This week, we will be taking a journey into the world of Surrealism. Here is a lovely essay about this movement and what it embodies. Surrealism asks for you to imagine. To take the real and process it in the factory of the mind, where added colors, shapes and packaging can change it into a totally new product. My initial idea was to reinterpret The Persistence of Memory by Salavador Dali, as this work is pretty well known and found interesting by many. However, I then decided to allow for a broader interpretation of things and so will simply concentrate on the movement this week. So here is my Dragon Fly.
This stemmed from my often picking dragonflies as a subject and wondering what it would be like to reinterpret them. Do you see what I did there? Just a quick, fun leap into the imagination! Do feel free to visit Dali’s aforementioned artwork here to gain some additional inspiration and to learn more about Surrealism in general.
So for you this week:
Add some surrealism to a recent dream, thought or memory that you’ve had.
Make it simple, or make it elaborate. Just make it. Also, if you are new to What’s Next Wednesday, please visit the event page here for all the specifics and don’t forget to add the hashtag #whatsnextwed to your work so we can all share in the creativity. Thanks for checking out this post, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Have you even wondered about your favorite artists and what they might have forgotten, left out, or failed to create because they lived in their particular era? In other words, they created what they did and now….what’s next? This is the inspiration behind our new weekly art blogging event “What’s Next Wednesday.” Each week on, you guessed it, Wednesday, we will post a new prompt which asks you to expand on something a well known artist has already done. The goal is for you to channel the spirit of the original artist and then add your own spin! You can find all the details here along with a few simple rules to keep you from going all willy nilly on us. No worries, your creativity will still be able to flow freely.
To get the thought process flowing, here is a reinterpretation of Van Gogh’s famous piece Starry Night.
Perhaps this is how Van Gogh would have completed the work, had he enjoyed the use of digital equipment? Maybe this is Starry Night over a desert instead and there was a cactus in the foreground. In any case, the spirit of Van Gogh remains, but a new identity has been achieved. So, dream about stars, computers and cacti tonight, and we’ll see you tomorrow for the very first installment of “What’s Next Wednesday!”
I recently had the pleasure of painting a client’s Shih-Tsu. Her name was Sofie, and mine is Sophia (often shortened to Sophie), so it seemed like fate had brought me to this project. I also fell in love with the happy expression on this adorable dog. And so I went to work.
This was the painting after I applied the initial shadows and started playing with color. I pined over which “creative” colors to use and found it helpful to layer some colorful lines over the original photo I had of Sofie via Pixlr (a photo editing tool I highly recommend). Pink, blue and yellow seemed to highlight the happy expression on my subject and gave the painting some brightness.
Here I had added more color and more color and then some more color. I wanted a good saturation, particularly of the blue and then I tipped up the piece to let some of the colors run along the bottom. Now the party was getting fun!
Lastly, we have the final piece! Sofie, with her personality bursting all around her and a smile donning her sweet face.
I have been fascinated and delighted by ink/watercolor works for quite some time now, so I decided to give it a shot myself. I just love way the free flow of the watercolor lends a contrast to the precision of the pen. I worked on a dragonfly first and was very generous with the color surrounding it. It was a bit overwhelming I thought, so I hashed out a betta fish and was a bit more restained with the colors. The latter is definitely much more my style, and I think the drawing has more room to stand on in that piece.
My tools of choice for this project were a Faber-Castell PITT artist pen in black (waterproof india ink), Winsor & Newton watercolor pigments and Strathmore 140 lb. watercolor paper. A pretty easy project and so much fun. Give it a go, and let me know what you think!
Here is my experiment on painting straight from the tube with watercolor pigments (as inspired by this post). The left side of the paper was wet and the right side I left dry, just so I could see what the range of effects could be. The wet side did encourage the paint to flow outwards, but there are still some very lovely textural effects which took place. As you can see, the color saturation was also phenomenal where the paint remained concentrated. Both sides of the paper allowed the paint to maintain texture, which is super cool, as this can allow for a myriad ways to create and express a vision. On the dry side, as can be expected, the paint didn’t flow as much. Where I ended up dragging the tube along, a lovely textural effect emerged as the paint settled into the grooves of the watercolor paper. A lighter touch allowed the paint to skip along, leaving a good bit of white among dry dabs of paint. Lovely! There are a lot of possibilities with this method, and I look forward to experimenting some more with it!
Materials used: Strathmore 140lb. watercolor paper, Winsor & Newton watercolour pigments in Alizarin Crimson, Hookers Green and French Ultramarine.