Belinda Lindhardt

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Monet Update

Here is another update :)

i actually got to work on this one outside in the sun today .. it was lovely .. i really enjoyed it .. :)

i think it worked well as the oils were drying faster too :)

more to come hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

We have had a visit from the painting fairies!

So as it turns out .. my monet piece had a visit from the painting fairies when i wasnt looking (i thought i had put it out of reach from my 18month old it turns out i didnt account for the fact that he is much taller when he gets a stool to stand on and has a long brush taken from my desk in his hand). It suddenly dawned on me what had occurred while i was pondering why my lady's face had a smear of green all over it!!

Anywho, so i took this as a sign that i needed to redo some things and so i pressed on :) I didn't do anything on the water or the front right foliage still have to work on that .. same with the girl i think her hair is too booffy (if that is a word) even though i already made it smaller .. i will have to do that further .. she is too wet to do much with atm. I also have to put the bridge in etc... but apart from that, but i like the way that its progressing still have work to do all over tho :)

I also have apologies as you may have noticed i haven't done weekly smudge or illustration Friday this week. To be honest i did do IF but i am just not posting it. I actually worked on it for a while ... but it just didn't warrant a post so i am not going there. As for my weekly smudge i wrote half a post it was on a book i am reading through but seeing as i am yet to get to the key part of the book i thought i would wait to see how i go with that before posting.
So i haven't been slack i promise!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monets Garden Update

Here is an update for Monets Garden.
I will put the bridge back in .. and change the colour of the dress... just working on getting the background etc right first and then will come in over the top .. again needs a couple of days to dry before i go further :)

not sure how the water is going to work out hmm come on oils .. dry faster !!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Treey Sketches

One of the things i seem to struggle with is midvalues which are close together and light values in general, i tend to get too heavy handed and just go too dark. I was thinking about something Rose had pointed out where she mentioned that Monet didnt always have alot of dark values in his paintings in fact often were alot of midtone values.

As i was doing my monet yesterday i found that this is where i was struggling .. i dont seem to have a problem with dark items and light items next to dark but its the very slight adjustments to the similar midtones and areas which are very light that i seem to struggle with.

So i wanted to do a little practice in drawing something with light values and trying to concentrate on not going to a dark value. as you can see i ultimately didnt succeed in my first drawing as i went dark at the bottom but i blame that on using the wrong medium and support but i kinda was going there a bit at the top wasnt i ?

I must do more of these i think it will help with some of the overall issues i seem to be struggling with.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Monet Update

Here is another update on my monet piece. I have to say i think the oils are beginning to talk to me and we are starting to have a bit of an understanding.

I love acrylic but just when i get to finish mixing my paint with acrylic the kids call me away or the phone rings and before i know it its dried up such a waste. The drying time is a little painful in terms of waiting during the painting but as far my palette i just have all my colours sitting there and can come back to where i left off its great.

I think i am beginning to paint as a draw in cp.. basically in layers .. and building up values rather than trying to smack it all down in the one go ... so hopefully the brain will stop resisting sooner or later and will just do what i tell it to.

i am not sure i can stray away from the details on this one as we get closer to the foreground .. but i am alot loser than i normally am if i can stick with this type of style i will be happy. :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

An apple a day keeps the demons at bay.

An apple for today, been having a tough week this week. I seem to be doubting myself and my art. I know its just one of those weeks. Been looking at many other styles and artists websites and wondering how i am ever going to "make" it and how to find my style.

Anywho, far to deep for a Friday morning.... i started this one after my IL friday pic. Its just a quicky and i seem to want to rush these ones .. but i find i REALLY enjoy these pen and ink ones i have been doing from time to time. I am considering developing this style a bit further maybe these can be the ones i sell online /ebay and my larger more involved pieces can be my ones to sell in other avenues ??

I know the main thing is i am enjoying it and i seem to be drawn to this type of style on other websites. its something that doesnt take as long as a full cp piece so people with a lower price point might be attracted to it? just my i said far tooo deep for a Friday morning. Oh did i say today was Friday ? WOOT weekend tomorrow :) yay !

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Illustration Friday - Wedding

Here is my entry for illustration friday this week, the theme being wedding.

Not too much to comment on this one it kinda speaks for itself :P
Again this one just kinda came out of nowhere ... i really would like to become an illustrator its fun :)

Monets Garden Update

Here is an update to my monet's garden.

