Showing posts with label Aniko Kolesnikova. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aniko Kolesnikova. Show all posts

Monday, 27 July 2015

The Bunny Family Journal

Hello my sweet honey bunnies! :) 


Today I decided to write about my newest journal, which I called in a very simple way "The Bunny Family Journal"( A5 size).  It seems like that the story of my bunnie's love for each other continues....

This was a custom order from an older client lady. She has a son and him and his wife are expecting their second baby in the first weeks of August. It's going to be a boy! 
So my client, as a very proud Grandmother, ordered this journal to give as a gift to her daughter in law. I thought this is so sweet and she particularly loved my bunny journals and so we developed this concept of a 4 member family having a little picnic in the park. She said they will end up living in Texas and so she wanted some flowers from that place to be shown on the journal too. That's why I places some Lupins and other flowers.
Ashley always tells me that I have to work on my background scenes more as sometimes my pieces look too flat and then one massive bulky character stands in the middle of it all. 
So this time I decided to properly sculpt all of the background first. As it was a park picnic scene, I needed to have the picnic blanket laying on some grass and to make the scene more intimidating and give a feel of a park, I added some Hydrangea bushes and a beautiful large tree on the background. Kinda made the whole scene look more zoned out from the rest of the world. This is type of spaces I like for the picnic. Little pockets of privacy :) 

First thing I always consider when making clay creatures, is their eyes. I believe that eyes is the mirror of the soul and most of my artworks are looking so alive because of the eyes. So I had to make them first. The whole family is blue-eyed in real life and so I had to stick to this hue. 
Now.. I am quite ashamed to put the first appearance pictures of my Bunnies on this brown clay background, because I decided to sculpt all of their naked bodies first to see where she shapes go, how to position them and so on and then to dress them up in clothes. But because they were naked and very primitively shaped, this looked like a very awkward scene. So no, I am not showing it. We have under 18-teens here :) 

But here is the shot from the moment when I dressed them up! And it looks very descent. I struggled with positioning the father bunny and it was quite hard to make mother bunny's arms holding the baby. So I used some human realistic shots for reference to understand where which part of the body goes. You might be surprised hearing this, but I am very bad at human proportions. I think sculpting
human body is the hardest thing of all. 

















So then I needed to understand how to blend the foreground and background together. I wasn't sure I will make it successfully with paints, so I decided to use my super set of eyeshadows which I love badly. It is, in my opinion, so much better than pastels. I just can't get hold of pastels still. But with these, they stick to your brush nicely, colours are very vibrant. You would always need to seal it after baking of course, otherwise some of the colour may still disappear. 
Anyway, I ended up here and I was very pleased with how the colours looked like. 

After adding up some details like flowers, more volume to the tree and picnic basket, I finally baked it! I knew that if I wash this in cold water to cool it off faster, the colours will fade, so I waited for it to cool naturally. After it cooled I started painting it with oil colours, first raw umber to enhance the outlines and small sculpted details, then other colours to make the grass brighter and so on. But I ended up messing it up a bit, because when I started rubbing off excess paint with wet whipes, the shadow also rubbed off. So next day I had to repaint it with acrylics. I regret that red flowers became much darker after the final painting was complete. I added some red colour, but still it wasn't as bright and vibrant as it was before baking. After all the paint was applied, I did a layer of antique gold in dry brushing technique to highlight the highest points of the journal surface and also did Guilders Paste patina effect over some places to add up more colour, definition and to brighten things up. I started to like the artwork so much more after that. It is always a big surprise what patina can do to your artwork. 

So this is what I ended up with. Please enjoy and let me know what you think. I am welcoming technical suggestions on how I could improve this piece, or improve my sculpting, decorating and colouring techniques. Please, don't be shy. I would love some positive criticism!

 



My client really wanted the moto somewhere on the journal... "Life is Good" .. As this is something their Grandfather used to say and so this stuck as a family tradition. As I cherish family traditions a lot, I couldn't resist to agree and write it. 



In any way, 
Thanks for reading :) 





Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Mini Stamps


A little tip for those who need a multiple amount of small flowers or leafs on their clay journal or other artwork! I looked at Etsy stamps in metal for £9 each... Then I looked at my clay and my hands and said: "Let's do it!". Took me 25 minutes to make and bake.. But then I was stamping away with a speed of lightning and I saved some money! 

