plan a day to take your camera to the beach, botanical garden,
or even in your own backyard to collect some new and interesting shots! What better
way to inspire yourself to create a new work of art.

Here on Kauai, I like to take some shots at Maha'ulepu Beach near Poipu or visit
the McBryde and Allerton Gardens in Lawai. Make sure you have plenty of natural
sunlight on your subject. Sun and shadows add depth and interest to your reference
photos. They will make your paintings come alive! Too many times I've seen other
artists working from photos that are flat and have a small range of values. This
will almost always lead to a boring painting. Also, look for those subjects that
have a lot of color.

What is Scratchboard Art?

From my June Newsletter:
"Scratchboard is a technique where drawings are created using sharp knives and tools
for etching into a thin layer of white China clay that is coated with black India
ink." - from Wikipedia.

Sounds complicated, but it is actually pretty easy to do once you have the right
materials. In my classes I use an artist grade, black 5"x7" panel that comes ready
to scratch. I also supply a few different scratch tools for various effects. Next,
we choose a design, transfer it to the scratchboard, and start etching. We scratch
away the black ink to reveal the white clay underneath. I then demonstrate how
to apply a thin layer of watercolor paint to add a bit of color to the design.
Easy and fun!!

Art Tips from Marionette - Improve Your Sketching Skills!

From my June Newsletter:
Good drawing and sketching skills are a must for all levels of artists. The saying,
"Practice makes perfect" is very applicable. The more you sketch, the quicker and
more accurate you'll become.

I recommend purchasing a sketchbook or make a quick one by stapling some sheets
of computer paper together. Next, set aside some time every day to sketch (like
right after breakfast or dinner). Try sketching ordinary objects around the house
like scissors, a hammer, a brush, etc... This is a good exercise and will loosen
you up.

Next, practice making thumbnail sketches (usually 1.5" to 2.5" in any direction).
Set up a still life or sketch your backyard. With thumbnail sketching the focus
is on eliminating a lot of the details and only sketching what is important (shadows/highlights) so that you still recognize the subject. This exercise will teach you to simplify.

Finally, practice sketching your family. Get someone to do short poses, or catch
a family member napping on the couch! In any case have fun and loosen up!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Pictures from "Tropical Craft Day"

Here are some pictures from the Tropical Craft Day held at Painting Paradise on Saturday, April 26, 2008! Mahalo to everyone who attended!!!

Here's the studio before the event.

Making cards & playing with Rubik's Cube!

Showing her beautiful "sand art" sunshine key chain!

Creating an "under the sea" sticker scene!

The "big" prize!

Mr. Penguin, Mrs. Moo-Moo and baby Penguin
say "Let's grind out!"

Colorful sand.