Sunday, 20 July 2014

Indian paper cut update - it's FINISHED!

After hours of sitting hunched up, toiling over the cutting mat, I have finally finished this Indian-style paper cut and I couldn't be happier with the way it's turned out.

It's cut out of 'normal' thickness paper with a size 11 scalpel blade.

I think I'm going to stick with the yellow background, but as it's for my sister, I'd better give her the final say! I love the way the contrast is so vibrant when it's held up to the light like in the photo below.

Although I'm glad it's finished, I really enjoyed cutting out all those tiny patterns!

Here's how it started life, hand drawn on a piece of plain A4 paper.

It casts beautiful shadows in the sunshine.

One last photo!

This weekend I've also been working on the dog portrait commission I began a few weeks ago. His nose was the focus today! The fur still needs toning down so it's not so pale.

Finally, I've almost finished this doodle, but you're only getting a sneak peek for now!

That's all for today, thanks for stopping by! I'll leave you with this photo taken at Westward Ho! while Sam was land boarding this evening.

PS. Please pop by my Facebook page if you'd like to see more of my work :)

I'm sharing today's post on the following blogs: Handmade Harbour, Nifty Thrifty Things, Be Different Act Normal, Sunny Simple Life and Manon Popje's Illustrations.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Indian-style paper cut

Hello! Last week I was painting a dog portrait which I still haven't had chance to finish! Instead I've been working on a couple of other commissions, which has also been fun.

I can share this work in progress with you as it's for my sister who has asked me to design a piece for an Indian Summer marketing campaign she'll be running for her business later this year. After doing a bit of research on Indian designs, I decided that the beautiful patterns lent themselves to being transformed into an intricate paper cut.

This is it so far, held up to the window with yellow paper behind.

I think I'll back it with a mix of colours though, to reflect the Indian Summer theme.

I loved drawing out the pattern, filling out an A4 piece of paper with raindrop shapes, loops, flowers, fans and circles. It was like doodling!

Cutting it has been really good fun too, I love all the little curves and intricate shapes. The fish scale pattern shown in the picture above is one of my favourites!

There's still quite a way to go, so I better get back to cutting! I'll leave you with this photo of Sam and other kitesurfers at Westward Ho! today. :)

I'm sharing this post on the following blogs: Nifty Thrifty Things, Handmade Harbour, Manon Popje's Illustrations, Be Different Act Normal and Tatertots and Jello.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pet portrait painting in progress - that's a lot of p's!

Hi everyone! I've been hard at work on a few commissions this week which is great fun!

I've had the house to myself as Sam has been away on a stag weekend, so it's been good to have plenty of time for painting.

This pet portrait is the main piece I've been working on. It's still not finished, in fact there's quite a way to go.

I've got to paint all the little hairs on the ear, add detail to the nose, finish the collar and tags and refine the shading.

I've been taking photos at each stage and am hoping to make them into a video when I'm finished. Until then, here are a few to show how it's progressed.

The last image in that series shows the dog looking very dark. To lighten it up I've painted tiny white hairs over the whole thing which I will then cover with a tan coloured wash to bring it all together.

I'm working in acrylic paint because it dries nice and quickly, allowing layers to be built up with no drying time in between. I've never tried oils but would love to have a go!

Here's where I've been working at the dining room table. It now has a few nice acrylic splodges...shh!

This week I've also been working on a paper cut kirigami cityscape. I'm still only at the cutting stage, the windows are taking ages! Eventually, when all the details have been cut, I'll fold it and it'll magically turn into a 3D city. Well, here's hoping. The last kirigami I did went wrong, so fingers crossed I've got the measurements right on this one.

Next Sunday, I'll hopefully have a finished pet portrait to show you!

If you've enjoyed this post, please pop by my Facebook page. I update it regularly during the week and I'd love to welcome some new faces!

I'm sharing this post on the following blogs: Paint Party Friday, Handmade Harbour, Be Different Act Normal, Manon Popje's Illustrations and Tatertots and Jello.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Pen and ink doodles for Dad's birthday

This week I've taken inspiration from an incredible doodle artist, Kerby Rosanes of Sketchy Stories. I've been following his Facebook page for a while and am constantly taken aback by the new 'doodles' he creates by hand.

They seem very organic, each tiny gap filled with little creatures and doodles. He also incorporates animals and larger forms within his work.

This is my attempt at a doodle for my Dad's birthday.

 It's centred around a birthday cake which appears to have attracted a lot of little critters!

I drew everything our roughly first, then outlined it with a 0.5mm fine line pen.

I still don't think there's enough going on though! I'd like to see every little gap on the page covered up.

This is my favourite section, I'm particularly pleased with the round wooden door.

Here's another one that I did at the beginning of the week. No specific focus, I was just practising building up the detail.

This is it before the shading and details were added.

And a few more angles, I got a bit carried away with the camera!

That's all on the doodle front. This week's project is going to be another one of these, but more detailed and elaborate, just as a challenge!

Bye for now, have a great week!

