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Clouds, Morgawr, & a small ship

A few weeks ago, we were practicing painting clouds.  I chose this sky, and last Friday I added a better sea, light-beams, a small ship and Morgawr, the Falmouth Seamonster.   I wonder now if Morgawr should have been in the sunlit patch, but hey ho. 



I should know better than to argue with idiots on facebook, but when it's the local idiot shock collar enthusiast dog trainer trying to drum up enthusiasm among sheep farmers for a protest against the national ban on electric shock collars, I feel someone should argue, and I'm better equipped with arguments than most.


He really annoys me. I have seen a lot of dogs wearing shock collars recently (UTTERLY innappropriately, for things like 'barking while on the lead' (a shi tzu) or 'bouncing and pulling' (a mini poodle) -  and it's all this one guy who sells them.    It drives me nuts.  Let us hope the trend is now over.

Still, he deleted his post, so that was funny and actually quite a good result. 

I went to a demonstration of Chinese ink-painting by Kaili Fu this week, and came back keen to try some of the ideas and techniques.  I didn’t have any rice-paper, or the proper ink or brushes, so I had to make do with indian ink, a book of hand-made paper that I happened to have had lurking about the place for ages, and a little acrylic paint.

This was the image I liked best, the third that I made.  The bottom photo shows it from the side, to show a little how the gold acrylic shines, and the top photo shows it top-down.  All the other colour is ink.   The influence of Kaili’s ink-painting here is probably just to embrace the fact that the paper absorbs and the ink mixes, rather than trying to fight it!  I only used blue, yellow and black ink, and a little water.   (you can also see the difference that lighting makes to photographing these!)

This next one was entirely created in inks, and again, trying to embrace the fact that the ink spreads, particularly if mixed with water and applied from a wet brush.   (warning, there’s a spider!)   This one is a painting of another story from the Silmarillion: Ungoliant poisoning the Golden Tree, Laurelin.

Finally, this was the first I created, and probably closest to the demonstration.  It’s a rowan tree.  I think I could have applied the red ink with a dryer brush, so I got a more ‘berried’ texture, but I do like the purple swirly hills and the sharp, dry-brushed rocks.


Dragon over Laketown

The class were doing Nocturnes again, emphasis on clouds in the moonlight this time.  I made this pretty much in one class (did a lttle touching up of the clouds & moon later) and I am very pleased with it!

It goes rather well with the thing I wrote for the Tolkien reverse summer bang : a Hobbit Movieverse AU story:  Dragon, Ghost, King and Bowman.  The artist I was writing for seems to have vanished from the face of the internet at the moment: I hope they will like it when they finally re-surface, but in the meanwhile,  I'm counting this as having made my own art treat :-D

A sudden pile of Tolkien Art.

I have a pile of things that I made that were Secret, because people were writing stories for them.  But they are no longer Secret, and here they are!
Fimbrethil & Fangorn,  in their younger days, Ent and Entmaiden.
And then, an elder Fimbrethil meets a pair of hobbit children.

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A watercolour poppy

The introductory session for the local artists group was last night.  I enjoyed some of their events over the last year, so I re-registered.  Thirty quid.  I might even be brave and put some art into their exhibition next year!

One of the big online art supply shops - SAA - had donated some vouchers and supplies, and was running a thing where you were supposed to paint a poppy and then post it off to them to be in a competition for the Armistice Day centenary.   It was watercolours, which I don't usually do, and only four colours of paint (two reds, two greens).  This was my effort.  Given that it's the first time I have used watercolour paints since primary school, I think, I'm quite pleased!   I liked the cheap brushes they supplied too, which was no doubt the intention.  I may buy some!

This week in art class...

We were learning How to Paint Clouds.  I really like how this has gone so far, though I'm wondering whether to add a dragon or a ship to the image next week.  I want to tidy up the beams a bit too, some of them are too wide or not at the right angle.

I've also taken to doing daily quick drawings from photos at Quickposes - a nifty gadget that throws photos at you and you draw them at top speed - you can choose to do 10, 20, 30 etc images, with intervals from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.  (I haven't dared to try the 30 second option yet!) and is set up to encourage you to do at least 30 mins a day.

It tracks what timed poses you have done if you give it an email address to track. Apparently I have now drawn 949 figures and faces from the point where I started tracking!  I am getting much faster and the percentage of 'unrecognisably horrible' images produced is definitely going down.

Using my new skills, I drew a Thorin.  It did take me more than 2 minutes, but probably not more than half an hour, and it was drawn straight in ink - no pencil lines at all. Yay, I am learning things!


In which my ambition knows no bounds

And I attempt to paint in the style of Claude Lorrain:

This is Cirdan and Lalwen in Hithlum. Because if there's one thing better than an obscure Tolkien character in an obscure Tolkien location, it's TWO of them!!!

The hot weather is over and although the sun is shining, the shadows are long, blue and starting to look just a little autumnal, and it's much more pleasant out now.  I did a longish walk with Rosie this morning, down to Latchley and all around the lanes.  The squirrels seem to have had most of the hazelnuts now, but it is an excellent blackberry-picking year, and I keep meaning to take a tub out with me so I can bring some home rather than just scrobbling them from the hedgerows and eating them there and then.  I may even get my act together and pick some rowan berries, for rowan jelly, too.

Went over and visited my mother, who is... well, sort of resting, anyway, and looks much better.  Pudding the cat has gone from reluctantly friendly (which happened briefly while my Mum was in hospital) back to WHO THE HELL ARE YOU.  Mum is still taking 'old ladies' to the shops in her car and working at the charity shop.  But she did cancel a long drive up to North Devon to meet a friend for lunch and opted to take it easy instead, which I suppose is good.
This was a standard exercise, using cloud, cliff and sea together to create a painting where the eye is drawn to the light in the middle distance, and a figure gives scale to the cliffs.  We all used different figures: obviously mine is Maglor.  This meant I had to explain Maglor to the art class.  They were a little puzzled, but seemed sympathetic! 

Things Occurring (nothing too major!)

On Sunday, I rang my mother and she admitted she was feeling unwell (unusual!) and sounded rather weak and wambly.  So I went round and made butternut squash soup and rolls, and got her to eat a bit of it.  She was not looking good, but she had an appointment with the doctor on Monday, so I said I'd come back and take her.  Then later, she called to say a friend from her village would give her a lift.  Fair enough.

On Monday, I heard there was a dog missing from Tavistock that had been seen wandering around our local lanes here (her home is about 8 miles away AND she had crossed the Tamar!)  So I printed out some posters and took them with me on my morning walk to stick up around the place. 

Did that, got home to be greeted by Pp in a hurry, telling me that my mother had phoned to ask to be taken to the hospital, and her doctor had phoned after that to make sure we had got the message.  Eek. 
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