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Photography at the Zoo

I have a great holiday in England recently. My family and I went to Blackpool, and went up the Blackpool tower and into their ‘dungeon’ experience underneath the tower. The family went to Liverpool for the day, where we walked around and explored.

I visited the Tate Liverpool, and went into the Jackson Pollock exhibition.I got to the museum late in the day, and it was starting to close. I was on my way out of the museum, along with another man, when I discovered that the doors had been locked!! I was lucky to have my phone on me, and had to get my someone to tell the security guards to get us out. Apparently we were the first people to be locked in the Tate Liverpool in about ten years! I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or consider that an achievement! At least I got to spend a bit of extra time with Jackson Pollock paintings, and even an Andy Warhol print! 🙂

Anyhow, I thought today I’d post the photos that I took on holiday in England at a zoo (I can’t remember the name of the zoo unfortunately):

And here are my personal favourites… behold a two headed giraffe!!! 🙂

Seeing Double

Seventy!

Once again, I apologize for the randomness of when I post my blog posts. Schedules just aren’t my forte at the moment.

Anyhow, my grandparents, aunt and cousin came all the way from England to stay round for a week. We’ve all been busy with day trips and family games, but the week has finished and now they’re returning home.

The short holiday was an early celebration of my granddad’s 70th birthday (which is actually on the 18th of August). I decided to paint a picture of the driveway to my house as a gift to him:

Granddad's Present PhotoSince he visits each year, this view is very familiar to him, and he certainly enjoyed the gift!

In my younger years I lived with my grandparents and my granddad would let me make clay sculptures using his potter’s wheel, and I would learn a lot by watching him paint and draw. To this day, he still draws and paints, and has even had his works in exhibitions. He has always liked art and I think that he was one of my biggest influences on my artwork.

A Holiday in Another Place

As you may (or may not) be aware, I’ve spend a week in England recently. A few days after I returned I felt ill, but now I feel well enough to type on my blog. Anyhow, as I was on holiday, I was allowed to use my parent’s camera (which was much better than my tiny camera with it’s blurry photos and short battery life). Armed with such a camera, I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the places I’ve been.

This is an art blog, so you’re probably wondering what relevance my holiday pictures have…

Well, when I was in England, I visited Crosby Beach, which happens to be the location of Antony Gormley’s artwork “Another Place”.

Another Place

Cast iron figures stand on the beach, looking out to sea. They are distributed across 2 miles of Crosby beach, being both hidden and revealed by the tides, depending on the time. The statues are iron copies of Antony Gormley’s own body.

Also, I dared to go on the Big One, which is a roller-coaster at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach. When it was first built, it was the tallest and steepest roller coaster in the world. I hope this photo gives you an idea on just how high it is:

rollercoaster big one

To summarize the rest of my holiday; I said hello to the indigenous wildlife, slept in a caravan at a holiday resort, gambled half my loose change in their arcade centre (and lost!) and I bought a top hat. Here’s some pictures I took of the local wildlife:

Birds on beach Dove

swanDuck

Helpful Hints for Creating Characters

As the exams are now over and I have finished school, I am more free to do what I like. However, because I’ll be on holidays in the next week or two I will be unable to blog for a while. I was going to post another drawing, but since I’m going to be gone for a while more, I may as well make this post useful. So, without any further delay, I will share with you some of my hints on how to construct characters, creatures and other people in your artwork:

1. When creating a character in a picture, always start with pencil when draw them. As you develop them you can add or erase anything you want to until they look right. A lot of my drawings are completely pencil-drawn. By allowing yourself to make mistakes and changing or accepting them, you will be able to create interesting characters for your pictures.

tweedle 12. Don’t plan your characters initially – Sometimes I draw some rough lines for human figures to get the proportions right, but usually I just draw. Start drawing either the head or torso and expand your character from there. After a few minutes, the character will start to emerge.

hatter close

3. Once you’ve drawn the basic character, give them personality. Whether they’re shy, evil, mad, or confident, observers of your artwork won’t know that you’re character possesses any of these without some sort of visual evidence. My mischievous Tweedle character wouldn’t look so mischievous without the smile stitched onto his face.

4. Now that you’ve sculpted your character this far, you need to think about their background.  How did they get to be the character they are? Where do they come from? For example, the Tweedle on your right was built by some sort of mad scientist for an unknown purpose. Simply knowing your character’s history will help you to really understand how to draw them.

5. Finally, attention to detail can really bring out your characters. While not entirely necessary, even the small pocket watch chain on the hatter or the teabag hanging off his arm, for example, can improve the overall look of the character.

These tips are simply based on the way I create my own characters in my pictures and drawings. They might work for you, they might not, but I hope they are useful to you in one way or another.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with my Tweedle characters recently (based loosely upon Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland). I recently gave a leaving present to my school principal (who has helped me a lot throughout my time in secondary school) which consisted of the school logo being built by Tweedles. Although it came up a bit dark on the scanner, the original was drawn on the back of watercolour paper, mounted and put into a frame:

logoschool

Logo built by Tweedles

I hope this post provides good advice for both budding artists and people in general, and hope you’ve enjoyed this short insight into how I create the beings that populate my artwork.

A Farewell to the Summer Holidays

Bookmark No. 13

Bookmark No. 13

I haven’t had much time to spend on my blog recently. Between visits from relatives and getting ready for school, the last week has been quite busy. You will probably hear from me mostly during the weekends as I start my final year of school on Wednesday. Anyway, I haven’t forgotten about you readers out there, and I think I have time for one last summer bookmark, so today I present you with my 13th bookmark; a sunset in acrylics.

I wanted to give this bookmark a different feel to the rest, and decided to take an entirely different approach to portraying both the sky and waves. For me this bookmark was more about the feeling of the whole painting rather than precise detail. As the joyful spirit of summer fades slowly away, so does the sun in my bookmark, and it says farewell by providing a wondrous display of colour, illuminating the clouds and sea in a joyful, slightly surreal way. It isn’t one of my best works, but as a farewell to the season of summer, I think this bookmark works best.

Before the summer began, this blog was still in its earliest stages of creation. Most of the paintings on this blog hadn’t been painted. My writing skills weren’t the best. But now… this blog has an expanding amount of followers and fans; I have practised painting and developed my skills and techniques; and my writing (that is to say my ability to write well, not my handwriting!) has definitely improved. It has opened new doors to both myself and others.

But just because the summer is almost over, doesn’t mean this blog is! I will be posting less than usual, but I’ll still be posting most weekends. I’ll continue to share my artistic experiences with  my readers, as I continue my journey towards becoming a true artist, throughout my school life, my college life, and onwards from there.

I’m sure that many of you will have to return to school or work yourselves, and so I wish you the best of luck in whatever your lives may include, and thanks for reading!

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