Posted tagged ‘create’

Art Lessons in Richmond & Surrey are Applelicious

February 16, 2015
This apple is painted quite fast with a wet on wet technique that will allow the different shades and tints and colours to blend into each other.

This apple is painted quite fast with a wet on wet technique that will allow the different shades and tints and colours to blend into each other.

More adult watercolour classes have been added to my schedule at the Thompson Community Centre in Richmond. If you are looking for some beginner instruction in the tricky medium of watercolour come join our class this spring. Each session we will try different projects such as learning to do washes using simple subjects such as fruit and misty mountain ranges, playing with negative space between fence posts, and scratching out highlights on sparkling seas and snow.

There are 3 new sessions at the Thompson Community Centre. Phone 604-238-8422 for info and to register. We meet on Mondays from 1:00 to 2:30. The next session is March 2 – 23. Then the other two are April 13 – May 11 and May 25 – June 22. Hope to see you there!

This green apple is in oil pastel, which is a little tricky to blend. Start with light strokes in a variety of colours and build up the layers.

This green apple is in oil pastel, which is a little tricky to blend. Start with light strokes in a variety of colours and build up the layers.

Here are some examples of the various apple studies I have taught in my watercolur, pastel, and pencil crayon classes for adults and children. I find that the apple lends itself well as a subject for beginners; it’s more interesting than just a circle and yet not so complex as to scare people away. The variety of colours found on apples are another plus as I always stress that a collection of colours is more interesting to the eye than a flat 1 colour subject (although that has its place too, such as in many poster designs and logos).

Soft, or chalk pastel was used on this apple and is much easier to blend than oil pastel.

Soft, or chalk pastel was used on this apple and is much easier to blend than oil pastel.

Whether it is watercolour, pastel, or pencil crayon, build up a layer of different colours, focusing on your main one, like red, but highlighting with ones such as yellows, and darkening with colours such as blues and purples. Start light, and work up the layers until you just do the dark areas at the end. Have fun, and experiment. Paint and draw apples over and over again, as using the same subject will let you see your progress over time.

This apple had each layer of watercolour dry before the next layer or colour was painted on top and thus you can see some of the brush strokes and it doesn't blend like the wet on wet apple shown above.

This apple had each layer of watercolour dry before the next layer or colour was painted on top and thus you can see some of the brush strokes and it doesn’t blend like the wet on wet apple shown above.

A study in value where you only use one pencil crayon. Can also be done with regular pencil. Try a 3 or 4B.

A study in value where you only use one pencil crayon. Can also be done with regular pencil. Try a 3 or 4B.

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By All Means Create

August 14, 2014

We’ve all had it, that voice that says we can’t do something, or that we can’t do it well enough, or we don’t have the time. Perhaps we need to listen to Van Gogh who said “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” The staff at Opus Art Supplies has made a video illustrating this quote. It was a nice little reminder for me this morning and thus I wanted to share it.

Make Good Art speech by Neil Gaiman

December 31, 2013

With my recent feelings of being a bit blocked, this was an amazing speech to listen to at the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. No, I’m not blocked, I’ve just been caught up in paying bills, and completing chores, and trying to do things that everyone else says I should do. Life isn’t always easy, but at the end of the day, or perhaps the beginning, we should do at least one thing – make good art! Thank you Neil Gaiman for your good words.

 

 

Tiana’s Etsy Store is Now Open

November 30, 2013

Now you can buy original and printed art by me on my Etsy store Tiana Kaczor Fine Arts. There’s still time before Christmas to pick up a hand printed photograph or a miniature watercolour. Or if you live near Vancouver, B.C. (so we don’t have to rely on mailing times) there’s even time to commission a watercolour or drawing based on a photo of your choice.
Visit my store here:  

I’m still learning about the wonderful word of Etsy, researching how other artists and craftspeople list their wares, so it’s been a little slow for getting some of my art up for sale, but you will find a few items there now.
I’m listing a variety of mediums and styles in hopes of getting some feedback from window shoppers and buyers about what they’re interested in getting.  Prices range from around $10 to $400.
I will be uploading more artworks for sale in the next few weeks, so keep checking back for new stock. Original watercolour postcards and vintage computer art prints are next on my list for stocking my shelves.

Tiana Kaczor Fine Arts Etsy banner

Come take a look at my Etsy store

Risk The Highest Step in the World

October 17, 2013

Ghost River Theatre’s David van Belle and Eric Rose have created a production that asks “What happens when you take a risk? What makes you take that first step from an unimaginable height? ”  “The Highest Step in the World” is a one man show (David van Belle, who does a great job) with 2 men behind the scenes who make him fly. Based on Joseph Kittinger’s record breaking jump from a weather balloon in 1960, the play also includes the story of Vesna Vulovic, an airline stewardess who survived a fall out of a bombed plane, and the mythological characters of Daedalus and Icarus.

