Thursday, 9 July 2015

Lace Monitor


Lace Monitor, watercolour on paper, 30 x 30 cm,  © Matteo Grilli 2015
 
I was visiting North Stradbroke Island and enjoying the beautiful shore of the Brown Lake when I heard something scratching on a tree, this 2m-long Lace Monitor was climbing a gum tree not far from the lake shore. Now, this Lace Monitor watercolour has been published as a greeting card by Nuovo Group.
 
 
The Coastal Artisans gallery in Peregian Beach is now stocking my Giclee prints as well as some original framed works, if you find yourself around the Sunshine Coast area, the Coastal Artisans gallery, the Baked Poetry Cafe and the beautiful beach are certainly worth a visit.
 
 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Red-browed Finch - An Insight



Red-browed Finch, watercolour on paper, 21 x 27 cm, © Matteo Grilli





I decided to start this portrait of this little gem of the Australian bush from the brightest of all its colours, red. I mixed a warmish red from Transparent Yellow and Permanent Carmine adjusting the temperature using just those two colours and applying them on the beak, lore and eye-stripe and upper-tail coverts. The darkest parts of the beak and the eye were painted with a mix of Prussian Blue and Madder Red Deep. The subtle greys of the head, breast, belly and flanks were achieved with a mix of Ultramarine and Burnt umber. For the back of the neck, mantle and wing I started with an under-was of Transparent Yellow and Ultramarine blue, building up layer upon layer and slightly changing the hues darkening with Madder Red Deep and the blues. The delicate tints of the legs are light mixes of Permanent Carmine and Raw Sienna for the pinky parts and Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Umber for the shadow areas. The final darkest details are mixes of Prussian Blue with Madder Red Deep. This Red-browed Finch is available as a greeting card published by Nuovo Group.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Masked Lapwings


Masked Lapwings, watercolour on paper, 21.5 x 39 cm, © Matteo Grilli 2014

 A detail from this watercolour, is available as a greeting card.

I recently joined Pinterest, there, I've started sharing my artwork as well as some images of favourite art and other things collected from around the web and my own photo collections, it's been fun so far and I'm looking forward to connect with those of you who are there too.








 I would like to remember my grandmother Novella Torregiani Grilli (1935-2015) with one of her many and multi awarded poems (English translation follows):

CANTA UOMO

Canta uomo
finche' alito empie la voce:
dal cuore all'azzurro
eleva il tuo poema.
Canta il pensiero che supera l'immenso
prima che giunga
silenzio.

SING MAN

Sing man
until breath fills the voice:
from the heart to the blue
lift up your poem.
Sing the thought that goes beyond the immense
before silence arrives.

More of her poems (Italian only) here.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Chestnut-breatsed Mannikin


Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, watercolour on paper, 25 x 27 cm, © Matteo Grilli 2014

This watercolour, together with all my latest works from 2014 and older, features a new range of greeting cards just published by Nuovo Group.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Making Watercolours





Last year I was finally able to practice and learn something I've been wanting to do for a long time, making my own watercolour paints. It's not difficult, it's fun and fulfilling. Here is the list of supplies I'm using:
1. measuring spoons;
2. Schmincke watercolour binder;
3. Schmincke 100% pure powdered pigment;
4. notebook;
5. spatula;
6. small spatula;
7. distilled water;
8. small plastic containers;
9. glass muller;
10. glass slab.


After pouring 1 tsp of pigment on the glass slab I added 1 and 1/2 tsp of  binder and roughly mixed them together with the spatula. Getting the pigment/binder ratio can be tricky, the general rule is 2 parts of binder per 1 part of pigment but some pigments like Ultramarine Blue Light turned out to be too moist, requiring a bit less binder. After a few experiments all recorded in my notebook, I worked out that for some pigments the 1 tsp of pigment to 1 and 1/2 or 1/4 of binder ratio works best.




  Then I started grinding and thoroughly mixing with the glass muller. Watercolour requires long mixing times, so far I've always been mixing for one hour with circular movements, a good thing to do in winter. As the paint becomes thicker and harder to mix, I evenly sprayed some distilled water and started grinding again, collecting the spread out paint from time to time with the spatula.


 After one hour of grinding and lots of good music as a background, I gathered the pigment with the large spatula and then, with the help of the small spatula I put the pigment in the small plastic container and let it dry overnight. Checking the paint one or two days after, a perfect paint should be a bit shiny and just a little sticky with no cracks. It is important to write down in the notebook the procedure so that next time it will be easier to improve and make a perfect paint.




