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New Sci-fi / Steampunk Series

In early 2018, I started working on a new Sci-Fi / Steampunk series. This series was something I wanted to paint for a long time. The combination of old and new technology blended with gears, pipes, old factories and blast furnaces allowed me to experiment with colour and high contrast layouts. The first original in the series is called CoreWorld 2175 was a lot of fun to paint.

This new painting started with months of research on Pinterest looking for old buildings and factories as well as gears and rusty imagery. I gather about 8-12 images in Adobe Photoshop and manipulated them on various layers. From there I exported them and had low-resolution prints made on canvas. The canvas print was mounted on stretcher bars by local framer, Picture It Framing in Dawson Creek.

Once framed, I then started the painting process with acrylics and outlined with India ink. I started with light washes of colour, allowed them to dry and then started the background colours in oranges, rusts and around 32 different mixed shades. Pipes and other mechanical components were painted. This stage took 2-3 days. The following stages included painting shadows, highlights and more washes of colour.

The washes of colour are remarkable as they are microscopically thin but when layered allow you to get a translucent effect with the light bouncing off the canvas. Its quite impressive in the brighter light!

I then went over the dark blacks with India ink and also added a bunch of detailed lines and cracks in the pipe. The final effect was to thin out watery layers of yellows and oranges and washing the entire painting to simulate the warmer tones in the mental.

New paintings coming in the Sci-fi Series

Pictured below are paintings in this series (#2 thru #4). These are the black and white images I created prior to adding the colouring and India ink detailing. This is the first time these images have been shared publicly. These paintings will be completed in end of May and early June and will be for sale. Enjoy!


“Level 81 – Atreides Mine”

“Early Stage Cito-plasmic Generator”

“Obsidian Dreams”

Insider Tips on Painting

Hi there

Today I wanted to share some random tips and techniques that I use to come up with painting ideas and background resource information. Some of these I have figured out through experimentation while others I have found online, watching videos. Given there are literally millions of tips, I wanted to share a variety but in todays post, focus on how I start a painting. I hope you like what you read!

Firstly, about 50-60% of all my paintings come from ideas in my head or oddly enough, in dreams I have. Yes, I will research certain paintings and techniques, but alot of what I do comes from the old “noodle” upstairs.

When I come up with an idea, I will usually sketch it out on two things:

  • A piece of paper or in an idea book ( bound book for painting ideas – legal size)
  • Sketched out on my iPad. (The benefit with the ipad is the fact I can also record colours in my mind)

I also use a number of other tools to help me assemble colours, design layouts, resource images (example: to paint realistic bark). Some tools I use ALOT are:

  • Google Images – I will do a search for “cedar bark” in Google and then I will click on “images” tab to see what they have. From these photos I will look at colour palettes, and textures and patterns specific to that tree.
  • Pinterest – I have learned SO MUCH from participating in Pinterest and collecting “pins” of images. In fact I started researching recently and amassed hundreds of pictures of images for pirate ships. I use it to determine colours, 1800’s clothing styles and even perspective on ships.
  • Adobe Photoshop – I use this program hundreds of ways. I analyze images for layout, design, perspective and point of view. I also will take 4-5 different images and collage them (in layers) to create a picture theme. This helps me keep things in scale. I also use Photoshop for developing unique angles for images / paintings. I can paint the direction that the light is falling and then get a sense of what the colours will be in shadow. I plan to devote alot of future posts to Adobe Photoshop as I can teach people alot of techniques. I have used Photoshop for over 20 years!
  • Old online catalogs of Old Masters Paintings
  • American Artist, International Artist Magazines

Before I go any further, I want to mention that I will be creating two downloadable books for artists that want to use PINTEREST and ADOBE PHOTOSHOP for improving their artwork and creativity. Watch this blog for an announcement soon.

Another great tool I use for keeping organized is BOARDS (aka FOLDERS) in Pinterest ( so I can keep all the Bonsai pictures with other bonsai plant images. I even have boards for PALETTES I like.

My other MUST HAVE program for my business, client info and painting career is EVERNOTE. This program allows you to gather articles, pictures, recordings, video, web articles, photos and hundreds of other bits of information. I have it on my iPhone, iPad, computer and more. If I share some information with my camera on my phone, it syncs with all my systems. Its easy to use and I gather information for many different things. As a painter, I use it for recording ideas, prices on my paintings (and sizes), ownership of paintings, schedule for shows and much more!

