(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rediscovering my favourite lens

In 2010, I bought a 50mm primary lens that had an F1.8, so I could experiment with bokeh. I loved it! I loved the low light levels I could capture images in and the smushy, blurred background. This was one of the results. (available to buy on Redbubble:  "Lost Directions")
Recently, a friend of mine had her shop opening ( A Rare Notion in Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Mall) and I got to practice using my new DSLR for the day. I also used the opportunity to see how my 50mm lens performed and play with the shallow depth of focus with the F1.8 and how it functioned with inside light levels sans flash. Personally, I love the background blur and had fun doing portrait shots the following week , with the same lens.

My new favourite (again) lens; I don't have to rely on the flash as much (less obtrusive), can keep the ISO down (reduce graininess), reduce motion blur with a faster shutter speed and get that yummy background blur so the eye does not get distracted from the image as easily... 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Practice, challenges, Inspiration and Kicks up the Butt

There was a time there (well many years, actually) that I did hardly any drawing. It happens. I was 'gonna do it' but it just did not happen. Sadly it happened for too long. I had thought my muse had left me...
but a hobby or profession is like anything else; sports people practice to hone their skills, so should artists and writers. Sometimes I need a deadline or a project to kick me in the butt.
Some of my 'tricks' are
There are a few photography challenges online, such as  30 day challenges or Weekly photo challenge on flickr. A theme is given and then you can run with it. This can be helpful when stuck for ideas and gets the creative juices churning. It was (and is) good practice for commission work - when given a description/theme and having to come up with something.
A lot of people don't like competitions. Think of them of  more practice, with a deadline and a theme. You can get some (hopefully constructive) feedback with some of them. If you don't win - no foul, as you have produced another piece of work, sometimes something out of your comfort zone, and got more practice. If you do get a gong, then bonus! I don't enter all competitions and not all competitions have tangible prizes. 
eg. earlier this year, I entered an art competition on one of the forums. It's theme: a Star Wars Extended Universe character. I had to do some research for a character and did a quick sketch of something a little different to work I have been doing for a while. 
and got a pleasant surprise. I got second. :) There 'prize' was name colours on the forum and in their gallery. But what I got was practice at drawing a character, an appreciation of the varied characters in Star Wars and some exposure as an artist... and I got them whether I got a gong or not.
Well worth it!

How I did it:
firstly a rough sketch to flesh out the composition and clothing

Then I inked over the pencil. This was done in a hurry, as I left it to the last minute (tsk tsk) 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First (mini) 'Gallery' showing

While most of my sales are online, I have dipped my toe into my first 'mini' gallery showing in a shop, belonging to a friend of mine: Bullina China Shop, North Park Shopping Centre, Prospect (Adelaide) in South Australia. This is an exhibition of my some of my original photographic work which is available for sale. Unfortunately, the framed photos have been delayed and should arrive soon.

This is quite exciting and makes it all feel real! I should have got my butt in gear and organised something earlier for The Fringe! Next year, I shall have to be more on the ball.

Original photographs are available online at Redbubble.

T shirt designs

Today, I finished off some artwork for a new tshirt design, based on one of my favourite things: Doctor Who. (I have been watching Doctor Who since 1969, so I am told...) It came to me when I woke, one morning last week. My scarf had fallen on the ground... what if it was a ? I wondered. Then, what could be the 'dot'... the TARDIS of course! I had pencilled and inked the original on the weekend.
Today I attempted to learn how to process and colour it in GIMP - and add a transparent background to allow the tshirt colour to 'shine' through. I am not the best on digital artwork, so here it goes...
(the black translates to transparent, I am told)

This has now been uploaded to Redbubble http://www.redbubble.com/people/katdb/works/10027610-doctor?c=193919-tshirts and will be available on cafe press soonish.. (though not in my favourite colour of purple!)


Hello everyone.
It was suggested that I should keep a blog to share my thought processes and art as it develops. I am hoping this may give an insight into why I do what I do and my creative processes..
hopefully it won't be too boring!