Wasting a few Canvases

One of my first little pieces – my purple tree. It is still one of my MOST viewed and bought prints. I remember creating it like it was yesterday. I loved trying to create it from an image in my head. I didn’t know whether it would work out or not. I felt I was really stepping out of my comfort zone not having a reference photo.

Purple Tree

This was four years ago and I still never know whether a painting is going to work out. I mean I always hope it does but I’m not too upset if it doesn’t. Sometimes I’ll revisit it, sometimes I won’t. The point is I tried to create something that was in my mind. I tried to bring an image to life.

I’m starting to realise, as I get older that I’ll regret not trying things way more than I will wasting some money on a few canvases! Art has helped me grow a whole lot more than anything else I’ve done. It’s helped allow me to show my compassionate and caring side.

Cabin by the River

Another one from that year. This was one of the first pieces I sold. A real ego boost. I remember selling it and how that made me feel. I have always favoured the thought of having my own business. I love to create.

The only other thing that has helped me grow an enormous amount in the last couple of years was With You With Me. I started learning Data Analytics and from there I started to teach. More on that in a later post. So many people look at me weird when I tell them I’m an Artist and a Data Analyst. Most people don’t think these two loves don’t go together, but if you think about it you see many similarities.

Check out my next post to find out how I got into Data Analysis and how the two careers are similar.

Floral Obsession

This one took a while for me to finish. It’s on a rather large stretched canvas. The colours and abstract nature make me feel a whole lot less stressed. I enjoyed creating these florals. In case you haven’t noticed it’s one of my favourite subjects to paint!

As I continue my way through my art journey I’ve found that I’m leaning towards fantasy and abstract art more and more. Using my palette knives and leaving streaks down the painting seam to make me happy.

Colours and shapes with soft blends and harsh contrast are far more interesting for me than “perfect hyper realism”. Hyper realism is a thing, but definitely not my thing. It’s kind of like when I cook, I can’t ever follow a recipe to the letter. I always have to change it, modify it and make it my own. For better or worse!

So far it’s working out for me so I think I’ll keep allowing myself to evolve. Painting and sketching for me may just be a hobby, but I’m absolutely at peace when in the process. Hopefully it turns into more than just a hobby – that’s the goal anyway!

Floral paintings

I’ve really been getting into the floral paintings over the last few months. I have done some water colours that I’ll show you next week. I’ve also done several sketches for my colouring book.

To check out more of my work go to my Facebook or Instagram feeds to see some work in process pics.

Here are some of my recent acrylics paintings on canvas board.

I really love sun flowers and so does my step mum. I painted these for her when she came over to the uk earlier this year.

Poppies are just beautiful and stunningly bright! These ones are already sold.

Lilies are my favourite flowers and I absolutely love this little one. The most realistic I’ve managed to paint so far.

And the last of my acrylic flowers for now, my yellow roses. I will have to revisit these ones as I’m not 100% happy with them.

Thanks for looking at my work,

Chrissy xx

Obsession – Abstract Art

Obsession uses my all time favourite colours. Aptly named, I have an obsession with the colour purple. I like to have some drama in my paintings, the more contrast and texture the better.

Starting off with some basic colours and soft blends. I love to blend the paint together on my canvas, mixing the different colours by adding different amounts of each colour.

Adding more depth of colour and changing shapes where I think I need to. Nearly finished, I have to just add some more texture with the palette knife and I’m all done! I’m using packing tape to hold my canvas sheet to my board. It’s a really handy tool as it will give me a lovely little border around the edge of my sheet.

If you fancy popping over to see my next piece in progress, I have progress pictures available on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

If you’re ready to purchase one of my paintings please pop over to my Etsy store.

Cheers guys,

Chrissy xx

Eternal – Abstract Art

My latest piece Eternal, I think, is one of my best abstract pieces. I loved creating it so much. It brought joy to my day, even if it started out terrible. Now that I have finished it, I don’t feel sad that it’s over. I feel excited. Excited to put it out into the world. No matter what anyone’s reaction is. I’m endlessly proud of my work and it’s the closest to perfect I’ve managed to obtain this far in my new found love and appreciation for abstract art.

