Saturday, August 30, 2008
The magazine arrived this week and there is the pencil pot! Seems quite odd, really, seeing your own work in a magazine. Reading the article in full, I'm quite glad now that I included the number 2 on one of the pencils - I wasn't sure about it at the time. As well as an illustration, I also have a photo in there too. Taken in Iceland in July 2005. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to do any sketching while I was there. (Iceland is the focus of Laura's blog at the moment, as she has just returned from her trip so I'm very much looking forward to seeing her sketches and paintings!)
I like the way the pictures have been cropped for the contents page. Next month, I think, is the travel issue - I can't wait to see the China sketches! I'm surprised at how well the colours of the pencil pot looked, much more accurate than when I scanned them for the blog. (Although in the top photo, Photoshop has made the colours of the pot look cloudy but I can't be bothered to take another photo!)
Speaking of colours, I took Paul's portrait to be framed this week. Very late, I know, but I dreaded having to explain in my pitiful French about the gallery's framing requirements. I now have to wait three weeks for it which means I'll be in a panic trying to package it and post it in time for the deadline! When I had to get new glasses recently, I had to wait about three weeks for them. In both Kuwait and Dubai, I had my eyes tested and the new glasses ready within two days. In Dubai they framed four prints and had them ready in about a week. You would imagine the Swiss to be super efficient and there to be a 'mañana' (or bukrha in Arabic!) attitude in the Middle East but it seems to be the other way round. Want new curtains measured and fitted? Want a new made to measure suit? Anything you want, you can have it ready and delivered in a flash in the ME, unless of course it's Ramadan, and then you can forget it. Here, even if I'm only ordering coloured pencils from Austria, it takes weeks.
Anyway, I digress. I was in the framers and trying to make my mind up about mats and frames (and what a poor choice!) when the lady put the portrait up on a portable, cloth covered wall. It seems to have some sort of suction behind it because the paper just stays put and comes off easily too. If it wasn't so big, it would be really handy for artists who need to step back and see their work from a distance! Problem was, I could immediately see what was bothering me about the portrait! Why couldn't I see it before? After finishing it and leaving it for a couple of weeks, I thought the skin needed a little more depth and I tried adding more Light Ochre and English Red, the two colours I had used on it. It looked just as bright. But since I drew the opera singers and since I've been doing Steve's portrait, I know that purples and greys work really well for accentuating and for shadow areas. As soon as she put it on the wall, I could see it was crying out for some purple - the skin looked so orange, especially on his arm!
Don't you think that is always the way, though? You tend to like what you've just done, until you've started the next! Then suddenly, all the faults show up and you wonder how you've been so blind. At least, that is what usually happens with me. I'm pleased with the way Steve's portrait is coming along, but when I look at it in a couple of months time, I wonder if I'll feel the same? I do hope not otherwise I haven't learned anything from it!