Diane Young ~ Artist ~ Printmaker

Every Picture tells a story.


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#Duck #Painting

Simple Painting for Pleasure

Ok so this a mallard duck.  The colours were irresistible. What more can I say.

Oh and that funny mustard colour water, well that was how actually was in real life :/

Painting of a mallard duck by artist Diane Young Manic Illustrations Stroud


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Scotland

I spent most of a week recently on holiday in the Trossachs in Scotland.  Lucky enough not to be rained on, nor bitten by midges (timed it just right)  and well able to enjoy the lush countryside, the watery brooks, lochs and dam, and also the broad and mighty mountainsides from the steam ship The Walter Scott on Loch Katrine.  Loving the natural world here, seeing horned Highland Cows, watching scatty curly horned sheep and a rather domineering greater spotted woodpecker, and desperately trying to spot a golden eagle (like I was ever going to LOL).  One highlight for us was a squirrel hide, set up so that visitors to the David Marshall Lodge (a natural park) could witness the antics of the pesky red squirrel, and even four at once at one time!

Ancient Stone Circle near Keswick Lake District surrounded by a ring of mountains

Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District

Red Squirrel in Scotland eating nuts by artist Diane Young

Red Squirrels in Scotland

Mountains and Loch Katrine photo by Diane Young Artist at stroud

Loch Katrine in the Trossachs

Crow in the Car Park reference for art by Diane Young artist

Service Station Crow

Only I could be found taking multiple pictures by the car of a ragged crow at a service station car park for more art reference!

So the perfect location to stay as we did is The Ridings at Brig O Turk, which is in the middle of everything you need whilst in the middle of the lush countryside, with the Ben Venue mountain as a backdrop.  Beautiful walks, the local pub (The Byre) and the Brig O Turk Cafe with legendary cream cakes!


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Time with the Duck in a Jug

Time to make Artwork

You hear of artists taking months or even year or years to paint a  picture.  Obviously they are not painting at it all the time, just as a writer may not be physically writing a novel over that sort of period either.  I have just finished the painting below, but alongside this one I have four other paintings on the go at the moment.  One of these has taken four months or more since its inception before Christmas.  It is now loitering on a table in my studio sometimes becoming buried in paper and sketches, resurfacing to remind me that it still exists and that I need to pursue the finishing touches.  Initially the painting had a lot of momentum, and I have recognised that areas that go slow or even grind to a halt are where there are areas where I was not thorough in my pre-planning.  It is not the painting but the decision making that can take time.  As an artist I might hope that I will find resolve with time almost as if the painting might just fix itself, but  ultimately the decision may have to be forced.

The Duck In a Jug Painting

The Duck In The Jug below was kind of easy.  I had produced an ACEO some time ago along these lines and so I already knew what I was going to do but then I wanted to do a much bigger painting which was a bit more sophisticated and to throw in  the tulips as an extra feature.

And so now I need to get back to some decision making…

Duck in the Jug with Fox Painting by Artist Diane Young Stroud Manic Illustrations


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From Idea to #Painting.

Sometimes I am asked where I get reference for my images.  So here is how I get from an idea to a painting.

The initial idea is scribbled in my sketchbook.  Usually my ideas arrive when I am not in my studio, it is most easy when my mind is wandering free. And hopefully my sketchbook is to hand.   At this point it is terribly unrefined.  Some of the sketches look like I cannot draw at all.

Sketch plan for painting Diane Young Sketch Book

The Idea

I then look for available references to get me to what I imagine that I wish to create.  In this case it is a boy sleeping with wolves.  I practice lots of sketches of wolves and sleeping children to get to know the shapes involved using the internet, books and my own photos if I have some.

Referencing and Practice:

Wolf Sketches by artist Diane YoungSketches for Painting of Boy with wolves by artist Diane YoungSketches of Wolves by artist Diane YoungSketch book drawings by artist Diane Young of Manic Illustrations STroud

I then use my practice sketches to make a convincing drawing of my original idea.   It is important to observe copyright on other people’s images.  They are used for practice and allow me to become familiar with the shapes.

My personal style then contributes to the form creating a painting which is truly unique. Finally others can see a hard copy of a snippet of my imagination.  The paper trail you see here is useful to me as no sooner has the process been completed without this trail in a short period of time I would not remember how the image formed in the first place!

Sketches of wolves by Diane Young ARtist

You may notice that I created the image and the background separately at first.

Sketch of Mowgli and Wolves by artist Diane Young of Manic Illustrations Stroud

This painting is now nearly completed.  My previous post shows my painting as of yesterday. Once the finishing touches have been made, I will scan it and post it into my Gallery page.

I often get ideas which would be impossible in real life, trying to make the idea look real is good fun.  If you put a lion on top of an elephant, or you balance 3 magpies on top of one another, it has to be believable.  Creating convincing images that are not like real life and making viewers believe the unbelievable is the greatest and most exciting challenge of all.

“Balancing Act” Prints Available.

Tower of animals elephant, lion, bear, flamingo, Painting by artist Diane Young

 

 

 


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Commission for Ireland

It was lovely to receive an email from a customer who has received their commission by post today in Ireland.

“The painting has arrived and I am over the moon with it. So pleased. Thank you very much for painting such a great representation of Morgan and the circumstances of his arrival into our lives. You have captured the magic of the evening so well.”

The image has a number of ingredients requested by the client and ultimately the design was agreed upon before starting the painting stage.  A nice thing about this commission was there was no deadline.  This allowed me to think about the best composition using all the things that needed to be in the picture.  The scene was referenced using supplied photographs of the castle, grounds and Morgan himself. This was not a straight forward painting from a photograph perhaps as in a pet portrait, but more a design about an event which led to this dog, an English Pointer called Morgan having a much happier life.

Commission of an English Pointer painting with gold leaf by artist Diane Young of Manic Illustrations Stroud


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Commission

This weekend my focus is on painting a commission.  I am concentrating on this whilst dealing with an ear worm, an expression which does make me squirm somewhat.  I have been listening to the line about not messing with Major Tom from Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes track for several days now.  The painting is going well despite the interference! To my glee there is in fact a true story to this commission about a dog arriving at a castle one night at Christmas.

Below is cropped section of a painting which I did some years ago when I was putting together a children’s picture book idea.  I dug it out of my folder as like my current commission it is a night time scene.  This image was for a story about a jealous kingfisher who steals a peacock’s tail feathers whilst the peacock is sleeping.

I love storytelling whilst painting, whether it be a fully formed story or presenting narrative for possibilities that the imagination can cast from before or after the moment in the painting itself.  Here is a visual excerpt from the Tiny Tale Of Kingfisher.

Childrens books painting by artist Diane Young


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More Lost Things – The Stopwatch

Just a few tiny details to add and my Barn Owl will be completed.

This is another image for my series of Lost Things (along with the Lost Pearl and the Golden Bell) and a continuing theme of gold leaf moons. The captivating Barn Owl.  Both feared and venerated throughout history and a variety of cultures the owl has been associated with both evil and wisdom.  Thankfully superstitions such as its association with witches have died away and we can count ourselves lucky if we manage to enjoy a glimpse of this fascinating night time hunter.

Read more about my story for this image here.

Painting of a barn owl by artist Diane Young of Manic Illustrations