These couple of weeks, I’ve added to the long list of artistic challenges for myself by exploring design once again. I used to include a lot of in my work in my high school days, from fabric to generally…..everywhere. Feeling that I’ve lost touch with it, I decided to take on learning Celtic knots and similarly Viking designs; which I may be able to incorporate into future work. As you may know I’m very interested in Scandinavian history and Norse designs, so I thought that if I’m going to do studies I might as well make it for something I’m very interested in exploring.
There are various resources to look at, from books, videos, to good old Google. The Book of Kells is of course recommended by most tutorials I’ve come across, as well as just looking at various Viking artifacts for inspiration. For reference purposes (for myself in my sketchbook) I followed an incredibly helpful playlist from a charming gentleman on Youtube, whom I’ll link below if you’re keen on learning various knots. Looking at images of Viking artifacts came in handy as well, because I could learn the knot-work but of course Norse designs differ in that they depict more animals, and have weaves which are more fluid among other differences. I’m by no means a professional of course, so it makes it even harder for myself without having a history background to learn merely on observation. It’s challenging, but quite fun.
There are a myriad of references you can consult on the web, so I wont bore you with google searches which I’m sure in this day and age everyone already knows about. Here are a few things I’ve been looking at. 🙂
A slow end of October; in terms of sharing more work here that I had originally planned. Trying to get more paintings done for portfolio updates, as well as certain personal deadlines I want to meet. Hopefully I’ll get more new work up here soon. 🙂 Until then, a little toned paper sketch from ITV’s Sanditon. Little bummed we didn’t get a proper Austen ending from Andrew Davies. 😆 Still, a huge fan of Davies and love every adaptation he’s done.
Also, you can follow me on Instagram & Twitter if you’d like a glimpse into what I’m working on, I try to get more updates for you guys on my socials anyways. 🙂
This drawing is probably the most fun I’ve had on an artwork this year. The initial research and reference stage had me a bit confused at first, as I hadn’t really thought about Odin’s eye until I looked at some old drawings and paintings online. I noticed a constant switch of direction of his missing right eye; my guess is mirroring had resulted in artists switching to the left side of his face. All in all a fun little project. (A side note, I had no idea how big ravens were. 😶)
With this painting I really wanted to continue with the fantasy elements, but also get back to the study of sheer fabrics that I enjoyed when painting Call of the Sirens. Fabrics are always intimidating for me, because if it’s sheer or even satin let’s say…well for the most part you only get one chance to get it right with watercolours. Too much paint can mess up the piece real fast, and finding how light and skin works in whole equation is another thing altogether. I’m still learning by studying from the masters, by looking at many classical paintings; ranging from Regency to Edwardian. Although, I have to find a way to adapt those techniques from oils to watercolours, which is a fun challenge.
I liked the look of the early stages of the painting as well, making a note to experiment with even less paint in future projects. Sometimes I find it a bit hard to judge how dark I need to make a watercolour painting; as most artists in this medium will know, scanning the artwork doesn’t always get you the most flattering results in the end. There’s a certain grey/dark tone or evenness I like to achieve (which I’m not doing a good job explaining unfortunately), and scanners mess it up royally with its bright light giving unwanted contrasts across the painting. I’m lucky to have a good Epson scanner, but there are some things that can’t be fixed and I do my best with Photoshop in the end. 😄
*Update on In Fate’s Hand Painting Auction
I’ve realized I hadn’t updated the info here on my blog as I had on Instagram. The original painting of In Fate’s Hand that was for auction on Ebay, has now been moved to the shop. I had some issues with Ebay account, as it was a new one, and felt it would get better views directly in the shop. 50% of the sale of the painting will still go the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation as originally planned, so please pass on the word and check it out for yourself if interested. Thanks! 🙂
I’ve been really enjoying working in my new mixed-media sketchbook from Stillman & Birn. On the other hand, getting back into doing life-drawing studies/sketches is easier said than done, as I sometimes find myself bored of typical poses that you find online; in terms of reference photos. Aside from my general admiration of their work, artists Noah & Rachel Bradley have come out with a bunch of reference photo packs on their website (which I’ll link below) that have been quite helpful. If you’re looking for some quality references I highly recommend you check out their photography.
In between the painting I’ve been working on, I decided to take a little break – which basically meant binge-watching all 3 seasons of Stranger Things last weekend. I had some catching up to do. Naturally that resulted in some sketches; well one character in particular. I’m really looking forward to seeing the talented Dacre Montgomery in more roles in the future. As for Billy Hargrove, I knew I’d love the development of his character from the very beginning. And I’ll leave it at that for those who are still catching up. 😣