Saturday, 30 July 2016


After 6 years of part-time study, I’ve decided to stop. Getting a Bachelor of Theology Degree became far too much like hard work. Accepting a Diploma in Biblical Studies is a breeze. Time to move on. Time to do art again.

And of course, being me, I’m doing an art course. 3 months, 12 Artists, 12 Fairy Tales. And Style Development. Also, I wanted to learn different techniques for doing faces, and different styles of faces.

Here's a link to the course.

“This course is a fantastic offer to those who are interested in learning how to make beautiful mixed media paintings inspired by traditional fairy-tales and myths and it has a very attractive curriculum for those interested in the how’s and what’s of style development.”

Yes, yes it is!

The Little Mermaid

Artist: Tamara Laporte
Still a work in progress, using mainly Neocolor II Water Soluble crayons, some collage (not liking how that’s working), and a little bit of acrylic paint and white markers. It pretty much needs more of everything, lol.

I’ve learnt what I don’t like: collage pieces of different thicknesses, fiddly bits, white lines down the centre of faces and a ‘bindi’ mark on the forehead. What I do like: realism (to a certain extent), Neocolor II’s (oh yeah!).  This is what Tam calls a ‘whimsical’ face. I need to go thru the workbook at some stage and do the ‘style development’ exercises/questions, but to start with just didn’t have a clue.

Beauty and the Beast

Artist: Andrea Gommol
This is not going to happen at the moment. Stencils, gel medium and other stuff. Things I’ve done before. The ‘cartoon’ look doesn’t really do it for me. I will come back to it at a later date tho.

Snow White

Artist: Annie Hamman
The technique is to paint a portrait of a woman with an apple (but of course, I chose a rose!) using found images to make a composition, then painted in tones of black to white, and the apple/rose in red.

The idea is to make black by mixing CMY (cyan/magenta/yellow – blue/red/yellow) – then adding white to make lighter tones. While I thought the teacher, artist Annie Hamman, gave a good explanation, when it came to doing it myself, the results were pretty awful, but then so are my supplies. Just look at those expiry/best before dates!

1. Chroma Art Students Acrylic:

Using ‘fire sale’ expired paints from Geoff’s Emporium didn’t really work: they had a fire, so the paints are heat damaged, and have expiry dates of 2008 and 2009. What do you expect when you only paid around $5-6 about 5 years ago! The Alizarine Crimson Hue is leaking red fluid. Becca commented: “You’ve cut someone up and stuffed them in a tube. Now it’s bleeding!”

Oh Gosh - it's still dribbling into the bowl - I'd better go and put a cap on it!

Cobalt Blue Hue (2008)
Cadmium Yellow Light Blue (2009)
Alizarine Crimson Hue (2008)
They made an ugly green colour.

2. Atelier Interactive Artists’ Acrylic:

Cobalt Turquoise Light Hue (2009)
Permanent Alizarine (2008)
Transparent Yellow (2007)
Green. Ugh.

3. Reeves Acrylic Colour:

Pthalo Blue
Brilliant Red
Medium Yellow
Nice dark purple till the addition of yellow – then it turned green/brown.

4. Reeves Gouache:

Brilliant Red
Medium Yellow
Least green shift, but the red is all watery.

5. Reeves Acrylic Mars Black and Atelier Interactive Artists’ Acrylic (2007)

Much better result.

This is from the notebook I’m using to make notes from the videos, and to write in my experiments:

OK. It’s been around 3 years since I’ve done any art. While I’ve done a few workshops (mostly online), I’ve never done any ‘art courses’. Research followed, to see if I could learn more, and work out what went wrong.

1. Acrylic vs Gouache
Acrylic: “a plastic latex or emulsion soluble in water.” Once dry is waterproof and durable.
Gouache: “at its most basic, gouache is opaque watercolour.” Pigment suspended in a binder, often Gum Arabic. Remains soluble to water, allowing for blending after the paint has dried.

So, unless I want to do water-coloury things, acrylic is the way to go, otherwise I’d have to use some sort of sealer. (Not that that’s a problem).

2. Watched a couple of videos. I think I’m using the wrong proportions. According to, I should be looking at a 2/1 + a yod (in my terms, lol): 2 x C: 1 x M: ‘ x Y

Part 1 cool and warm black using blues and Burnt Umber or Sienna.
Part 2 How to mix black with primary colours:  Chromatic black

I’m not going to get any painting done tonight! Back to the drawing board tomorrow I think. Hopefully I haven't put anything on this post that I shouldn't have!

And that's the first blogpost I've done in a couple of years!