Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Make For Good Campaign 2016

So happy to be a part of the Make For Good campaign at Etsy!

The Make For Good project is powered by Etsy sellers from Australia and New Zealand in support of Plan International’s Because I Am A Girl campaign. 20% of the sale price of marked items will be donated to Plan’s Because I Am A Girl Campaign. All funds raised will go towards supporting projects that help make a difference in the lives of girls held back by poverty and gender inequality. To learn more about this project go to etsy.me/makeforgood.

If you would like to help, please go to my etsy shop kazartgallery and purchase one of these prints:

makeforgood Rainbow art prints are for sale at kazartgallery
This artwork by me was inspired by my own animal loving, world changing daughters... xo

Another artwork created by me for this amazing project x
To purchase an art print go to my etsy shop kazartgallery

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Phoebe – The Lull

It had been a while and Phoebe had been very patient but her head was hurting and Monday morning was always such a disappointment. Another week and still she hadn't seemed to have gotten anywhere. Enthusiasm, nil... energy, zilch... she sat and tried to pick herself up. Was this just a sugar burn out? Did she eat too many jelly beans yesterday? Maybe listening to The Cure really loud would help... usually it did. Or maybe this was just a lull, an unscheduled stop in her journey. Anyway, Phoebe decided to kick back, take a moment, and wait for something to happen... x

Phoebe – The Lull – as usual, this illo started with a pencil sketch which was scanned onto the Mac and redrawn in Adobe Illustrator. Phoebe and the stop sign were coloured in Illustrator as well. Then in Photoshop, I added the hand-painted background texture (which is actually a scan of one of my painted canvasses) and the Kazart swirl. The grass was painted in Photoshop, as well as the jelly beans, etc. 
This illustration took about 5 to 6 hours to create. There were so many layers involved! Also I was a bit rusty having not done a Phoebe illo in a while but it was sooo enjoyable. A challenge as usual as I started out with a rough sketch and a scribbled story and then slowly it evolved as I re-sketched and started to put it together. I'm never really sure how it is going to end up but I've learned to just trust the creative process and let Phoebe steer. Seriously, if I try and take control it just ends up in a car crash... x

PS. this Phoebe illo is dedicated to her most loyal fan, Michelle, who has never given up on her in spite of Phoebe's absence from the universe for a while... thanks for your patience & encouraging comments, Michelle. xo

Thursday, 1 September 2016

How does a chook tip toe?

Took a bit of research and a lot of imagination but eventually I came to the conclusion that chickens don't actually tip toe in real life... that's where the imagination came in. I kept imagining cartoon characters tip toeing along to the tinkle sound of a piano - you know the sound. Anyway today I tackled the colour illo for Betty tip toeing past a... you'll have to get the book when it comes out to find out!? Here she is... x
Betty the chicken, tip toeing – hand sketched using very light lead pencil and then coloured with Derwent colour pencils. The crest and floppy bits around her face are actually coloured with a pastel pencil as the texture looked better. Have to admit that she doesn't come across as sneeky as I was hoping – maybe once the rest of the illo is done it will make sense. Or we could just add sound effects... hmmm.
Colour illo & original pencil rough – took a while to get those legs right – hope she at least looks like she's trying to  tip toe?? Ha!
Hope to post the next colour illo for the children's book I'm illustrating, Betty the Homing Hen, over the next few days. Til then... x

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Time to start the Chook Book...

According to my Collins Pocket Dictionary, the word 'procrastinate' means 'to put off, delay'. I thought the meaning would be much more dire than that – more like 'to sit on a project for years due to lack of confidence in one's ability to actually start and or finish it and have it constantly niggling at your brain until it sends you completely insane!' Or is that just me...

Anyway, today I started (restarted?) a project that has been sitting in my pile of stuff to do for 5 years. EEK!! I actually did start it way back then but it came to a halt when I started a full-time job 4 years ago. My, how time flies?! Lets just call that 4 year span 'the creative coma' which sucked up all my spare time, energy and life leaving me zapped like a tired uncreative drone stuck in auto-pilot. Too severe? Maybe. BUT now I am unemployed, extremely happy, unstressed and drawing again, so able to finally get back to the project. Hardest part was getting to the drawing table, getting my head back into it and picking up the pencil. Once I started though, it felt sooo amazing!! Why had it taken me so long?! It wasn't as hard or as daunting as I had over-imagined it to be... it was actually do-able. Lets blame it on procrastination.

