Wednesday 26 November 2008

New Chantilly Belles cartoon

As The Chantilly Belles are performing our new act this weekend I thought I'd do a new cartoon for us. Our new act is called, 'Never Outfox the Fox' and involves a naughty thieving fox and a blustering egotistical hunter.
I began by drawing out a rough sketch of how I'd like the new cartoon to look based on some of our moves from the act.

I then drew out each character seperately and outlined them in ink.

However since drawing this out I've changed my fox's costume a bit and now have a black undone bow tie instead of what was going to be a red cravat. I had to unpick all the sparkles I'd carefully stitched onto the cravat and re-sew them onto the bow tie. The costume now looks more like this;

I then scanned both pictures into Photoshop and layered them together to form the desired cartoon.

It was then just a case of filling the line drawings with colour and choosing a background as you can see above!
If anyone is going to The Silk Stocking in Birmingham this Saturday they'll get to see this fun new act in the flesh Hope you can make it!

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Driving driving driving to Sunderland

There's been a bit of a lapse in my posts for a week and a half, basically because I've been here there and everywhere!
Firstly, I've been rehearsing for The Chantilly Belles next gig in Birmingham this coming Saturday.

Myself and Rene Le Rouge have been tweaking our new act as this will only be it's second outing in front of an audience!
I've also been altering my costume, and been sewing (not easy for me) tiny sparkles and new buckles where needed. We're rehearsing again tomorrow morning and I'm looking forward to it, as I always do. There's a lot to be said for prancning about and falling over in fits of laughter.

Today I'm off to Sunderland to deliver some of my paintings for the final exhibition of my art residency. To find out more about this check out my Myspace blog where I've written a detailed account of how the project has progressed.
To update you briefly; I have been directing an art project in the Sunniside area of Sunderland which is undergoing a regeneration. The project is designed to draw the public's attention to the area. I used burlesque as our main tool of communication and working with Art-Wave and local artists and University students we have created burlesque characters based on Sunniside's 1861 census, then posed as the characters in their ogininal abodes. It's been really fun and stressful! I'll be happy to see what everything looks like in the private view along with a selection of my paintings. More info to follow!

Saturday 15 November 2008

Christina's new look?

It's one of my guilty pleasures to watch the ever changing faces and re-invention of female pop stars. So does anyone else think Christina Aguilera's new look is a bit of a let down?

After seeing her cheesecake it up as a Fifties sailor, an Andrew's Sisters style trio and an army pin-up for Candyman, I was looking forward to finding out what her new look would be for her new single.
So I was disappointed to see her in a Sixties go go dress with all the trimmings in her video 'Keeps Getting Better'.

It's not that she doesn't look good, it just seems a bit lazy and predictable plundering from one decade to the next especially when she claimed to have planned every move of her career for the next ten years! I can't help wondering if her next grand plan will involve a Seventies style Foxy Brown outfit with big gold earrings and hot pants.
I find this kind of packaging of female beauty fascinating and Christina is one of the best at giving us a show for our money, I just felt a bit short changed this time.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

New painting update

The new painting for the series 'My baby's Got a Secret' is coming along well but I have to admit to being thrown on more than one occasion by the amount of different muscles and bones that are in the human back!

Day 2

Day 3

Since starting this picture I have looked up sections about the back from Gray's Anatomy to try and make some sense of it. I reckon I need to get some more life drawing done as nothing beats studying the real thing. I still have to work on the right arm the lower back and smooth out some of the over defined areas. This is where I'm now up to, I'm quite pleased with it and plan to get it finished for a small show to be held at Islington Mill in Feburary next year

Day 7

The show is to be a showcase of 2D artists housed at the Mill and should be good fun, so far there are photographers, painters, and projection artists involved. I'll keep you posted as more info becomes available.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Dr Sketchy's last week

I got two nice suprises when I opened my inbox today. I got sent this link from BBC Stoke and Staffordshire about the Scarlet Fever portrait I did being unveiled at Stoke on Trent Burlesque last month.

I also got an email about the Dr Sketchy event held last week. It's a long story but it began with The Lowry holding a Nu-Burlesque weekend last week. I was asked if I would show some work and jumped at the oppertunity. I exhibited a selection of my paintings in The Quays bar and foyer. If that wasn't enough I also got asked if I could model for an impromptu Dr Sketchy being held in the same venue for the same event!

So me and Rene Le Rouge my burlesque partner from our double act The Chantilly Belles spent that Sunday afternoon posing and I got some of the photos today! Thanks to Adam from Air Photography, you can see more of his work at his website

The zombie pose!

A winner for the adjective and verb pose competition

Having a break and joining in

Rene is a cute little goat

This was an especially fun afternoon as it combined two of my favourite things; performance and art. it was really interesting to see what people had come up with after standing there watching them draw us. I'd definately do it again!

Monday 10 November 2008

Behind the scenes of a burlesque and pin-up artist

I decided a while ago how good it would be to show the process and workings behind my paintings and other art work, and have finally set up this new blog!
My aim is that this piece of web space will act almost like a sketchbook showing where my ideas have come from, what has inspired me, where I've visited and what I've been doing as an artist who specialises in burlesque and pin up.

So without furthur ado, let me show you my most recent project:

I've wanted to experiment with a gold leaf effect for a long time now and my newest painting has allowed me to use it as a sumptuous backdrop to a new sultry image.

I recently did a photoshoot for a commission with a friend of mine who often models for me. The client wanted a rather abstract painting of a section of naked back. But during the shoot I saw the potential of looking further into the idea of a provocative image exploring the dynamics of hiding and revealing.
My ongoing series, My Baby's Got a Secret seemed like a great platform for this idea as each painting gives a glimpse at a hidden story which challenges the viewer to make their own judgement as to what is going on .
A woman's naked back can be one of the sexiest views of her body, for although she is naked she reveals nothing but promises much. I wanted to add a further hint of hidden agenda by having my model wear a ribbon tied around her neck.

I began by outlining the image on to a small canvas, small because I want this painting to be very intimate and sexy rather than overwhelming.

Then after masking around the image I began to add 'Size' a special adhesive for leaf metal. I used a brand called Easy Metal which can be bought in most art and craft suppliers. I find Fred Aldous to be really good for supplying things like this..

I heard that size used to be called 'rabbit size' as it was made from rabbits, but as far as I know this is no longer the case, at least I hope not.
The size takes 15 minutes to get tacky and is then ready for the leaf metal to be placed over. Again I used leaf from the Easy Metal range.

It's harder than it seems. I found the best trick was to let the leaf float onto the surface and then pat it into place with a padded up towel. I always overlaped each piece so that there will be no gaps and little evidence of joins.

It takes about two hours to set properly then using a soft brush I pressed the leaf into the canvas with circular motions. the excess leaf breaks away and I was left with gold in all the right places. The only problem was I got tiny pieces of gold confettii alll over my studio.
I then sealed the leaf with shellac, again from the same range. I was a bit unnerved as the shellac goes very blotchy before it dries and turns the gold into a murky mustard colour.

Thankfully after a while the whole surface settles and I was left with a uniform lushious gold. I then began to block in the colour and the painting was on it's way!