Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another doll listed!

Just listed another doll on Etsy, this one's been in the works for a while too, she is 9.5 inches tall.  I hope she can find a home :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

OOAK Cloth Doll now on Etsy

I made this little doll a while ago and have just decided to list her in my Etsy shop!  I have a few other cloth dolls that I will list in the coming weeks too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bluebird finished!

I finished my bluebird today using Derwent Inktense and watercolour pencils, I really loved the process and happy with how it turned out.  I can't wait to do more drawings in this style again.

Custom orders open

I am accepting a small number of custom orders, currently only for 1 inch or 2 inch bears in the tubby teddy design.  Please visit my Etsy shop now for more information and to purchase:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Progress photos

Here's a progress pic of my latest collage canvas.  Some of the collage is done and the underpainting of the figures in black and white acrylic paint.  Need to collage the dresses next (left will be pink/purple and the right blue), then hopefully in the weekend it will be at the stage that I can start painting the figures properly.

I've also started another online class (like I'm not busy enough!).  This one is through Artful Gathering (see link in the right hand column if you're interested - there are lots of classes to choose from).  I'm doing Elizabeth Johnson's class "An Enchanted Blue Bird", drawing a bird with graphite, watercolour pencils and inktense pencils.  This is my birdy so far, I'm pleased with the shape and I can't wait to colour him.

Monday, July 18, 2011

News & Bear Show Success!

I have decided to consolidate my bears, dolls & artwork.  I will now have just the one blog that will cover all of my creative pursuits (art, bears & dolls).  I will also have a new website, a new facebook fan page and new Etsy shop.  My mailing list will remain unchanged.  It's going to be easier for me to maintain everything this way.  I'm sorry for the impending confusion as people were just getting used to the name "Caya's Cottage" for my bears and dolls, but I will now be known simply by my name Cat Gabriel.

So, now for some bear news!  The recent online show "Bears on Parade" was a huge success.  75 bear artists participated and some wonderful bears were available for adoption.  All of my bears Bobo, Barkly, Bluey, Peaches and Rainbow found homes, thank you.  I hope to participate in the next Teddies Worldwide show, it was a lot of fun :)

I have had many requests for commission orders for bears lately, especially since the online show.  At the moment I am considering it and will let you all know when.

Next canvas

I enjoyed Lesson 6 of the Portraits & Papers Workshop so much I have decided to do another canvas in this style before I move onto the next lesson.  I have pencilled in the basic design.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More progress

I didn't have much time today but what I did do has made such a difference already.  I stained the collage parts with Distress Ink (the background with an orangey ink, the dress with a red ink).  Looks great I think and brings it all together nicely.  I also started working on the skin tones with acrylic paint.  I only had about 20 minutes due to son no.2 waking up from his nap, but already she is looking quite good I think.  Hopefully I can work on her a bit more tomorrow and start working on the bird also.  I'm thinking of keeping the bird quite dark otherwise he might be lost in the collage.

Underpainting & Collage Done

Lesson 6 of the Portraits & Papers Workshop.  Collage and underpainting done.  The collage took ages to do, I decided to go with three different colour schemes:  the top part green and blue, middle brown and beige and the bottom black and white.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Next painting?

Did this charcoal sketch last night and considering doing this as my next painting.  I'll be changing her dress somehow, it just doesn't look right and I'm not sure if she should be holding a staff in her left hand either, might be better with just the bird....however I'm really happy with the face.  Now I need to buy a canvas and get started :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My first painting finished! (I think)

Today I worked a bit more on the dress, then I tried to rub some of the background paint off to reveal the collage underneath.  If you are doing Jane's class and reading this please do what she recommends in the video, that is to use satin or gloss varnish over the collage.  I used matte (because I already had it in my supplies) and it was very difficult to rub the paint off using the windex as a result.  I'm not completely happy with the background but I'm not sure what else I could do with it?

I then antiqued the whole thing by painting over a watery wash of burnt sienna and rubbing it off immediately using a cloth, turned out ok I think but I did lose some of the subtle tones in her face and pinkness in her cheeks.

Overall I'm really happy with my first attempt at painting, and I can't wait to get started on another project!

Monday, July 4, 2011


Colour now added, I decided to place the eyes lower and I'm a lot happier with it.   I may do some more shading on the face, I'm not sure.  It's difficult to know when to stop, I don't want to ruin the work that I've done.  The paint looks a little too perfect to me so tomorrow I'm planning to "antique" it a bit, do a brown wash over everything and rough things up a little.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Underpainting finished

I bought a table top easel yesterday and a palette, earlier in the week I'd bought all the acrylic paint I needed.  I really wanted to try the Golden Fluid Acrylics that Jane recommended in the class but it's not easy to come by in Australia so I decided to go with Matisse Flow paints instead.

This morning I did the underpainting using grey and white paint.  It took me around 2 hours.  I found it pretty hard, I've never painted before.  Creating the right shades of paint and blending is difficult.  When I first started I thought "oh my god, I'm not going to be able to do this", but I persisted and I'm quite happy with the result.  Next step will be to paint skin tones and add some colour.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Canvas beginnings

I've decided to take a more stylised/folk art approach to my portrait canvas. Here I've painted over the top of the collage and sketched in the outline. I hope to start the underpainting tomorrow!