Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

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


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Sketchbooks Be Gone with You!

Yesterday I started an attempt at declutttering.  What should I keep and what should go?   I headed for my bookshelf and targeted some old sketchbooks having decided to photograph pages I liked and store them digitally instead.

Diane Youngs Art and sketch books in my attic studio.

In amongst artist and nature books are malingering sketch books from over many a year.

Some of the sketches have sentimental value, and are a visual diary hinting at events and places sporadically over the year. Some of the sketches were a means to an end.  They were good practice for observing and drawing.

Other sketches were experimental when I had been involved in course work and attempting to work outside my usual method of creativity.

So I took sketchbooks which were not essentially full of great stuff and photographed those images I felt connected to and transferred them to my computer.  The nice thing about looking back at sketch books from years gone by is that a lot of the images look better to me now than when I created them. The space and time that has passed makes them feel like they are not quite so firmly attached to me allowing me to be less critical.

The other nice thing about storing the sketches digitally is that they take on a more professional look on a screen than in the sketchbook.

I agree with the declutter theory that you feel lighter and freer without hanging onto lots of stuff.  This is a start but I still have a long way to go.

Sketch of a flamboyant flamingo by artist Diane Young Sketch from life by artist Diane Young of a young boy Mixed Media  2004 Coursework by Artist Diane YoungSketchbook characters  2004 by artist Diane Young  Sketchbook showing collage and drawing by artist Diane Young

A variety of pages from 2004 Sketchbook – from life, mixed media and character development.

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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.