Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Emily's purple round

When I was working on this last night, things didn't seem to be going as I'd planned. And so, when I was done, I thought I'd leave you with this pix, and be done with it:

Then, I thought, that that wasn't really 'honest' and maybe I'd add a second pix:

What do they both have in common? Both were taken from afar, and I'd not have to reckon with the details of my purple round.

And then I remembered the reason for this blog: to document my journey in one-stroke painting, and to not have it all here, even the 'warts' wouldn't be right.

So, here's the story: My friend Emily (who remains an imaginary friend, because we have not met IRL) sent me this cake-board via the office of the Alliance Francaise where I study French every Saturday.

After stripping off the silver paper, I found that the board wasn't of the best quality, so it needed to be gesso-ed, and even after that, it still looked pimple-y. SO: I gesso-ed it one more time, this time, leaving it with a textured feel, with raised swirls (it didn't come through in the pix) - which I hope helps hide the pimples.

I did the edge in the purple Emily wanted - it's here favourite colour, she says - and did a light cover on the gesso (not enough, it still sucked up my paint and foiled my flowers :(

Emily wants to make this into a clock. I don't know if it'll work, Em, but let me know if you succeed.

Here's a close-up of the flowers on top, on the bottom, and an 'honest' close-up of the whole round, flaws and all  ;)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Larnee's luggage

Here's what I was doing on Sunday morning:

Any whichaway her luggage is thrown out onto the carousel, she'll be able to see it from afar! Either by the ferns on the side, or by the round-thingy on the front.

I also did the round motif on her carry-on luggage. So that the two look like a set, which they aren't lah. And here they are, together, posing for a pix:
Here's a close-up of the scroll-work-in-a-round:

Her bags are black. And of textile, not the hard, clam-shell kind. So, I had to get paints for textile. She wanted something in silver, and that's what she got. It looks a lot softer in silver. White would have been to jarring on the eyes; too in-your-face.

I used Plaid paints. All I needed to do was let it dry for a bit, and heat-set it with a hair dryer :)
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My dining table

This dining table has been with our family since Larnee was a baby. Over the years, it was used for everything from meals, to homework, to ironing (by a maid who didn't like using an ironing board), to a scratchpad for practising numbers and letters, and numerous other stuff.

So, it looked pretty battered: scratched, burnt, scoured, warped.

One day, Dan decided that it needed to be spruced up a bit, and painted it white.

On Saturday, I decided to dress it up a bit - and practised some flowers on it :)

It SO doesn't go with the rest of my home in KL, but those were the colours I had brought with me, so I bashed on.

Come Christmas, I'm thinking I'll do a red-and-green poinsettia thingy on it!
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Monday, 20 September 2010

Luggage patch

If you're anything like everyone else out there, your luggage is black. All black. And when it comes out of the carousel at the airport, do you often wonder, "Is that my bag?"

Yes, I've seen the ribbons, and the stickers, and I've also seen two different hands reach for the same bag!

SO: I think it was Larnee who came up with this idea: for me to paint a patch on her bag, so she'll recognise it from afar, and can reach for it with confidence :)

But, what do I paint? I've toyed with ferns (failed) and she seems to like my scroll-work. So, this evening, I came up with a few patches, for her to look at, and maybe there's something here she likes.

I started out with the first one - in a rectangle and a circle; then I decided to do three longish-shapes; and as usual, because I always have extra paint in my palette, I doodled, and voila, the last one.

There is no way I'll be able to exactly reproduce what I've done here. Such is my 'talent' lah: the brush sorta takes itself all over the page, and I am but its servant! But, I can but try to replicate what you like lah  ;)

Scroll-work is something I simply love doing, and so, this was fun.

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On my door: Patzplaze

SO: the spirit moved me yesterday, and from out of the blue, I got this idea to paint my name on my door.

A couple of days earlier, I'd watched Donna Dewberry paint ribbons on to something, and as usual, she did it like it was the simplest thing in the world. Which it's so NOT - but tell me what's new about that???!!!

Anyways, I decided that I would do just that: blue ribbons, with a pinky rose, and little flowers and rose-buds.

Here's how it turned out:

My view of my door from where I sit:

A closer shot of what it's all about:

And as always, my valuable assistants, who're with me every step of the way:

To date, this is my most ambitious project, and I'm quite happy with the results. The larger you paint, the more easily seen are the mistakes. But, it is also easier to do the strokes, and they do tend to do what they're told. The smaller pieces are more difficult for me: despite the smaller brushes, there is little room for movement, and the end result tends to look kinda lifeless. Maybe this won't always be so, and as I get better at this, even my small pieces will begin to look good :)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A lantern for Lita

I have been meaning to do this for a long time, and yesterday, I felt was the right time to just do it.

