Monday, 18 January 2010

I have been doing lots of these recently...

In between an early Saturday evening-on the way to the pub-shot, and a late, on the way home one, are some pictures of my latest obsession (well one of them!)-oil pastels. Sgraffito-the Italian for 'scatch'. A fun, quick and slightly messy technique if you get the little shavings on your laminate floor (or your cat does!) I have put pictures of the whole process on the owl picture-I have more which I might put up tomorrow.
This was my first one, complete with scribbled notes about how to save a photoshop file-my Mum is teaching me to use photoshop which I have never got on with. Already I have learned loads.
I wanted a change from faces so I have used a Dover book-a really good one, '1300 Real and Fanciful Animals'. It has a great owl page. Recently I seem to have seen loads of owls around in blogs and elsewhere and they have got into my head. I liked drawing them as they have such smooth and flowing shapes. Some owls here, here and here. And here, here and here!
Stage one-sketch him in..
Stage two-colour over the different areas in black pastel-I think you should be able to buy boxes of just black-it is already half the size of all the other colours!
Stage three-scratch away! I used a palette knife but anything scratchy would do.
Then I thought I would see what happened if I covered it in gesso and painted on that.
You can still faintly see the scatching marks. I used watercolour paint for this part.
Finished! He has a nice bumpy feel in real life. I have done three owls so far. I fancy doing a zebra as that would lend itself to scatching. I have also started Misty Mawn's portrait class which is fun. I want to have different ways of drawing faces and not to get too stuck in a rut in the way I do it.
Today it did not get dark until about 4.30 which felt really lovely-like a little glimmer of Spring to come. Though I have a feeling I always think that at this time of the year and forget how long January and February really are! I have been buying a few little pots of bulbs-little Muscari, more Hyacinths and some little tiny Daffodils. I have not checked what is coming up in the garden yet but can't wait to do so at the weekend-when I am here in the light.
This is a very scary looking bus I think! It reminds me of the night bus in Harry Potter. Or something from the film Jacob's Ladder. All those indistinct heads on the top deck. We got a taxi home!


Poetikat said...

Love your owl - all stages are terrific! "Scatch" is such a neat technique. And let me get this straight, your Mom is teaching you photoshop? That's great!
I love your work, Sarah! Are you putting these on Etsy?

Janine said...

Oh Sarah, I love this technique and what you did with your pages! I have to try this!

LOL, on the Harry Potter bus/train!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah - the owl is fantastic - I love seeing how other people achieve things!! Great photo of the bus - definitely like Harry Potter (I've just bought the DVD of the Half Blood Prince- looking forward to settling down one evening with a glass of wine to watch it!) Love, Anne

Tracy said...

The face and the owl are wonderful, Sarah! This inspires me to break out with some oil pastels again! I love using the chalky pastels best, so haven't dipped into the oils in a loooong time. I didn't like how the oils felt on my finger... LOL! But it's such fun to see your progressive pictures, each developing. And it's so sweet that your Mum is teaching you Photoshop. We're never too young or too old to learn from our parents. :o) The bus photo does have a whacky H. Potter flavor to it--very fun! Happy Week, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

Linda Sue said...

Love the owls- and the techniques you are experimenting with. The last shot is such a perfect owl- I had a friend who had a pet owl- It was the scarriest bird i have ever seen- really gave me the creeps - He let him go finally into his realm to catch mice and use his amazing swivelhead and emormous eyes for what he is here on earth to do.Now he is olny being scary to mice. as it should be.

Candace said...

Those owls are just fantastic, Sarah! I love all birds and owls to me are very special because of their worldwide symbology of wisdom and secrets.
Thanks so much for sharing the technique. I use dark brown sometimes for black and really like the way it comes out.

Gosh, that bus DOES look like something out of a movie. HA!
Take care this week!
Candace in Athens x

snoopydog said...

Your oil pastels are lovely, especially the owl. Wish I could sketch and draw more artistically then I do :) Enjoy the rest of the week! Ros

Allegra Smith said...

Could it be that there are more owls around because we need wisdom or at least to be reminded that we don't do well without some?

I love your fancy version. I wish all the owls I see were as colorful as yours. Give the macaws a run for their money (feathers?) I agree about the bus, scary is a compliment compared to what it makes me feel.Taxis are good, yeah. Particularly at night.

Hugs from here, be safe.

Renee said...

Love it Sarah and I was just looking at the stuff in your etsy shop. Fantastic.


Relyn said...

That top image is wonderful. Dreamy and full of story.

storyteller said...

How wonderful !!! Thanks for sharing all your owls here and in your newer post too. You're most creative ;-)
Hugs and blessings,