Interested in purchasing art work? Please leave a comment with your email address. I'll contact you. Illustration work is available at ASA "Style File."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Close Up Portrait 1

Hi, Friends, have you ever tried a "close up" portrait, particularly, a bit head-off one? This is my first try in life, for I've always included some part of a body. I'd share my findings in a close up portrait in this post. Close-ups in portraits are quite an intertesting genre, I've felt! A close up eloquently tells a life story and a personality. This lady's eyes and mood caught my eyes. I hope viewers will feel this lady's life history and imagine what she's thinking.  Yes, I have my own thoughts of this lady and her personality. I hope they will come up in this try. So, I leave it to you.  
Technically, a close up was not easy for me. I've realised that I always scale each body part in a whole to balance it. I need to draw close ups more to explore it. I did a bit different approach. After watercolour, graphite emphasised some areas. It worked well. Unlike a sketch-like portrait, I feel, exaggerated strong lines or values work well in a close up. But ...mmm... I feel... already overworked? This work reminds me of my "old work" before "loose up." Anyway, I need experience! 

In the process of developing the image, I focused on the model's eyes. You can compare the eyes below with the above. This was the beginning and I was just playing with watercolour. I felt her personality coming up and worked on it more. I always simplify or delete unnecessary visual information as much as possible, which helps "don't overwork" as well. Also, I feel good loose watercolour has a nice balance between softened edges and hard edges. The edges of hair were softened. I felt I should have blurred hair at an early stage of watercolour, for hair was not important in this message. 
But the problem was that the image of a background did not come together with a subject. (so, I got on hair without a background.)
Friends, how do you handle a background? I admire other artists who organise backgrounds well.  Apart from a technical approach, it seems that I'm very much like an instinct person. (*Often technical tips haven't helped me. Always it turned down my liveliness and lost something from an original work. Not easy.) For me, sometimes, a clear image of colour, etc come up with a subject from the beginning. But sometimes it does not. This case is not. If I dared to add something in a background from the beginning, it always turned out dull or mismatched to a subject. A worst case was "mess up." So, I do not push myself too much and take a short break now. I'm waiting for inspiration will come up. If it does not come up, I'll leave it blank or try it again from the beginning. 

In the process, the model has begun to talk to me. I enjoy listening to her, although I'm making this image and all is my imagination. I'm very much interested in her eyes. I look into her eyes...  It's the beauty and fun of creating a portrait. Subjectivity and objectivity comes together in a work.

I saw many interesting close-ups in Archibald and Moran National Portrait exhibitions that intrigued me. In this attempt, I've found that I've always scaled eyes, a nose and mouth etc each "face part" position and value in a whole body, naturally and automatically. It means without a whole body, it's a bit inconvinient for me to allocate each face part. I certainly got a small image such as a "thumb nail" is easy to perceive and to handle. Some tips -- Choose a face part that impressed you most and emphasise it/them, is a good idea. Simplify visual information and check value all the time. A background remains my assignment. ...gulp... a bit scary though, I want to challenge a background. Be brave, Sadami! This work did not go well though, it becomes my precious stepping stone to move on. I'll do lots of close ups!

Btw, I've submitted a finalised image to Oxford University Press. A linguistics professor is happy. I hope it will go well! 
Friends, Happy Painting! 


Monday, November 17, 2014

Sadami Update & ASA Stylefile

Hi, Friends, how is your life? I'm working on the book cover project for Oxford University Press. OUP is the largest university press in the world, and the second-oldest, after that of Cambridge University Press. I've been really enjoying this project. Nearly there. Later, I'd chat over the author and the book to be published next year! I'm renewing my images for ASA stylefile. A bit busy. 

In this post, I upload the work based on photos taken at my friend's all hand-made house in bush. Contrast and value are enhanced in the work. Colours and light fascinate me in any subjects. I really liked this attic bedroom there and took many photos of it. Btw, it seems, Friends, you like this one more than the other in feedback.  

Although I wanted to depict light coming into a shed, in my eyes, an outcome is a bit questionable... (* there aren't the clear visible lines of light in a real photo -- all from my imagination.) Anyway, I'll keep on experiments.
Now, you may ask, what is "ASA Stylefile"? It is the showcase of Australia’s most talented book illustrators. Australian Society of Authors calls for new applicants. Here's the application. Go for it and take a chance! 

If any illustrators are searching for a reliable and trustworthy illustrators "show and tell" place, it's ASA Stylefile! The Stylefile is famous for its high quality, indeed, the best of best Australian illustrators showcase. The Stylefile is the hot meeting spot for publishers and illustrators. It is well-known that publishers "buy" illustrators from the Stylefile. Many illustrators have got projects through the Stylefile.   

Right now, ASA is reconstructing the old style file to the modern one. I'm reorganising my old images and adding four more images. A panel will examine the quality of new images and give me an answer. 

