Part 5: Lockdown hobbies – painting with oil paints on small canvas’

Hi friends,

I had to joy of painting this weekend. This is my second attempt with oil paints. I found some close ups from Vincent Van Gogh’s painting and attempted to recreate the images to learn the techniques that he used in his vibrant art works.

Best part of this painting:

  • I love how the paintings turned out – they have a lot of character.
  • My favourite painting is the one of the flowers – I enjoy the value range and the placement of the white flowers.

My process:

  1. Look at images on Pinterest and choose a few to recreate – as a study!
  2. Think about how much paint you need for the painting.
  3. Prepare your palette, I stuck an A4 piece of paper onto my wooden board.
  4. Squeeze out the paint on to the palette based on how much of that colour appears in the painting.
  5. Get your paint brushes ready, look at the strokes on the painting and pick paint brushes you think might do the job. (It’s a good idea to do test swatches to get an idea of the brush strokes at an earlier stage so you’re not fussing about at this point)
  6. Stick tiny canvas’ on cardboard or an old magazine to keep it stable as you paint.
  7. Have tissues next to you.
  8. Set up the work space, with the palette on the right and canvas in front of you.
  9. Paint!

Things I learnt:

  • I would use waterproof surface as a palette. I thought printer paper might work…. WRONG! it just absorbed the oil and made it difficult to mix the paint.
  • The canvas’ were small 7cm x 10xcm so in order to create those lovely brush strokes I could have used a thinner brush.
  • It was hard to apply paint to create those stiff lines by using paint brushes with softer paint bristles. The one you might use for acrylic paint blends the paint and makes the strokes flat, you can see this on the yellow trees.
  • Stiff paint brush with oil paint is better for impressionist Van Gogh type paintings.
  • Working from dark to light works well.

Some tips:

  • Prior preparation: I found photos of art that I loved and made me happy. I pinned these on my Pinterest board.
  • I have a rolling to do list on my Iphone note and wrote this “Tiny Canvas oil paintings” down as one of the fun projects I could do in my spare time in the month of August. This got me excited and geared me up each day to paint.
  • When inspiration stikes me and I have a spare few hours, I take out my paints and act quickly.
  • Painting for about an hour to an hour and a half on small canvas’ is a good amount of time before you’ll become fatigued.
  • The more you paint and mix colours the better you will get at visually identifying the warmth and coolness of a colour and adjust accordingly.
  • Find inspiration before you sit down to paint, the creating process is much quicker. Save pictures and photos through out the week in preparation for the moment you sit down to create.
  • Post editing tricks: 1. Use channel mixer to get the WB levels right, meaning getting the whites as white as possible. You will need to adjust the reds, greens and blues to make the image cooler or warmer. 2. Use Curve layer to adjust the value range which will determine the level of contrast of the photo.

What I used and other resources:

Hoping that you are all safe and well, esp, those in Sydney.

Let me know how you go, you can contact me via my instagram @365daysofscribbles.

Teresa xx

Lockdown hobbies – sewing

I made a top inspired by these photos.

It is a tailored-blocky-semi-cropped-black top. I really enjoy wearing high waisted pants and thought it would be perfect with a top like this.

This took me 3 days to make –

Day 1 – Traced beloved old cotton top, cut pattern blocks and cut out fabric. Wednesday 21/7/2021

Day 2 – Attached interfacing to front and back panels as well as two back panels, hem the bottom edge. Thursday, 22/7/ 2021went to bed at 2am.

Day 3 – Attached the sides and top stitched the arm holes and neck holes and hand sewed on the button. Saturday 24/7/2021.

My favourite parts of this top:

  • The button loop detail!!
  • The cut of the top is flattering and goes with most my clothes.
Black thread in the sewing machine ready for sewing.

Some things I learnt from making this top:

  • I can create patterns using tops I find flattering on me – I found a cotton top that I have worn to death and found I could pair with everything.
  • French seams are worth the time invested – A work around for those who do not have a serger.
  • Pin all around the neck line and arm holes to ensure when top stitching to ensure the final result is nice and neat.
  • Measure yourself as you go:
    1. ensure the widest part of your chest is equal to the widest part of the bodice.
    2. ensure the opening around your neck hole is larger or equal to the circumference of your head.
  • My scissors tweezer were so helpful to fold in raw edges into the french seam, leaving a big lip makes it easier to tuck in the raw edges.
Black fabric.

Things that I would do differently:

  • I would extend the facing block, I made it too short and it hit me in a very awkward spot.
  • I would top stitch the neck hole before attaching the two back panels.
  • I would use this same pattern, in a summer fabric and crop up the top and add straps.

Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely day.

Teresa x

Part 1: Lockdown hobbies – photography

Here are a few photos I took the other day.

WFH Winter 2021
Barito in the making
On the window sill waiting for the sun.
Shy

I feel a stillness, coziness and a closeness when I look at them. It’s an ideal state when in winter.

They were shot with a Nikon D90 camera body and 50 mm NIKKOR (5201461) lens with a focal range of .45 to 5 metres. The aperture is 1:1.4 meaning it is great for low light. This lens is great for indoor low light conditions and shooting plans in a shady garden or a dark room. The images feel intimate because you need to be up close and personal. As it is a prime lens (ie. fixed lens) I am forced to move about around the subject. The lens is made in Japan.

I purchased the 50mm manual focus lens second-hand for around $100 at Sydney Camera Market hosted by Ultimo Community Centre. The lens slso came with a nice Cokin 0-52mm UV filer too. The markets are currently on hold due to covid, hopefully one day we can visit them again.

To understand what the above numbers mean I found this article to be helpful.

Stay safe and take care,

Teresa x