Posted in creativity, Cross Hatching, Drawing, Drawings, life drawing, portraiture, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours

Artistic Playfulness

It’s been another busy period of artistic playfulness. Here’s my next arty update for anyone who may be interested.

Last Sunday, I tapped into the inspirational photos of people on the Sktchy app and found a photo of a fellow artist. She had a beautiful face to draw and I was inspired.

The above photos show how I moved through the stages to get to the final image, which I am pretty happy with.

I started drawing a sketch of her face in graphite, then added a layer of black and brown crosshatching marks and followed up with watercolour pencils, indian ink and white marker pens to capture the light and shadows.

Prior to that I played around crosshatching and adding watercolour pencil to a sketch of my own hand. It was from a photo so that’s how I managed to capture my right hand (which is the one I use to draw).

I also spend a couple of days creating a watercolour portrait of this Mexican Hairless Dog. It’s probably not accurate to the image since I had to shorten the ears to fit him on the page, but I like him. This one painting was created with watercolour paint and watercolour pencils. I had a great time creating a glaze effect on this one. I probably could push it more, but watercolour is a new medium for me so I am in the learning and experimenting phase.

Last Wednesday night I rushed over to life drawing class and here are some of the sketches in various mediums. The drawings are not all accurate or in proportion but I like how my drawing is developing. I especially appreciate that I can now capture the whole person on the page and draw what I am seeing rather than what my brain thinks it’s seeing.

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This one (above) is probably my favourite sketch from the night. It took 20 minutes to do and gave me a challenge with foreshortening as well as capturing the form with crosshatching. I used black ink pen to do this one. There’s only one part of it that irks me as I think I didn’t capture it as accurately I would have liked, but that’s the process of drawing – learning to see and draw exactly what I see. I’m still learning and I’m grateful that I can continue to do that too.

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And just for fun, I’d seen this horse sitting in a shop window, and I liked him so much that I snapped up a photo so I could draw him in my visual diary later. After a long day at work, I decided to chill out while on the train home and that’s when I drew the horse in water soluble black ink pen. Then I used brush pen to get the shading and I’m totally in love with this sketch.

I’m also still writing… dun dun dun. Yes, one day… eventually I will finish my fiction story and I am still clinging to getting it published, even if I do that myself. It’s a long road from concept to first draft to editing to polishing to publication. I will get there – one word at a time.

Both art and writing are about establishing and maintaining a regular practice. It’s tough to do with a busy life but because I love living a creative life, I continue to return to my passions.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have creative day whatever you are doing.

Posted in anxiety, characters, Courses, creativity, Cross Hatching, Drawing, Drawings, Editing, life drawing, Sketches, skillshare, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours

Ramping up my Art Practice

In the last month I’ve ramped up my daily art practice. Sketching and using water colour paints in my sketch books most of the time. I’ve also been to another life drawing class, attended my first water colour painting class and today, I have just finished a Sktchy course on cross hatching.

So if you’re interested… here is some of my work.

The cross hatched portrait below is my first one using black pens. It is the image the teacher used in the Sktchy course so you may see it around and depending on who drew it, it might be better rendered than I’ve done here. But having said that, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I just need to practice the art of seeing and capturing shadows with fine cross hatching marks.

Below is my graphite pencil sketch of the guy we did in the Sktchy course. I put him in a frame as I needed to mark out lots of lines to get his features down on the page with accuracy.

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A lot of people like this pencil cross hatch and I’m super happy with it.

I went to a beginners water colour class and learned about blooms and glazes and all sorts of other techniques. I’m a bit heavy handed with the delicate medium but it’s fun to learn, make mistakes and see where they lead.

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Above is my finished water colour mushroom. I had a lot of fun creating this small art work on the paper we stretched. It was a great class run by Holly from Life Drawing Caloundra.

I’ve been doing a botanical workshop on Skillshare and that’s stretched me a lot. Here’s one of the pieces. It’s a vintage inspired flower with petals and stem.

