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Friday, March 27, 2009

Photos from Beneath the Layers Solo Exhibit at Place des Arts

Tracey Costescu Portrait ArtistTracey Costescu's Solo ExhibitSolo Exhibit Tracey CostescuLast night was alot of fun and I think a success :) We had a very nice turn out at the exhibit. By the time my photographer, aka my hubby, took photos many of the guests had left but this an idea of how the show looked with all the guests. It was a nice mix as there were many fellow artists and friends and I met a few new people as well which is nice. It is such a great venue and the other artists works were very nice and I think all of the artwork worked very well together.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tomorrow is the 'big night'!

Well it has been a busy week, ok year, but now I can sit back & relax :)I have dropped everything off at Place des Arts for my solo exhibit which starts tomorrow and now I can just relax and enjoy the show! Luckily my hubby is totally a keener and packaged everything up for me and dropped it off so all I had to do was unpack and help set up the artwork to be hung!

The Exhibit Director, Barbara Duncan, actually invites artists to join in at the hanging so they can provide input as to how the show is hung which was really great as it makes you think of things from a gallery's perspective and also helps you to really see the artwork as a whole, which being this many pieces, was pretty cool!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Using the Grid Method - Step by Step

I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to use the grid method. I posted a very brief summary of the method awhile back but thoguht I would repost using images to hopefully make the process clearer.
Print the reference image on one sheet of paper in black & white. Reinsert the paper into the printer and print the grid image on top of it.
Print the grid image on a plain sheet of paper in black & white.
Using an hb pencil, draw on the printed grid directly drawing one square at a time paying attention to where each line meets the edge of the square on the reference images grid. Once complete, turn drawing over and draw over the back of the paper roughly to create a transfer paper or use a wax free transfer paper.
Take a fresh sheet of paper and place completed drawing face up onto the paper and trace over the lines you have drawn. The drawing is now transferred to clean sheet of paper and can be colored in or shaded as desired.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Solo Exhibit at Frogstone Grill - May 5 - June 8

Watercolor Still Life - Shell Trio
Watercolor Statue - Wicked Winds
I am pleased to announce I will be displaying my artwork at the Frogstone Grill from May 5 until June 8. This exhibit will feature my non-figurative drawing so will be a mix of watercolor paintings ranging from seashells to abstract work so should be fun!

Suite E Exhibit at the Outlet in June, 2009

I am excited to say that I will be exhibiting with Suite E Life Drawing group at the Outlet this summer in June. The dates have not been nailed down exactly yet but will be in June and possibly July in the Outlet, adjacent to the Ticketmaster booth. I exhibit my artwork there for a solo exhibit in November and was quite happy with the exhibit. It is such a great area surrounded by art and artists.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Watercolor Seashell Painting

This is the latest in my series of watercolor shells that I have done. I just loved the shapes of the shell and the different colors. I exaggerated the colors a little to create more of a glow. I used the same palette as with the Shell Trio painting which shows how versatile a limited pallet is and there are so many other possibilities using this combination of pigments that I have not even tried yet!

Friday, March 13, 2009

April 21 - May 3 2009 - Federation Still Life Show

Watercolor Seashells Still Life
Watercolor Seashells Still Life
Two of my recent paintings have been chosen for the Still Life show at the Federation of Canadian Artists gallery on Granville Island from April 21 - May 3, 2009. The first painting, Shell Trio is the painting I did for the demo at the Art Focus Group and the other painting chosen is Shell Dance. I painted both from a collection of shells that I bought from a home decorating store and plan to paint more as I really like the different textures and shapes in each shell & sponge. I have been using more opaque paints which is very new for me as I generally use mostly transparent pigments so it is fun to see all the different possibilites with each pigment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Watercolor Painting on Canvas

When I was buying my frames for my exhibit recently I found a product I thought I would never use for watercolors. I was looking for the fredericks canvas that is for painting with watercolor but the store no longer carries them so the sales person suggested using a ground on my own canvas instead.

