Diane Young

Artist ~ Printmaker ~ Painter ~Every Picture tells a story ~ Artwork ©Diane Young

Sleeping Fox painting by Diane Young available as a Commission Me This Design


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Foxy Reference for a #Collagraph Print

How does your creativity come to you? There are so many different ways and means for us to form our new ideas. If only (sigh) we could produce utterly original work from referring only to the inside one’s head this is in reality impossible. ldeas cannot possibly arrive from nothing can they? Even if you suddenly have this visual composition roaming in your head based on mathematics or a fantasy style painting inspired by a walk in the woods last week, or an abstract work depicting the feeling of being by the sea since your beach holiday these refer to information already stored which has been absorbed from the world outside of you. And of course we are also informed by seeing other artists’ work; whether that art is produced by your friend or your art group or an Old Master of times gone; this could be incidental or deliberate. It is wasted energy trying to avoid what has been seen or done already!

I usually get a pretty fixed idea of how I want something to look and try to find reference for this from all manner of things. I have stores of actual photos, reference books, lots of my own photos of nature despite how rubbish they might be, snaps from TV programmes, and holiday pics on my PC and also digital storage of old drawings and my paintings. Of course the internet is really useful in figuring out the form of say animals in action, or the way the moon reflects on water, plus there are photographers who allow direct referencing to their work too on Facebook, useful obviously if you really have not seen an alligator up close or such the like.

Sometimes I forget about looking at my own work, most of which will not have been used for final work and even if it has I can use bits of it again.

I am in the process of creating a collagraph plate and looking at fox references at the moment. I want one loping along, with a purposeful gait. I had been looking around on the internet to translate my imagining into some sort of reality but (yet again) could not find the exact form I was looking for. After procrastinating (yet again!) I found a photo taken a long while ago of a fox by chance in a lane local to my house. Unfortunately he was looking back so his head is effectively missing.

Thanks to the search documents facility bringing up everything with “fox” in on my PC I could then see that one of my finished paintings could be useful for the fox head. The Fox and The Grapes below is an original painting still and it is for sale.

The painting is 29 x 33 cm priced at £150. If you are interested in the painting please email me here diane@dianeyoungartist.com or message me here on facebook .

The Fox and The Grapes – 29cm x 33cm- For Sale £150

Fortunately I have photoshop so a quick flip and some mucking about with the shapes I have pulled them together and have a perfect reference point to move forward to the next stage of putting my next Collagraph print together. Ta da!

Foxy reference ready for incorporating in my next piece of work!

More of my foxes FOR SALE here –

THE DUCK AND THE JUG FOR SALE £75

The Duck and The Jug – Total size with mount 40cm x 30cm- FOR SALE £75 + P&P

THE FOX AND THE GOLDEN BELL FOR SALE £150

Fox and The Golden Bell – 31 x 38 cm – FOR SALE £150

If you are interested in my work please email me here diane@dianeyoungartist.com or message me here on facebook .


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Art, Painting and Unfinished Business

Painting, when to stop….

It happens so often, that artists actually stop working on a painting sometime after the vital moment when they should have stopped.   Spotting the optimum time to stop working on a piece is just so difficult as unless you could see into the future the you cannot anticipate whether your next few painting decisions will better or possibly worsen the painting’s outcome.  For this reason a good many paintings are over-worked and without a lot of experience this optimum moment can pass you by before you know it.

Painting of a wolf by Artist Diane YoungThis is a painting I have been working on today. It takes some concentration to be disciplined in the craft and it is best to work when feeling energised.  Once an artist tires and concentration waivers then sloppy decisions and actions are made leading to frustration and disappointment in the outcome.

I liken this process to swimming.  Whilst striving to get one’s swimming stroke right you need concentration, some discipline and energy.  Once the energy is depleted you fall back on old sloppy habits, inefficiency and then more tiredness is the outcome.   My painting and my swimming can go the same way.   This painting of a wolf is unfinished in my opinion.  It is just a matter of how far past the optimum point I persist…..


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Inspiration – Daily Paintings in Watercolour.

