Flowers in The Garden (Attempting Art Outside)

Have you ever written a post then decided it was just too weird or too crappy to publish, so you deleted it? That’s pretty much been the case with this blog lately. Which probably seems a little strange considering some of the things I post on here. Anyway, it can be a very frustrating cycle to get stuck in. But so that my latest string of deleted posts isn’t a complete loss, I’m going to share the resulting masterpieces from my latest deleted post at the end of this one. I’m sure a lot of K-pop fans will find these masterpieces hilarious, so I’ll add them in at the end and hopefully they’ll brighten your day a little. If you don’t like K-pop, it might be best to ignore this add bonus and stick with the main post. It might be a little too weird.

Back to the main post!thumbnail_20190803_134950 A little while ago when it was still warm and sunny and not imitating a monsoon outside, I had the marvellous idea of doing art in the great outdoors. Due to a serious case of the lazys (I really didn’t want to drag paints, brushes and all that outside), I decided to try soft pastels in the vast wilderness that is the garden (yeah, I’m also too socially awkward to try art in the park). So how did this relaxing art session in the garden go?

thumbnail_20190802_183906.jpgWell, the sketching part went rather well and was pretty relaxing, despite being joined by a few bugs a couple of times. I managed to draw a few nice little flowers, so at least this part of this little venture was a success.

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Just a little cheeky fly hanging out on my page.

The only thing was soft pastels probably weren’t the best idea. The chalky dust of the soft pastels mixed with the breeze made an absolute mess on the page and occasionally sent a rainbow coloured dust cloud floating through the garden. All those movies made doing art outside look so graceful and fulfilling. I on the other hand looked like a lost puppy, trying to use multicoloured smoke signals to communicate with an unseen entity at the bottom of the garden. Not the relaxing inspiring scene I envisioned before giving outdoor art a go. thumbnail_20190802_194941

So, would I recommend art outside? Probably not with soft pastels! Sketching is pretty easy as long as you can draw with the book on your lap, but using soft pastels outside is another story. I did manage to add a bit of life to my flower; however, it would have been much easier to do indoors and I would have done a much better job. Its probably best to keep the soft pastels for indoor use, unless you’re planning on doing pavement art (which I was so tempted to do). Next time I might try painting in the garden, if it ever stops raining and I recover from the lazy bug.thumbnail_20190803_134950

As always, Thanks for reading!

Bonus: 
Okay time for a little K-pop related giggle to brighten your day, because a good old laugh can really make a stressful or tough day seem a little less miserable and help you reach the end of the day, without slamming your head on your desk or flinging your coffee cup at the dreadfully annoying guy at the office (which will most likely get you fired, probably best to hold off on the old coffee cup throwing). Anyway, the deleted post was about a discussion I had with my eldest niece that lead to the creation of these two wonderful masterpieces. We were very bored and it was raining cats and dogs outside, so we decided to give 2 pictures that were on my niece’s wall a makeover.thumbnail_20190807_165929thumbnail_20190807_165735

The fabulous green love-heart creation is Jungkook from BTS and the blue and gold is Dimash Kudaibergen, who isn’t a K-pop idol but is an extremely talented singer, so he deserved a makeover too. We might have ventured over into cringey fan territory a little with this, but for giggle value alone it was a rainy afternoon well spent. Hope they brought a smile to your face.

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Cute Pokémon Art 

After 2 weeks of no sketching or doodling, being able to draw again felt so good. But what does one sketch when you haven’t lifted a pencil in 2 weeks and in fear that you’ve forgotten how to draw? Cute Pokémon of course! Specifically, a sketch capturing the friendship of a group of cute starter Pokémon.
If you’re following me on Instagram, you may already have seen the sketch part of this post. Luckily, I’ve added colour to that sketch, so there’s still something new to see in this post. So, with that in mind let’s begin.

thumbnail_20181128_132941To be completely honest, I was surprised the sketch turned out this good. Shoulder injury has somehow improved my ability to draw Pokémon (hmm… wonder if I injure it some more, will I improve further). Granted, I couldn’t sketch as lightly as I usually do (hence why you can see a few stray lines), but still this is the best darn Pokémon sketch I’ve done to date.

thumbnail_20181128_195523For the colour I decided to torture myself a little and whip out the soft pastels again. They do create a lot of dust, that chokes you half to death if breathed in and they’re not my best medium, but I still really want to master them. This time however, I used a different approach with the soft pastels and used a dry paint brush to apply them, instead of using them directly on the page. This technique is still difficult to use, but creates a lot less dust and mess.

thumbnail_20181128_195641One thing you learn pretty early on when learning to draw, is that pencil lines have a habit of fading while you’re adding colour and after, they usually need touched up or gone over with a fine liner. Which is exactly what happened with this piece, so I redone the linework after adding colour.

thumbnail_20181128_211525Finally, this piece just wouldn’t be complete without some kind of background. The only problem with this was, that I was using soft pastels. Soft pastel can be incredibly unforgiving, meaning doing anything fancy with the background would greatly risk ruining the entire piece. So, I played it safe and went somewhat simpler with the background and concentrated on using the background to get some more colour in the piece.