One cool APP that I use on my iPhone is Value Viewer. I can take pictures and view them in Black / White or shades of grey in order to establish contrast and centres of interest. Another app I use is POCKET. I use it to store photos and video.

I could go on but thought this would be a good start! Let me know if you have any questions and I can answer in a future email.

Thanks, Gordon

ps. I spend about 3-5 hrs a day painting, as I am currently under employed. When the economy picks up I will be busier. But I want to stay painting and develop my business. That means selling more work, start selling prints, and doing more training of techniques and sharing of tips. I would like to be able to show people how they can learn 10-20% of learning to paint and generate some great work at home! Stay in touch.

Recent Painting Efforts

Updates

Today I wanted to touch base and post some updates on current paintings and some misc comments on marketing. Hopefully there will be some interest stuff that will appeal to my clients, friends and others who follow my work.

This past week or two, I purchased some 11 x 14 canvas boards to paint on. Over the past months I have created a number of paintings on larger canvases. This was based on some feedback from followers who indicated they wanted larger canvases for their new homes. So of course, I created the larger pieces and then some feedback came in that I should paint smaller! LOL! So I am going to paint a few at the 11 x 14 size.

The current painting I am working on is an acrylic of a fence garden scene with two rows of birdhouses. Some are traditional (birdhouses) while others are more whimsical. The idea is based on the concept of lots of birds living in a neighbourhood. Its going to half a nice weathered fence with lots of colourful houses. I am excited as I have painted bird houses before and always had no trouble selling them. I will post some pictures very soon.

The birdhouse image here is just a picture from Google. My paintings are different.

I wanted to mention that I recently joined INSTRAGRAM. Its been amazing so far and I have garnered alot of interest and followers in a short timeframe. If you are on Instagram, please make contact with me.

Displayed Paintings

I currently have 2 paintings on display at Hug A Mug on 102 ave in Dawson Creek. They include my old growth forrest painting (Cedar Giants) as well as one of my paintings of Birch Trees. At Baked Cafe I have 3 paintings including a FireFighter painting and an old growth forest painting of a fallen tree. These two facilities ( coffee shops ) are on the art walk going on in Dawson Creek. Its worth checking out. All of the paintings I have on display are for sale, contact me if interested.

Marketing and Selling My Paintings

Since launching my website at GordonCurrieArt.com, I have tried hard to promote myself and my paintings. To be honest, I have no problem successfully promoting other artists, I have done this for years. But its been…challenging to market my own work. The cobbler fixing his own shoes..!I have the techniques and skills and certainly the software experience. The challenege lies in identifying the market. Let me explain.

In the past years, I sold many watercolours and acrylics. My half sheets (15″ x 22″) originals sold for about $400 to $600. Prints of these watercolours ran $115 to $150 (sized at 13″ x 19″). My acrylic paintings in the past 2 years ran from $300 to $600. I will be selling prints of many of these acrylics this month of many of my original works. Now what has been interesting is that the primary demographic of buyers (and I really don’t mind sharing) have been women (87% of buyers) that are typically 50+ yrs old. Much of my recent works that have sold have been women aged 20-30. One more stat that is worth considering and this is a biggie in my mind. About 90% of my sales of originals go to the United States. Yes, the USA! To be more specific, about 75% in the eastern US and 25% in the midwest. Amazing eh?

So why so many USA sales? Firstly, the population is about 10 – 11 times that of Canada. Americans tend to buy more art to a certain degree as they are not as conservative as we Canadians. Those that have bought my paintings in the USA tend to buy more than one or they will send me a referral of friends and family.

If you hop on the Internet, of every 10 people you meet, only one will be a Canadian while 9 will be US based. I do get interest from many outside North America (primarily the UK, Australia and the Orient).

Also found that Americans will tend to buy artwork for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and special occasions. Locally in North BC, I have promoted my work locally and had great feedback but I am reminded that I really have to look at the big world of potential collectors.

So wrapping up, I plan to focus alot on more marketing and encouraging people to collect my work. I can produce 3-4 original works a month and thats 30-48 paintings a year (considering holidays).

