Monday, 27 June 2016

Wayward Creations ! Dandy Bird

I had posted the work in progress of a miniature Cold Porcelain Bird earlier. This was one of those times, when I was really pleased with the sculpt. I did not have to do any corrections in proportion, or anything . It just came together perfectly . And this was done with plain Cold porcelain because I had thought to paint the miniature after it was done.

But the painting was another story..despite my best efforts, it just had to have a mind of it's own and the color I had in mind did not work out. But somehow the finished work was more of a stylised bird.

The bird does have a very contended look. I posed him with a couple of friend, but the cat does not look quite pleased wit h the arrangement . Too much a dandy, that bird !!


Monday, 20 June 2016

Miniature Stylised Cat

Ah well, I tried to think up some clever title for this post , but I guess this is it !!! Haha

Sometimes while I think up elaborate designs to craft with, something simple may actually come out better. And while I try to make something simple, it may end up being too elaborate. And there are yet other times, when things look fine, ,but the end product completely throws you off !

Is there any wonder why I love what I do? Every end result is a surprise to even myself ! Even the ones that end up exactly as planned !!

This little feline is only about a half inch tall, if tall can be applied at all here ! It was just a teeny bit of clay left over from a batch, that last bit I usually neglect and finally when I get back to clay after a few days, it would be really rock hard . I have not had much luck softening clay that has gone rock hard, and in such small quantity.

This time, I was determined to use up every last bit of my clay.All that was left, I divided it into three unequal portions. The biggest ball I shaped into a dome - like end with a flat bottom. The medium sized one, I divided into four tiny balls, with which I shaped the front paws and the front of the face.

With the last bit of clay, I shaped out the tail, two tiny triangles for the ears and the nose. So all I had to do now, was let it dry and then colour it.

Used beige and light brown pastels to highlight the ears, paws and end of the tail.

Then black acrylic paint on the nose, and around one eye. The markings on the body and tail, I used a black micron pen since it was not much of a surface to work with !


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Calligraphy Art

I took a three day course in calligraphy last year, and have been working on different fonts and styles on and off. But I guess I am not truLy happy with my works, even when my letters look okay, I am not sure I have the precision and slant perfected.

But rather than just doing practice strokes and forming letters, I decided to have some fun with it too.

The picture above was done trying out a Parker calligraphy pen. The next picture I tried to draw was a horse, and I was not at all pleased with the proportions of it. So I ditched it.

Just the day before yesterday, I tried out a dragon with a Speedball Elegance writer with a 3.0 mm. I think it came out okay, but I would not mind hearing what you think about it too.

So how do you like my dragon? Please let me know.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

How To Prime A Canvas Board For Acrylic Painting

A very popular method to prep a canvas or canvas board for acrylics, is by using gesso. It is available in a variety of international brands like Daler - Rowney, Pebeo, Liquitex etc. One Indian company that manufactures gesso is Camel.

In many brands of pre stretched canvas boards, they are prepped or primed already and have smooth surfaces. So the use of gesso may not be necessary. Also, it depends on how smooth you need the surface to be.

The pic above shows the pronounced texture on the pre-stretched board. In cases where one is using a mixed media work, the rough texture may actually be boon. Pasting clay, metal, paper, Paper mache and such to the canvas is easier if the glue can have a surface which has some rough texture to it.

In the above canvas, I did not prime the surface at all, since I was using clay elements to the canvas. However, when doing something that is like a mural or some traditional art like Madhubani on canvas, it is better to use gesso to give a better finish to the look.

Each brand of gesso is different. Some are slightly liquid, some paste like and the Camel brand needs to be mixed well before each application, because the liquid and the thick part separate.

Gesso is also available as white, black and transparent. White, in my opinion is most versatile. The application of gesso,is a matter of preference. A few artists like to apply it on with sponge or even fingers. A wide brush is what I find most convenient.

Also, I use the store bought gesso to texture my canvas or painting surface, especially when I want to create a mixed media piece which has some dimension to it. It is thick enough and not so runny. So I find it easy to scoop it up on a thin or thick brush , and create patterns or resists , that I can pain over to get a raised effect. It works very well on stock paper or artist watercolour paper too.

For a canvas board that is about an A3 size, I like to make my own version of gesso. It is easy to make it as thick or as runny, according to personal choice. This is the basic formula for the mix.

Recipe for home made Gesso.

  • Corn flour - 2 tbsp
  • Water - 1 tbsp
  • PVA glue - 2 tsp
  • White paint - 1/2 tsp
Mix the cornflour and water till you get a smooth slurry without any lumps. Add the PVA glue to this mix and then the white paint.

Once you get this mix done, you can try it out on a corner of the board and see if it suits you. If you want it thicker, add more cornflour and glue, or add more water to make it more liquid.just ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture.

Applying the gesso.

  • Load the gesso on the brush or sponge. I find it easy to have the primer not too thick or too runny.
  • Using smooth strokes in one direction, apply the gesso right from one end to the other.
  • Let the first coat dry well, if possible, for a few hours. If time is of essence, use a hair dryer to fix the first layer of primer.
  • If you want to have the finish extra smooth, sand down the first layer. There will be enough texture from the canvas to add a second layer.

  • Again, decide if you need a thinner coat than the first layer, add more water before applying. Let it dry
  • Use sands paper and smooth out all the rough parts.
So below are the before and after pictures of the board. I am self taught , so maybe there are artists who do not agree with this method. Acrylics paints are my favourite medium, and this method works for me.
A way to make life easier, in case you are planning a background that is colourful, is to also add a bit of the paint to the gesso mix, in addition to the white paint. I always add acrylic paint to the home made gesso, but there are a few who say they prefer tempera which is also available in powder form.
I did read that if you mix tempera powder with PVA glue, the result is acrylic paint. So one way or the other, it does not seem to matter.
So this is how I prep my canvas board for painting. There is a lot of information available on Gesso. This is a fairly extensive article I found interesting.

I am planning a mural with my primed surface. While I have used a lot of traditional motifs, I have not attempted a proper mural as yet.

Wondering how that is going to turn out !!


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Inspiring Artist - Ar-Mari Rubenian

It has been a year since I last posted about an inspiring artist! Not that there is a dearth of them at all ! In fact , it is tough to choose which artist to feature, since there seems to be no limit to talents.
The artist I am currently introducing, is an Armenian national, Ar-Mari Rubenian.She is so talented and she uses a vast variety of mediums, too. Her art is gorgeously vibrant, and she largely uses motifs that are traditional to her culture.
I have been following her work for more than a year now and her work is really inspiring. Her art work to me, is reminiscent of the exquisite Indian miniature paintings, with minute details.
She also does some amazingly striking jewelry, that is done in vibrant colours and motifs.
She makes jewelry from wood, ceramic discs etc. Her work seems to reflect traditional designs and art . I am sure that the few pictures that I have posted , have inspired you to take a closer look..and the artist herself , is no less a work of art..!! Check out the links below for more of this exceptional artist .
Pinterest page, Facebook Page