Thursday, 31 December 2015

Last Day! Shaun Tan and Magpies appearing :)
Shaun Tan

Magpies Emerging slowly - work in progress

Ok, here is my final Inspiring Artist (in reality there are so many artists out there that inspire me it was really hard to just choose 10) - Shaun Tan :) Shaun is multi-talented, he is an illustrator, an animator, an author, a sculptor and painter...and also a great public speaker by the way. His books are marketed towards children but they are so poignant and open to interpretation that they appeal to all ages. Between my daughter and myself we have several of his books, my favourite being 'Eric'. Shaun grew up in the Northern suburbs of Perth and when we were fortunate enough to go and see one of his exhibitions in Fremantle a couple of years ago his landscape oil paintings were so relateable to me, having grown up in the same area. But they had an other worldly quality to them, something mysterious hidden just out of reach. In 2011 Shaun won an Academy Award for the Best Animated Short Film 'The Lost Thing', I read this book every time I feel stuck in the dreaded block. It makes me remember why I love Art. You should really do yourself a favour and check out his blog  The Bird King

Something I learned this year, this is a small thing but it may be helpful to others. When I paint, I try to avoid pure Titanium white whenever possible, but this year I painted quite a few owls and sometimes you just need it. I am using this same technique at the moment to bring out my Magpies. I start with a warm grey underneath, then, using a dirty brush (I mean a brush that has been sitting in paint water or solvent to build up scumbled layers of slightly dirty white, getting more white as I go...only on the last layer do I use a dry brush with pure white on it. It seems to help avoid the chalkiness by contaminating it with other colour and suggesting depth with the darker colours underneath. I hope this makes sense?

And a product...well I can't really comment on its usefulness yet, I just got it yesterday! For a long time I have wanted to try a Moleskine journal but the only place I have seen them is ebay and they are all in the USA or UK...postage cost for them is incredible...but I took a little trip to Jackson's yesterday and they had just gotten them in so that will be one of my goals for next fill my little journal with finished sketches :) Have a safe and Happy New year everyone and thanks for listening to my ramblings :) Cheers!