Clare Willcocks

Clare Willcocks: September 2013

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Who's that girl...?

I'd like to share with you a painting that I have just finished! It's always at the final stage that I lose the motivation to add the finishing touches - I've been dragging this one out for the last three weeks! Finally though, it's done!

It's Zooey Deschanel, the actress who plays Jess in the series New Girl. I love her and the show so I thought she would be the ideal subject for my first portrait in ages. It's acrylic paint on a 10" x 7" canvas panel.

acrylic portrait

acrylic portrait

So, here's how I did it. First I found a high quality professional photograph here. Then I drew it out in pencil with the help of a grid to get it aligned correctly. I don't always use a grid, but I don't think it's cheating, I mean, look at Leonardo Da Vinci! I started the painting with the background colour grey, then moved onto a black/brown base colour for the hair.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

I did the hair very roughly as I knew I would paint over it, I just wanted to get some background colour on.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

I did the same with the face, using a slightly watered down block colour all over.

how to paint an acylic portrait

Then I roughly added the shadows, ready to smooth out a bit later.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

Some bright red lipstic came next....

how to paint an acrylic portrait

...and a bit more smoothing of the shadows to blend the lines.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

Then for some block highlights in the hair, no individual hairs yet.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

I finished off the detail on the mouth and the nose, adding some little white sparkles to make Zooey's lips and teeth shine.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

She looks a bit spooky in this next pic with her eyes blocked out with a white base coat! I added a few strands of hair to her fringe.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

Next, I concentrated on the irises, mixing in a couple of different blues.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

I wasn't completely happy with her complexion, so I toned some parts down and painted a bit more shadow in the left cheek to add depth. The final touches were her eyelashes, fine hairs and highlights, and the shiny bits in and around her eyes - I think it's these final details that really bring a portrait to life.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

Finally my signature and there you have it!

Just thought I'd take this opportunity to remind you about my Etsy shop and my facebook page. If anyone is interested in commissioning a portrait, please leave me a comment and I'll get back to you ASAP! :)

I'm linking this post up here: Handmade Harbour, Raising Reagan, Blue Chair Diary Illustrations, Diana Evans, Paint Party Friday and Manon Popje's Illustrations.

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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ike's World Challenges Entry

I'm just sneaking this entry in at the last minute for Ike's new challenge blog. I used her freebie digital stamp, the lovely 'fashionista' to create this tag. I drew it out in fine black pen and coloured it with coloured pencils. The challenge was to combine any three squares in any direction from this grid. I chose 'tag', 'doily' and 'ribbon'. As I didn't have a doily to hand I drew out a doily-style design down the side of the tag.

Here's the result! I apologise for the dark and slightly out of focus photo! It's horribly dark and rainy down in Devon today and this is the best I could do with natural light and my point and shoot camera!

I'm off now to make the most of this miserable weather by staying inside and crafting! Ciao!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Crazy for Daisies!

When I saw that the theme for this week's Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge was 'Crazy for Daisies' I just had to enter! I drew some little daisies out in pencil, then outlined them in ultra fine pen before adding a touch of watercolour. I cut some out and raised them up on sticky pads. Here's the result!

papercraft daisies

Paper craft daisies

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Quick Check-In: Watercolour painting in Bude, Cornwall

Hi guys, this is just a quick check-in to let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the planet! I've been quite busy this week with work and I've been painting an acrylic portrait which will hopefully be finished and ready to share with you very soon.

Surf was up this afternoon so, for the first time in a year, Sam and I set off to Bude in north Cornwall. While he went surfing I sat on a bench and did a little painting of the cute coloured houses along the river. Here's the little picture, just ATC sized (2.5 x 3.5 inches).

bude, cornwall

Watercolour painting Bude 
bude, cornwall

When I'd finished I took a few photos of Sam surfing. The sea looked a bit chilly to me, despite it having the whole summer to warm up. Sam insists it was toasty!

My little 0.05mm waterproof pens arrived this week! I was so excited to get home and find the package on my desk! I've been practising with a few mini zentangles.


That's all tonight folks, over and out!

I'm sharing this post at the following link up parties: Handmade Harbour, Raising Reagan, Lamb Around, Manon Popje's Illustrations and Paint Party Friday!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Everything is coming together!

I've made my first sale on Etsy! Whoopee! Thanks to Ike from Ike's World! She happens to have a fantastic new challenge blog starting too which I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into.

As I said in my last post, I've been busy making cards and have just added these two to my Etsy shop.

watercolour greetings card

handmade greetings card

We have just had some new second-hand furniture delivered (by my lovely dad and his friend!) and I have fallen in love with the dressing table! It has turned into a new work desk - it's fantastic! So, specially for Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday (for which, granted, I am a couple of days late) here it is!

Oh look, a cup of tea!
Sam went fishing yesterday evening so I had a few creative hours to myself. I drew this teeny weeny zentangle. Here it is in progress...


...and here it is finished with my finger plonked right in the middle of it to give you an idea of the scale!

I'm really into my teeny weeny nibbed pens at the moment. I've just ordered a pack of twelve 0.05mm black waterproof uniPin fine liners - I can't wait for them to be delivered! I used a 0.1mm pen to outline this painting of a sea turtle and painted it with watercolours.

sea turtle painting

sea turtle painting

Oh, and I almost forgot! Last weekend we spent a lovely couple of days with Sam's family in London. On Saturday we were tourists on a whistle-stop tour with a day pass on the tube. It was great fun! I'm linking this diary page up to Balzer Designs: Art Journal Every Day.


If you haven't already popped over to my Facebook page, please do. I still have a giveaway running (perhaps aiming for 500 likers was a little ambitious...) so if you follow my blog, share the Facebook page and like it you are still in with a chance of winning this seagull painting.

Today I'm partying at the following linky parties: Thirty Handmade Days, I Gotta Create and A Creative Princess.

Friday, 6 September 2013

An exciting development...

I am VERY excited to let you all know that....drumroll please....I have set up an Etsy shop! Finally I have had the time to gather some paintings together to sell and they are now up in all their glory here.

It has been beautiful weather all week, so at the weekend I popped down to the beach and collected some lovely round pebbles to turn into miniature works of art! All of these are featured on Etsy.

painting on stones
Little teddy bear
painting on stones
The three meerkateers
painting on stones
A little seagull snuck in too!
painting on stones
I love you
Over the last couple of days I've been working on some new cards to add to the shop. It's been a veritable little production line! I'm sharing this for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

I drew out all of the designs first on watercolor paper. Firstly in pencil, then in fine line waterproof pen.

watercolour cards

Painting is by far the most time consuming stage, there are some very teeny weeny details to paint with a very fine brush!

watercolour cards

watercolour cards

I then cut out the picture squares with a craft knife. Here are the finished paintings.

watercolour cards

watercolour cards

watercolour cards

So far I have only completed one card which I needed for this weekend! Eventually they will all end up mounted like this.

watercolour cards

I've had another go at sketchnoting which I talked about in my last post here. This time I decided to make notes on a talk called 'How to make stress your friend' by psychologist Kelly McGonigal from the fantastic website TED. If you get the chance to watch it, it's a very interesting talk. Here's the sketchnote I took from it.

Today I'm linking to the following blogs: Manon Popje's Illustrations, Paint Party Friday, The Shabby Nest, A Creative Princess, Handmade Harbour and I Gotta Create.

All images in this post are ┬ęClare Willcocks