The Guest Artist section is a place for artists to talk about their work, techniques and materials. I am sure that one artist explaining how they solved a problem will help other artists and I hope that a community evolves where artists will assist each other with their artistic dilemmas, share ideas and technical information as well as make connections and give each other friendly support.
To join the conversation please add your comment below. It will be great to have some interaction!
The fifth artist to share her art with us is Wendy Child who lives in Bristol, UK. Thanks Wendy!
JA: Please tell us a little about yourself.
WC: I have always loved drawing and painting but it’s only in the last 6 or 7 years that I’ve been painting seriously. I am largely self-taught but I have the opportunity to attend workshops with some great teachers from all over the world. I recently made the decision to give up my career in IT and paint full time and am already getting lots of interest in my artwork and there are a number of exhibitions in the pipeline both here in the UK and abroad. I’m passionate about art and I feel very lucky that I can make a living doing something that I really love.
JA: What materials and techniques did you use in making the art work you are showing here?
WC: I am using Clairefontaine Pastelmat card and Unison soft pastels for this piece. I love Unison pastels they are perfect for the type of work I do and, although they are extremely high quality, they’re relatively inexpensive compared to some other handmade brands. I usually work on Fisher 400 pastel paper but I’ve just bought the Pastelmat card to try out and I am very impressed with it so far. I love the smooth soft texture and was surprised at how well it held the layers of pastel, without the need for fixing.
JA: What challenges (if any) did you face in making this work and can you give other artists any tips for solving similar problems?
WC: After having completed most of the face I realised that the mouth and chin were not positioned correctly. So, I scraped off the pastel using a razor blade which takes off the pastel without smudging, leaving just an impression of the original drawing in place. I found this extremely easy to do with the pastelmat card. It is always a good idea to make corrections to your work as soon as you notice the mistake, never be too ‘precious’ about the work you have done and be prepared to start again.
Click on images to see a larger view.
JA: Please tell us something about the idea behind the work you are showing here.
WC: This is a portrait of my daughter who was attending a Duke of Edinburgh award camping trip. She does like to get into the spirit of things and was dressed in army combats.
This piece is very much about contrast. It was the contrast of the dark sunglasses with the blonde hair and fair skin that caught my attention. I was also intrigued by contrast between the feminine aspect and the combat clothing.
JA: How does this work relate to your artistic practice, how you approach art over-all?
WC: I love to paint anything and everything and enjoy working in different media. I’m a member of the Pastel Guild of Europe, but I do also work in oils, acrylics and watercolour. I don’t want to get into a rut with any particular style and I am constantly learning new techniques and experimenting with new ideas.
JA: Do you have any art advice you would like to share?
WC: If you do find that you’re struggling and your confidence is low, keep painting, your mistakes are the building blocks for perfection.
JA: What is your favourite art material?
WC: That’s a tough one, I have many favourites. At the moment Pastelmat card and Unison for pastels.
Some other examples of my work:
JA: Any links to your website or contact information you would like to provide:
WC: If you wish to commission a portrait or other artwork you will find contact information and an online portfolio here: http://www.xiosys.com
And for a chance to win one of my paintings, join me on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WendyChildArtist