Category Archives: Painting

Watercolour Skin Tones – JKLeahy Art


Watercolour Skin Tones: JK.Leahy Art

I had a watercolour technique class tonight in Bellbowrie, Queensland, on skin tones and the weird drawings under this image are quick demos for my students on how to draw an eye, curly hair and corn-row etc. So, don’t get distracted by the massive eye – I thought it looked cool as part of my subject’s hoody (sweatshirt).

This subject has a mid-tone and as I explained to my students, I usually subconsciously draw a person that ends up looking like someone I know and has my skin colour. This guy definitely looks like one of my relatives.

The image is slightly overexposed because I took the picture with my phone and the flash. I hope you like the study.

Island Woman – Watercolour and Gesso


Island Woman – Watercolour and Gesso

Experimenting with a watercolour – gesso combination, I painted “Island woman”. She reminds me of someone from my past in PNG New Guinea islands – maybe from New Britain or New Ireland.

Like other mediums, watercolour paints have names and pigment intensity. This Aussie Red-Gold (Daniel Smith) paint has to be my favorite, but I use Payne’s Grey in almost everything, so I had to prove to my students, I could easily divorce Payne’s Grey for another colour. I think it is a brilliant colour. I hope you like it too.

Bird of Paradise – Watercolour


The Bird of Paradise – Papua New Guinea

Bird of Paradise watercolour by J.K.Leahy. 420mm x 297mm on 300gms paper.

Papua New Guinea has over 30 species of the Bird of Paradise. I am currently painting this study of the male Lesser Bird of Paradise.

Painting the white feathers is simply not painting the watercolour paper with any pigment. It is not easy to add backwash to enhance the white feathers without completely covering the white paper. I didn’t want to tape or mask it out to add extra challenge…

I think my next one would be better. What do you think?

Feather Challenge – Watercolour


Hi Tribalmystic friends and family,

I am painting more watercolours and that’s why I’ve been silent on this blog. It feels like I’m telling a story in a different way and this is very fulfilling. I have a few assignments to finish but I wanted to share one of these ‘stories’. Here I am working through an artwork of a young woman from Simbu, Papua New Guinea. I love her headdress and feathers.  Birds are interesting and amazing creatures, but when you paint so many bird feathers, it is quite challenging. And because I love lorikeets and have raised them – there  is the guilt …of the dead birds, but there’s another story – culture, nature conflict…

Anyway, I think I have almost got the Kina shells right, but the challenge of the feathers takes time. It also gives me more pleasure to learn and practice. Google Papua New Guinea culture if you want to see some real headdresses of fantastic colours, shapes and feathers.

I hope you like Meri Simbu II. I painted Meri Simbu the first six years ago and due to her popularity, it was no surprise when a client asked me for a new version. Meri Simbu II is about 800+mmx1200+ big, so I have to do small sections and pay attention to the details at the same time. The first Meri Simbu was no larger than an A4 paper size.

I will be back to stories soon. Thank you for continuing to visit the Tribalmystic blog and thank you to all those who have emailed personally me and for the birthday wishes for today.

 

 

Lapun Man Simbu – Old man from Simbu – Art


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This is a work in progress. Old man from Simbu, Papua New Guinea is a painting challenge to myself to paint larger (work) with better light and skin tone. I love the traditional dresses and particularly the headdresses from Simbu, a highlands province that is very rich in culture. I painted a young woman from Simbu a few years ago and was asked, why haven’t I painted a male from the same area. Good question. I had never thought of it. So I picked up the brush, filled the re-cycled jars with water…and, am still working on the old man from Simbu.

I found this exercise exhilarating because to get the painted black face separated from his normal brown skin and give him a background – all in dark colours was tricky. I hope you like him.

Amazing Ghanaian Paintings


From my friend Joel Savage’s blog.

A Mixture Of Periodicals

folklore- the tree of wisdom 2011 100x120cm folklore- the tree of wisdom 2011 100x120cm

Africa is a large continent influenced by different cultures, customs, traditions and ideas, which are often presented or crafted as images. The creative artists in the continent produce wonderful and amazing paintings adored by tourists worldwide.

One of the Ghanaian artists who has made a name for himself is  Wisdom Kudowor. Known as a trans-cultural visionary, his work is influenced by the human form as a transformational agent and ancestral wisdom as an aesthetic tool.

Kudor 3

Travelling out to exhibitions transformed Kudowor into knowing he could “tackle other things and create something admirable out of them.

“You are a human being first, African second. When I free myself from the trappings of being African, my work became more universal;” he said. His work is available at http://africanartagenda.tumblr.com/

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Freda Completed – Watercolour Art


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Watercolour painting by JK.Leahy©

This is Freda. I started work on her in January this year (see earlier post) but never had time to finish her. Recently, I went over some of the unfinished watercolours and decided to do some more work on her. I think Freda is completed. Let me know what you think.

I thought she would make a good character in one of my stories. To finish Freda, I ‘rewarded’ her, with a mouth full of betel nut. Having a betel nut smile is a typical Papua New Guinea way.

Recently, while in PNG I spent some time with my mother and my aunts, nieces, and the rest of the family, just chewing betel nut and talking. We shared a lot of stories.

Freda looks more like my mother now that I have aged her. Maybe because, I saw my mother recently and noticed how much she has aged while I have been away.

 

 

In the park – Poem


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Watercolour by JK.Leahy© Title: “In the Park” (Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens)

In the Park – JK.Leahy©

Restless is the breeze

where light has ceased

Alone, I sit in the dark

where we kissed in the park

Heightened heat burns

And time rhythms heartbeat

I wait in the park

where our footsteps left a mark

Years worn boulders and

seedlings aged into forest

Grave is nearing

for our meeting in the park

My Cootha is one of my favourite places in Brisbane. My closest friend and my son’s godmother Marina works in the temperate gardens. Often when I visit her, this wooden contemporary bench is where we sit and have lunch. I painted this watercolour for her as a gift. The poem is just an observation of people who come to sit in the temperate gardens.