 

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I think I like the stem and leaves the best. It’s all water colour and took a while for me to layer. I’m not the best realism artist but you got to start somewhere right?

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Above is my botanical alphabet project from the skillshare workshop. It turned out pretty good, but I’m not a big fan of fancy fonts. Maybe one day I will embrace them but it irritated me a bit because I kept making mistakes with the pen and had to keep starting over. For me that’s too painful to do and I doubt I’ll become a calligraphy lover… at least not someone who does calligraphy, but I’ll always have respect for anyone who does the art form!

Then it was off to life drawing class on the 29th May to celebrate their first year of regular classes. It was a great night with every spare spot taken up by artists trying to capture the gesture of the model. Above are two of my pieces. I gave drawing on black paper a go and it worked out pretty good. Quite a few people liked that drawing with the soft pastel.

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Then, totally inspired by Sketchbook Skool, it was time to sketch book my way through my life and capture everyday moments. This image as you can see is of my M&M slippers which I picked up in London in late August 2018. I love them and taking time to draw my feet on the coffee table was excellent fun. No need to feel precious about my lines and marks. It was just an impression of my life and an opportunity to practice drawing what I am seeing rather than what my brain thinks it can see.

I intend to keep practicing and learning new techniques. I hope that as I grow as an artist, I will also be able to create better skillshare courses of my own. I’d like to pass on things I’ve learned but only after I’ve practiced enough and made the techniques my own. I’m not very comfortable in front of the camera yet and it has taken me a long time to learn how to video my art as well as to think about the classes I could teach and how to teach creative writing from my own perspective. I face a lot of internal fears every time I come to create a skillshare course, but I’m moving through my fears and into creativity. I even made a course to help other deal with their fears around creativity based on the tools I use to manage anxiety.

They say one of the best ways to learn is to teach and I’m on that road now too.

On the creative writing front.. I’ve been chipping away at my edited manuscript and had to change a few characters which has lead to a chain reaction of changing what they do and don’t do. I’m about a third of the way through my manuscript and I’m so grateful I’m doing lots of art because it stops me from having anxiety brain.

When I write, I feel a lot of angst to get things right. But when I do art, most of the time the angst just vanishes. I can spend hours and hours doing drawings and not even realise time has sped past. I love writing, but it is a different experience for me. It’s a complex and sometimes analytical experience which somehow triggers off the inner critic in me more than art ever has.

I guess this is all part of a learning curve for me. I’d like to publish my story and I’ll keep at it, and I’ll keep drawing every day because the practice is so good for my mental and emotional well-being.

Until next time, happy creating!

Posted in creativity, Drawing, Drawings, Gouche, Gratitude, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours

Gouche and Crosshatching Creative Art

This week I have been playing around and creating botanical art in my new Windsor and Newton Watercolour visual diary. I also bought a pack of 18 Gouache paints and combined them with watercolour, watercolour pencils and a black pen to bring my back garden and front garden to life.

Below are two of my botanical compositions. The first one is a representation of the plants in my back yard. I think the part I love most about this artwork is how I’ve captured the aloe vera leaves in the terra cotta pot. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this artwork.

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Below is a short timelapse video of how I created the botanical composition above.

This image below is a selection of the plants in my front yard. I enjoyed putting the deep red on the page. It’s a lovely contrast to the green hews of the other plants. And I love how lively the other plants are too.

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Below is a short video of photos I took from the concept drawing of the plants through to the finished art piece.

I’ve also been learning more about crosshatching lately. The three images below are a potato, a nose and a sphinx cat. They are all in my visual diary. I had a great time learning to cross hatch with my retractable pencil and focusing on the light and shadow in these images.

Art is all about observation and enjoying the process of playing with marks on the page.

I’m so pleased that my art mojo has come to life again. It’s wonderful to be back in the flow.

I’m off to do my second life drawing class since 2005 this coming week. I hope I’ll have some images to share. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ll keep drawing and editing my novel. Writing a novel and editing it is a long term game for me, so I am very grateful to have art flourishing in my life again.

I hope you have a great day and do something creative that nourishes you too.

