Each time I go out on a painting holiday I come back with better ideas on how to reduce my weight but still have all the materials I need. I have downsized my daily watercolour kit and compiled it into a small shoulder bag for easy light weight transport. I thought I would share with you what I have.
How do you sign your artwork?
What do you use to sign your work? Are you often frustrated by not being able to sign your work as you would like? What do you use pastel pencil, graphite, charcoal or another dry medium?
Up until recently I have tried signing my pastel paintings with a pastel pencil only to have it go blunt halfway thru my signature and it does not like to go over soft pastel. I can always brush off some pastel and then try reapplying, but the pencil still goes blunt before my signature is complete. Pastel sticks are too fat for a nice, neat signature. Charcoal is too soft and will brush off easily.
When signing your paintings, you want the signature to be legible, permanent but at the same time not detract from the painting itself. If you use pastel pencil or pastel in any form your signature can be easily removed and replaced with yet another person’s signature. Not that this happens on a regular basis but CAN happen.
Always sign both the front and the back of your artwork. On the back use a permanent marker or pen using a pen which will not bleed though the paper. One the back you can also write the name or title of your painting along with the date of completion. DO NOT date the front of your painting. Let’s say you have a favourite painting which you keep for a couple of years but finally decide to let it go. A painting dated a few years back MAY give a potential buyer the impression that it has not sold previously because it was unpopular, overpriced or any other reason. Along with your name, title, and date on the rear of the painting you can include your address, website, Facebook page and any other valuable information.
Practice your signature, do you want just your first name, full name, nickname or perhaps a symbol. Once you have decided on a signature STICK TO IT.
On my pastel paintings I use a RED pencil. It will make it clear and gives my paintings that touch of red to its composition. I use a Prismacolor Pencil, however any coloured pencil will suffice. You can get a great point with an ordinary pencil sharpener, and it will hold its point throughout the entire signature. It will also easily go over the soft pastel leaving you with a clear neat signature
Why not try something like this for the back of your work.
Remember to take time with your signature, DO NOT just scratch it upon your painting which you have perhaps spent many hours getting the way you want it.
Make sure your signature is not overtaking your painting. You want it to be clear but not the first thing you see.
Sign all your paintings, be proud of the effort you have put into them.
As well as signing the back of your painting also sign the back of the painting after it has been framed.
Here are some of the greats……will you be included here one day?
My workshop Charcoal Sketching Portraits being held on Saturday 14th May is almost filled. Anyone who is interested in coming along can contact me direct for details. Learn how to achieve realistic portraits using just charcoal. This unique technique will unlock many of the mysteries of good drawing so that even the most inexperienced drawer will achieve a fabulous lifelike image at the end of the day. Once you have learned these techniques you can then take what you have learned one step further and start adding paint or pastel to your drawing. The next workshop which I am working on at the moment will be all about the steps to making a fabulous painting. A date has not yet been announced but stay tuned for more information. .
Soft Pastel & Pastel Pencil Workshop
Sunday 27th March
Join me for this full day of painting with Soft Pastels and Pastel Pencils using a limited palette. Learn how to combine the use of pastel pencils with soft pastels for intricate works.
In this workshop you will learn how to make subtle changes of tone to create depth and form. As the palette is limited there will be a minimal amount of pastel and pastel pencil required to attend this workshop. You will also learn how to create form for steam and smoke. Creating lost and found edges will also be addressed.
This piece will be painted onto black Colourfix Paper.
Landsborough Art Studio is COVID-19 Compliant.
Only Vaccinated students MAY ATTEND. Vaccination certificates must be shown prior to the workshop or on the day
DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING
• fever or symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath)
• returned from overseas in the last 14 days
• been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19: (coronavirus) in the last 14 days
We were all so excited about finally starting a new year and putting all our masks, social distancing, checking in etc etc behind us when Omicron raised it's ugly head. Classes have recommenced under strict guidelines to protect both my students and myself from this very contagious variant. At the Landsborough Art Studio I am very blessed to have a very large studio which allows everyone to social distance comfortably.
Personally I have been busy painting up a storm using my pastels and I have been very luck in receiving a set of Unison Portrait Pastels. So looks like a few portraits are coming from behind the easel.
