I’ve enjoyed painting these little birds the past couple of weeks. Here’s another little bird, called a Blue Waxbill, from Southern Africa. The bright, bright blue contrasted against the copper breast is just stunning, it’s such a naturally gorgeous bird. I added a bit of gold mica leaf to the breast, just to really make it pretty and shimmery. I love this little bird so much that I decided to put it on a greetings card. So, you can pick up a little original painting on a card, to send to a friend or family member. 🙂 The Blue Waxbill painting has been added to the new greeting card shop online, so go and have a look now.
I was inspired by a photographer I saw on Instagram – and I believe it may have been in the Nat Geo account! – @nickybluephoto
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve updated my website. I have been busy behind the scenes adding a greeting card shop, and I’ll be launching an online shop for my paintings soon! With local exhibitions scuppered a bit due to coronavirus, I thought I’d dabble in online sales.
In 2020 I didn’t really paint very much – I definitely am not one of those super productive people during lockdown! It’s enough just getting up, dressed and fed sometimes.
Something I did finish (I am forever starting new pieces and not finishing them!), is this snapshot I took of a local spot. It’s an ordinary roundabout, but it’s somewhere I drive on a daily basis and it changes through out the seasons. This was late Spring, with creepers falling over the bridge. So, I present to you… Andover Enham Arches! Anyone in Andover will know where this is! If you think you’d like it on your walls, drop me a line.
With the greeting card shop up and running, I’ve also added this hand painted card of a Robin. Want something original to send your friends and family? I’l be doing a limited number of these original cards to finish up my stock of A6 size cards.
Last year I went to a workshop with the artist Lindsey Cole, and I had such a great time learning new methods of painting. Some of the techniques were familiar but I hadn’t put it all together into one workflow before. It was such a great exercise to take a painting right from the start, creating a tonal drawing, then a mock painting, testing colours, and finally, a completed artwork.
The whole process was enjoyable. I remember quite a lot of Patti’s advice, which means it’s finally sinking in! I cannot believe it has been two years since I did Patti Mollica’s online course.
It was interesting seeing everyone else’s artwork, too. Sometimes, we preferred the “mock-ups” where we worked more quickly. They were more spontaneous and had more random, imperfect brush strokes. The earlier piece has vibrancy and energy, definitely, but I think overall my final piece was better than the earlier version. The composition, proportions and colours are more balanced. The brushstrokes are more considered. There are still bits I would change if I could go back, but I don’t want to overwork the paintings. I shall just try again with new reference material!
Over a year ago, I took the original reference photo on a rainy walk through the Chichester town centre near the cathedral. I really liked the silhouettes of the people walking in the rain, with the puddles reflecting underneath the storefronts. The geometric shapes created by the perspective was part of the appeal. Lastly, the glow was an important feature, so I chose to complement the yellow tones with shades of lilac. (Going for a complementary colour scheme, thank you Patti!)
The original mock-up and the final piece are now available to buy. Contact me on the Contact page if you would like to arrange purchase.
I spent the majority of 2019 attending a local life drawing class; you may have seen some of the pieces on my instagram @yasminfrench or my artfinder account. I posted some of my favourite pictures- they’re not all great, but I just love capturing expressions and mannerisms, it truly is what makes us human.
I’m hoping to continue drawing and sketching to my heart’s content this year, but, amongst all the naked ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be trying to sketch more scenes and animals. It’s hard, isn’t it – always looking for that balance! Does anyone ever achieve a balance of everything they want to do, or is it just some kind of utopia?
In December I got really excited to have an excuse to get my acrylics out. I decided to paint an owl for my boyfriend’s parents for Christmas! His mum had hinted she would love a picture of mine and I thought, well, why not?! I chose owls, just because… well, I’ve painted lots before, and a lot of people like owls. His parents live in the countryside, and I knew my portraits of alpacas, emus and similar wouldn’t go down well (they used to run a farm and were sick of the sight of them!).
Owls were a safe bet so I found a really lovely reference photo of a spotted eagle owl in a tree trunk. I cropped in a lot closer, changed the background a bit, adjusted and simplified the bark … you know the drill. There are little bits of Golden gold mica in there, too, to really make the bark pop. I had so much fun playing with the textures in this!
It is in its new home now. The painting has gone and I’m sad because I was pretty happy with the results (which is rare!). I’m pleased that they were really happy with it and it’s got pride of place at their house. It’s definitely one that I’ll be producing prints of, on greeting cards, and 8×8″ prints. If you’d like a print, message me via the contact page.
I will be back and will post more about the workshop I went to last year, where I rediscovered a love for painting street scenes! I am seeing paintings everywhere I walk in town, now – expect more in 2020…
Hampshire contemporary artist