Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – paintings of realistic and stylised animals


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Creativity for New ACEO paintings in the New Year

My creativity shut up shop for the Christmas period.  I could sense my focus slipping as extra festive activities took hold.   Rather than wrestling Christmas photo of Toy Santabetween the two I gave myself a break.  I let myself off the hook.

Creativity is often seen as an easy kind of self indulgent luxury.  Those that feel they have not been bestowed any creative talent imagine the enjoyment and loveliness of making pictures.   Perhaps it does come easily to some, but I would imagine that like me plenty of artists procrastinate, heading off down the  path of least resistance, that is any other activity except creativity.

Even washing the car has an easily perceived outcome…you wash it, it looks clean.  With shopping, you shop and hey presto you have food you can cook with.  What about a bit of decorating? Assuming you buy the right paint, paint it on in a sensible fashion, the room looks completely renewed.  Having done all these things before there is no real danger of me straying into unknown territory and making a complete hash of this lot.

As for creating art, well only hundreds of decisions have to be made as you progress, tiny but important ones, the outcome of which make or break the painting.  One of the hardest decisions is eliminating your options, what should one do next?   And when things are not going right do you keep on with it or bin it?

Sketches for ACEO paintings by artist Diane Young

So enter creativity as a discipline.  I gave myself a Chrismas break,  now I have to reintroduce my creativity.  Like a daily supplement.  It needs to be rated as essential, like fruit, or vitamins to let it grow, grow, grow.

Today being the first day on my renewed creative path I have gathered some ideas and started on something new.   There are polar bears, hares, wolves and owls, cats and mice.  Harvey the Aardvark is still hibernating, but only for a short while, he will be back soon.

Wishing anyone taking the time to read this a very Happy New Year for 2014.  And for anyone wanting to be creative and not quite getting around to it,  do a little bit each day and make it essential,  just like your daily fruit and veg.


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Painting In Progress

Lazy Painter’s guide recording Work in Progress

It really depends what medium you work in but even drawings can take on quite a transformation from the outset of the original idea.  Artists may use different tools to progress from the first sketch to the finished drawing or painting.

Drawing tools such as tracing or layout paper, light boxes and/or photo shop manipulation enables the good bits of a drawing to be retained easily whilst the areas in need of change more easily manipulated. With these tools there is a trail of changes which could be recorded digitally or glued in a sketch book to inform the artist at a later date how the work evolved. This sort of recording comes easily.

Painting images showing work in progress

For painting work-in-progress the best tool for recording is a camera. How often I have been too lazy to put down my brush and halt for a few minutes to get the camera and quickly take a picture.

It is impossible to remember the phases of a painting’s evolution and in addition artists repeatedly overshoot the optimum moment for the painting to be finished.

Recording the painting at different stages enables an artist to sit back at a later time and review how each stage of the painting has progressed and make objective decisions for making further paintings.

Don’t overshoot the optimum moment to put the brush down, you know that old adage Less Is More.  It just takes a moment to take a snap, and on review will reap benefits for your next masterpiece!


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Diane Young – Painting Edges

Manic Illustrations – Lazy Painter’s guide.

Anything from not changing the brush to not changing the water,  not being lazy means making less mistakes and mess and is more time effective in the long run.  I could have done with a list being given to me many years and many mistakes ago.

The Lazy Painter from Manic Illustrations says:  don’t be lazy – turn the paper around for best results when painting up to an edge!

Pictures showing how to use a paintbrush up to the edge of a drawing.

When you are painting up to an edge place your paper so that your brush is inside the edge and your brush point is against the edge as in Bunny 1 and Bunny 3 .  So many times I have been too lazy to turn the paper round and would reach over the edge as in Bunny 2.   Bunny 3 is happy to be upside down as it is easy to paint accurately this way.  This is for a right handed person,  for a left hander just flip the images horizontally.


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Stamp Lady Rachel Markwick

Studying Art Process

One of my artist friends who trained on the Access Course at my local College was Rachel Markwick.  For some time she had been painting and explored her craft further on the course.  We had so much fun it was a truly bonding experience for us mature students.

Landscape Rachel Markwick

But simply wanting (and trying) to progress in the art world is often not enough.  For each of us it is a different process and often time has to pass, where creativity takes us to both good and bad places, and may be quite a balancing act where there are commitments other than just a desire to be creative.

From Painting To Collage with Stamps

Then a few years ago Rachel’s creativity took on a completely different look involving her inherited collection of stamps.

Stamp Collage Rachel MarkwickFrom Van Gogh’s sunflowers and hilly scenes of Stroud emerged the Stamp Lady of Stroud.  

There is a story behind the use of stamps in Rachel’s work, but to fast forward somewhat she makes clever, endearing and detailed images from stamps from all over the world. From ships to owls, and from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to International flags there is so much detail right down to the fish in the sea and the people in the arches of the Colosseum. 

Stamps Flag USA by Rachel Markwick

More of Rachel Marwick to be found on her Website.


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Christmas Reindeer ACEO Painting

Interesting Facts about Reindeer

Reindeer are thought to be the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light. This helps them see things in bright snowy conditions as the ultraviolet light creates sharp contrast with objects other than snow. Their noses are also specialised and designed for increased internal surface area which allows cold dry air to moisten as they breath in.  

There are very few reindeer which are truly wild,  some roaming animals are escaped domestic stock, and even the reindeer on the Tundra (just below the North Pole) are owned by Saami herdsmen.

Christmas Reindeer Painting ACEO by Diane Young Manic Illustrations.

 


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Santa’s Songbird The Red Cardinal

Two ACEOs inspired by a Poem

Red Cardinal Bird painting inspired by a poem by Diane Young Red Cardinal singing a painting inspired by a poem by Diane Young

The Red Cardinal

I was approached by a poet writing a children’s book using a poem she created about a bright red bird.  She sent me some stanza’s of the said poem and wondered if I might be inspired to create ACEOs with her poem in mind.

The poem “Santa’s Songbird” is about a blessed Red Cardinal, a North American bird rather like the Green Finches of the UK but with feathers of a vibrant red colour.

And so here he is, in all his glory.