Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Garden Tea

Slowly, slowly, I am getting back into drawing again. It is a fantastic feeling. I think that's why drawing so small (A5 sized) is really working for me, I get to see results a little quicker, and it keeps my hopes up. 
Even so, finishing a piece like this can take me days (up to a week) as I draw in snippets and fragments after work in the evenings.
This one was a little challenge for me... to try and mix colours varying enough to differentiate between her skin, blouse, and pale hair... the colours are quite different too, but she still fits in nicely with the other drawings.

A little story.... usually the darling faced coquettes I draw are all the lovely ladies and gorgeous girls that I am lucky enough to call my friends. I enjoy drawing the girls I know personally, because I 'm able to infuse the drawing with a sense of their personality and character. It helps me to breathe a bit more life into the pieces.

Even so, sometimes I will draw a girl I have never met....this was such a case.

I came across a lovely etsy seller, Zara Carpenter, who makes the most incredible fascinators... not only were her pieces just the quirkiest, most extravagant designs, but the photography was perfect... and of course.... the big eyed, platinum haired model caught my attention straight away. I wanted to draw her.....

You can imagine my joy when the lovely Zara agreed to allow me to draw inspiration from her images. Her boyfriend took the photographs, and Zara made all the gorgeous fascinators. Do pay them a visit!

 Zara Carpenter "Chatham Girl"  ~etsy boutique~  and  ~blog~ 
Rikard Osterlund ~photography~

Monday, March 29, 2010

During the Deluge

Following on from a previous post where I showed the final 9 illustrations I completed as my entry for the 2010 "Enchanted Doll" competition, I had some progress shots and "working" snapshots of the illustrations and my drawing table during the three month long ordeal!

I pasted my 'inspiration wall' full of the different dolls and costumes I wanted to capture in my set of drawings... it turned into a bit of an "enchanted wall" :-)

I started with a "base" sketch and pose for the nine figures, to help unify the entire set. The costuming and colours were where the 'doll' became different characters.

Each drawing was worked up in many many layers of transparent watercolour. To get the deep, rich colours of some of the backgrounds, I had to spend many days applying layers of colours, and letting them dry in between. At one stage I was working on several drawings at the one time - I would apply a layer of colour to one, then put it aside to dry, and go to the next drawing, and so on and so forth. 

And the final product (this here is just the first five that I finished, three were still in progress, and one had not yet been started on) 
I mentioned I made sure that each drawing fit perfectly inside the official Enchanted Doll boxes, so that they wouldn't just have a blank cardboard backing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Consideration

It's been a long time since I have completed one of my proper artworks. By proper I mean part of my "Of Lace and Moss" series. 
With a group show coming up in late may, I have been inspired to dally no more! Especially knowing I'll be showing alongside Caitlin Shearer, whom I admire greatly. 

Speaking of Caitlin, let me diverge from my path and talk about her for a little bit. A fellow young female Australian artist, I discovered her work online and have been eagerly following her art and progress ever since. I finally got to met her the other night when she had her works on exhibition in the boutique down the hall from me in the Strand Arcade. I think I was quite boisterous. She was quite overwhelmed. I probably made it worse!! There was free champagne and tiny ice-creams on offer - a deadly combination for my class and eloquence. 
Seeing her incredible paintings in real life was quite amazing... overwhelming in fact. I went home close to tears (I had an emotional week!!!) frustrated at myself. Whilst I enjoy working for Victoria at her beautiful boutique, I was suddenly very conscious of the fact that my most precious asset is my time, and all my time is spent working for someone else. I can draw, and enjoy drawing - but have no time to do so. I wished more than anything that night that I had more time to do what I loved more than anything in the world, that is, to devote it to my art. 

Anyway, that being said, I was most definitely inspired to focus on my dream and try to scrape together a few hours here and there where I can sit down at my drawing desk and work. Lose myself in this romantic world I like to depict. 