I can practise a stroke with confidence, and execute petals and leaves without a thought - but when it comes to doing something for someone, my hands will shake, I'll lose my confidence, and I'll be just stupid.

Yesterday was no different. I did the first flower, and I decided it looked so horrid, I had to wipe it off. Believe me, when you're working with Enamels, it's not as easy as just writing those words.

So, after scrubbing and polishing with a cotton towel, I told myself that if it looked like hell, I could 'clean' it off all over again. Ahhh, such fun to look forward to.

I ponced the metal bits earlier, with a combination of red and green - which results in a sorta all-over-brown, with green bits, and red bits, here and there. Nice.

Then, it was time for the glass work:

A white-leafed coaster

There is was just coasting along on my table, and I needed something to use my left-over white paint (from the lantern) on:

Monday, 13 September 2010

3 cups, a bottle, and my diary cover

During the Aidil Fitri holidays, my Larnee, William, and Simone visited us in PD. While they were away during the days, I spent my time making them 'bye for now' gifts.

First, was this blue mug (which everyone will recognise, cos it's vintage Ikea), in blue, and in black-and-white leaves, for William:

The green cup had to be Larnee's - green's her favourite colour, see. I had originally done yellow-and-white flowers, but they didn't pop. So, after a quick clean-up, I tried again in black-and-white, which is better. Believe me. BUT, black-and-white makes shades of grey, and not 'quite' right for this violent apple green. Ahh well, I'll remember not to do that again.

This next one turned out to be what I am proudest of: the white-and-purple on white, for Simone. Unfortunately, it doesn't photograph as well as I would have liked it to. But, I liked this best:

And, as always, there will be left over paint. I liked the purple-and-white so much, I did the same flowers on my water bottle :)

And with the left over black and white paint, I did some scroll-work on my diary cover - it was lying on my desk, and I wanted to paint something quickly, before the paint dried!!! Hahahah!!! I have yet to learn to put some stand-by stuff around: to be grabbed when I've done with the thing I am painting, and I want to finish up the paint.

I see that my pictures are a tad off-centre. Hahahah!!! But, because of that, in the background somewhere up there, you can see one wall of the room I spend a lot of time in! Here's where I sit at my pc, behind that often photographed, paint-speckled desk; and of course, it's where I paint; and sometimes belt out my favourite songs on You Tube; play my Wii; and often, when I'm tired of sitting on my bum, you'll find me reading on that bed you can sorta see in the background. On the poster-board above the bed, is a collection of bits and pieces I've painted, from the time I started. I cannot believe it has been one year - or it will be, come October. Nice :)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Linen n lace

I have seen this online, and I've seen it done so beautifully - halus is the word we'd use in Malay, which means fine, delicate but so does not capture the essence of how it is executed.

Yennyways, I thought I'd give it a try. The linen bits are in the centre, and the reverse-scallop trim around the edge. It doesn't quite come out in the photo - but it also means I need to use a slightly heavier mix of watery-white (note to self).

Also, this is so not the paper to be doing this on. It warped, bigtime, and I had to wait for it to dry, and then weight it down so that it would be flat in the morning. I think this is a pad of sugar-paper, and it's not for wet painting. Dry work is ok. But there is warping, which sucks :(

Some blotches, as is evident, but for a first try, I'm not at all not pleased. MUAHAHAH!!!

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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Painting on glass

I dared myself to stop with the practising and to actually paint something... and this is it:

... fresh out of the oven, the set-of-three tealights, the one big one, and a flower pot:

Close-ups of the larger tealight:

With the lights out, and lighted :)

A wise man told me that I should be happy with my work, and accept compliments graciously. This time, I can say that I am happy :)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Blue on blue

I've been thinking about what to paint for a friend - and so I've been monkeying around with stuff, and yesterday, I thought I'd try out my favourite: tone-on-tone.

I used blue (although I know her favourite colour is purple), and since it was a round board, tried out a border design in a circle. I don't think it'll do for a clock-face, though. It looks too much like a wreath. So, I'll have to split it, I think - a larger half-circle at the bottom, a smaller half-circle at the top.

With my left-over paint, I practised more ferns - to find a fern that would be worthy of gracing Larnee's black bag. I don't have long more to practice, though. So, I think I'll have to settle on something soon.

Here's a shot of yesterday's work - taken on my easel.

I've taken to my easel again, because sitting on my bum, hunched over my paints, is not a good thing for me. So, it's standing, from now onwards, and I feel much better.