I'm sharing today's post on the following blogs: Handmade Harbour, Be Different Act Normal, Tatertots and Jello, Nifty Thrifty Things and Paper Saturdays.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Handmade mosaic mirror

I was invited to take part in a blogger competition (my first ever!) by Topps Tiles who kindly sent me some small bathroom tiles and glue to make a mosaic creation.

The brief was very loose, simply to make a mosaic from the materials provided. After browsing Pinterest for some ideas I settled on making a mosaic mirror as it'll be both functional and pretty!

The tiles came in sheets like this... I got Sam involved to break them up for me. It wasn't hard to split them, but it sped the process up a bit having him doing it!

I marked out a simple wave design on the mirror in biro and labelled which colour they were going to be so I wouldn't forget!

Then I picked a spot to start sticking the pieces down.

Slowly (very slowly!) I built it up, picking the right size and shape tiles for the gaps. It was a very hot day to be sitting out in the garden!

Finally it ended up completely covered.

Et voilà, it's finished!

I'm sharing this post on the following blogs: Seasoned Homemaker, Made to be a Momma and Savvy Southern Style.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The end of the 'World Cut'

As England's chance of success in the World Cup came abruptly to an end this week, so did my latest paper cut! I'm rather more cheerful about the latter though, as it's been on my to-do list for quite some time.

I can't deny that it was the trickiest cut I've ever done. All those teeny circles seemed like a good idea when I sketched out the design, but cutting them was a pig!

paper cut

I've called it 'World Cut' but it was actually made for the transportation challenge for the Facebook group 'Papercutting Workshop'. Each little detail was sketched and cut out by hand. The paper cut design evolved as I drew it, I hadn't originally planned the night and day halves but thought it would add a bit of interest to the sky.

paper cut

paper cut

 The fiddliest bit by far was the bicycle, look how tiny it is next to my index finger!

paper cut

The sun's rays had to be added in to support everything in the sky.

In the 'day' half, the images are positive, in the 'night' half they're negative ie. cut out as holes.

Paper cut
Here's the final piece with my paw to give it some scale.

paper cut

I'm thinking of doing prints of this one, but as I've never had any done before, I'd like to gauge interest before I go ahead. Please email me or contact me via my Facebook page if you're interested in buying a print, if I enough people would like one, I'll look into it! 

I'm sharing today's post on the following blogs: Handmade Harbour, Be Different Act Normal, Tatertots and Jello and Paper Saturdays.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

3D paper cut buildings

We've had a very busy and enjoyable weekend down in South Devon seeing family and friends, but Sunday evening has, yet again, arrived too soon. It has a horrible habit of turning up when it's least wanted!

It's not been a quiet week craft-wise either.

I'm so happy to have finally framed this paper cut. From finding the perfect shade of olive green to tracking down a suitable-size frame, it took the whole of Saturday morning but I think it was worth it.

It turns out Sainsbury's is a good place for frame shopping! The raised layered mount really suits the paper cut.

I have a to-do list in my bedside table which is where I record ideas for art and crafts which fleetingly pop into my head. I write them down because I'm bound to forget about them if I don't, and when I have some spare time, I work on one.

This idea was for a paper cut resembling knitted fabric. Although I trawled the internet for knitted folds falling in just the right way, I couldn't find anything which matched the image in my head, so I grabbed a jumper, threw it down and took my own reference photo!

It's raised in places because it's not stuck down yet. I can never make up my mind about finishing touches and once an idea's been ticked off my list I move onto the next without spending time on boring bits like mounting and framing!

Another idea is this 3D architectural paper cut, inspired by the amazing creations of by Marc Hagan-Guirey of Paper Dandy. This style of paper cut involving folding is known as 'kirigami'. My first one was small and a little rough (you can see the lines from incorrect folds in the top two small buildings), but it left me full of ideas for more.

The next one I cut was a little more ambitious, but my measuring let me down, making it a bit wonky!

Can you see the cuts extending from the tops of the buildings on the right hand side? Well, they shouldn't be there!

They look lovely with light coming from behind them. Here's a photo including my mitt for scale.

 Below is how they start life, on a flat sheet of paper with lots of measuring involved!

I'm not finished with them yet though, watch this space for more!

While at Mum and Dad's this weekend I 'borrowed' their scanner and printer to prepare my next design ready for paper cutting. I drew it out by hand on a piece of white A4 paper, scanned it in, and printed it out on dark blue. I find it easier to draw designs out first on rough paper so that any rubbings out don't damage the good quality paper. If they're A4, it's then easy to copy them onto the chosen paper for cutting.

Finally, I'll leave you to ponder what I could possibly do with these tiles and glue! As an art and craft blogger I've been invited to take part in a mosaic competition by Topps Tiles who sent these materials out to me to play with. I'll be working on my entry this week and hopefully including it in next week's blog post!

I'm linking to today's post on the following blogs: Handmade Harbour, Weekend Doings, Be Different Act Normal and Manon Popje's Illustrations.