Art Battle City Finals and a New-found Love for Live-Painting

Final Touches in Round 2

Final Touches on the Final Painting

At the beginning of the July, I competed in the YGK (Kingston) Art Battle Finals. Surrounded by the most supportive friends, this round of live-painting was another incredible experience.

I was 1 of 12 artists competing in the city finals (earned my space by succeeding at Art Battle 98), and 1 of 4 artists painting in the final round of the YGK finals.

Even though I didn’t win, I discovered just how much I enjoy live-painting. I was not graced with a strong singing voice, but I’ve always been drawn to performance. Through Art Battle, I’ve found a way of making visual art also a performance art. Without a doubt, live-painting is something I want to keep working on and participating in.

Painting in Round One


Painting in Round 1

Painting in Round 2

Just me and my painting (and well, maybe 100 other people)

– A

P.S. It really did feel it was just me and the painting. Strange things focus can do and make us forget that there are other people in the room.


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Art Battling

This past February, I took a risk and was rewarded: I painted in an Art Battle.

Essentially, Art Battle is a Canadian live painting competition where an artist has 20 minutes, a fairly large canvas, and acrylic paints to create a painting. However, there’s a catch: you are not allowed to use a reference photo and you are painting simultaneously against 5 other artists. The audience watches you paint and then votes on their favourite painting. 2 artists from each of the 2 entry rounds get voted into the final round. It’s an exhilarating and insane experience, but I am more than happy that I participated in it.

I made it into the final round and had the chance to paint not only one, but two paintings (seen below).



And you never know who you’ll meet. I had the opportunity to complete my first-ever commission when a woman asked me to create a replica of my second painting. Here’s a detail shot:





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While I was out

I can’t believe that I managed to neglect this blog for a solid 8 months. BUT, now that the insanity of finishing my professional program, moving houses, and sorting out paperwork for an upcoming trans-Atlantic move is over, I am back at it. I promise.

Even though I hadn’t been posting updates on this blog, I still spent a lot of time creating some pieces and experimenting with various mediums. With this post, I’m going to start with the basics: pencil, a bit of charcoal, a few flakes of metal leaf, and paper.

Maybe not AS basic…but close enough.

I’ve always found shading with pencils challenging. I used to find that I didn’t have a lot of patience working with the medium (making shading look acceptable is a time-consuming process), and I often press too hard on the paper (as a result – I ruin the paper). With some practice (see images below) and forced patience, I think I managed to get a little bit stronger with graphite. Enjoy!

whole world is watching

Played with some metal leaf flakes for this one…and used a lot of charcoal (makes it look a little on the fuzzy side).

moon eyes

“Moon Eyes”

photo 1 (1)

This one took a lot of time.



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…I decided to experiment with some gold leaf. September has come and gone and that means one of many things for the Fine Arts people at the university I go to –  thinking about participating in a local gallery’s annual fundraiser. I’m not in Fine Arts, but I decided to participate in this mini-works fundraiser again. This year’s theme was “Telling Stories” and the goal was to take a narrative or myth that’s meaningful to the artist and offer an interpretation with brush, canvas, and paint. I decided to play with the word “Once” – a word that begins countless narratives, especially fairy tales – and wanted to create a magical and ethereal yet nostalgic looking painting. It had to be figurative of course. The canvas provided was only 8 by 10 inches and it really was a wicked struggle working so small. The image at the top is a scan I took of the painting, but I think I’m liking the high-quality photographs of it a little more (see below). In a few weeks this painting will be up for bidding and if you would like any further details please don’t hesitate to comment or send a message to

For all that once was

Painting by candlelight, making things feel a little more ethereal


I just couldn’t manage to take a shot without any glare due to all that glaze!



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Setting a Blog and Art Record (Black Lips 5.0)


Not only am I doing more art lately, I’m doing a lot more blogging and this “sharing-progress” thing! Cheers to Black Lips 5, where I really tried to work on hair, to writing two posts in one day, and cheers to all of you who are keeping me focused, motivated and liking my work.

Progress Shot:


All the Black Lips so far:


I’m thinking of doing some test prints for these eventually…


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A bit of a paint break


I’ve been drawing a lot lately…a great deal more frequently then I’ve ever painted. And I really enjoy it. But in the last few days, I decided I need to shake it up a little and do some painting. What I’m realizing right now is how loooooooooooonnnnnnggg of a process producing one painting is. It takes almost all my patience to keep at it…but I think it’s paying off. Maybe with another 48 hours, this one will be done.

What this painting used to be (on the far left):


After about 5 hours of work:


And then, 4 hours later:


I still have a REALLY long way to go and a lot of touch-ups to do, but I’m starting to feel like the hours of work might be paying off. As usual, I’m Charmiane-ing it up with them oils.



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Black Lips 4.0 (more prismacolor on black paper)


So it seems that I’ve managed to move on from my first three drawings and experiment a little more by trying to recreate blond hair. I also made the face a little bigger in this one, so my poor little white pencil crayon has officially met its end (dear white, you served me well). I’ve added a few progress shots below – enjoy!



What I do on a Sunday night…


More to come soon!


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