Hello, I hope everyone is doing well. It's been a busy couple of months for me, I've been doing lots of commissions (so much fun to do!) getting ready for shows, and I did a video interview! I kinda wish I spent a little more time decorating my work space, but alas! I'm still really happy with how it came out. Thank you so much JC Tovar!
I've been interested in doing a simple step-by-step guide into my painting method for a while now. I get a lot of questions into the materials and process the I use, and I love seeing (and showing) all of the work that goes into a painting. So here it is: A simple step-by-step tutorial on how I paint. I'm going to be painting a red wolf, which is kinda a nice change for me.
I paint with gouache, which is a opaque watercolor. It allows for vibrant, rich colors that finish to a matte finish and intense detail. You can also paint on almost anything with gouache. My favorites are wood, paper and aquabord, which is a special type of panel made especially for water mediums. They are also made by a local Austin company, Ampersand. They have a variety of panels for whatever your purpose and medium. For this, I chose to use aquabord.
This is the first step that I do. Color is a very interesting thing. By playing with warms and cools, you can really achieve depth in your painting. By doing a 'warm' wash before I lay the 'cool' blue will make the background color 'pop' more, and also create an interesting feeling of depth. I'm painting a red wolf, and so the background needed to be 'cool.' Neutral colors will read 'warm' on a 'cool' background, and visa versa.
Next I lightly sketch out the figure in pencil and start figuring out what will be the darks and the lights. I usually figure out the darkest parts first, and then work up to painting the lighter areas.
One of the things that I found out that I love about painting wolves is that their fur varies in color. Red wolves have ginger, grey and white fur on different areas of their body. I used warmer colors where I knew that I wanted redder fur, and more neutral colors where I wanted the grey fur.
This is where I start painting the fur (sorry for the weird angle and shadow.) I use a pretty small brush, and just follow the direction of the hair. I like to use a lighter color so that you can see the different strokes.
Ok, here's a better angle! I do an off white next, and start filling in the lighter fur areas. I also start lightly laying it over the darker areas as well. Using thin layers of paint allows for the previous layers to show through. The white paint then becomes light grey, light brown or tan depending on the colors beneath it. Layering white on top of the blueish background makes it look as if the shadows have already been painted.
This has the off-white fur painted all over now, using thinner and lighter pressure where the darker parts are. I also went ahead and started painting the eyes and added some more details in the mouth and ears.
Now it's about adding the darkest darks and the lightest lights. I added more depth to the eyes, and lightly layered darker paint to create shadows. This step is really about just taking the time and making sure that the shadows are the correct shade and hue.
And that is basically that. I wanted to keep the background simple to allow all of the detail in the wolf to stand out. To see it full size you can go over here.
Thank you! Let me know if you have any questions that I can answer regarding my process.
Something very exciting, and just in time for the winter holidays, is that I'm now offering giclée prints. My first one is of Unify, shown of the left. They were done with a local Austin company, Skyline, and are super beautiful! They are 12"x15 and printed on fine art paper.
If you are interested in buying a print, you can order one though Paypal now. Please message me at klcjenkinon@gmail to receive an invoice. I have only a few of these left, so if you want your's before the holidays, now is the time to order!
Also in the near future, I will be doing prints of other works, so if there is a painting that you would love to own as a print, please let me know and I will try and make that happen. And then, in the new year of 2014, I will for the first time ever be taking commissions. If there is something that you want painted by me, be it wolves, foxes, bears, mice, dogs, cats, people, places, or anything else, I will do so at only $1 an inch + additional cost of materials.
A big thank you to everyone for all of the love and support. Happy Holidays!
I pretty much love anything Isabella Rossellini does. She is perhaps best known as a model, and for her role in Blue Velvet, but she has recently taken to some peformance art where she acts out the more intimite lives of animals. I stumbled upon a book/video series called Green Porno a couple of years ago at a local artsy bookstore, then called Domy Books, now called Farwell Books. Isabella Rossellini is dressed up in these amazing theatrical animal costumes, and she acts out the somewhat bizarre courtship and mating habits of different animals in a scientific but humorous way. Here's one of my favorites.