Thanks!

Gordon

Peace Country Storm

This Original Acrylic painting is called “Peace Country Storm” and is 24″ high and 48″ wide. This painting was started in early July 2017 and started as a sketch idea/concept I had one evening after looking out the window after a recent rainfall / storm.

I started with a pencil and paper and sketch out a rough vision I had on what it might take to paint this. My next step was to work on a colour study. This involved me blending different colours on different layers in Adobe Photoshop. This allowed me to see how the colours might look when blended. I then painted my canvas with a light wash of Burnt Sienna so that I could get a sense of where to start. Painting on a white canvas is challenging and so the burnt sienna makes it easier.

The next stage was simply a matter of using a small rigger brush and drawing in some line shapes. I wanted to follow that with some solid blocks of colour. After a nights sleep I realized my perspective was out and I wanted a larger sky. My horizon was way to close to the middle. After redoing the centre of the painting and fixing my perspective on the fields, I started to work on the various areas of the painting. This took a number of days as I did a lot of colour washes and a lot of on canvas blending of colours.

The final result was the image you see here today. For those wondering about the sky, there were a lot of forest fires and smoke in the sky along with a storm so the colours really ranged from the dark smoky clouds to orange / red sun and blue sky with incoming storm clouds coming from the right side.

I used a series of bright colours on the bottom right to represent homes and properties. This is not a true representation (obviously) and is a bit abstract. I really wanted to share all the colour I saw and continue to see during the summer month’s storms and forest fires.

This original painting is for sale for $850 firm $CDN. I have had a lot of interest in this painting since posting on Instagram and Facebook so feel free to contact me at 250-784-8383

New Abstract – River Of Stone

I was experimenting with painting stone and then a river of stones in the blue / green / purple

This painting involved initial layers of warm browns followed by a texture medium. This is followed by 45+ coats of transparent colour and layering. I then paint rock cracks and made some minor adjustments.

This original is for sale and is priced at $500 CDN or about $370 USD.

My paintings can be packaged and shipped all over Canada, the USA and some areas in Europe. We package them properly and then ship insured via Canada Post Express Post. Tracking is included. Shipping costs vary but I can provide a quote and details if required.

Mediterranean Painting

This original acrylic painting was part of series of painting from different locations around Europe. I was inspired by the architecture, colours and the proximity of the little towns on the water, complete with local fishing boats.

Many different colours were mixed for this painting and it took sometime to get the feeling I was looking for. This paint is for sale. My plans are to look at creating some prints that can be sold in the very near future.

As an aside, this painting was inspired by many images I gather but was painted at Moberly Lake, BC where we have a log home on the water. A beautiful day listening to the water ripple was inspiring!

Birdhouse Prints Available After 13 Years

Back in about 2004 I painted a watercolour painting with a birdhouse on a fence. The original painting was donated to a promotion for Secretaries Day in Dawson Creek. The winner was Susan Arseniuk and she still has this painting today on her wall.

I also printed a very limited production of prints that were 70% the original and were numbered. At that time I mentioned to many supporters that I would not sell any other prints for at least 10 years. Once the were sold, they were gone. Well after 13 years, I decided (based on dozens of requests) to do another print run of the Birdhouse painting. The prints would be a few different sizes but would be GiCléé prints with inks that last 150+ years.

The sizes and the prices are being assembled at this time and I expect to have them available in the next few weeks. If you are interested, please contact me asap as I expect there will be alot of demand and I am once again limited the production run.

Recent Paintings and Techniques

 

The above Coloured Stones began as an experiment with mediums. Mediums are pastes and gels that you apply to the surface of a painting or mix with acrylic paint to give certain effects. I wanted a rocky surface effect and so I applied this paste to my painting before adding colour. I then started with shadows and highlights and about 20 different colours. The final stage was to create acrylic washes of colour ( this acrylic paint and mixed with water) for a transparent effect. What you end up with is layers of colours that reflect the light and glow.

The above Acrylic Painting is for sale for $300 CDN for the original. It is 18″ x 24″. Contact me TODAY!

About Gordon

Gordon Currie has been painting watercolours, acrylics for over 15 years. Gordon has painted Digitally on an iPad for 4 years/ His work has been displayed all over Canada, the US in private collections.

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