The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


I HAVE NOW MOVED!
YOU CAN FIND MY NEW BLOG AT: http://www.sandrabusbyart.com/blog

Thursday, 19 April 2012

And so begins another bear...


I have a new feeling of excitement - one I haven't felt for a while :0)

The last bear felt wrong very soon after I began. 
All the way through to when I destroyed it I had a strong feeling that it wasn't going to sit well as part of my series. 
I learned a lot from the experience.

This time I have been very careful! I have chosen objects to suit my theme unlike the last, where it was the other way around.

I've also been very careful with my composition. Not just with the arrangement but also the whereabouts of my darkest and lightest areas. 
This is the first time I have made a full scale tonal sketch using charcoal before I begin...




 ...I decided to do it this way so as not to get distracted by colour but still get an idea of how the whole thing will look tonally. Of course the beauty of charcoal - particular the Willow variety (my preferred choice) - is that it's so quick! After the initial sketch, it took just minutes to go over with the charcoal but will probably save me a lot of time in the long run.

Anyway, I thought I would show you some photographs of how I got to that stage...


Once I was happy with my arrangement, I made a full size 18 x 22 inch sketch...

And here's a money saving tip - I have an old unused roll of wallpaper in the corner of my art room. 
For my full scale sketches I cut out a piece in the size I need and draw on the back. This saves me a fortune on drawing paper which is very expensive in comparison!





The next stage is to trace my sketch, so I can transfer it to my prepared canvas...


For this I use Waitrose Essentials greaseproof paper, because it is white and translucent like tracing paper but a fraction of the price. 
Twenty metres costs just £1.48!

Whereas on Amazon, a twenty metre roll of tracing paper is £16.29!










Next, after transferring the outlines to my canvas, I went over the initial sketch with charcoal to work out my tonal values...




So looking at this, I think aside from the hint of the wallpaper pattern behind the glow of the candle, I may also suggest a little above the bears head, but even more subtle  - just a mere hint.

The back line of the box will be softer than you see here as it fades in to the darkness and also, a tiny little bit of the bottom of the glass will be peeping out from behind the base of the decanter. 

The bears eyes will have sharp highlights and of course the glass will also be straightened out where the charcoal lost the shape a little!

I like it - It has curves and straights, a strong contrast between lights and darks, the bear remains the main focal point and there will be lots of warmth, atmosphere and different textures. 
(Note the word WILL and not I HOPE - I am thinking POSITIVE here!!!)


And here it is, pinned up next to my easel, ready for me to refer to during my under-painting!














But - before I start that, I would like your opinion on something...

The date on the Wine box is 1998. When I looked on the Internet, the wine in the box was first produced in the late 90's. That said, you can't actually see all of the words. 
So - would a wine buff notice if I changed the date to maybe 1946 or around that time? Or, should I just leave the date as it it?

What do you think? But, don't forget, bears weren't invented until 1902 and didn't become common until the 1920's.

Have a great weekend!


35 comments:

  1. It is always a pleasure to se your blog and your new pieces. I love teddy bears too and yours always have such life!

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    1. Thank you Melanie. You are so kind! It's great to here from you.
      My last bear didn't go so well so fingers crossed, this will be the one :0)

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  2. That is a huge tonal sketch Sandra. And it looks good already. About the wine thing. Sorry I have no idea. But the numbers put there should calligraphicaly enhance the painting. If 4 looks better than 9 then let it be.
    Wish you all the best for this one. :)

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    1. Thank you Prabal. Hmm, will have to think about that date!I'm glad you like it so far. I haven't noticed any problem with the composition even after looking so carefully. I tried moving the candle to one side in case it looked too central, but it didn't look as nice, so I think this looks good to go :0)

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  3. It does look good already! I can't answer the wine thing either, I agree with Prabal. Happy painting!

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    1. Thank you Judy! I am going to take a nice photo of the card you sent me and link it to you in my next post too :0)

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  4. This is a really interesting post, Sandra. Lots of information that helps me to understand the process. I'm glad you got things sorted out, bearwise... this shows great promises of the picture to come - can't wait.

    I'vr just finished Poets Corner, posting later today.

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    1. Thank you John. I'm glad you like it so far!
      I will pop over to your blog as soon as I can and have a look. I've been looking forward to seeing it :0)

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  5. Hi Sandra, I agree with Judy, it does look good already! Happy painting and......take care! Ciao!!

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    1. Thank you Tito. I will be happy painting tomorrow! You too! Hopefully I'll get some of the under painting done :0)

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  6. glad you're happy with this one sandra .. looking good !

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    1. Thank you Jane. Yes, so far so good! :0)

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  7. Oh Sandra, it's coming along so beautifully! I love how you have the bottom of the glass showing behind the decanter. Your post is amazing, as always, with so much information on the process ...It's very interesting. I can't wait to see this one finished. I can see why this one makes you happy!! Enjoy your weekend, friend!!

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    1. Thanks so much Hilda! What you see there is the reflection of the glass in the wine. I love painting reflections. I can't wait to start painting them! :0)

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  8. Hi Sandra. I think you could put any year you like - artistic license and all. Or maybe a different brad of wine? I just looked again, and the date is quite prominent. I'm glad you're happy with it. The sketch looks fabulous!!! GO, Sandra, GO!!!