My goal is to paint a minimum of 4 major paintings a month with smaller studies thrown in where I can. The recent wet weather has been keeping me out of the garden so cupboards have been cleaned and sorted and painting have been rescued, binned or reworked. Not even the best artists have successful paintings each and every time. In fact I once heard a famous artist claim that only 20% of his paintings he would be happy with and would offer up for exhibition or sale. Here are January's paintings....why not let me know what you think!
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you all enjoyed a fabulous safe and enjoyable holiday. It was back to work here at the Landsborough Art Studio and for me this week with my first class back yesterday. Numbers are a little slow at this time in the year as not everyone is back from their breaks and we also have added burden of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant to deal with as numbers here explode all around us. It is especially difficult keeping everyone safe and healthy at the moment and at the same time allowing life to proceed forward as best we can, so extra cleaning and precautions are at hand to ensure everyone's safety.
Over the break we did the usual cleaning, sorting in the studio and of course lots of painting. I managed to paint almost everyday and the wet weather gave me an excuse to be inside and not out in the garden tackling those feisty weeds.
2022 will be challenging especially in the coming 6-8 weeks so we need to stay safe and focused. If you cannot attend classes, paint at home. If you need help - ask. I can be e-mailed or if you prefer we could set up a Zoom meeting. Just e-mail me for details.
Above are just a couple of my paintings and over the next few days I will be selecting one or two each day and discussing how I painted them and what I did that was perhaps a little different. Some painting I set time limits to of one (1) hour whilst others I did the the course of 1/2 day. Remembering I still had housework and all that non-important stuff to do like you.
Let's start with the Peacock. This fellows name was George and he had a girlfriend call Mildred and they live in Rosemoor Gardens in the UK in the Dartmoor area. I loved the bright Turquoises on the black AS Colourfix paper but I found I lost the detail of his face so I re-painted George on White AS Colourfix paper. I gave myself the same amount of time (1/2 day) to paint him. I love the contrast I get on the black paper but I can see his face clearer on the white. Below see the two for a comparison. What do you think?
Making Your Own Pastel Surfaces is Easy
Pastel papers are usually based on 300gsm Watercolour Paper coated with the manufacturers preferred coatings. Some time you may want to make your own surface to paint pastel onto for a variety of reasons or just for experimental purposes.
You can base your coating on either papers or cardboard, board (for example marine ply or plywood) maybe even canvas…the choice is yours
I like to buy plywood in sheets which I have them cut into A4 size panels. These I can prepare in advance for small studies either in oil, acrylic or pastel. For oil or acrylic, I prepare the board with 2-3 coats of gesso sanding well between coats. I will leave these on the shelf so when I want to do a quick study, I simply take a panel from the shelf and begin to paint.
For Pastels I need to be a little more selective as there are many ways I can create a pastel surface on board, canvas or papers. Here are just a few I have tried (in no specific order). Why don’t you experiment with some other techniques and let us know what you used and what you liked or disliked about your process.
Well it is very hot here today and I expect we could get a storm later on, as long as it is not a bad one we need a bit more rain. Managed to do some gardening today but fighting with the wildlife to keep my tomatoes and the heat so it was off to the easel. Pastel Challenge no 6. is a small pot which sits in Monet's studio in France. Love visiting his home and garden as it always gives me inspiration and artist envy. I have painted this on black colourfix paper. The main colours I used were blue greens, blues, red violets and purples so to balance those colours I added their compliment of orange. The edges are always a challenge on black or dark paper but I get around this by using a putty rubber or kneadable eraser and finish this off with my electric eraser. Some tricky bits on the edges I blend with a pastel pencil....never a finger.....Not bad for under 60 minutes
Day 4 - This is one of my favourites. It is the view from the Margaret Olley Gallery in Murwillumbah. Once again keeping the background cool and foreground warm. The day was freezing so I hope I have captured the temperature of the day. I am really enjoying the daily challenge, not that I always get to paint daily but at least I try. Things like tone, temperature and intensity are always on my mind and I hope that by doing these daily studies those things will become automatic for me. Is anyone out there trying to do a daily challenge as well?
Karen King owns and operates Landsborough Art Studio and is dedicated to the sharing and learning principals in all art. Here you will learn snippets and interesting information which I know you will find intriguing and valuable.