Junebugs 2016

A collection of the bugs and other creepy crawlies I did for the #junebug art challenge.

Junebug 01 2016 by Bronwen MacDonald

Junebug 03 2016 by Bronwen MacDonald

2016-06-10-junebug-4-web 2016-06-18-junebug-6-web

Roman Isis – WIP

aka Adventures with New Techniques. 

Tam Lin by Wylie Beckert
Tam Lin by Wylie Beckert

It all began a few months ago when I stumbled across this painting of Tam Lin. I’ve always had something of a soft spot for that particular tale, and the painting was so striking that I just had to track down the artist who turned out to be Wylie Beckert. I have to admit that I became a little obsessed with her work and spent hours pouring over her YouTube videos, studying her updates on Facebook etc. On her website she has a number of pages that detail the way she works – generally a solid underdrawing, watercolour & acrylic ink underpainting and then oil glazes over the top.

I decided to give this a try on a smaller scale with a postcard. I sketched out a drawing of a Romanized Isis, based off a statue found in the Villa Adriana and now housed in the Capitoline Museum.

Roman Isis WIP Sketching by Bronwen MacDonald
Roman Isis WIP Sketching

Once I had the rendered sketch done, I sealed it with three thin layers of half matte medium and half water mixture. I used a simple spritz bottle for this. I was worried that it wouldn’t get completely coverage of the image but after three rounds everything was well sealed. After that I went ahead and used watercolour paints to work out my basic colours. Unfortunately I forgot to get a photo of that stage. Sorry! I’ll do my best to remember for next time. When the watercolours were dry, I worked in the highlights with a white pencil then sealed everything with another three layers of medium.

Then came the fun part! Oils are a medium that I have never really gotten along with. I have never liked impasto look and the last time I tried to thin my paints I used too much turpentine. This ended up with Van Dyke Brown drips across my entire painting one day when I pushed too hard. I very much wanted to put a knife through the canvas at that point and toss all my oils straight into the trash. Thankfully I didn’t. This time I remembered to use the oil to thin the paints and gosh, what a difference. Everything was so smooth and went onto the paper in beautifully transparent layers.

Roman Isis WIP First Oils by Bronwen MacDonald
Roman Isis WIP First Oils

I left it to dry and came back to it after a week to put in the last glazes. It’s not a great photo because I took it with my iPad, but as soon as the original dries properly I’ll put up a better scan of it.

Roman Isis by Bronwen MacDonald
Roman Isis

All in all, I am incredibly pleased with how this little piece turned out. This technique is definitely something that I am going to keep working with in the future so hopefully we can look forward to bigger and better oil paintings. If you have any questions feel free to ask away.

Watercolour Postcards

I haven’t had much time to work on my pencil renderings with the kids at home for the holidays so I’ve been messing around with watercolours on postcards. I think they’ve turned out rather well.

Koi-Watercolour Mandala-watercolour-3 Snowflake-Watercolour-2 Snowflake-Ornaments-1