Another wonderful fact is that the Stylefile gives "credit" on emerging artists and promotes successful applicants. Because the Stylefile does not discriminate artists who have not published picture books, it's a great advantage for any artists. Why not add credit on your portfolio and a CV? In my experience, agencies asked me, "Do you have Stylefile?" It meant, "Are you a qualified professional?" or "Do you have an equal and enough drawing ability to a professional?" Got it? People in publishing industry highly recognise the Stylefile. Yes, the Stylefile is the big warranty of illustrators on market. 

I still remember the moment when I got through the selection in 2011. Kind ASA staff celebrated, "Have champagne!" over the phone. Yes, I did! Oh, sweet, how happy I was! 
Also, I'm enjoying portraits by watercolour between the projects. Ah, I most love figures and portraits, although I enjoyed these light and a room for a break. What do you think about these tries? I'd greately appreciate your feedback. 

Now, I'm preparing for a good start for 2015. The two publications, the academic book and the picture book are a great joy. OUP is fantastic and exciting!
You, too, enjoy drawings and get opportunities. Thank you for warm supports for the news of the shortlisted "Poetic Justice". 
Friends,  Happy Painting! 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Poetic Justice" shortlisted for Human Rights NonFiction Award

Hi, Friends, wonderful news! Our book, "Poetic Justice" published by Right Now is shortlisted for the AHRC's Human Rights Non-Fiction Literature Award (* AHRC = Australian Human Rights Commission). Yes, my section is dedicated for a homeless issue. My writings and drawings are in the book. 
The media release announcing the Literature Award shortlist can be read here: 
The 2014 Australian Human Rights Awards will be presented on 10 December at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. More information about the awards can be found here.

I hope more people will read the book and think of human rights. 
RightNow, thank you for giving me the wonderful opportunity to have joined the project and thank you for our team's hard work. And special thank you for you, Friends, your great support!  


Monday, November 10, 2014

Hail Artists Pursuing Dreams!

Hi, Friends, how is it going with you? I sketched a busker and classic guitarist who had changed his life from an elite life. I had met him before. We chatted over our happy poor life, but with pride and dignity. Although he had been working at the promising course overseas, the busker said , "I'm back to music." Sounds like he's come "home" at his heart. He chose being honest to himself, freedom and poverty. I admire his brave decision and risk taking. 

We enjoyed a long chat such as copyrights of art work on internet, the status of artists in society, his work and my ongoing projects. BTW, I've been doing research on copyrights issues. The accessability of information on internet has allowed image thefts and intrusion of copyrights. The legal knowledge of copyrights and a legal action against an image theft is necessary. I'll post the collected information and the case study of my experiences on internet, when an appropriate time comes.

*This busker, as a side player, cared for a lead guitar, which impressed me so much.
I told his girl friend, "You are a lucky lady who can get such a caring man!"
We all agreed and had a good laugh. Yes, guitar sounds tell a personality. 
Back to the topic, the busker and me. I love to chat with any buskers and brave day-dream believers. 
"I'm happy to die in poverty!" I said after talking of my picture book illustration projects. 
The busker corrected my say, "(we will) die in LIFE." A lovely and interesting English expression! 
*This is the old sketch of that busker. 

Friends, please get surprised! The busker plays a 7 stringed classic guitar (**a usual guitar has 6 strings). I saw it for the first time! He said, "People don't notice it" and "Very confusing at the beginning." Oh, I can imagine it. "What is the extra string for?" I asked. "A bass." I see. "How many strings are desiable for a guitar in your opinion?" "Nine." Oooooh! I can't play it, btw. The busker makes very clear and sweet sounds that tell who he is. He remembers once I had played a guitar in a band in our last chat. Yes. But I came back to drawing that I always thought of. It always called for me from the bottom of heart. I felt any other directions would not fulfill me except drawing/painting in visual art. I'm sure he responded to his call or an inner voice.

*Seven strings guitar   
Being honest to oneself is the best part of life, we all know. Yet, few achieve it or carry on. I'm certain that buskers will never regret their lives and the choice. 

I hope society will appreciate art and improve the status of artists, in, especially, a socio-economic phase. Financially, many artists have difficulty. Without art, how could we express our joy in life? The busker -- I noticed he changed his hair style -- seems to have got enough money to buy a new and interesting guitar. After a long chat, he gave me his own CD and a good shake hand! I was about to pay for it. He smiled and said "That's ok." He's rich at heart. I hope we will become good friends. 

Now, I'm very excited to prepare for a book launch, exhibitions and author talks in 2015. Many unsolved problems are on my dish. Busy and not easy challengings surely give me joy and fun. Everyday is adventure! 

Also, any illustrators and students, try the great opportunity, book illustration competition 2015 in the last post. 
Friends, Happy Painting!  


Friday, November 7, 2014

Opportunity, the Book Illustration Competition 2015 Open!