Sometimes people take risks and fail. On my way to the theatre I was driving around a tight curve to get onto the Queensborough Bridge. Traffic slowed and I eventually had to pass a semi-trailer truck lying on its side on top of the cement road dividers.  The driver had obviously taken the curve at too high a speed and tipped over. Some of its wheels were still spinning. Emergency vehicles hadn’t arrived yet. When I returned across the bridge in the late afternoon after my theatre experience, I saw the truck being hauled away, the cab horribly crushed. I don’t know whether the driver survived. We take risks in our vehicles every day, and often don’t think about it.

Then there are the risks we do think about, like jumping out of a tree when we’re little, or creating a new piece of art. It can be as small as deciding to use a different colour palette when redesigning your living room, or as large as taking the steps to walk on the moon. Taking risks can be scary, but without it life can be boring. Without risks we would never have new inventions, or art pieces. We might never get married, or travel to a different country. I’ve always been a cautious person, but I do take some risks, and maybe it’s time to take a few more.

For you, why not take a risk in theatre and go see “The Highest Step in the World” on now until October 26, 2013, in Richmond’s Gateway Theatre. Here’s the trailer:

 

Beginners Watercolour Lesson – Value Sketch and Negative Space

September 27, 2013

Over the last couple of years I have been fine tuning my beginners watercolour classes for adults and children. I usually start off with the same lessons for all ages, just moving a little faster, and into more detail with the adults. After teaching the colour wheel and basic brush techniques there are several lessons I run through. I have found that my own watercolour skills are always improved every time I demonstrate these lessons, and therefore recommend beginners and seasoned watercolourists to run through these simple “warm ups” every once in awhile.

Maple seed value study in gray watercolour.

Maple seed value study in gray watercolour.

The Value Sketch teaches us to look at the values in real objects and paint from life instead of a photo. I bring to class some simple found objects like leaves or maple seeds. Sometimes I have the students use only one colour, like gray, and then all they worry about is the intensity of the colour and watering it down for the light areas. Other times I have students try to mix the actual colours on the found object. We mix puddles of the colours in our tray, and leave room to add water for lighter values. Once the colours are ready then we can start the painting.

Value color sketch of maple seeds and feather

Value color sketch of maple seeds and feather

We start with a light pencil sketch. For young children I may allow them to trace the object so they don’t get frustrated with the drawing. Then we apply 3 or 4 layers of paint, working from the lightest areas of the object to the darkest. These are small paintings, so very little paint should be on the brush. We don’t want the colours to run. Then wait a couple minutes for the wash to dry before painting the next layer of detail. The last layer is the darkest areas and then the shadow under the object is added to make it look like the leaf or seed is sitting on a table.

The Value Sketch is a quick lesson so I usually do a second lesson in the last half of the class. Since you rarely use white paint in watercolours, but instead leave the white paper free of paint, it’s good to have an exercise that helps students be more aware of the paper and leaving areas blank. Negative space drawings can be taught if time permits, or you can go directly into an exercise of painting a white fence.

Fence Negative Space Watercolour

Fence Negative Space Watercolour

We start by lightly drawing the posts and rails using only one line each in the middle. It’s nice to give a little perspective as the fence goes away from you and perhaps add a gate. Next we mix our paint colour puddles, which are the colours of the background of grass or bushes. When we’re ready we can start by prepping the paper with plain water in each negative space area, or we can just jump in and start painting. Try to load enough paint on the brush so that you can finish a whole rectangular space between the posts and rails. Be careful not to get too close to your pencil lines as then you’ll have a very skinny fence! When one negative space is done then load up your brush again and paint the next one. Dip in different colours to add more interest to your background. Be careful not to have each negative space a different colour as that wouldn’t look natural, but instead dip into a second colour halfway through painting one area and work fast so the colours blend on the paper. When dry you could add some detail of grass blades in front of your fence. Then make your white fence 3 dimensional by choosing a direction for the sunlight and painting shadows on one side of each rail and post. When the painting is totally dry lightly erase your pencil lines.

If you have any questions about these exercises please write to me in the comment section.  Some books I consulted while planning my lessons this past summer were: “Watercolour For Starters” by Paul Talbot-Greaves, and “Watercolour Challenge, Techniques in Practice” Channel 4 Books.

Creativity in Kids: Caine’s Arcade

January 22, 2013

As soon as I saw the You Tube video “Caine’s Arcade” (thanks Astrid for the link) I knew I had to post a link on my website. I have to admit Nirvan’s movie brought a tear to my eye because I see so many children that are forgetting how to play on their own, creatively like we used to years ago. I used to grab old telephone parts and light switches and set them up underneath our picnic table, imagining it to be a spaceship, or boat, that would manoeuvre across the backyard lawn to new worlds in my mind.

Caine has taken the “lemonade stand” to a new level. Nirvan Mullick’s movies, and the Imagination Foundation, have helped create a cardboard wave of creativity around the world. Watch the second movie here and then check out  the original on You Tube. Then go grab some cardboard and make something, no matter what your age is!