Posted in Abstract, Courses, creativity, Sketches, skillshare

Intricate Line Drawing Class

It’s been a big artistic week for me. I’ve spent hours creating a new Skillshare course called, ‘Create Intricate Line Drawings’, and I’m super excited that I’ve managed to pull this off.

I’ve had to learn how to create effective time lapse videos, create video content that flows and makes sense, draw and draw and draw, get comfortable doing voice overs and figure out how to edit on iMovie too.

Below is a sneak peek at my course thumbnail and I’ve created a super simple, super short time lapse video to show you a snippet of the content.


Create Intricate Line Drawings

Below are three of the intricate line drawings I created as part of my Skillshare course demonstration.

I really do hope people enjoy the class. I’m happy with it. It took days to create the content and now I am utterly exhausted.

Tomorrow, I’m back to travelling on the train to go to my day job. That means it’s time to return to my story, The Living Death of Toddy James. I’ve finally finished the second edit and now I am going through plugging plot holes and polishing it to the best of my ability.

Another step closer to getting my manuscript back to the editor for the next round of creative publication preparation work.

I’ll update you on my next art project in the near future. I’m currently studying portraiture and hope to show you some of my work soon.

In the meantime, happy creating and thanks for dropping by.

Posted in Abstract, creativity, Drawing, Drawings, Uncategorized, YouTube Channel

A little art video

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Black Ink on Acid Free Paper – Intricate Line Drawing in Circle – Artist: Selina Shapland, Completed: 6th April 2019

I’m in the middle of learning how to set up my camera and record myself doing art so I can create more skillshare courses. I’d like to create one on drawing intricate line drawings. So, today, I set up the camera and played around with recording. Then I put the videos on iMovie and created the little arty video below.

I hope you enjoy it. As always, I am learning and growing as I share more of my creative evolution with you.

I’ll be having a few days off work around Easter, so I hope to put together a skillshare course on art and one on writing too. We’ll see. It takes a lot to develop a course, but I have ideas I’d like to share with my students, so I will keep giving it a go.

I am so grateful for all of the students I have skillshare. The fact that they watch and (hopefully) learn something from my creative experiences is truly touching.

Until next time, happy creating whatever your medium of choice!

Posted in Courses, Creative Writing, creativity, fiction, Fiction Writing Courses

Exploring Short Fiction

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Lauren Daniels and Geneve Flynn – Brisbane Writers Workshop, Seriously Short Fiction

Short story writing is a true art as far as I am concerned. It’s economical, punchy and a great way to polish up fiction writing skills. But … I haven’t been writing short fiction much. From time to time I have taken dreams (and nightmares) I’ve had and written them into short stories, but they always felt half formed. I didn’t know what wasn’t working with them.

So, I’ve stuck with writing long novels – Tuppence Weatherstorm and The Living Death of Toddy James, because I understand long fiction. That’s kind of silly since both short and long fiction have similar building blocks and writing elements. However, when I have attempted to write short fiction, my stories have blown out into massive ideas and I have struggled to contain them.

Both of my current novel manuscripts are in various stages of editing and rewriting and it’s a long journey writing a novel. I like to compare writing a novel to running a marathon. It is a long-term game and I need to pace myself. I have learned that if I sprint, I burn out too soon and hit the wall.

Yet, in between writing and rewriting scenes, deepening characters and depositing theme into my stories, I like to explore other types of writing and see where it takes me. And now it’s time to deep dive into the art and craft of writing short fiction.

When I attended the Brisbane Writers Workshop on writing Seriously Short Fiction with Lauren Daniels and Geneve Flynn. Here’s a few of the things I learned:

  • How to use a literary device called motifs. Motifs can be an object, such as a pack of cards that shows up several times throughout the story and subconsciously signal a deeper meaning to the reader. Honestly, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around what motifs are. I don’t think I can explain it well enough here.. sorry.
  • How to structure a short story – they still have an inciting incident, rising action, a climax and a resolution.
  • The essential plot requirements – conflict, conflict, conflict drives the action of the story forward.
  • Character elements – best to limit the number of characters or the story will no longer be short fiction.
  • The preferred length for short fiction for my target audience – approximately 2,000 to 10,000 words for short fiction.
  • Have fun and protect your creativity.

