Monday, 7 February 2011

Its all in the eyes

Since my last post I have been busy experimenting further with acrylic paint. I'm starting to develop a growing collection of unfinished pieces while I practice with subjects and technique. Below is one of the first paintings I tried, I've been in the habit of working from imagination without much sense of direction or control and I'm still undecided if this is a good method or not- I'm leaning towards no, in the ongoing search for 'my style'.

I had in my mind I would like to do something a bit prettier so here is a snippet from the next stage. I painted some little ladies out who were quite similar in features to the cats I had painted previously (I have lots of artwork linking from one stage to the next but I'm hoping just to show you some of the key stages).

When I finished the painting I sat it in my living room for a few days, kept looking at it to decide what I did and didn't like about it- in the end I decided I liked the spontaneity of the brush marks but felt that she was lacking in expression. Here's where we swing to the next extreme. I though why don't I try painting a lady but with much bigger eyes, full of expression- well to be honest she just looks startled but have a look at the picture below to see what I was playing around with (none of these paintings are finished but you get an idea of where I was going with them).

I stopped painting for a few days and went back to working in my sketchbook, playing around with ideas and in particular expressions. Its amazing how changing the size of some eyes or the distance apart they are can change the whole look of a face. Below is a photo from my sketchbook of a girl I drew that I finally thought- I like the shape of her face, the size of her eyes etc (my hubby said he liked the one on the right hand side better- I told him to go away).

I drew the girl out on to canvas and have just started to paint her in. Below is the painting in its first stage and I think I am still happy with her features but we'll see how it goes. I will hopefully complete this one (if I don't go of it- I am, terrible, TERRIBLE, for this- liking something one minute and hating it the next. I'll go to bed thinking that's working and come down the next morning and think what on earth!). The latest drawings I've been doing are not too dissimilar to what I was working on a couple of years ago with florabob and thornbob.

I know how important it is to take some time out at the moment and experiment with my style until I find a place I am happy with. I want people to be able to look at my work and think oh that's a such and such (yes, I'll come up with a new name at some point too). I wont be listing anything on folksy or etsy for the time being until I sort out where I am going. I'll probably post back in a week or so, so we'll see if I've completed this painting or moved off in yet another new direction. It was reassuring from my last post that I'm not the only one to go through this phase, I just hope thats all it is.


  1. I'm really enjoying seeing all these different pieces from you.
    I Love the colours in the first one, I have been leaning toward more pastely colours myself lately.
    In the second pic, I love the way you did the dress and heart and also the houses in the background are fantastic!!

    As for all the eyes, well that is the thing that I played around with the most over the past couple of years, I've done big eyes, tiny eyes and everything inbetween, it really does have a massive effect on the overall look of the painting.
    I'm looking forward to seeing you go through the process of finding your way :)


    Micki x

  2. Your stuff is lovely stop doubting yourself :o) xXx

  3. I'm also enjoying seeing these pieces. & to me, they are all recognisable as you, I can't explain what it is but I see "you" in both these experiments and your other things :) But with these pieces it's like you are evolving, if that makes sense!

    I think we all go through experimenting with our styles, whichever creative output we have/do, it can be frustrating but I think, overall, it's a positive thing when we come out the other side :)

  4. Hi Yvonne

    Fascinating for me as a non-artist to get the insight into the processes you're going through, and how you progress from one theme to the next.


  5. Micki- thanks for the compliments. Its interesting to hear that you've gone through something similar with the eyes- I'm definately more of a character person so this is something important for me to explore.

    Kelly- thank you, I'm glad you like my work, just on a bit of a style finding journey at the moment.

    Gillian- I like the sound of evolving, thats a good way to put it, I'm pleased that you can see me in all the work I do, I think I probably do have my own style- I just need a more polished outcome so I can set up an online shop which is clear and consistant.

    Marilyn- I'm glad you are seeing a little bit of what I've been up to and are finding it interesting, I love painting all sorts so its and enjoyable process (ok sometimes a little frustrating) to be going through

    Yvonne xx

  6. Hi there,
    I was looking through Etsy and saw your artwork, it's really lovely! I love the girl with the cake! I just wanted to say "Hi" and tell you I love your work!

  7. Hi Gina
    Thank you for taking the time to let me know you like my artwork much appreciated, going to have a little look for you on etsy
    Yvonne x