Above: The first stages of creating Eternal.

Most people see an abstract piece and think “well that must have taken all of 2 seconds to slap the paint on.” But let me tell you, Abstract art, a good piece takes hours. It takes mastery of techniques that most people don’t think of as techniques at all. When the only map or blueprint you have is in your head it is incredibly difficult to transfer that on to a canvas. It also takes a skill that I’ve been finding the hardest to master so far and its probably the most important……. knowing when to stop.

In the picture above I am introducing some deeper colours and shapes with green, blue and purple. I love soft blends and cloud like shapes. I love adding the deeper colours to give the piece more drama.

The texture of paint is what I love, using paint brushes and palette knives to create depth and interest in the piece is something that is new to me. I am really loving learning about how the palette knives work and the interesting shapes you can make using them.

Above: Eternal – the finished piece.

With my new found fascination for soft blends and dramatic depth of colour I think I will be creating many more pieces similar to this one.

If you would like to follow me on my art journey come and follow my Instagram or Facebook pages. Want to own one of my pieces? That’s easy, go to my Etsy store to check out what’s available!

Cheers,

Chrissy xx

One year Anniversary – where on earth has the time gone?u

I have now been an Artist for just over a year. I am shocked at how far I’ve come in one short year. I’ve made so much progress and I’ve been able to address some of my confidence issues.

Above is one of my very first sketches……. 🙈🙈

As an artist you are forever being judged. So many people think you don’t actually “work” and that it must be easy to throw some paint on a canvas. There will always be someone sniggering behind your back, sometimes even to your face. But you know what the best thing I’ve learnt this year is? Is not to care or listen to the armchair critics. The quicker you learn to ignore the ‘know-it-alls’ the better off you are going to be.

Above is a short video a start of a puffin sketch. It turned out really nice. It just shows a little bit of effort every day over time is totally worth it.

I have enjoyed so much about the last year. I’ve loved that many people love my art and that lots of my pieces (prints and originals) are making lots of people happy. I’ve loved learning new skills and learning how to perfect certain techniques. I’ve even enjoyed finding myself lost and not sure how to move a piece forward. I have also enjoyed being able to put those pieces down, move to something new and then coming back to the old piece and knowing exactly where to go.

Learning that I don’t have to force myself to be creative and enjoying the fact that some of my better pieces were created when I threw the rule book out the window.

I learnt to TRUST myself. Trust that I am actually good at this. It’s wonderful that after many years, several different jobs and career choices that I have finally found something I love. And yet I still have SO much farther to go. The road may seem never ending, but holy moly I am going to enjoy strolling off down the winding dirt path with the fairies.

Keep up with my progress and all my new pieces for this next year by following me on Instagram and Facebook. If you would like to see what original pieces and prints I have on sale at the moment check out my Etsy Store or my Redbubble Site.

River through the mountains

Here is my first ever painting done with a palette knife. A river running through the mountains to the ocean.

I love the flow and peace that this painting seems to give. Although the river is clearly forcing its way to the ocean, the flow of water makes me feel calm and relaxed. This is the first piece of a series of paintings featuring rivers, the ocean and mountains. I’m surrounded by mountains here where I live so it’s not hard to find plenty of inspiration.

The first stage of this painting. I blocked in the background colours with a fat brush. I very much limited the amount of colours I used for this painting. I wanted to challenge myself to create a piece with depth using limited tools. I had 1 brush and one palette knife, red, blue, yellow, black and white. My favourite kinds of skies to create are definitely stormy skies. I like my paintings to have lots of drama in them. The acrylic paint I have used is Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint.

Next week I’ll be publishing another river painting I have created this year. To keep up to date with my current work please pop over to my social media pages.

Www.facebook.com/chrissyturleyartist

Www.instagram.com/chrissyturley30

My favourite Art tools

This week the topic is my favourite tools! Learn about what paint brushes, pencils, markers, water colour pencils and ball point pens I love and why! 

