Thursday, 26 July 2012

Process of putting together a painting

I'm on a roll with this painting thing. Here's my new one.

I've had the idea for this painting for a while.
Like, before I went to uni.
So that's a pretty long while.
Having the free time and my visit to the BP Portrait Award finally pushed me to get it done.

Most of my paintings are just direct copies of photographs (which I don't have a problem with) but this painting is a composite of different images.

I knew I wanted a graffiti background so I went to my favourite source for graffiti and that's a video I took at uni one night when my friends and I were walking through an underpass on the way to a party.
I could have just googled graffiti but I like having a personal relationship with the imagery I use.
I took a few screenshots from the videos and picked out a coupla different bits of graffiti to use in the painting.  

For the figure in the painting I used myself just so I wouldn't have to wait around for someone to model for me.
I wanted my pink jacket to feature in the painting because I wanted the challenge of capturing all the folds and creases in it. I knew I didn't want the top under the jacket to be red (Red and pink? Really?) but I figured I would just paint it a different colour rather than bother changing. Because with paint these things are possible. Fascinating.
I put my camera on self-timer to take the photos and set up my room so it was dark with just a spot light coming from one side because I knew I wanted directional artificial lighting for the painting.
I stuck a blank canvas behind my head so that I'd be able to clearly see my hair which would help when I came to painting.

So there's a little behind the scenes into the images I used for my new painting. I hope it was interesting.

I won't be blogging next week as I'm going camping. Wish me good weather!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Bleach and Bling

Everyone loves a shirt sprayed with bleach at the moment, right?

Well I saw and idea on Manzanita to put some lace over the shirt and spray bleach over that so you get the pattern of the lace.
Well, I tried it but by spray bottle got a bit drippy so the lace pattern was ruined by bleach blobs.

You can still see a bit of the pattern on the edges.

So I decided to spray more bleach on the shirt to add to the blobs.
And then for something extra I sewed copper coloured sequins on some of the bleach dots for a subtle bit of bling.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Paint, Cake, and Lady A

Today I wanted to share this new painting that I completed.
I haven't done much painting recently and when I have it's been landscapes so I thought I'd sharpen up the portraiture skills.

The canvas I used originally looked like this.
A painting from many years ago that I gave up on because it was just not going well.
(Sorry to Laura and Lizzi for making you look like disfigured zombies)
A couple of coats of white emulsion later and the canvas was good to go for a second round.

Now do you guys want to know what I did for my birthday?

I went to see Lady Antebellum in London with my sister!!!
The tickets were a birthday gift from my parents.

They were soooo good!
It was a great night.

I love this photo I took of Charles.
That man knows how to belt out a tune!

Incase you were wondering; my birthday cake tasted delicious.
Here it is all lit up.
Yes, there are 22 candles on it.

And speaking of cake, my friend Stef got me 6 cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery.
(I may have not been able to wait until my camera battery charged to take a photo of them before I tried one)
And I finally got to try a red velvet cake that the blogosphere raves about. Pretty darn good!
There are two red velvet and four vanilla, and that icing is sa-weeet!

Monday, 16 July 2012

The prettiest cake I ever did make

And by make, I mean decorate.
My Mum made the cake and I decorated it.
That's how we roll when it comes to birthday cakes.

That's right; today is my birthday and this is my birthday cake!

For my birthday last year my housemates got me a giant cupcake silicon mould and I've finally got around to using it.
Lots of people online have said that they had to do a few trial cakes with this mould, as the instructions aren't very helpful when it comes to cake batter quantities. But my Mum got it right first time. She's a baking pro.
Although, we haven't eaten it yet, but I trust my Mum's cooking skillz.

I went for super cute when decorating this cake so there's a pink ribbon, fondant buttons, and pink and white sugar balls and hearts.

To see my previous birthday cakes click here, here and here.
And I highly recommend that you do, cos I have had some pretty awesome cakes in the past.
CSI cake, pick-up truck cake, guitar cake and so many more.

I'm also on twitter now so hit me up @lisaharrold

Friday, 13 July 2012

Photo holders

I love cute little photo holders so I thought I would try making one.

Here he is!

This little dog is made from Sculpey.
Sculpting it was kinda tricky because at first I wanted it to look like my friend's dog but that wasn't working out, so I settled for a generic dog. 

I think I may have left him in the oven for a little bit too long, but its ok because I was going to paint him anyway.

Looking good.
Now he's ready to hold a photo.

Or a business card.

Doggy knows how to represent!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

BP Portrait Award

I was in London at the weekend so I popped in to the National Portrait Gallery to see this year's BP Portrait Award.
I've been to see it every year since I was 16 when I went with school for art.
Maybe one year I'll get round to entering it.

Today You Were Far Away by Ian Cumberland
This painting by Ian Cumberland was my favourite of the portraits exhibited.
It's a self portrait and has the kind of title that I like; it's suggestive of a story, and probably quite an angsty one at that. He just looks so sad!
And this guy has mad painting skills. The painting is quite large (1500x1000mm) and there's an incredible amount of detail gone in to it.

Bruised by Nathalie Beauvillain Scott
I also liked this painting by Nathalie Beauvillain Scott of her son.
He had been in a car accident and a violent attack, and the pictures in the background show him as a child, and the car involved in the attack.
It's an interesting concept to give additional information about the subject of the portrait by showing relevant images alongside them.

Self-Portrait by Jean-Paul Tibbles
What I liked about this portrait by Jean-Paul Tibbles (besides the artist's surname) was the way the eyes had been painted with really precise detail, but then the painting gets a bit rougher towards the edges. I think this helps to put the focus on the sitter's eyes to really draw in the viewer.

As part of my A level art course, a few years ago now, I did a whole project on portraiture. To get more information on the subject I emailed a bunch of the artists exhibiting in that years BP Portrait Award.
One of my favourite responses was from Morgan Penn who told me;

"-Art college taught me absolutely nothing [...] Art colleges are either obsessed with conceptual art or want you to go to Italy to study the masters (which is the kiss of death to any aspiring artist - why would you want to paint like someone did 400 years ago?) [...] Don't listen to your teachers, they don't know anything. Trust your instincts!-"

Thursday, 5 July 2012

What I did on Tuesday

I graduated!

Here's the juttery, gif proof!
Shaking hands like a pro.

The ceremony was followed by a champagne and salmon sandwiches reception.

Then I took my parents and my Granddad to see the degree show.
Whilst still wearing my cap and gown of course.

Did you know that when Will Smith was a kid, in photos, he would always be smiling, looking at the camera even if noone else was.
Yeah, well that's me.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Paua to the people

At Easter my parents went to New Zealand for a few weeks and bought me back a little bag of these Paua shells.

When my parents came back from their holiday they told me they'd bought me a present and that it was poisonous.
And I was like, 'err...what?!'
What they really meant was the lady in the shop had told them to be careful when drilling into the shells as the dust isn't very good for you.
But that's like you shouldn't breath in the dust when cutting wood.   

So when I drilled the holes for these two necklaces I wore a mask just to be on the safe side.

I made one for me and one for my friend Natalie whose Mum lives in New Zealand and she got a Paua ring the last time she went to visit her.
I guess they're kinda friendship necklaces, since we both have one.
Natalie has been [unsuccessfully] trying to convince me that a friendship Rolex is a thing.
No, I won't be buying her a Rolex. This necklace will have to do.