Its far to wet to make too many more adjustments on this one.. but its coming along :) i am not sure i like the girl on the bridge .. she looks too short or something ? I already made her taller than she was previously .. and i am not mad about the pink .. but it was for lack of another colour. I am hoping in the next session i will be able to start really making it pop. I am going to try not to be too detailed with this one but i can hear the detail calling calling me.

someone pull my arm back !!!

One think i have to say i am finding difficult is mixing a dark value os something without it just looking blue... i am having a real problem mixing a dark brown with the colours i am using for my monet palette its not so bad in the photo but in rl it looks a bit different .. anywho onwards and upwards.

Weekly Smudge - 20-09-07

Apologies for being a bit late with my smudge this week, its been one of those hard weeks with colds and life just getting in the way. I had to pick myself up dust myself off and get on with things so here i am :) Still standing.

A site i found myself spending quite a bit of time on during the week is

Bet Borgenson's Studio.
Bet is an artist and author and has a wonderful resource on primarily the coloured pencil medium but she also has however other information which is valuable for growing as an artist. Of particular interest she has a "professional Q&A" area which answers many questions myself and my artist friends have been asking such as pricing and prints and approaching galleries etc etc. Its well worth a read if you are considering selling your cp artworks on a professional level. Or read the general faqs for more information about cp medium in general.

Speaking of artist friends, i am yet to post about a new exciting group i am to be a part of which happened last week. A group of online artist friends: Rose Welty, Jo Castillo, Kasie Sallee , have formed a group for the purpose of providing one another with an area where we can critque and support each other in our artistic adventures. The way we have done this is by starting a private blog called Fine Art Friends. So i would give you the url but like i said its private :) I am excited to be among this group of artists and we are hoping it will grow slightly as time goes on and we become accustom to one another and we will be a great support for us all. I urge other artists to find some type of group whether it be via a forum or blog i find it so helpful in moving myself forward through my art particular with small kids i find it hard to belong to a community or weekly group. We have made no particular commitment to one another only to be there when we can so it suits all of us :)

In closing for today i wanted to send you this link which my hubby found its called

Basically its a website which gives you step by step instructions on how to do things. On looking through the site it is just amazing the things which you can learn to do on the site. It has an art and craft section so take a look for a bit of fun.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Blog Update

Well as you can see i have updated my blog :)

Its been something i have been wanting to do for a while but haven't had the time until now. I am still playing around with images colours etc. If you pickup anything weird please let me know.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Monet's Garden

When i heard this month the Fine Line Artists group were going to do Monet i knew it was something i was likely going to have a go at.

As per a previous post of mine i visited Monet's Garden when i was about 18 and traveling the world. I didn't know much about him then and i am sorry i didn't as i don't think i appreciated the visit as i would now.

Anyway, in preparation for my new work i checked out my friend Rose's blog she has some great Monet links and she is also doing some work based on him. And as is the norm you can read some more fabulous information and links that Katherine as put together on Making a Mark.

Based on my research what i found interesting was that Monet used a restricted palette of colours. Not having researched him much before i also found out that while his style "known" being that of impressionism, he didnt always do this and had quite a few works with the figures in particular being quite realistic and detailed. What i also found interesting was that he often used thin layers of paint and mixed on the canvas allowing earlier layers to shine through. He also worked dark to light.

So in keeping all of this in mind. I have decided to embark on my on Monet style piece from a photo that was taken in his garden by me when i visited.

I stared out by doing a few thumbnails and then progressed to using Neocolors to map out where i wanted things to go on the canvas.

Next pic (left) is after a few layers of paint. I am using Monet's palette (more or less but no browns or blacks) and using oils. I am trying to work thin and concentrating on working dark to light.

This is as far as i have gotten so far its too wet to do anything more with. I hope it turns out how i see it in my head :) I am not sure about the girl on the bridge. i was thinking maybe a white flowing dress of some sort. The other figure is a lady bending over to look at something in the garden. I really liked this i wanted to include it in my piece but i am not sure it makes for a good composition. There will be bright red kinda branches coming in from the right side going into the painting ... but these will be done later.
Any comments let me know :)

Sunset Update

Ok ok i will admit it.. i am really struggling with this one :(

After painting and repainting the sky over and over i decided that my expertise doesnt cover "bubble" clouds yet and i will just go with the flat ones for now. I now have a new found envy of people who can paint good sunsets.

So anyway i am fighting this one all the way... the idea was to have these trees in ... lets see how it all comes out :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Illustration Friday - Momentum

This concept is the first thing that sprang to mind when i heard this weeks illustration Friday - Momentum.

Although the picture in my head looks heaps different to this one ( the face in my head was shreeching and more windswept ) its reminds what i feel like life it like sometimes - that its swinging about to crash and not much can stop it but hang on.