What is the project?
Illustrating a childrens book called 'Betty the Homing Hen' written by an extremely good friend of mine, Karen Wynn-Jones. Four years ago, I had actually gotten as far as pencil roughs and page layouts so all I really needed to do now was get started on the colour illustrations. I had already decided to use colour pencil and pastels so finally, today, I finished the main character illustration. The relief I felt was undescribable!
Here she is... x
Betty – colour pencil illustration of the main character of upcoming childrens book, Betty the Homing Hen
written by Karen Wynn-Jones and currecntly being illustrated by me.
The final illo and the original pencil rough of Betty.

As I do the illos I will post them, so you can keep up to date with the progress of the book. I'm so excited to finally be doing this... x

A Very Strange Cat

I have a pile of small painted canvases in my studio that I painted a while back to use as backgrounds for my Phoebe illos. I've been wondering what to do with them – I decided to put them to good use and paint silly cats on them to sell on Etsy or at the markets. So today I painted a cat. Not a realistic painting of a cat or a portrait, but just a silly character of a cat. Actually this one is quite mean and grumpy but silly none the less...
Strange Cat on Canvas – acrylic paint on a small canvas (9.5 x 11.5 in)

Not sure if I like this cat but the fur was fun and at least it got me started AND I actually finished it. But should I even be painting? It didn't feel right – maybe it was too small? I think it made me realise that I should be drawing more and painting less. I love painting expressively with colour but I struggle with the paintbrush when it comes to painting an actual subject – I just want to ditch the paintbrush for a pencil or pastel or charcoal... mmm charcoal. Actually, the more I think about it, its because the canvas was so small and I found it really confining working on such a small scale.

What have I learnt today? Stick to what you love – which in my case is drawing, NOT painting. Saying that, I do enjoy painting but mostly BIG expressive colourful painting on HUGE canvases. Fiddly little paint brushes are just not for me... x

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Pastel Cat Portrait

Cat Portrait in Pastel – this one was sketched with pastels using a photo as reference. The photo was actually quite low res and pixelly which suited the soft style :)

Cats have the most amazing stares. There is something quite 'knowing' about their eyes as if they are really looking down at us. This cat has that look. Even sketched in pastel without much detail, the eyes draw you in. If I can capture the eyes in every portrait I draw, then surely I can capture the soul of the subject? Hmmm... Not as easy as it sounds when drawing from a photograph ;)

Portrait Gift Pack available at my Etsy shop, kazartgallery.
If you're looking for a unique gift for someone special, I do Pet Portraits in either colour pencil or pastel. Each portrait comes with a matching greeting card and gift tag. Frame is available by request for an extra cost. Go to kazartgallery at Etsy to see more.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

My Happy Place

My happy place

Today I finally went back in to my old job to collect my stuff that had been sitting there for 4 months since I was made redundant. Yep, i know that's a long time but stuff happens and time flies. Today was time for closure... as in I needed to go back and physically say goodbye, grab my stuff and walk out the door, closing it behind me. Done. Now I can get on with my life...

Which brings me to the next door... well, its actually an old door that I haven't been through for a while but one I have revisited many times throughout my life. This time I'm leaving it open because its where I'm meant to be, who i am and what I'm meant to be doing with my life. It is and always has been my happy place. Its where I can be me the artist, draw, sketch, paint and create stuff. It has been calling out to me for years - pulling at my heart - tearing my soul - getting stronger and louder and harder to ignore.

So here I am with no real job but happy - and drawing again. I actually have time to draw. I'm not rushing around like a crazy woman trying to work full-time and be super mum (not that I ever was or will be...).

I had forgotten how much I loved drawing!
A couple of my latest fave face sketches
So now I will draw... and see where that leads me. xo