I recently had the pleasure of being asked to paint an NHS orthodontist nurse, as part of a local art challenge to celebrate the wonderful NHS staff working at Dorset County Hospital, and of course I jumped at the chance.
Artists were paired at random with staff from the hospital, we were then tasked to create the portrait in any style we liked, and to then donate the piece to the staff member. The piece will be a part of a special free to visit exhibition in the hospital before taking pride of place in the staff members home!
I had a great deal of fun working on this one and it was made all the more exciting by me having no say in who or what I had to paint!
After seeing the photo I decided to hone in on both her specific area of expertise and the NHS colours. First of I got started with the background, but solid blue was a little too boring for my tastes, so I decided to take inspiration from the famous NHS blue and the fake choppers she's holding in the photo. Eventually I settled on a Tooth Fairy theme.
I am extremely happy with the end result and hope that it brings some joy to NHS staff who, regardless of what they specialise in, have all had one hell of a year!
I'll update this blog post with more info and specific details about the local art challenge as and when I receive it.
This morning I had the privilege of handing over the completed painting to the lovely Emma, as you can tell from the pics below she was delighted; and she loved the fairy theme too!
I am excited to announce that I will be exhibiting several of my painting at The Gallery Upstairs in Upton Country Park in Poole, Dorset from 4th to 20th December 2020! I hope that you can visit to see them in all their glory!
On Monday 14th September 2020 Blandford Art Society will be emailing their members a private YouTube link to a tutorial video for a mixed-media piece that I've been playing around with during the lockdown. Below you will find a link to the worksheet & instruction for this tutorial, as well as some pics of the poppy sketch I used for you to mimic, so you can have a go at creating this style of artwork for yourself at home.
For the worksheet & instructions please click here.
Shortly after this, on Thursday 17th September, I will be hosting a LIVE Q&A on Zoom (wish me luck!) where participants will be able to ask me any art related questions as well as show off their own creations.
Once all this is done I will allow the video to be viewed publicly on my YouTube so that everyone can have a go! Check back here for details and to be the first to know when that video goes live.
I hope you've all been keeping safe and enjoying the extra time to create artworks during these strange times, and please don't forget to show me whatever you create. I love seeing them!
UPDATE 25/09/2020 - Now that all the above is complete the video is now live & available publicly for you to watch below or directly on YouTube. Thank you.
I recently completed a demonstration to a group of 75 artists at the Highcliff Art Fellowship and was lucky enough to be able to paint this model, whom was extremely pleased with the result!
The focus of this demonstration was showing them how important bright colour can be used to show shade & shadowing on faces or surroundings.
I have also had a recent influx of requests to join my classes or to watch me demonstrate so please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any information on either of these things.
I have often been asked why I love demonstrating so much, and the answer is simply that I love nothing more than seeing the moment a student masters a new technique & the look of genuine pride on their face when they realise they have created something beautiful with their own hands (or brush)!
I am lucky enough to have a fantastic array of students & classes that I teach, and I often get some very heartwarming feedback. Recently I received a lovely email from a lady who had seen an article on me in Paint Magazine and was inspired to try out the techniques I was promoting. Her email is below:
"After reading your article in Paint Magazine I was inspired to try watercolour on canvas with texture. I was pleased with the result and found using watercolour a more pleasant experience.
When I later saw Blue Planet I had an idea to use the same technique to paint dolphins leaping through waves. I was delighted again with the result.
My two paintings make a pleasing pair. I would like to show them at my local church arts festival. If someone wanted to buy them, I would also wish to sell them. I (will) donate any money I get from selling my paintings to the charity East Anglia Children’s Hospice.
Feedback like this is exactly why I love teaching. Inspiring the next wave of homegrown artists with unique visions & passions that can be brought to life on canvas! Whether it's someone creating beautiful pieces that can decorate their own home, or whether I coach someone who goes on to be a commercially successful artist - the passion for me remains the same.