I cannot remember how I stumbled upon this blog but this artist’s sketchbook paintings are wonderful, spontaneous, light and full of character.  Often you come across such paintings but less often you come across such consistency of skill.

watercolour painting by Shari Blaukopf

Shari Blaukopf watercolour painting

The artist is Shari Blaukopf who is based in  Canada and is  a “ graphic designer and teacher who spends too much time working on the computer and not enough time drawing and painting”.

A fantastic source of inspiration for getting art and sketching into your daily lives.

Follow her Blog here :  Shari Blaukopf Blog.


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Creativity for New ACEO paintings in the New Year

My creativity shut up shop for the Christmas period.  I could sense my focus slipping as extra festive activities took hold.   Rather than wrestling Christmas photo of Toy Santabetween the two I gave myself a break.  I let myself off the hook.

Creativity is often seen as an easy kind of self indulgent luxury.  Those that feel they have not been bestowed any creative talent imagine the enjoyment and loveliness of making pictures.   Perhaps it does come easily to some, but I would imagine that like me plenty of artists procrastinate, heading off down the  path of least resistance, that is any other activity except creativity.

Even washing the car has an easily perceived outcome…you wash it, it looks clean.  With shopping, you shop and hey presto you have food you can cook with.  What about a bit of decorating? Assuming you buy the right paint, paint it on in a sensible fashion, the room looks completely renewed.  Having done all these things before there is no real danger of me straying into unknown territory and making a complete hash of this lot.

As for creating art, well only hundreds of decisions have to be made as you progress, tiny but important ones, the outcome of which make or break the painting.  One of the hardest decisions is eliminating your options, what should one do next?   And when things are not going right do you keep on with it or bin it?

Sketches for ACEO paintings by artist Diane Young

So enter creativity as a discipline.  I gave myself a Chrismas break,  now I have to reintroduce my creativity.  Like a daily supplement.  It needs to be rated as essential, like fruit, or vitamins to let it grow, grow, grow.

Today being the first day on my renewed creative path I have gathered some ideas and started on something new.   There are polar bears, hares, wolves and owls, cats and mice.  Harvey the Aardvark is still hibernating, but only for a short while, he will be back soon.

Wishing anyone taking the time to read this a very Happy New Year for 2014.  And for anyone wanting to be creative and not quite getting around to it,  do a little bit each day and make it essential,  just like your daily fruit and veg.


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Painting In Progress

Lazy Painter’s guide recording Work in Progress

It really depends what medium you work in but even drawings can take on quite a transformation from the outset of the original idea.  Artists may use different tools to progress from the first sketch to the finished drawing or painting.

Drawing tools such as tracing or layout paper, light boxes and/or photo shop manipulation enables the good bits of a drawing to be retained easily whilst the areas in need of change more easily manipulated. With these tools there is a trail of changes which could be recorded digitally or glued in a sketch book to inform the artist at a later date how the work evolved. This sort of recording comes easily.

Painting images showing work in progress

For painting work-in-progress the best tool for recording is a camera. How often I have been too lazy to put down my brush and halt for a few minutes to get the camera and quickly take a picture.

It is impossible to remember the phases of a painting’s evolution and in addition artists repeatedly overshoot the optimum moment for the painting to be finished.

Recording the painting at different stages enables an artist to sit back at a later time and review how each stage of the painting has progressed and make objective decisions for making further paintings.

Don’t overshoot the optimum moment to put the brush down, you know that old adage Less Is More.  It just takes a moment to take a snap, and on review will reap benefits for your next masterpiece!


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Diane Young – Painting Edges

Manic Illustrations – Lazy Painter’s guide.

Anything from not changing the brush to not changing the water,  not being lazy means making less mistakes and mess and is more time effective in the long run.  I could have done with a list being given to me many years and many mistakes ago.

The Lazy Painter from Manic Illustrations says:  don’t be lazy – turn the paper around for best results when painting up to an edge!

Pictures showing how to use a paintbrush up to the edge of a drawing.

When you are painting up to an edge place your paper so that your brush is inside the edge and your brush point is against the edge as in Bunny 1 and Bunny 3 .  So many times I have been too lazy to turn the paper round and would reach over the edge as in Bunny 2.   Bunny 3 is happy to be upside down as it is easy to paint accurately this way.  This is for a right handed person,  for a left hander just flip the images horizontally.