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    1. Yes, you are right! Thank you! I think I will choose one relevant to the history of the Teddy. That way it will be clear why I have done it :0)

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  9. Although I'm an ex-accountant I'm still a current scrooge so I really appreciate both of your money saving tips. Brilliant!!
    This painting is going to be fabulous. (See, I can do 'positive' too). The composition is great and you're off to a great start with that tonal sketch.
    Don't worry about the year ... use any year that suits you.
    Can't wait to see the next stage. ;-)

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    1. Thank you John! Art materials can be so expensive, just because they are for 'Art'! I love a cheaper alternative when I can find one - just when it comes to things that won't affect the result :0)

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  10. Sandra that sketch is super fabulous-o! Seriously, it is a wonderful sketch! And I love that you are telling us all that you learned and what you're doing different this time. I can't even tell you how many paintings I ruined because I failed to make a good plan so I agree with you about how important that is! :) Can't wait to see it painted, have a fun weekend with your paints!

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    1. Thank you Crystal! I am having a lovely time - I have started the under painting today - my darks and lights layer - and I have just come inside for a cup of tea. Hopefully tomorrow I can get more of a feeling of depth and then I will be ready to start with the over layers and some colour :0)

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  11. Wonderful start Sandra!! Love the sketch. I love that you did such a detailed charcoal drawing. I'm afraid if I did that I would be tired of the piece before I started painting it. I can't wait to see this one come to life, hopefully you're foot won't become part of this composition:)

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    1. Thank you Carrie! I bore very easily too, which is why I didn't take up the suggestion of a watercolour version first. Charcoal takes just minutes and I LOVE getting dirty! I think this one will take far less time to do than the last as hopefully I won't be constantly fighting with it! So - no boot expected! :0)

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  12. I also can't answer the wine thing. Have you googled the wine for other box images to see if you can get to see an earlier box?

    Re composition, I find the base of the decanter and the line of the leg next to it a bit close in plane/line, if it's not too late, and I know you are painting today, maybe the angle of his leg could be moved slightly? Just a thought, but please ignore me, if you disagree.

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    1. Thanks Sue. I think I might just change the date to one relevant to the history of the Teddy - that way it will be understood why I did it. I am always reluctant to incorporate images from the internet and would much rather work with what I have to avoid timely mistakes. As for the leg, I can see exactly what you mean, though I hadn't spotted it before. Luckily, this teddy is a mixture of very bald with very fluffy patches. That particular leg happens to be covered in fur, so I will use the fur to break up that smooth line and bring the leg down a little further. Hopefully that will sort that one! :0)

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    2. Re leg that would work.

      Re box, I did just mean to get an idea if their earlier boxes were similar, but you are right about internet images, I always email for permission where possible or not use them.

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  13. Hello

    That bear is really cute. I assume you are not planning to set fire to anything with your candle this time!! Really looking forward to a sneak preview when I am next down, very soon I hope.

    About the wine, just a thought but before you alter the date, maybe you should find out a bit about the wine/company name on the box. It would be typical to discover that that year was its first!!

    Amanda x

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    1. Thank you Mam-mams. Yes, that's the first thing I did and that wine was first produced in the late 90's! That said, the words are partly covered but even so, it would still be readable. So I'm going to choose a date relevant to the history of the teddy so it's clear why I chose to change it :0)

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  14. Hello Sandra,
    the composition and claroescuro are excellent! It's great to start a table with as much care, as it was before. Contrary to what one might expect, the more you study, the more it gets light and smooth finish in final form.
    In 1988 I went to a major exhibition - 15 paintings of 1m x 1.20.
    while I was preparing the canvas drawing sketches for the work, for a month and in the end they were almost a thousand!
    Congratulations and good luck with the Bear!

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    1. Thank you Antonio! Wow - that is a lot of painting! I am taking real care with this one. If I take my time, I'm hoping it will equal my best. Unlike the last bear I am enjoying the process very much and I have learned that that is a very good sign :0)

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  15. Your bear is wonderful. I love those old fashion bears. So lovely.
    Happy Painting.

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    1. Thank you Nora! The old ones are the best aren't they? :0)

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  16. Je suis heureuse de découvrir votre blog et de faire la connaissance de cette dernière oeuvre avec cet ours rempli de tendresse... Les ours me font toujours craquer !!! Dernièrement j'ai fait l'acquisition de deux très anciens ours que j'ai nommé Arthur et Martin.
    Sur votre croquis j'aperçois un très joli flacon. J'ai pratiquement le même à l'atelier, pas parce que je bois du vin !, mais pour l'amour de sa forme...
    (quoique qu'un verre de bon vin ce n'est pas mal de temps en temps!!)
    Je m'autoriserai une prochaine visite...
    Gros bisous

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    1. Merci beaucoup pour votre visite! C'est très agréable d'entendre quelqu'un qui aime aussi un vieil ours! Celui-ci remonte à quelque part entre 1938 et 1952.
      Il me semble avoir développé un thème français ici. Le fluer de lys motif sur le mur et le vin français! Je suis impatient de la peinture de la carafe et le verre. Ce sera un défi, mais je suis excité à ce sujet: 0)

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  17. Hi Sandra

    Again a great blog - I love reading them!

    I would leave the date as it is because, as I understand it, you are painting your series of bears in an Old Masters style but with a modern twist - the date could be a modern twist?

    Anyway I know nothing about art but I DO know that you are extremely talented :-)

    Speak soon

    Trudy xxx

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  18. Thank you Trudy! It is always SO lovely when you visit :0D
    I have changed the date to a much older one but nothing is yet set in stone and maybe I should rethink that. You make a good point! :0)

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Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Where possible I will respond via email. I really do love to read them! They always make me smile ;0)

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