Hi, Friends, an opportunity for emerging illustrators and illustration students! 
The Book Illustration Competition 2015 is now open. 
The Book Illustration Competition is a unique partnership between House of Illustration and The and The Folio Society which seeks to identify and promote new talent in illustration, and is open to illustrators over the age of 18 from all around the world. The first prize is a prestigious Folio Society commission, worth £5,000, to illustrate a new edition. Five runners up will each receive £500.Three of the six shortlisted entries will be from illustration students. Check "terms and conditions" an applicant needs to acknowledge. 
Friends, let's try every and any chance. 
Happy Painting! 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

1)Selfies & Self Acceptance 2) Project For Academic Publication

Hi, Friends, are you enjoying your life? It is fun to make self-portraits like my own history. I made a selfie to commemorate my birthday. This selfie is based on a sketch reflected on a train window on my way home from Bill Baily's show. My dear friends took me to it to celebrate my birthday. Tada~~, it's me. Do you make a self portrait?  
A friend, with a sigh, says self-acceptance is needed to create a selfie. I've just looked at myself in a rude?! way = objectively. I do a self portrait for a fun and from a joy. Simply, I want brushes dance and colours sing on a paper. For me, a selfie is making a short fun trip around in myself like backpacking, telling "Yahoo, Sadami!", although it is said, "A self portrait shows an inner journey" -- could not be my case? I hear some people cannot make selfies, I wonder if they are too harsh on themselves, which means they expect themselves too much. Or they do not want to see what they do not like in their self images or deny the reality that does not meet their high expectations. It causes anxiety, concerns and depression. If they cannot create self portraits from fear or denial of themselves, it is very sad.  

Here are my self portraits. Interesting to see the changing in a chronological order. 
This is the oldest one I tried from a low angle.  I looked at myself in a mirror. Keeping a smile was a hard task. Not easy. So, I "just" looked at myself. Friends say, "It's like looking at a mirror in the morning." Ahahaha, a nice depiction! 
Another is based on a photo. Professors said, "Frame it!" It took hours to finish up. I was not fast to capture a subject as I hoped. It motivated me to try daily sketching even in a train on the way to uni.
Another selfie I made is from the image in a mirror. Since that time, I've started to explore watercolour painting and had a strong interest in "loose up." I drew quicker and started to enjoy sketching at everywhere! I began to play with colours and brought a watercolour kit to anywhere. It's nice to swim around in an ocean of colours! Splash, splash, yey! 
Then, I made a selfie in a loose below. 
"How young are we?" is the questionary based on my thinking. If a person has dream, s/he is young and looks young. A physical year does not tell a person is young or not. A person without dream is ... already not alive, in my eyes. Aging is an interesting experience. I'm enjoying it and do not have a negative attitude. Of course, sometimes, I feel hey, not easy, ah, wrinkles, but in my figure portraits, do you find any wrinkles? No. In my eyes, muscles positions/conditions show a physical age more than wrinkles. Yet, a physical age does not always tell being old or young. If you have a dream/goal/direction to go, you look young. A person with a dream has a lively mood and a good atmospher in her/himself and shining! 
...and my drawing has moved into a current style, very loose. 
The left is the first drawing in a train. It made me smile. I felt I got old! (Of course, I added a year on my age.) But I love what I am, called self-acceptance? I do not think about it any more. *A psychology lecturer once told me with a smile, "If it's a matter, you think about it" = no, it does not bother me. The right is the ongoing selfie. Friends, do you always want to make a background or not? Sometimes, I do and sometimes, not. When I started colour, I felt like creating a background. Then, I made a background and the firstly posted work came up! In my eyes, life is full of sunshine, light and colours. Any people are beautiful. Please be kind to yourself and appreciate self-acceptance.    
Also, I do not think, when I draw. 
"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothingn," by Marc Chargall and "Have your own colour," ; they are my favorite says. 

The other day, we, life drawing class memberes sketched an outside, plain air.
One member -- who had already published a picture book -- called me, a "famous artist" for this nameless artist! (Thank u so much for your cheers.) Friends, attention! That artist has declared to draw me in a life drawing class or else where! Oooohhh!!! What an honour! I'll have to try a diet and search for a push up-bra. My other friends say, "Oh, sure, you'll die in poverty and then, you'll be famous. That's the artist's way." Gulp. I hope to die, at least, after launching the picture book "Moon" at Gleebooks in next August. (*A date is still moving, sorry.) 

Another, "tada~~"! I'm now working with a professor for an academic publication project. Once, the lecturer taught us. Working together is a great fun. (** Ewwwww!!! Thank goodness, I do not get assignments any more!) We'll publicly announce the project in detail, later. Look forward to the good news.  

In addition, yesterday, I, a poor artist, was brawsing around a Salvo shop. All the staff knew me and welcomed me. I found a pill case and kept on holding it for a while. I was thinking to make it into a watercolour kit... A staff, who enjoys her retired life to work there, came and said, "Oh, too early to use it! Too early!" I eventually put it back and bought a children literature chapter book on Beethoven (*an illustrator was my admiring artist). 

... after leaving the shop, ...I wondered.... Hey, did she said it seriously or a joke? A nice birthday present for me ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. Or do I still have self-denial?! Ahahahahaha!!? 

Thanks for strong support and nice feedback! With your warm cheers, I can come to this level and step into a bright future in a career. 
Friends, Happy Painting and Enjoy Selfies!!