Friday, May 31, 2013

New Floral Cards and Learning Product Photography

Floral Greeting Card Set Floral Greeting Card Set Floral Greeting Card Set

I'm in the process of re-photographing all my cards and prints for my etsy shop, which would seem like a fun thing to do but it can be so frustrating! I look back at photos from when I first started and can see that I have improved SO much, but I wish it was easier.

The whole long process of setting up my photography "area" (the small space on the floor, between my bed and a window) and then the editing and at the end of it all seeing photos that I'm not happy with can be a tad disheartening. Basically I lay a piece of paper on the floor, and place whatever I'm photographing on this. Then I have a big piece of foamcore that I use to reflect the light from the window. I try to prop it against the bed but I usually just end up letting it lean/fall on me while I crouch down to take the photo.

Todays effort was ok, I photographed this new greeting card set (although I'm sure I'll look back at these photos next year and cringe). I'm not quite sure why it took me about three years to realise a plain white background is your best friend when it comes to product photography.

If you need help with your product shots, I have found this tutorial by the very talented bomobob to be very helpful, as well as these posts by him also.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New artwork - Silvereye birds in Wisteria Bonsai

Silvereye birds taking a bath

As I have mentioned before, my parents have a beautiful garden that they spend every weekend working in. For Mothers Day, I painted one of Mums favourite bonsais, a wisteria, with some silvereye birds sitting on the branches.

A family of silvereyes live in their garden. They are one of my favourite type of birds, with yellow and grey colourings and a beautiful ring of silvery white tiny feathers around their eyes.  At the same time each day, they will fly down to the fountain two at a time to have a bath, while the others keep watch in the branches of the magnolia tree.

Wisteria bonsai Silvereye birds in Wisteria bonsai

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Propogating succulents

My collection of succulents has grown so much that Harley has gently suggested that maybe I stop buying them now (I have a habit of impulse-shopping for succulents). I just love how there are so many different varieties, and I like how easy they are to propagate with cuttings. Half of my collection is made up of succulents propagated from cuttings Mum has taken from hers.

a small part of my collection
Propogating succulents Propogating succulents
Succulent cuttings
Propogating succulentsphoto-(20)
Attempting to deter birds

Last weekend I took some cuttings to make a large pot of mixed succulents as a gift for someone. I’m not sure if they will survive as they weren’t very established so I’ve got some back up cuttings planted in a seed tray just in case.

I noticed that a very bold bird has taken to pulling them out of the soil, and leaving them there. I guess he thinks they are food because there are snip marks all over them from his beak. I was told that leaving a fake rubber snake nearby is a deterrent for birds, so I gave it a try and it worked. I would have thought the bird would eventually wise up to the trick but it hasn’t tried pulling them out again. Maybe he’s just learned the succulents aren’t food and has moved on.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In the Studio: Learning to paint

Painting flowers

Working late tonight illustrating these diamond fire tail finches. Diamond Firetails
I have been painting a lot lately. It's been so nice to have a change from drawing like this, with all the detail. I've been using watercolours and gouache, and tiny paintbrushes. I'm fairly new to painting, so a lot of these artworks have ended up in the bin but I guess that's the only way to learn something new.

Sometimes though, artists are blessed with a brief moment of magic, which is what happened to me when I painted these diamond firetail finches. I didn't plan it, no sketches, I just started painting and this is what happened in a few hours. It makes up for all those times when I have sat at my desk struggling to create and trying to force it.

I had a lecturer at uni who is an artist, and I remember her telling us "work when it is working" meaning make the most of those magic moments of inspiration. When it is not working, she told us never to force it. Tidy the studio, sharpen pencils, go for a walk. Clear your work space and your head to be ready for the next time the magic happens.

Great advice. Have a wonderful week!