And here is my favorite palette, testing transparency, lifting, wet on wet, dry brush, wash techniques and mixes with other colours. On the left Raw Sienna; Ultramarine Blue Light and Raw Umber Greenish. On the right, Madder Red Deep, Prussian Blue and Burnt Umber.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Season's Greetings


At this time of the year I always feel the need to thank all the people who have been supporting my art throughout the year. 2014 has been a year full of positive events, lots of art, and encouraging prospects for the future. My most sincere gratitude goes to all those who decided to make my art part of their daily lives. All your contributions not only allowed me to keep making art, they also allowed me to contribute in turn, to some charities I have been supporting for a while like Birdlife Australia, Birds Queensland, ANTaR (Australians for National Title and Reconciliation) and the Queensland Wader Study Group. 
This is a female Hardhead Duck, Aythya australis, from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. Hardhead ducks do not have bright colours as many other species of ducks but looking closer I could see very interesting and subtle variations of iridescent purple, orange and brown red.
 I'm very excited to attend the Brisbane book launch for the childrens' book 'Poss in Boots' written by Lindsay Owen and illustrated by myself. The book launch will take place in the beautiful location of The Talking Circle, State Library of Queensland, Southbank, Brisbane on Thursday, January 15 at 11am. As music is part of the book's story there will be live folk music as well as light refreshments. It is a free event for which we have to thank the State Library of Queensland for supporting local creativity. Children of any age are very welcome. The State Library of Queensland Shop is currently selling the books.

  Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year,

MG

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Christmas Ideas and a New Painting






I developed this watercolour after taking some photos of this immature Australian King-parrot on the front veranda, the patchy red of the head shows that this is a young male, with time the green feathers of its head will change to a bright red. Below is the first sketch I drew on my sketchbook with some colour studies to find the right mixes and colour harmonies.

Immature Australian King-parrot, watercolour on paper, 16.5 x 23.5 cm, © Matteo Grilli 2014



Christmas is getting closer, it's never too early to order a unique and original gift from my online store, with more than 140 items to choose from and an array of original works (worldwide free shipping), greeting cards, bookmarks, reproductions, a children's book, and more, there is something for any taste and budget. If you are overseas or your order is going to be sent outside of Australia, make sure to order before December 4th to allow enough time for your gift to be processed and delivered. If your gift stays in Australia, you should order by December 18th.

And, if one artwork is not enough, why not ordering a copy of my book 'Watercolour Explorations on Australian Wildlife' containing a large collection of artworks completed between 2010 and 2013?

Until next time,

MG

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

New painting, a new gallery opening soon and a new book just released






This amazing creature visited the outside of my studio a few times in the summer, I enjoyed getting lost in the detail and movement of all those sinuous scale patterns. This image is available as a greeting card.

Carpet Python, watercolour and white gouache on colored board, 40 x 30 cm,© Matteo Grilli

Recently I was invited to feature my artwork in a new art and craft gallery called Coastal Artisans, opening soon in Perigian Beach. A selection of my original framed watercolours with a sea/beach theme will be featuring the collection. For more information on the event see the attached brochure.


Last weekend I had the pleasure to spend a couple of days in the lovely country town of Crows Nest where Lindsay Owen and I  launched the Children's Book "Poss in Boots' at the Arts and Crafts centre.

We've enjoyed meeting so many people and signing the books, Lindsay wrote the story about four years ago and then asked me to work on the illustrations, it took a while but eventually Lindsay was able to independently publish her book.

'A blue wooden house with a large veranda, a local Bush Band and a little possum with loads of determination and rhythm'.

This cute 14-page book will tell you the story of a little possum with a special love for dancing and music among the inhabitants, animal and human, of the Australian bush...

Order Your Copy

 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Book Launch and New Greeting Cards


About three years ago my friend Lindsay Owen wrote a Children's Book about a possum... I had the pleasure to make the illustrations for it and now we are very happy to be able to launch the book in the beautiful and picturesque high country of the Downs,  in the town of Crows Nest. The launch will be on October the 11th and 12th, 10am-4pm at the Crows Nest Community Arts and Crafts Inc, 18 William Street, Crows Nest QLD 4355. The book 'Poss in Boots' and the original illustrations will be available for children of any age.

It will be a nice opportunity to meet up if you find yourself in South-east Queensland...

Also, my publisher Nuovo Group has just produced a new range of greeting cards with my artwork, here you can see some examples and if you follow the links you'll be able to order some if you wish. On my Etsy shop there are also a lot of new and old original and unique artworks sent for free anywhere in the world, just thinking about Christmas...

Best,

MG

Mini Square Greeting Cards

Square Greeting Cards

Regular Greeting Cards

Regular Greeting Cards

Free Postage Original Art

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