Anyhow, this exerscise just proves to me that i NEED to keep doing this hopefully it will get easier as each week goes by its now on my list to do each week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Blog!

Happy Birthday to my blog ! It was on this day 1 year ago i decided to create this blog and wrote my first post. I was hoping to write an incredibly witty and meaniful post on this day 1year later, the reality is i have a bad head cold which makes even the simplest tasks seem like climbing mount everest and i have 2 young boys to contend with who also have colds and a bout of conjunctivitis, and who are pulling at my leg and chatting away at me as i type. So, please to forgive me, i hope this post makes sense.

I will however, on this momentus occasion give myself a pat on the back for still being here a year later :) It hasnt felt like a year at all and I throughly enjoy hearing from my readers from all around the world when they come to visit. What i like most about it is i can read about their lives and struggles in life and art and find parallels in my own world which helps me find my way and progress to the next stage.

One of the goals of starting my blog was simply to keep a record of my artworks for myself and share it with others. I was hoping in keeping a blog would remind me of mistakes and keep pushing me forward. I think it has definitely done that and much more and i am very happy to see how far i have come in a year. I feel like my artwork has improved as has my marketing and networking skills and i feel like i am on the way to at least earn a small income from my art which was also one of my goals in order to be a stay at home mum with my boys.

So a big Thankyou to all my regular blog readers for supporting me know matter how long you have known me i hope you keep coming back. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

I will sign this post with this week's weekly smudge while i am here.

As per my previous post today Keeping a Track of your Artwork i have been thinking and planning alot lately about becoming a professional artist. By professional i just mean creating art to sell rather than just have it for display in my own house.
So in thinking about this i looked into getting various materials printed for self promotion one of these being stickers. (i bought some little bags for people to carry their cards/ artworks away in these were just purple and brown paper bags) i wanted to include some stickers on them i also wanted stickers i could use for various other promotional uses.

I looked around for a basically short run cheap sticker option all of the ones i looked up in Australia turned out just to be too expensive for what i wanted as they only did massive runs like 1000 plus.

Then i came across this link from a blog somewhere (Apologies if it was a readers' blog but i cant just remember where i got the link from) and on careful consideration (shipping is ALWAYS a major issue to australia) i decided to go with getting some Moo stickers. Left are some of my designs.

It only turned out to be $16- AU to get printed and shipped and for 90 stickers that price point didnt look too bad. Designs were of my choice so i could vary the artwork i choose, I added my url to the sticker and wham bam there you go a nice little promotional sticker. :) The website was easy to use and i would definately reccommend it for people looking for this type of option.
Here is the link for the stickers book, but they also have a range of notecards and other printing options.

Note: If you decided to do this yourself you may want to make sure you add your url and your name well inside the center of the sticker as to make sure it doesn't get cut off in the trimming and edges.

Keeping Track of Your Work

In preparation for the market, developing my website and just selling my work something i have been trying to work out is how to keep track of all my artworks.

To be honest prior to this i really didn't know what i was taking to the market, what was framed and what wasn't, i had no price comparisons, no sizes for individual pieces and wasn't sure which were included on my website until i laid it all out in front of me.

So I wanted to share with you all the system i devised to keep a track of everything. This system was also required because i tend not to be too inventive with my artwork titles so if i call something pears then that could be confused with other pear pieces and didnt want to look unprofessional.

Firstly, before i start from a marketing point of view i have no idea what the experts advise on displaying these numbers on your site and marketing material but for my own organizational and professional viewpoint i found it invaluable as i was able to price works accordingly see at a glance "what was what" and also my helper Theresa at the market was able to see what medium, price, title the works were. In addition the customer was also able to see very quickly without having to ask via the use of labels. (i noticed people don't like to ask they like to browse for themselves).

Basically i came up with a numbering convention, the number started at 000 (as i figured it will be a while before i make it past the 1000 artworks point :) and essentially each artwork is referenced by its own number. Whether it be a finished artwork or not, basically anything i want to keep a record of or published on my blog.
I would also like to point out that as a web designer who is used to dealing with lots of files / directories and images a common timewaster for clients them searching through their images trying to work out the image they require and then trying to explain to me which image to use on what page (as their filenames are often the same in different directories). This numbering system is essentially what i use when building a website and is excellent as you and your web developer can instantly recognise files both on your harddrive and the server once you know the naming convention its simple to follow. Many clients are happy i have converted them once they are use to it :)

For me each artwork starts on the computer with a directory and reference image, so I will start talking how i organise it on my computer and go from there.