She also teamed up with Burt's Bees and did some videos about just how awesome bees really are. There are three videos in total (although she also does a different and interesting bee video in her Green Porno series.) All of them are highly educational, and also touch on ways that everyone can do to help the bees.
And one more.
Recently, I was listening to an interview where she was talking about how altruism is not just a human trait, but one that can be found in lots of animals, mostly with mothers and their young. This had lead Isabella to her next and latest series, Mamas. There's only a couple of videos so far, one a spider who is consumbed by her babies, and another where she is a hampster that consumes her babies.
I won't show any more videos, leaving you and youtube to do the rest, but every last one is amazing and fun to watch. The lives of animals are fascinating, and the way Isabella Rossellini playfully presents them is a joy to watch. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.
We long for the past, and yearn for the future and I'm usually stuck somewhere between these two states. Lately I've been wanting the future. The future where I'm successful, the future where I am fully actualized, the future where I can judge from experience and know just what it is that I am doing.
I've been working on getting my art career going. After art school I didn't really do much of anything for about two years aside make lattes and wait tables. Since moving to Austin I've sense picked up the brush again and started painting more. At first I thought it was because I was newly inspired by the city, now I think it was my way of coping. It became a way to exclude myself from all the noise and drama. I feel a sense of stillness similar to mediation when I paint.
The thing most people remark on when they see my work is how detailed it is. Honestly, I don't believe that I could paint any other way. I need those tiny dots to get lost in. I need to spend over 20 hours on a 12" painting for me to feel invested in it. When someone sees my paintings, it is my goal for them to get as close to it as possible. Large works forces you to step away to take it all in, while smaller works forces the viewer to step close to appreciate. Because my work focuses on nature and its actual shrinking, I also feel it fitting to make smaller works as it makes them less valuable than large works, but also more precious.
When I studied in Ireland in 2008, artist Alice Maher (whom I greatly, greatly admire) said that I was a sentimental artist. At the time I didn't know how to take it. I was having a hard time in school, finding my voice and sentimentality didn't seem as interesting as cynicism. Now I think sentimentalists are needed. We need protectors who hold on to the small precious things.
I grew up in Alaska, and I believe that this has formed my opinions on the importance of the loss of nature. On family outings and field trips in school, we would often go to glaciers, most often Portage Glacier. When I was a child, you could easily view the glacier from the viewing platform. It was close enough to feel as if you could jump to it. Now to view the glacier you have to take a boat to see it.
We long for the past when it stops being assessable to us.
About two years ago I had a dream of a bee, fuzzy, black and large. I could feel its buzzing vibrate through me as she flew around my head. She then landed in my ear and proceeded to crawl inside. After here, I don't remember much. I believe the shock of having another creature flying around inside woke me.
From there, I started painting bees. The first one was "Bee Where," which remains very special to me. I also started researching bees at this point, and became fascinated by these little angels.
There are lots of interesting things about bees. They have ten times more grey matter than mammals. They communicate by dance. Their honey never decays, and can heal wounds. They have been around for at least 65 million years, and we owe a third of our food supply to their pollination. Einstein was quoted saying that if bees were to perish, that mankind would have four years left. This brings to mind the horrific problem of colony collapse disorder, where bees are disappearing from their hive. A lot of the time, their bodies are not found, as if they have been raptured.
I hope to spread awareness of their plight. Their bodies are too sensitive to survive our changing world of pesticides and GMOs. Modern beekeeping practices are just as horrific, artificially inseminating the Queen, feeding her children high fructose corn syrup, and having no sense of the natural rhythms of nature and exhausting the bees.
On this blog, I want to not only share about myself and my life, but also my research on bees.
Here's a great fun read about bees,
Kelsey Jenkinson is a 27 year old artist in currently living and working in Austin, Texas.