Paint Brushes

It’s really hard to find an ethical paint brush when you’re vegetarian. I don’t use any that are made from animal hair. This is something that is really important to me! I only use synthetic brushes. It’s hard to get a ‘rough’ look to your paint with synthetic brushes. So what I do is mess a couple up by scrubbing them hard into the canvas board or tissue paper. It messes the bristles up and you can get a much more natural effect for things like trees. 


Spectrum Noir Markers

Alcohol Markers are becoming far more popular. They give a great deal of colour saturation with very little effort. They are especially good for fantasy art and animae drawings. Blending can be really difficult when you’re starting out with them. Paper plays an important role with alcohol Markers. 

Graphite

This is the sketching set I’m using at the moment. They are fairly good, but next time I’ll be purchasing something that’s a little better quality. I find there isn’t a lot of difference between the hard leads and the softer pencils. This sometimes can make shading very difficult. 

Watercolour Pencils

The below picture is of a print drawn in watercolour pencils. You can lay a lot of colour down to make things very rich and vibrant, or use a very light pressure and just add a wash of colour.  The background in my dragon picture has a light blue wash. 

Graphik Line Markers – My all time favourite Markers. They come in various tip widths and are so easy to use. You do need to be carful when using them with water colours – make sure they are the last layer you put down. They tend to run!

I like to outline water colour pencil and graphite pencil sketches with these on occasion. I also like to sketch little designs with them. 

Cheers,
Chrissy xxx

Paper or Canvas – that is the question! 

I often get asked is Canvas or Paper better to paint/draw on. The answer is simple…….. it depends on what you want to draw or paint! There are so many options and there are so many things you need to consider. I’m going to show you what I use and how I use it to help you make a good decision for yourself.

Sketching/Drawing

For practice drawing and sketching you want to have a smooth paper. So a hot pressed paper that isn’t too thick. Anything up to 120gsm is pretty good. The thickness of the paper will still give you a quality feel to your sketch and the hot press will give you a smooth finish. The smoother the paper, the cleaner your lines will be which will give you a more realistic look.

My current art journal is less than 100gsm and is not suitable for anything other than sketching. Below is a picture of an Orca that I drew in my journal. If you try to use other medias (paint or watercolour) on this type of paper it will wrinkle and curl. It damages the paper and if you do that, there’s no saving it.

Mixed Media Paper 250 gsm +

The below sketch is a graphite on 250gsm mixed media paper. This paper is meant to handle Acrylic paint well, but water colour is a bit of a stretch. I love it to print my art work on to this paper because it has a bit of texture just like a canvas and it gives the print a really good quality look and feel.


The above picture is a print of my original Acrylic painting printed on to 250gsm paper.

Cold Pressed Cotton Paper

A cold press paper is rough, it has what is called ‘tooth’. It is ideal if you like that bumpy, textured feel and look to your painting. I personally don’t like to draw on this type of paper. I love to paint on it! I use a 300gsm cold press cotton paper with my acrylics. You get a matte finish with the textured finish of a canvas. The cotton paper is actually made for water colour paint because it can handle the wet application without creasing and folding. I use watercolours and acrylic on it and it performs beautifully.

Stretched Canvas

There are several types of canvas you can get. The main types are stretched canvas, canvas board and canvas paper or sheets. I prefer to use a stretched canvas. I like the bounce back it gives you. All types of canvas have a tooth (bumpy texture) that I love! With the stretched canvas’s you don’t have to frame and can hang as is.

Above is an acrylic Painting is on a stretched canvas of Saundersfoot Beach. This is my favourite material to paint on.

Canvas Board

For my original painting of my Light house I did it on a canvas board. As you can see from the below picture that it performs much like a stretched canvas. It has a tooth, although not as deep. It is an easy and cheaper way to start painting. They come in all sorts of sizes and packs. You can frame them easily too.

I hope you liked my tips for how to choose the right material to paint or draw on. Come back next week for more!

Cheers,
Chrissy xxx