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Seriously Short Fiction had so much excellent content which has enriched my understanding of writing and sparked my imagination too. It was the kind of course that niggles at your imagination and helps you develop the understanding needed to go away and playfully create on your own.

We did a free writing exercise and I was sitting there penning my thoughts on the paper and giggling like a crazy person because I was having so much fun with the character that danced into my imagination. We wrote for five minutes and the time pressure gave everyone permission to put aside their fears of ‘not being able to write’ and allowed each person to get on with the act of writing without listening to internal judgement.

I’m torn between writing up the free writing exercise here to share it with you and keeping it to myself. I want to share and I want to nurture and play with the story idea that danced to life on the day. I keep writing ‘danced’ because the thing my character stone were dancing shoes.

It was giggle worthy stuff. At least to me. And I think if the writer enjoys what they are writing, then the reader will enjoy it to.

Posted in creativity, Travel

Welcome to 2019

Happy New Year and all that good stuff to you and your loved ones. And a big thank you for supporting my blog over the time you have been with me. It means a lot to me to know that people are visiting and reading my words. I hope that what I share here inspires your heart and your creative expression in life too. I thought I’d write a little about one of the pivotal adventures I had in 2018 and share some highlights.

Last year was a big year for me with my first trip to the UK. I went alone for the first eight days and attended the Fantasy Fiction Writing Course, run by David Farland, in Oxford. Then my partner, David, flew over and we met up in London for a much needed holiday.

Leicester Square and Kensington

Dave and I went to Leicester Square and had high tea. We also stayed in Kensington and saw a Dr Who tardis – that’s what I reckon it was and I’m sticking to my story.

The writing course was intense but I was with a room full of amazing fantasy fiction authors and it was a privilege to listen to them read their current work in progress, and then to provide feedback too. I made some wonderful friends in this course which I am very grateful. They were all incredibly dedicated to the art and craft of writing a fantasy stories that lives on inside the reader long after the last page is read.

Once I’d met up with Dave in London, we had four nights before getting on a Cost Saver Trafalgar bus trip for 16 days where we visited the tourist highlights of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Dave and I did a couple of walking tours of London, saw Leicester Square, the Royal Palace, did the hop-on hop-off bus.

Here are some of the photos I took on my holiday. They include images from my time in Oxford as well as on the trip. Below you can see photos of my visits to Platform 9 & 3/4s in London, Stratford-Upon-Avon, the City of York, Warwick Castle and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

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Then Dave and I took the Eurostar over to Paris.

First we got lost in the underground for over an hour and when we finally got to the surface, it took quite a bit to orient ourselves. We saw the Notre-Dame Cathedral and then we were on the hop-on hop-off bus to get our bearings. Below you can see a photo of the Arc de Triomphe and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

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Then we went to Le Lourve and found the Mona Lisa and many other beautiful pieces of art that were worthy of just as much attention as the Mona Lisa. The Lourve was huge and magnificent. It was a true highlight for me. So was seeing the Eiffle Tower.

Le Lourve

Below are some photos from York and Stratford-Upon-Avon.

When we visited the home of Shakespeare there was a small market on by the river and these gorgeous owls were there hanging out. Of course, being a huge animal lover, I had to snap up some photos.

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On our first night in Edinburgh we went to see a Scottish Show with dinner. Here are a few photos of the dancers. We weren’t allowed to take videos, so I snapped up some photos and danced along in my seat.

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Really, there are so many photos and memories, it’s taking me quite a while to go through them and process all the experiences I had while overseas. I think I’ll leave my first blog post for 2019 there because I don’t want to bombard you.

I will do a blog with photos of each section and share the journey with you as I transfer the images across from my phone to the cloud.

Anyway, whatever 2019 brings, I hope it is good for you and that you and your creativity grow and develop in positive ways.

Until next time, happy creativity.