You can make flowers, leaves and all sorts of other mini impressions with these. 
The picture shows the nature picnic scene and I needed a lot of leafy bushes and trees. So it worked very well. YOU can make some smaller and bigger ones to add the variety and more dimension. 
I glued my stamps with super glue to an old pen bottom part, but if you like you can use sticky glue dots to attach and detach multiple stamps onto one pen. 
Anyways, this adds possibilities and new looks to my artworks and I couldn't just skip this without sharing.

Stay tuned to see the progress of this journal as well :) It's going to be a bunny family picnic :)

Thanks for reading, 



Monday, 20 July 2015

Raven The Samurai Journal A5

Hello everyone!

I am very glad to show you some new artworks! It took me some time to find tome for editing these pictures, but the actual journal was made in literary hours.
The story goes.. Two month ago I received an order. It wasn't urgent but I couldn't start it for so long. Praise my customers who give me all this free time and trust me so much. Sending my blessings to yo you all for your patience with my extravagant artistic habits.
So one of these last days I was walking and walking around my work desk and couldn't start the journal. I found 1000 other tasks. I know I have them anyway, but I couldn't prioritise things the way they were supposed to. So that day I cleaned the whole room so that my room and my mind are less polluted with distractions. When that was done I sat down on my chair, went on Pinterest, looked for some studio inspirations, found a wall colour I liked. Went to local DIY store and purchased some paint. Came home, moved all furniture in the middle, painted the wall... at 10 PM in the evening everything was done and ONLY THEN I sat down to my desk in the middle of all this wreckage and created this journal in literary hours. I think I went to sleep at about 01:30AM that day. When I woke up I only needed to bake and paint it. So another hour and it was done. My customer was very happy with the result and she loved the story of my struggles. She said it was completely worth the wait and adventure.

Because this raven has metallic embellishments that look like some sort of Japanese armour, I called him Raven the Samurai. My client was very pleased with the name too and said she couldn't find a better name for it. FUN!
So here are the pictures. Enjoy and let me know if you liked the story. Sorry I don't have progress pictures as this one came out so fast, I couldn't manage taking photos.


Thursday, 9 July 2015

"Forbidden Lands" Cuff Bracelet by Mandarin Duck

"Forbidden Lands Bracelet" is one of my latest pieces  and it was inspired by deep jungle in India, where there are hidden ancient ruins and massive ancient trees grow over them, tightly holding on with their roots and grow through the ancient buildings.

Click on the picture to enlarge the image.


It took me 3 months to make it. It's not that easy to stay in forbidden lands, so I had to make 3 small journeys.

Click on the picture to enlarge the image.


Came back with my wrists hurting from painstaking texture applications and had to recover between every journey :)

Click on the picture to enlarge the image.

That's why it took me so long to make it. But I hope what I brought from my imaginary Forbidden Lands will find reflection in your hearts. This bracelet is truly a treasure I discovered in my heart.

Click on the picture to enlarge the image.

Click on the picture to enlarge the image.

Click on the picture to enlarge the image.












































































This is a very special piece and it is AVAILABLE HERE
Thank you so much for reading. Let me know what you think in comments bellow. 














Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Mandarin Duck Texture Stamps (c)

Hello my sweet honey bunnies! :) 


I am so excited to finally announce that I will be releasing a collection of Mandarin Duck Texture Stamps (c) very soon this summer! I am so worried if you will or will not like them, as I worked for 1.5 years to create these! I will start with releasing a couple of designs to be available for purchase, and as time passes, collection will keep growing. 

The most amazing part is that the journey from the beginning to the completion of the project took me about 1.5 years. Of course I didn't work on them every day, but I did think about them every day!

As you can see from the picture on the right, this is my very first day and the beginning of a very first sketch. Quite a memorable photo as it's almost 1.5 years old. 