On your Computer
The first artwork i decided to create under the system i gave the number 001
note: i actually put all my previous artworks not on the number system into a folder called "000_archive" so this one displays at the top of the list, i also have a miscellaneous folder for sketches and quick drawings for my blog at number "002_sketches".

Note2: i use lowercase and an underscore "_" in my filenames because websites dont like spaces in filenames and some servers don't like uppercase its a force of habit and a good one to get into so you don't have to go back and change things later (underscore should be next to your 0 on your keyboard have to hold down shift to get it)

Here are the steps:

  • create directory/folder "001_pears" - i usually add just a basic title for the directory name as this isn't as important as the actual filenames and just allows me to quickly browse through directories knowing what they are
  • Inside that i put the reference photo i usually just call the file "reference.jpg" but if you want to be exact you should really call it "001_reference.jpg"
  • If i am doing a WIP for a blog or forum then as i create work i save the files as them i call "001_wip01.jpg"," 001_wip02.jpg" etc.
    The nice thing about this is that you can see at a glance what that files are and if you upload them to a website they wont conflict with any other filenames, once you get use
    d to it not only is it easy but also they will display nicely in your windows explorer in neat in sequential order.
  • Once the wips are out the way i usually do a final scan of the image and save it uncropped as "001_rawscan.tiff"
    This file will be a big 300dpi image and i usually save it as a tiff file incase i later need it for printing purposes but jpg is also fine
  • Then I proceed to crop it and make the images i need for website, blog etc , the names i call these are:

I need different sizes for various forums, blogs and websites so this is just my requirements you can just do whatever you need but the important thing is you can see what is what, they dont conflict with your WIP files and if ever you need an image its right there for you without you opening it up to see what is inside.

If you have later versions of a particular file you just end it with a 01,02 etc, that way they will display properly and you know which version to get eg. 001_blog_01.jpg,

So now we have the files now what?

Well As you will see on my website i have the numbers referenced on my website and i have stated that if people are interested in an artwork to state the reference number so there is no confusion on which piece they are interested in. This would carry through in email correspondence, blog references (although i am not as strict on my blog), invoicing/ receipts and
i imagine would also work well with galleries and other places you display your work.

Now we get down to the tracking part, i have then
a word document (or you could use excel) which contains fields so that see at a glance from the reference number what the details of that particular artwork are, here is a screenshot:

The columns are: Ref No. | Title | Price | Sold | Medium / Support | Size | Prints

I have made a blank version available here if you wish to download it here. (55k)
I had this printed out at the market so Theresa and i could see what was what, and if an item was sold then could tick it off. This could be modified depending on whether you have gallery / website / ebay sales etc . the same principle works. I also had cms / inches on my sizes as in australia there tends to be both dimensions on frames etc. even tho we are on the metric system.

So, from now on whenever i create a new artwork i just add in a new row at the top of the table and fill in the details of the new artwork and have all the information there. Alternatively i just print it out with some blank rows at the top and can write in it with pen as i go and periodically do a new print out. If you are using excel you have a few more choices such as add date in there and sort by date or reference if you are producing lots of artworks really the options can be tailored to you. It also means when you add your images of your artwork to your website there is no hunting around for sizes and mediums etc you have all the info there its just a matter of sticking it on.

For the Customer
In addition to this on my artworks i created labels to be stuck at the back (just taped to the backs of frames on mounted boards). The labels had no prices but just information so that it was clear what medium, reference number, size and my website address. I included artwork size and mat size separately as some of the artwork wasn't framed and wanted customers easily to be able to buy a frame of their choice should they want to. I thought this was also handy for people buying gifts for others that all the information was there.

Here is what the label looked like:
Here is the artwork labels document if you wish to download it and edit (98k) it for yourself. I put 12 on one A4 page and just cut them up with a scalpel and ruler (sorry they aren't even, word was just driving me nuts by this stage and i had run out of time to play with it too much).
I typed some of the details directly onto the lables so they were there when printed and ( from my artwork tracking document) i also had some blank that i could just write on in pen on the day as i ran out of time.

Thankyou / Receipt
In addition to the above i had planned to have ready or print out letters based on the reference number as a thankyou with information based on the artwork tracking and website information of details about the artwork as well as where to find more about me etc. i didnt get time for this for the market but i plan to do up the letter and have it ready there incase there is any sales.

So there you have it, how i track my artwork its something i will change from time to time but for now it works for me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Market Weekend

Well i have just come back from a lovely weekend in the country with the in-laws we had fabulous gourmet food, and a busy time but it was good to get away.

