Wednesday, March 30, 2011


20110329 Gray Scale

While I was working on my 1st canvas painting (here), I discovered that I had nil working knowledge of color.  ;)

I thought I could kind of visualize my color choices and saved time for trial and error.  The fact was I couldn't.  Either I had to do a trial run on a separate paper or covered up / changed the color several times before I was satisfied.

You thought I gotta be a bit wiser the next time.  Hmm ... yes and no.  Like a little drummer girl marching in front of a platoon, I forgot everything and just dived into working on my 2nd painting.


After I finished laying down the background color and about to start with the girl figure, I found myself staring at her hair and puzzled what color I should use.


"O.k. But it's going to look really flat with pure black.  What about giving it some depth or shading?"

"So what color to use for depth?"

"Some grays or ... "

"Hang on!  Did we just say black hair?  But what about the background?  It is of dark blue and if we put black against dark blue, do you think people will see the black hair?"

The chatter went on and on and I found these out:

  • I don't pay much ANY attention to color til I tried out painting.
  • Not only there's the technical side of color mixing a difficult subject for me, the use of color to represent something is unfamiliar to me.
  • If I want to paint and paint well, I need to develop a better understanding of Color.

I decided that it was about high time that I seek some professional help.  I signed up Alisa Burke's online class on color theory - Color Your World.  The course is basic, simple and effective.  

20110329 Red Blue Yellow

One major thing I took from Alisa's course was her attitude towards color.  She is passionate about color and use color with INTENTION.  This does not mean that her color choice is a rigid follow of color theories.  She encourages her students to have a good grasp of basic color theory and pay close attention when working with colors.

20110329 Orange Green Violet

Alisa also helps me to further understand about color harmony.  "When color is not in harmony, it can be boring and chaotic."  The penny dropped.  This is not only something that I've been struggling in my painting practice, but it also helps to explain some of my unease when I view other people's artwork.

Color Wheel 2

I enjoyed the course a lot and it really opened both my eyes and mind to the World of Color.  Thanks Alisa! :D

Friday, March 25, 2011

What's in My Sketchbook?

20110323 Skull & Feather

20110323 Skull & Feather CU

Since I started to learn to draw girls, I've become vastly interested in human anatomy, especially the human skull. It is of such fascinating structure.  I've wanted to include some skull works in my drawings and paintings, but didn't know why it took me this long to do it! ;)  Hope you like it.

This is also my entry to Paint Party Friday hosted by Eva and Kristin.  All are welcomed!  Do join in to share and support each other!

Cheers and have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Drawing Lessons? Jill Bliss

I must be going through a sketch / drawing cycle right now.  Apart from finishing some sketches the last couple of days, I've been itching to start another drawing lesson with Jill Bliss.

This is not an online course, but a learning from Jill's Drawing Nature Journal.  It is a journal which combines Jill's drawing lessons and blank pages to practice.

I have been a fan of Jill's work and am a proud owner of some of her art prints, like the one below.

The "Bear" print I got from Jill.

From her art, you can see her passion in nature and conservation.  There's an element of innocence in her style which I particularly like.  And when you look carefully at the composition and her line work, you'll be marvel at her artist skill.

Aside from her artwork, Jill is also into hand-made fabric work.  See this Datebook Cozy here.  It is such cool and ingenious invention!

So my dear fellow bloggers and creatives, I encourage you to include Jill's Drawing Nature Journal into your art bag for fun and learning!  :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sketchbook Delight - Alisa Burke

Wow, it's been a month since my last post!!  Sorry for missing that long ...

More personal mishaps had occurred but as trying as they were, I was able to sort them out.  Not that everything is back to normal, but I'm getting there.  So I think it's about time I get back to a bit of blogging. ;)

Now let's see, over the last 2 weeks, I've been catching up with Alisa Burke's 2 online classes:  Sketchbook Delight and Color Your World.

Before I start talking about the courses, I'll share some of my observation about Alisa.

I admire and respect her greatly as a self-employed Artist.  She is passionate and dedicated to her art and art business.  She possesses sound and solid art skills.  I found her to be a warm and grounded person.  But most of all, I learn, from reading her blog entries, about her work ethics and attitude to her art.

What got me to enroll to the sketchbook class was Alisa' strong belief in drawing / sketching as a MUST for all artist (regardless of medium) and it needs to be worked on consistently. (Pls refer to her original statement here.)

I've known about the above since I first began to draw 1 1/2 years ago.  However, I haven't acquired the skills and perhaps more importantly, the motivation to draw / sketch on a regular basis.

From the sketch book course, Alisa taught me some basics but effective skills to practice drawing / sketch.  She also motivated me to incorporate drawing / sketching into my daily creative routine.  Watching her working from start to finish on one of her sketch pages, she made me believe that I could do the same.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that after the course, I'll be able to produce tonnes of beautiful sketch work and thus becoming an Artist.  What I'm saying is that Alisa shows me that it is POSSIBLE for me to be as consistent as she.  This is essential to me at this stage for my creative development.  Alisa managed to give me that "nudge" which I so needed.  THANK YOU, Alisa!

Overall, the course not only taught me some very useful drawing skills, it also offered me a kind of "structure" which I could adapt to my daily creative practice.

Well, I think it's about time for me to show you one of my sketch work from the course.  Here it is.

(Since I'm under the influence and inspiration of Alisa's work, you can see that my sketch is very close to her style. I can't help it! ;)  But I promise myself that with time and practice, I'm to develop my own sketch work.)

Gee, this turns out to be a lengthy post, I think I'll stop here for now.  I'll write about Alisa's color theory course and other creative matter next time.  Hopefully it won't be a long wait!

Have a wonderful week ahead, my dear fellow creatives and bloggers!


I'd want to say that my heart goes out to the people in Japan for their crisis.  And also to those who are still recovering from the the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake.

You're all in my thoughts.