September 28, 2007

Autumn Woods – A challenge

This is my latest painting, that I am doing as part of a challenge in the Acrylics forum at Wetcanvas.

Recently, Celeste had done a small sized landscape of Autumn Woods and in the Acrylics forum, she was challenged to do it in a much larger format. Elaine and Celeste also decided to welcome anyone else who would be willing to join in and have fun. So the idea is to paint from a vague Autumn reference and create a painting that's better than the reference image. And the main challenge is to do in a big canvas. I had a 18 * 36 canvas lying idle for quite some time, and thought this was the best chance to use it. Though there are no deadlines as such, I get the motivation to paint on seeing the WIPs of everyone, and it's a lot of fun.

I made some additions to the original image by adding a water body in the foreground, and added some reflections of the woods. I love fall reflections and leaves, so wanted to paint them here. This was also since my canvas was too tall for just the trees. This is a WIP that I hope to complete during this weekend. My parents are visiting us so I am not sure how much work is going to get done, but there will be an update on Monday for sure.:-)

Autumn Woods - Stage 1

This is technically the second stage in the painting, the first one was my canvas filled with scribbles from my daughter! And I started thereafter and added the trees in white and grey. I also blocked the darkest darks with ultramarine blue and a lot of green. And I got most of the sky done too. This will be my first layer.

Autumn Woods - Stage 2

On top of it, I have started adding some greens and ochre yellow in the background, indicative of some bushes.

Autumn Woods - Stage 3

The next thing that I do is to add more foliage. A lot of glowing yellows and greens in the top for the leaves, and there are going to be a lot of orange maple leaves right in the middle. A good thing to do here would be to actually do the tree barks to completion and then do the leaves. But I am as impatient as my daughter, if not more, and I want to get a 'feel' of how everything would look together, so I have started with the leaves right away.

Autumn Woods - Stage 4

And then I start adding some more detail to the barks, nowhere near complete though. I add some darker greys and browns to the birch tree barks. This is where my painting is right now. I have spent about 2 nights on this one, and there is still a long way to go.

Autumn Woods - Foliage close up

Here is a little close up of my leaves which fall on the top left of the canvas. I promise that they are leaves, though they don't look so. I will define the shapes properly as I progress and make sure they look like leaves and not some patches of color thrown in.

Autumn Woods - Trees close up

Here is another close up of the barks, which are still only about 20% done. A lot more to do there as well. It is mind blowing to see the progress of everyone else, and I am learning a lot in the process. And having a hell a lot of fun. I can't wait to get my hands on the canvas tonight.

Watch this space for more updates.

I am selling prints now!

Recently, one of my blog readers had commented that I should check out ImageKind and its print-on-demand services. I did go through the site after that comment and also reading some more reviews, and I have opened my gallery at ImageKind. The reader had asked me to mail him/her if I open my gallery, but unfortunately did not leave any mail id behind and I am unable to contact the person. Anyway, thank you dear reader for letting me know about this site and service.

Imagekind is pretty easy to use, and it takes hardly a minute to set up your gallery. Right now since I am trying out, I have gone in for a free membership. I might consider upgrading later on. The print on demand provides professional quality prints on canvas and other surfaces, and sends them custom framed.

You can find a link to my gallery at ImageKind on the right sidebar. Currently though it has only one image, Focussed. I am not very happy with the photo quality of my other paintings. This one is an exception, since I had got it photographed by a professional as I had to send it to a competition. I will be soon taking better snaps of my other paintings and will upload them. Look out for some more images that I will be uploading there.

Bougainvillea Pots

In the acrylics forum at Wetcanvas, we have a project titled "Different Strokes" running for every month. On the 1st, an image is posted on the forum and everyone paints with the same photo as reference. We do not show our works in progress, but reveal the final image on the 20th. It is great fun and awesome stuff to see how each artist approaches the same subject. I have always wanted to take part in this one, but been lazy. Last month's reference was too good to miss, and I got the better of my laziness! No prizes for guessing that I got lazy again this month.

Bougainvillea Pots
Acrylics on Canvas, 10 * 12 inches.
(c) Nithya Swaminathan

The reference image had a line of flower pots on a terrace of a building, with some coconut trees in the background. I did not like those trees, so I changed the terrace to be more like a balcony at ground level and gave this background of waves. I really liked how this one turned out. I spent about 2 nights on it, and was happy with the results.

I also mustered a little courage to be a little different in chosing my colours. I used bold strokes of purple for my shadows, which I normally wouldn't do. I would do my shadows in diluted black, but tried it this time and liked it. Even though the strokes would stand out in real, it gels on the image as a whole. The whole idea of the project is to experiment and I am glad I found time for it.

September 24, 2007

To new beginnings

My art has been undergoing some minor but important changes these days. Don’t worry, I still do paint only realism and still use my favorite media of colored pencils and acrylics. The only change is that I am trying to make painting as a habit and not as something I do when I have nothing else to do! I am spending time everyday, yeah, every single day to do something, even if it is a miniscule part of a larger painting. So yeah, the change is more in me as an artist and not really in my art. Besides, I have been doing a lot of soul searching in “trying to find my own”.

I generally paint anything and everything that appeals to me. I save images for later reference if they appeal to me, but later I would trash them if they aren’t very inspiring. My paintings are basically born “in an instant”, with absolutely no planning or such. I am trying to change that now. I am putting in the effort to plan my paintings in advance so that I don’t waste time sitting with the canvas. I am trying to bring in some consistency in my paintings, in the style, subject, medium etc etc. These are baby steps in the direction of turning a pro and not just being a hobby artist.

As I am trying to change a lot of things related to my art, it is only fair that my blog underwent a change too. Hence this new blog altogether. I hope to post more often than I ever did, so watch this space for something new every day. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my work.

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