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Posts Tagged ‘watercolors’

For the entire month of June I will be exhibiting some of my brightest watercolor paintings in a  Solo show at the iYo Cafe in Davis Square, Somerville, Ma! Though the subject of the work varies, the collection was assembled primarily for its warm-weather feel. I would describe the bunch as a simple, whimsical celebration of the summer months and the beautiful world around us.

Painting by Shauna Leva

The work is on display towards the back of the cafe on a brick and mortar wall across from a seating area known as “the drawing room” for the large chalk board on one of its walls. On June 12th from 6-8pm there will be a reception for the show, where patrons of the cafe or any fans of my work can come hang out with me. The cafe serves coffee and typical cafe snacks, but the highlight of the menu in my opinion is the frozen yogurt. All of the work on display is for sale, and while you can purchase in person at the reception, anyone is welcome to see the work at anytime during the month of June, and may send purchase inquiries to my email. Address and hours posted below….I hope to see you at the reception!

Painting by Shauna Leva

iYO Cafe

234 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
(Davis Square T Stop)
(617) 764-5295

Monday — Friday:
8:00AM – 11:00PM

Saturday:
8:00AM – 11:30PM

Sunday:
8:00 AM – 10:00PM

 

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I’ve finished a new painting! in an effort to hold onto the summer sun for as long as possible, I decided to paint, just for fun, a picture of this beach beauty. It’s not often that I paint a picture for no reason other than my own entertainment, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint a pretty lady in bright colors.

This is a mixed-media piece of watercolors and colored pencil. It was not easy to mix that perfectly tanned skin tone without making her look sunburned or too toasty brown. Tanned skin is a very complicated mix of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and blues–kind of like normal skin I suppose but with a lot more saturation! I tackled the skin by laying yellow washes first. Then I marked my shadows with some light blue and purple washes, and then really built up the color with thick layers of reds and orange. In some places I’m really laying the red on much thicker than you would expect, and even then I still needed the colored pencil to give it that extra blast of color. The skin was easily the most difficult part.

The easiest part of the painting? The Hair. I love to paint masses of linear things and there are few organic structures more linear than hair. Hair is easy not to overwork, and easy to stylize while still meshing with other very detailed and realistic elements of the painting.

One of my personal goals with this painting was not to overwork the surface. It’s easy to belabor a work, scouring every inch to make sure every single little detail is flushed out. Sure, that creates a really crisp image, but it takes an absurd amount of time and is not always necessary.  This painting was an exorcise in simplifying my process without sacrificing detail.

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As part of my development of a new style, and an effort to get into fashion illustration, here is a practice piece of a girl with a blue feather fascinator. In this piece my aim was to loosen up with my rendering and incorporate an outline into my work in order to make my painting go much quicker. I finished this entire painting, from thumbnail to final in about six hours, which is very quick for someone who normally paints so realistically.

This piece can be viewed here on out in my sketchbook gallery at Shaunart.net: http://shaunart.net/pages/sketchbook

Your comments and criticisms are especially welcome while I work on this new style!

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So! Lately I have been working on a new style of illustrating. Most of my paintings to date have been highly detailed, meticulously rendered, very realistic images where every inch of paper is belabored over to achieve an evenly finished surface. The end result is a painting that glows, but it is not a terribly efficient or cost effective way of painting because of the number of hours that goes into the work. With realism, it can also difficult to manipulate forms and draw emphasis to certain things because of how tied I become to my photo reference. Sometimes there are things that I want to distort, and worlds that I need to abbreviate. Sometimes I have ideas that I want to record a in under 40 hours, or jobs that I need to finish quickly in order to keep prices low. Therefore, I have been experimenting with a new, simpler style of watercolor painting.

I am hoping that this new style will free up my imagination and allow me to compose a picture with more attention on its design and less attention on the reality of the photo source. I also would like to incorporate more fashion illustration into my portfolio, and I think an abbreviated style will let me do that. The idea is that I need to paint a lot of things that do not exist, or do not yet exist. But to paint these things realistically is difficult because I do not have enough visual information to do them justice. A more stylized approach doesn’t require as much visual information, and will let me record more things from my mind in a believable way.

Anyhow, this painting is very much an experiment. I like how it came out but I do think that this style will change and evolve as I work at it more.  Right now I am very open to the opinions of others and advice on where to take things with my next piece. I think that I jumped a great distance from my usual style in this piece, and though I like where it went, I think I need to reign it back in just a little with future works. I am hoping to have a whole new stylized body of work by the new year.

Your comments are encouraged! Thanks for reading!

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Here is a new watercolor landscape that I made of a state park in southern Connecticut. I was drawn to the name of the park more than anything; it is called “The Devil’s Hopyard” and is located in East Haddam. Earlier this month I was hiking this park with a few friends. The forest there is old and beautiful like something out of a story book. I really liked this spot by the river where the afternoon sunlight illuminates the trees in the distance, giving the scene a fairy-like glow.

I snapped several photographs of the park that I could paint from. This is a pretty straight-forward watercolor painting for me, but as a special treat, I photographed the progressions of the painting as I worked. If you are interested on seeing every step of my painting process, you can view the progressions on my facebook fan page timeline: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shaunart/

Thanks for reading!

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Woo! Life is busy right now. I recently started a new job as Head of Advertising and Promotion at the University of Hartford Art School MFA in Illustration Program, and I just got back from New York Comic Con! Now, I will be on the road again this Thursday to hang my next show.

This Saturday (Oct 20th) is the Opening reception for a Student and Alumni Study Abroad Show in the Silpe Gallery at the University Campus. This past Spring, two separate groups of students traveled abroad with the Hartford Art School. Now, artwork inspired by our journey will be on display for the public to view. The Opening will begin at 5pm and end at 7pm, and will feature paintings, photography, prints, fiber-works and ceramics, informed by these two exotic locations. Many of the work will be for sale and light refreshments will be served.

The show runs from October 19th through November 1st. Gallery hours are M-F: 9-4pm, and S-S: 12-4pm

I myself will have three finished watercolor paintings in the show: a series about the relationship between Sicilians and their beautiful land. I will also have on display several field watercolors, done one site in various parts of Sicily, as well as my sketch book from the trip available to look through. Again, these original works will be available for sale.

Bring your friends!

Hartford Art School
200 Bloomfield Ave
West Hartford, CT 06117

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In less than two weeks, over 140 local artists of Lowell, MA will open their doors to the public for the 12th annual Lowell Open Studios Event. With over fifteen studio locations throughout the heart of Lowell, this two day event is a great opportunity for the community to buy original and reproduced artworks straight from the artists who created them. Artists all over the city are hard at work as we speak, building inventory for the event; with so much artwork to choose from, you are sure to find something to fit both your style and your budget.

My studio, #527, located at 122 Western Avenue will be open both days from 11-5pm. I will be selling original watercolors & prints, as well as one-of-a-kind leather armor, jewelry, & accessories. I have a number of great halloween items in stock, as well as several pieces designed specifically for the renaissance fair season! Complete your cosplay, steampunk, or renaissance costume with a themed necklace or decorated arm bracer. My studio is located at circle #1 on the map below. You can click on the map to zoom in.

To view more of my work, please visit http://shaunart.net, and to learn more about the Lowell Open Studios event (what artists will be there, and where to go to see live demonstrations), please visit lowellopenstudios.org.

Hope to see you there!

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