I thought it would be too messy and too much work but apparently, all you need to do is paint the absorbent ground on the pre-gessoed canvas...hmm, now I am really intrigued. You can also use it on hardboard, wood or other surface to create a porous watercolor paper like surface. You can then display framed under glass or seal the surface afterwards to seal and protect it as you would with any watercolor surface not under glass.

Gesso is like a bridge connecting the support and the paint and the absorbent ground is applied to any gessoed support to mimic the absorbency of watercolor paper. For the full technical information and instructions go to Golden's site Aha just when I think I will not have anything else I 'need' to buy when I go into the art store I find something new I just have to try :)

As a bonus, it can also be used to cover up mistakes on watercolor paper or for negative painting. You can also mix the ground with acrylic paints for a colored ground

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Watercolor Abstract Painting - Tangled Web

Tangled Web
Watercolor on Arches Paper
16x20" Matted & Framed

I made a very minor adjustment to the second focal point by fading out the right side a bit and making it a bit more orange. I think it was just taking a bit too much attention otherwise. I am happy with it and am calling it done!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Watercolor Abstract Painting - Update 2

Well I think this is completed, again, could be ;) The area I added above the main focal point is a little redder and darker than it will be once it is dry so will see if I need to lighten it a tad or not. I am playing around with the matt a bit too so may crop it as well...aha hours of play :)

May 2 & 3, 2009 - Art Focus’s May Day Show

Come join me and the artists of Art Focus for our annual May Day Show at the Outlet. Various art work by group of artists in various mediums & subject.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

First Day of Portrait Workshop

I am lucky enough to be able to attend a workshop by an amazing artist, Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki She is teaching an advanced watercolor portrait class through the Federation of Canadian Artists The class consists of four 3 hour sessions and I can't believe how much we learned in only 3 hours!

We completed the grisaille underpainting and will be moving on to build up the flesh tones next class and over the next 3 sessions. We are all working from the same reference photo so it will be really cool to see all of the paintings at the end as the different styles of each artist comes through.

Tatjana brought a selection of her work and it is so amazing to see up close the level of detail and life she attains in her portraits. You could almost reach out and touch the skin, just beautiful. She has a painting, Year of the Ox, on right now as well at the Federation until March the 15th so I am hoping to make it down to see it as it looks amazing online.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Watercolor Abstract Painting - Update 1

Abstract Watercolor Painting
I have developed a few areas and really strengthened the focal point (paint is still wet so is a bit darker than it will be when dry). I am still not sure if it is finished.... I will have to live with it for a bit to see. I may try to create more tension by strengthening one or more small areas just to lead the eye a bit more but not sure if it needs it yet.
Abstract painting is so different from the way I usually paint but it is so much fun and I am learning ALOT as I go. It is definitely not as easy as it looks but obviously that is what makes it interesting :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Watercolor Abstract Painting

Watercolor Abstract Painting
This is an abstract painting I am working on, it is my first attempt at abstract painting so will see how it turns out. I was so excited when I started & as I was painting it but then when I thought it was done and stood back I realized it was missing focus & just did not grab me as much as I had hoped.
So, back to the easel to see what I come up with. I am going to do a few mockups in photoshop first to get an idea and then jump in & see what happens.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Watercolor Statue Painting - Wicked Winds

This is a painting I have been working on for awhile between the seashells and a few paintings before that. I had to keep taking breaks from it as it was much more detail work than I realized but I am quite happy with it. The layers had to be built up slowly so I jumped around alot working in different areas for variety. I quite like the way the background turned out as well. I had to do several glazes to get a color and texture I was happy with & I think it looks pretty cool and offsets the face nicely :)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Just when I was feeling ahead of the game...

Exhibition FramesI ordered my frames and matts for my upcoming solo exhibit at Place des Arts in March and had to take a photo of the work I have ahead of me! This is what fifty 16x20 frames looks like with fifty double matts on top. Don't mind the painting drying on top of the stack, why waste the space ;)

Clearly they do not fit into my studio this way, they are so orderly looking, it is almost a shame to unpack them! I am starting to get very excited about the exhibit now, I can't believe it is less than a month away. So let's see, if I frame 2 pieces a day.... awk :)