Artist's Palette

Artist's Palette No 171

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Artist's Palette is the perfect magazine for the aspiring and accomplished artist alike. Provides insights on, as well as step-by-step demonstrations from, Australian and international artists. Featuring the latest in news, reviews and products from the art world as well as exhibition previews and reviews. Artist's Palette is sure to stimulate your artistic sense.

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6 min.
the pleasure of making the picture

Beverley Doak lives and works in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, but she originally came from New Zealand. She attended art classes to learn oil painting; but admits that her skills with paperbark are self-taught. Where paperbark is concerned, she is passionate about the fact that it is a living organism. “In the pictures I create, the natural feel of the paperbark never goes away,” she says. “It never ceases to amaze me, the variety of textures and colours in the bark. The way I do the pictures, I really do not need to use very much bark. I utilise it as if I am painting, mostly applying very small pieces with tweezers. Painting the backgrounds is new for me … but when it comes to my eagle paintings, I feel…

2 min.
proud eagle

STEP ONE I drew the bird on a grid to help with the dimensions, and then painted the background to give colour to see what I was working with. Following that, I used black (Tea Tree) bark around the outline of the bird. STEP TWO A paperbark was then used (which would work well for the tree trunk). The texture of the bark, as well as the colour, had to be considered. I chose a reddish tinge. I also started to build the tail using a more ‘papery’ bark, combined with harder pieces; keeping in mind that it had to end up looking like a tail. STEP THREE The dark bark that I used for the wings and body of the bird was from the Leptospermum, or Tea Tree, which had gone through a bush…

7 min.
life in the tivoli

Courses in drawing and painting gave me the basis for sound draftsmanship and an understanding of how to make colour. I have developed my ability as a still life artist and oil pastellist through my own practice and through observing work by other artists. The recent incorporation of another brand of oil pastels into my work (Caran d’Ache) stemmed from reading about the work of American artist Susan Bennerstrom. The way I use these pastels, however, is based on the understanding developed over many years of the nature of Van Gogh oil pastels; the variations in opacity and intensity of colour. I am interested in colour, shape, light and shadow. I am also interested in texture in artwork. I like to see the building of a piece of artwork, what sustains it…

3 min.
fragments of magic 2

STEP ONE I began by drawing up the composition. Having established a composition (using Adobe Photoshop to manipulate photographs), I then sketched a basic outline using a broad grid. STEP TWO The next phase was the general mapping of areas of colour. The first layer of oil pastels was laid down using colours close to the actual colours of items; mapping in general areas and adjusting the composition as necessary. I used complementary colours together with purple and black to mark in darker areas so the composition lines and details of the drawing were not lost. STEP THREE A range of colours, particularly complementary colours, were laid down; then colours that approximated actual colours of objects (I will refer to them as base colours) were layered on top. Paler, more neutral areas became more ‘coloured’…

3 min.
crimson snow

After a fresh snow deep in the Colorado back country, the colours give an aura of splendour. With the mist rising from the water, I cannot help but feel entrenched in the mood of such a magnificent place. I wanted to give the viewers a sense of being. I wanted them to feel the crispness in the air and smell the blue spruce. I wanted them to be able to experience the magic of such a moment. STEP ONE I soaked my 140 watercolour paper in cold bathwater for about 15 minutes. I then stapled it down to my treated plywood watercolour board and sketched my initial image in French Gray #70 watercolour pencil. STEP TWO After everything was completely dry, I covered the foreground rocks with liquid masking fluid; along with some of…

4 min.

Paul Reynolds’ life began in 1951 in the United Kingdom. These days he lives in the Noosa hinterland on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – near the town of Cooroy. During his high school years, there were only two subjects that this man excelled in: Art and History. He went on to attend art school at Canberra in the early seventies – and held a successful solo exhibition. “Then I did what many self-respecting students did in the early seventies,” he claims. “I rebelled and dropped out. I became a self-employed truck driver, a nurseryman, and finally (15 years ago) a signwriter. I held my second solo exhibition in the early eighties, and continued to paint … with a little illustration work for ‘Matilda’ magazine thrown in.” Paul’s creativity lapsed in the mid-nineties and he…