Contact me today to learn more about my classes or where I will be demonstrating in the near future.
I recently demonstrated at the wonderful Kennaway House on behalf of the Sidmouth Society of Artists, and they published an article on their website about it. You can visit their website by clicking HERE or read what they had to say below:
"A massive thank you to the fabulous Dee Cowell for her demonstration at Kennaway house. What a delight to the senses it was.The demo started by splashing vivid yellows, reds and rose pink watercolours onto a canvas (yup you heard it ...A canvas!) which was prepared with acrylic modelling paste. Then she set it aside to dry whilst she entertained the group with wonderful tales and an owl eye & lions fur demonstration using Inktense pencils and black paper from the 'Derwent Black Book'. Later she started a porpoise painting by analysing a pre-prepared blue loose canvas background for shapes hidden in the paint ... (a bit like cloud gazing) ... which she then teased out with painting both negative and positive shapes allowing the creatures to develop organically.
After the break Dee did a similar thing with the fiery oranges and red canvas which she had painted at the start of the demo. With this one she teased out hummingbird shapes and flowers such a fabulous, fun and fluid way to paint ☺️
Here's a few of Dees tips:
'Be bold ...we're artists ... bring yourself to a painting and put your colours on'
'Use the sides of Inktense pencil leads to get more depth and coverage ...and if your layers get slippery and you can’t add more, add a little white acrylic, allow it to dry then add inktense on top.'
'Map the darker colours and patterns of fur/feathers/ texture first ...underpin your work with a good drawing ....then set yourself free.'
'Derwent sword brush is a wonderful brush for expressive sweeps of colour and delicate lines."
By Cherry Ferris for Sidmouth Society of Artists
I have been painting and teaching for SO many years and am a very experimental artist. I love trying our new mediums and beneath it all is the drawing - realistic images painted in different ways.
I have always been inspired by the movement of the air! I also have found it impossible to paint! Having seen a boy in Sienna swirling his flag I started on a journey to conquer the technique and I finally did it with the painting called "Flight", pictured above right.
It is painted with watercolours on canvas, which gives me the time to manipulate the paint. Since then I have painted "Monkies at dawn" (above left) and "Waterhole activities" (top left). I have also gone more abstracty and painted "Our seas are in peril" which has won a cup at the Broadstone Art Society exhibition (not pictured) and have been invited to several Art Societies to demonstrate this technique.
It is exciting to paint this way as the result is unpredictable!
I was lucky enough to be asked to demonstrate at the wonderful Lawrence Art Society in Devizes recently, where I shown the class an array of illustrated drawing techniques.
I also demonstrated how, providing you get the drawing to a high enough quality, you can use any colours & the painting will still come together - such as my rather striking blue & purple elephant above!
Fans of my video podcasts will know that (1) I love painting elephants & (2) I often use some less than traditional colourings on my paintings to bring out various light tones or shadowing. I feel that painting in this way, using these techniques & colour choices really help bring the paintings to life.
Take a look at the two finished paintings above & let me know what you think in the comments below.
In todays video I demonstrate how to use some of my favourite techniques to paint a wonderful photo of some fighting Seagulls!
When you paint or draw action filled images such as these it can be quite difficult to really capture all the movement and action onto the canvas, but I feel with these techniques you'll see how it can be done.
As always, thank you for watching and if you enjoyed this video, or indeed this series of three, please leave a comment below or on my YouTube page.
Following on from last weeks video, this weeks is based on another beautiful animal we were lucky enough to see whilst on safari in South Africa; my favourite animal - Elephants!
If you've been watching my YouTube videos for awhile now you'll know that I love to paint elephants, and have done so many times before. But with each painting I use differing techniques or styles so there's still plenty to learn.
I hope you enjoy today's video, if you do please leave a LIKE on the video, subscribe for more or leave me a comment right here on this blog! I love hearing from you all.
Thank you & happy painting,
This is where I will share with you my latest works, projects & vlog entries!