Sunday, March 26, 2017

Making a New Paint Box

I have used and loved my watercolour box for 40 years, unfortunately it is now full of rust and not big enough for all the paints that I like to own.  I will keep the box as it has travelled all over the world with me but the time has come for it to go into retirement.  I was going to buy a cigar box and make a new one but that felt a little bit too easy, so this is how I made a new one.
Now my woodworking skills are a little rudimentary, plus I don’t own any jig saws or fancy machines so I thought that I would buy strip wood and design it from the paint pans outwards.
I got pine strip wood 90 cm long that measured 9.2 cm wide, one that measured 2.5 cm wide and one that measured 1.8 cm wide, they were all 6mm thick.  I got a lovely length of wood that was 5mm square, I got a long hinge of 30 cm and some smallish screws, various glues and some cocktail sticks. And set to work.
I played about with the paint pans and made a basic plan.  I did some measuring and cut the strip wood up into the right lengths.
With a bit of glue and then pegs made from cocktail sticks I ended up with a box.  The small square strip wood made the dividing places to hold all the paint pans in place. 
I had to add some extra strips of wood to take up the screws for the hinge and I added a strip of wood so that I could put folded up paper towels inside the box.  
The inside had four coats of gesso and one of white emulsion, I thought that would make a good surface for a palette.  The rest had a good staining then got waxed with black bison wax, mainly because I like the smell.  

 After it was all dry I put all the paint pans in with a little silicone glue to hold them in place.

So now it will gather a lovely patina of paint as it is used and I have a lovely new paint box for the next 40 years.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

My Next Book is OUT NOW!

I spent a long time last winter working on this book.  It arrived today and I am impressed ...even though I wrote and drew/painted it. The publishers have done a fantastic job editing and putting it all together.
It has something for everyone, If you are a beginner or you are more experienced, It contains a wide variety of tips, techniques and I use many different mediums to capture people, there is even a section on digital sketching...and what a lovely present it would make!!
You can get a signed copy from my new web site here  or my old web site here 
you can get it from Amazon UK here
so rush out and go shopping! are a few more pictures:

Friday, March 03, 2017

How to make your own “scale” images for artwork

I think that it is important to come up with as many ways to help your prospective clients visualise owning your work, my theory is that this will help them to buy it!  One way is to show them the size because not everyone can visualise size from a set of measurements, in fact hardly anyone can.
 It is relatively simple to add images of your artworks to your web site which will show your viewers what size your paintings are.
There are several gallery web sites that do this, not enough in my opinion, and some of them get the scale wrong…which is a waste of time.
Here is how I do it:
First, I find or make an image, a person or a chair are good starting points. Most people understand what average sizes those objects are!  My average person is me: 5 foot 6 inches or roughly 170 centimetres.  The average chair is 3-foot-high or 90 cm and the seat part is 1 foot 6 inches, or 45 centimetres. From now on I am working in centimetres.
I make a blank page on my computer in a drawing programme, 20 x 15 cm making sure that it is 200 dpi.
Then I make a scale guide 17 x 5 cm (all I do is move the decimal point) at 200 dpi and cut and paste this onto my first page.  This is my person height, I can then scale up or down my person image to fit.  If everything is the same dpi it will work.
Once I have made my scale image I begin resizing my painting images, so , for example, a painting measuring 80 wide by 60 high I will resize (move the decimal point)  to 8 x 6 cm at 200 dpi, then cut and paste into my scale image. Another measuring 13 cm wide by 18 cm high I will resize to 1.3 cm by 1.8 cm at 200 dpi, then cut and paste.
The resulting image can be saved as, “painting name with frame” and saved as a jpg in a folder on your desktop.  You can then happily add images to your website.  
I use Artlook to make my website and it is super easy to add to my  "Artlook items" as additional images which then appear on my web site and help everyone understand what size my paintings are.
The basic rules are: stick with the same dpi throughout, move the decimal point, or divide by 10 on everything.
Please feel free to use these sample images of people that I have shown here, just click and save the image.

Have fun showing images of your lovely work…to scale.