Really don’t want to sound big-headed or full of myself, but I’m very pleased with how this piece turned out. Hope you’ve enjoyed this post and…

As always, Thanks for reading!

(I’ll probably post this finished piece on Instagram sometime next week, just to tie up loose ends and not have incomplete work posted on there.)

Suffered for Art and Learnt So Much

thumbnail_20180816_175727It’s not just a dramatic title, in this little art adventure (more like misadventure) I actually did suffer trying to better my art. But more about that in a bit, I’d first like to tell you all why after working so hard to master acrylics and Gouache paint, am I now messing with soft pastels. Well, kind of for sentimental reasons. Firstly, away back in the day my mother was really into art and her main medium was pastels. So, I thought it might be nice to try my hand at pastels and learn a little more about it. Secondly, my mother gifted a set of soft pastels for my birthday a few months ago and I wanted to use them before she started to think I didn’t like them.

As helpful as having a parent that also into art sounds, sadly I can’t ask my mother for art tips. Our styles are miles apart and so very different and we draw completely different things. My mother creates mostly things with flowers or landscape pieces (which I’m terrible at) and as you all know, I mostly draw characters (which my mother is rubbish at) and animals. So, as you see it would quickly become an exercise in futility. Therefore, I teach myself by experimenting (messing around) with art supplies and learning what works or by watching YouTube and to be honest soft pastels had a very steep learning curve.

So, getting back on track I give to you what I learnt from suffering for art:

Don’t breathe in the dust and soft pastels are probably not suitable for asthmatics-
This wasn’t the first thing learnt from this experience, but was the most important lesson and explains why I suffered. So, to emphasise the point, don’t breathe in the dust that’s created by soft pastels. I wasn’t aware of how dusty or dangerous this medium could be and accidentally breathed in the dust and near coughed a lung up (but luckily, I always keep an inhaler close by). So, art responsibly and don’t half kill yourself like me. It’s probably best to wear some type of dust mask while using soft pastels.

thumbnail_20180816_150530Try not to drop the case of pastels-
If dropped the pastels break into pieces. Looking on the bright side, I will repeat what I tell my nieces and nephew when they accidentally break their crayons. “Hey, at least there’s 2 of those colours now, which makes sharing so much easier.”

thumbnail_20180816_151344Soft pastels are really hard to control-
Due to their unusual shape it is incredibly difficult to draw even the basic shapes or thin lines. Not to mention it’s also rather difficult to predict what will happen when the pastel is blended or rubbed. Drawing a character with these would be way beyond my soft pastel skills, so instead I decided to create a bit of an abstract nature themed piece.

thumbnail_20180816_152103Soft pastels are incredibly messy-
Merely holding a pastel and applying it to paper will cover your fingertips in pastel dust. Also using your fingers to blend or rub in the pastel is a really bad idea. Your hand will quickly become unrecognisable (I would share a photo of what happened my hand but it was too gross. It looked like old mouldy cheese).

thumbnail_20180816_153450Drawing with pastels is a little like painting with acrylics, except it’s a lot harder-
You can lay down the basic plan and colours of your drawing like acrylics. However, unlike acrylics you can’t prevent colours mixing or looking muddy, by waiting until the paint is dry before adding another colour. With pastels the colours always have the possibility of blending and muddying. Making working with more than one colour really difficult.

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Keep trying until you create something you like-
Despite choking half to death on rainbow coloured dust in the beginning, I kept going and eventually made something nice. Not bad for a first attempt, though if I hadn’t feared choking on pastel dust again, I could have keep going even longer and made something better.

Pastels are actually very difficult medium but they’re also a hell of a lot of fun-
I have a new-found respect for pastel artist, soft pastels are so hard to work with. It must take so much time, skill and effort to create something amazing with soft pastels.
Pastels are a lot of fun to mess around with, so I would like to try to master them. However next time I’ll use better judgment and wear some type of dust mask.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little art adventure and as always,
Thanks for reading.