When planning and thinking about my textures, I wanted them to be an extension of me. Something that really speaks in my language, something that reflects who I am and what I do in polymer clay world. 
There are so many different stamps and texture stamps available and they all are so lovely. I had a lot of doubts if there is any chance for my textures to succeed in such a busy market. But then I realised that there is no need for me to impress anyone apart from my own self. So when creating these hand drawn designs and then editing these into a professional texture stamp quality artworks, I was thinking about how I am going to use these.
When testing every sample I received from different manufacturers, I was so picky to my own self, that even Ashley said that I am being too harsh with myself!
I replied, that if I will like them, then others will like them too. How can I release something I am not happy with?  So in no way and not at any stage of my project I rushed it to make it just a money-maker. Of course, there is that too, otherwise I would just give them out for free, lol :) But money making was never my first priority. I tried to do my very best to provide the best affordable quality that is available on the market and which I could financially support on my own.
So as you can see these are not just some sort of stock image purchased pictures that I turned into stamp designs. These are my own artworks, drawn by my own hands and they came from my own imagination. 
It was quite a struggle to find a good material and a great manufacturing technology, as some are amazing but super expensive, some were much cheaper but not good enough, not deep enough, not hard-but-flexible enough, weird looking, badly cut or coloured. All sorts really.

 I stopped on these transparent type texture stamps, as they have an amazing qualities in the way how they are made, how long they can last, how you need to care for them, how they are presented, and how functional and easy to work with they actually are.
The fact that you can see an outline of the design on top of your stamp at all times, makes the stamping process so much easier. How many times I wanted to stamp just a little pattern from the stamp on a journal or a jewellery piece, but when I turned it upside down, I was only left with guessing if I will or will not imprint the correct part of the stamp. So transparency was so important for my designs. With the transparent stamp and the design outline on top of it you will never be confused with what you are doing!

Also I was very particular about the edges of these stamps. First of all I didn't want the stamp to just end with a sharp rectangular outline. Whenever I am stamping some smaller textures, it's always a problem to join the edges together if I need to create a larger patterned space. With these uneven outlined edges you can have an endless variation of connections, joining the edges or purposely using the edge parts to make one part of your design plain and the other one with texture. 

The physical quality of the material allows the texture stamps to be hard enough to create deep, sharp-edged texture imprints without smudging and smearing the pattern. Flexability of these texture stamps allow comfortable texturising procedure. Of course as any stamp, these will require some special way of work to ensure a maximum potential. Nothing special, just something I figured out in the process and am willing to share with you soon. 

I will tell some more about these stamps, will be filming tutorials and creating manuals later this summer before the final release. I was just so excited when I received my final samples, that I had to share it with you. I thought, you would love to know what is going on :) 
So...
























Stay tuned!
I will reveal more photos, info and teasers soon!

Thank you, 









Tuesday, 30 June 2015

New Journal: Trip to Amsterdam

Hi guys!


It is finally the time to reveal the Amsterdam inspired journal that I have to create for a mother of one of my clients. She loved the view of colourful houses she saw in Amsterdam while traveling and so her son decided to give her a memorable gift of a place they both went together. Isn't that amazing how caring some children can be?
I took this picture as an inspiration for a water reflection and the other picture you see bellow was a colour scheme choice of my client. 
He wanted the street view, but I understood that the only way it will work on a vertical portrait format is a water reflection. First of all this will make the composition right and second I was itching to try and make my very first water reflection on polymer clay. I knew it was possible so I challenged myself to do it!

This again was one of these projects that won't look right from the very beginning until almost very end. I did stress a lot and constantly asked for guidance from my trusted clay friends and Ash. He might not know a lot about clay, but as an artist he could tell me if something looked right or wrong. So as you can see, first I had a very childish beginning where my houses looked so funny and when Ashley came into the room he said : "Ooou! Beach huts scene! Nice".. I slapped myself on the forehead and told him that this will be a nightmare of a project :) 

I tried hard and I used textures, shapes, forms, vegetation, flower beds, but without a paint work this artwork still looked like a kids design. I decided that I will complete it no matter how it will look. I just have to trust the guiding spirit! 
It was nice to discover in the process some simple but very effective techniques for creating multiple windows with complicated frames and how to texturise a miniature trees. 
As you can see on the picture bellow, I used Dots & Scratches tool for the trees and I used some rectangular cardboard pieces to press them into the clay. When you pull the off clay, you get a lovely even square imprint. And to make it look even more detailed, I searched for something that has a square type section. It happened to be a simple match :) And so I pressed it into each window multiple times to create window frames and small window sections. That was a lot of fun and eased the process of sculpting very much!













I couldn't wait to start the painting as all my hopes relayed on it! 


And finally when the journal was finished I could see that it worked out well. Especially if you look at it from a little bit of a distance, it looks like a painting and this made me really happy!