I completed this drawing last year, and like so many of my artworks, left it in an unfinished state whilst I became distracted with other exciting compositions or beckoning side projects. My model was a gorgeous girl who was very inspirational whilst I worked with her during my time at Alannah Hill. Natalia was an amazing young woman, and single handedly started up her own fashion label, "The Last Romantic". 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Enchanted Doll 2010 Competition

Marina announced her Enchanted Doll 2010 Birthday competition on November 16th, 2009. I began work immediately. I had an idea in my mind and I knew it was ambitious, but I wanted to bring it to fruition. I spent three solid months on my entry, and learnt an incredible amount about watercolours and myself along the way. 
It was both joyous and painful to create, I drew through many hours of hand cramps, and my body was running of adrenaline by the end of it. When I did finally finish the set, my immune system gave up and I fell sick for a good 5 weeks. I learnt a lot about what I can expect from myself in the future, and where to stop. 

For my entry I created a set of nine original watercolour drawings. A print set consisting of two copies of each drawing were also included - for use as Enchanted Doll box inserts, if Marina wanted to use them as such.
Each drawing was created to echo the process that goes into creating Marina's dolls. A base "sculpt" was used - in this case the serene face of Banshee. Then that sculpt was turned into a unique and individual character through colouring, painting and costuming. The adornments the dolls are wearing were all inspired by the intricate tiny silver accessories marina creates for her Enchanted Dolls. 




This morning I found out I came second place. Amongst all the hundreds of incredible entries that were submitted... I am so amazed and beyond words... and a little emotional! 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Curiouser and curiouser

We've all become a little mad here recently...

At the Boutique, Victoria bought three new Alice dolls from Black-Eyed Suzie

The 'Curiouser and curiouser' Alice inspired sterling silver rings are selling fast (all displayed with my 'Falling Alice' design! I can't photograph and list them quick enough!)

....and I'm greatly pleased to announce that I've begun stocking up on different sizes of my Alice T-Shirt, and am listing them on my etsy (let's hear a cheer, and a hurray!)

Speaking of my little boutique, I finally decided to do something I initially told myself I would not, absolutely not do. I've made some prints available.

I am a big fan of Original Artworks. Wherever possible, I always try to purchase originals from the artists that I like. I'd rather save up and buy one beautiful original, than buy ten digital prints.

So with my little prints, I decided to still make them special. I've created a few little "gift sets"
The print comes framed with a cameo-style matt border, and included in the set is one of my whimsical pocket mirrors, and a tiny little badge.

Here are the first two gift sets I have created....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The First Signs of Spring - Snow dome

Even though it's Autumn going into Winter where I am, I know the rest of the world is beginning to bud and Spring is on the way.....

Today, I made a snow dome.

You cannot know how happy this has made me. I have already been asked to submit an example for the late-may group exhibition, and I haven't finished the image.... but..... I made a snow dome.

The drawings inside are done in delicate watercolour and pen. The model is actually my gorgeous little red-headed muse... but today I gave her a bit of a "White Snow Queen" makeover....

In fact, I love my snow dome so much, I am thinking of making some more, to sell through my etsy boutique....  but maybe I should behave and finish that drawing for the group show first... I have procrastinated long enough.....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cameo Portraits and Pendants

With an exhibition coming up in less than two months, of course I am spending all my time procrastinating... it is something I do so well after all, why waste these divine procrastinatory talents that have been gifted upon me?

Allow me to share some little portraits and artworks I have created recently, some available on my etsy


Monday, March 1, 2010

In my own defence...

It's not that I've been lazy... but busy and unwell. And working on the sort of things that do not look good as progress shots... but look rather frightful even when they're very near completion!!

But in my own defence, here's a shot of my drawing table... looking very clean and unused BUT with a drawing in progress (my saving grace, otherwise I would have been in trouble!)

I received notification that my secret project made it's way to the top secret destination. I admit I experienced a bit of a project-withdrawal.

Thankfully, a delightful opportunity has arisen. I was asked to participate in a themed group exhibition in late May, to be held down in Melbourne.  So barely time to take a deep breath after finishing three months of furious drawing, and back at it!!!


In other news I wanted to say a big thank you to a very lovely and sweet lady, who has written just the most beautiful blog post about my little etsy boutique. I was completely floored to read it, and so very touched.

Please take a look here (and follow her advice! tee~hee)  Hammer * Stitch * Burn