For the market I managed eventually to get all the things done, but i was going all day friday and then up early on saturday, i was a busy girl.

All in all it went well, the weather wasn't great and was raining at one point, so from that perspective it could have been better as many people were staying indoors.

As for sales, I didn't actually sell any artworks but that is ok because i hadn't expected to, being a country market i understand the prices i was asking isnt usual for people to pay for at a market (and i wasn't going to undersell myself especially after all the work and cost i put in for framing and materials etc) I did however, sell over half of my greeting card stock which covered the cost of the stall and a little bit extra (though i bought a bottle of olive oil from a nearby market so really i didn't come out with any extra money LOL ) plus i don't make much money of each card they are quite costly to print.

What i did get out of it was feedback and responses on my artwork which is fantastic, the greeting cards i sold the most of was my horse's eye. Everyone was drawn to that, i also sold some of the kookaburra and the yellow rose and pear. So i am glad i chose the horses eye as the artwork i entered for the Scone Art Prize which starts this week.
So, the greeting cards were a big success and i think i will print more of those for next time, this time i will add some of my other horse artworks for the Scone market as its horse town up there :) I had a few people scoff and walk away when they found it was coloured pencils which wasnt surprising.
I had many people think that the artworks were prints and not originals and they also thought that the horses eye was a photo and then proceeded to buy a card when they discovered it was artwork. Lots of people took information about the artist :) and there is also a possibility of putting some artworks up in the information center up there. Next time i need a bigger sign stating that they are original works rather than prints.

As for getting my headspace in creating artworks to sell and become "professional" the whole experience was invaluable definitely has changed my thought process as well as an understanding how much work is involved in just getting organised for something like that in terms of marketing material, framing matting etc etc.
I feel the whole day was a huge success and got my artwork out in front of the people !!! which is the main thing.

Big thanks for hubby for looking after the kids and supporting me throughout the whole thing as well as my mum for helping out in preparation leading up to the day. the inlaws also deserve a big thanks for having us, pushing me in the right direction and a special thanks to "Granddad" for making the stand to hang all my artworks off. :)

Would i do it again? yes i think so, need more artworks etc. more signage more cards etc. so i need to get cracking :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

weekly smudge 5-9-07

This week is going to be very brief, i have my market on Saturday in Scone in the Hunter Valley NSW. I have to say that as i write this i am in a mild state of panick. We are due to leave tomorrow morning and i am yet to pack any clothes for either myself or the kids and that is just a minor thing on the list.

I still have to arrange:

  • my printed portfolio for display,
  • various bits of signage (which i am just going to print off on a laser printer),
  • gather bits and pieces i need for the day
  • cut, hinge and attach mats on 15 works some of which are going into frames,
  • prepare a sheet for people to leave their email address or actual address for visitors who want more information or receive updates of my work,
  • print out various bits of info i had planned to have available on commissions and coloured pencil artworks ,
  • create and attach labels for the backs on artwork
  • also create price labels
  • and for the piece that is going into the show add my details for that
  • updating my "work reference sheet" so i can see what works i have on display, what sells what medium they are etc etc(as i may have help at the market)
  • plus i am sure there is more i am just forgetting.
This week has flown by, my time was taken up which was supposed to be spent doing all this stuff had to be used on actual design / web work so yes i am having a bit of a mental freak out LOL.

The rest of this afternoon i will finish off testing out my new mat cutter and ruler and getting the artworks sorted out (i think i am up for a late night).
So anyway atm my head is in the framing world which i am very new to but i am learning. Yesterday I picked up my framed horses eye, pear and white horse from the framers (gosh you just reminded me i have to take some pics of them framed!!) anywho... while they look ok i have to admit they dont jump out at me like i was expecting them to. I think i just didnt choose the right frame, and was totally influenced and daunted by the framers advice (i never really had anything framed before). As a result, i have decided unless its a specific thing that i cant do i i will just do my own mats and buy premade frames. This is also influenced by cost. My artwork at this time is not demanding extremely high prices, and adding another $80- per piece minimum for framing doesn't really help anyone. Anyway, all in all i am taking it all as a learning lesson and have researched framing for myself

So for this week i am going to leave with you some framing links i have come across. Alot of them have free tutorials which are great :)

FrameCo - online video talking about framing and matt cutting showing you how.
Framing 4 - Step by Step showing you various framing techniques
Pawleewurx - More step by step instructions - he also has artwork and other interesting articles i will have to check out another time.

Ok, so i did say that I going to be brief, i just cant help myself can i... back to the matt cutting sigh.....