And here are some larger close up shots. Click on these to zoom in. Especially the close ups as you will then see more details, like a little bike under the tree for example. I loved making it so much. It is only 8mm long.




























Thank you so much for reading, 
I always appreciate your input and comments, otherwise why would I bother writing and showing all this? This if for you :) 

Thank you, 





Journal: White Shepherd Dog A5

Hello everyone! 

I've been quite busy working on custom orders and other projects and I said I will be away from social media and internet for a while, but it seems like this is not happening. I am here, writing this post :) 

I would like to show you some work in progress of my German Shepherd Dog Journal in A5 size. It is still not finished, but I managed to finish the front cover, so can show it off. Sorry for iPhone quality pictures. As I said, professional ones will come sometime later. 



















So I begun with tracing the outline of the dog's head onto white clay. I used creaseproof paper as I didn't have a proper tracing paper. I figured this way it will be tidier than trying to draw, cut, smudge imperfections on white clay. You know how tricky it is!

Next I added up some volume to a flat piece and used rubber shapers and ball tools to even and smudge it all out. It was hard working with white clay that was put onto black clay surface!!! Such a dirty job! I was washing my hands but still clay got mucky! I wasn't too sad about it as I knew I will be painting over it!

For the fur I had chosen to use the Dots & Scratches tool, but it seems like it didn't work well on my white clay. It usually does work really well, but not on this chalky white clay. Did you know I really don't like white clay! :)

























So after creating all this unnecessary crumbly clay fur, I thought I need to fix it, perhaps smudge and smooth some little hairs into longer and larger strands or hair. I used the tool you see in this picture and it was a great find. I never knew how to use this tool really and only used a needle tool on the other side of it. So it was a great discovery!


I also struggled with the background design. Sometimes I go into the artwork unprepared and make mistakes. Like this time, I didn't do the background properly first as I didn't know how it will look. I thought it will unravel  itself in the process. So first I tried to stamp some textures in the black areas but it didn't look right. I smoothed it all back in and decided to use these clay strands to make swirls. It worked, and so I continued and decorated the bottom of the composition with green leaves to make an appearance of some sort of place, space and perspective. 

The idea of this journal was quite unique. My customer wanted to have a magical white shepherd dog with some magical features. We found this picture online which inspired us both and we agreed to work from it. Unfortunately there was no author of this picture mentioned anywhere so I can't say who is an original painter of this artwork. 

Then came the happy times of Mica Painting! I love working with Mica powders and they create such a change. Couple of my latest artworks are a complete nightmare to me, as they don't look right until almost the very end. This is because they require paint job of mica painting, so you won't be able to see the final result until the very end. But in the very end, after all the tones and shades, colours and shimmers were applied, the dog finally turned out magical, with a smart look in his eyes. I don't like praising myself and for some reason I always see flaws in my work, but I am very pleased on how the look on the dog's face ended up being so realistic. I love his face, I love the avatar-like surroundings and all the magic atmosphere that there is around.


























I guess this is it. I will post up some good quality pictures later on next month when I am finished, when photos are taken and I have a chance to edit them to a quality standard I always provide.

Thanks a lot for reading, 
Have a wonderful day, 




Sunday, 28 June 2015

Divine Nature: Insect Heads

To continue my exploration of Universal Creativity, today I stood into the Macro World and decided to concentrate on the head of a Fly and other insects. Simple, but how amazing! I am completely sure that our world is as amazing in the MACRO scale as much as in MICRO. So no matter how far away or how deep into the object or space you are heading.. everything is designed and mastered up to perfect perfection!
ISN'T THIS SUPER COOL? Aren't you already boiling with creative juices? I made 25 jewellery collections in my head when looking at these. Click on the picture to ZOOM IN!



Thank you for reading, 
May your day be blessed with creativity!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Divine Nature Series: Animal Eyes

Hi guys!
I decided that I might entertain you a little bit with smaller or bigger collections of amazing photo-proof that our Planet and everything that we can touch is not just an accident. I won't debate with anyone, but I would like to show everyone that something like this, something so beautiful, could have not been created just like that. Let's not speak about God or Religion. Let's just appreciate the fact that this is far beyond anything that a human being can make. So there definitely is something or someone, who is the best ever artist of all times, spaces and places!
Go through these pictures, indulge your eye and imagination, listen to what your heart says! 





Thank you so much for reading this! 
Lots of love,