Tag Archive | acrylics


Blue. The last colour of the rainbow. I sort of like blue, but once again, I don’t find myself wearing it very often. Some people love blue. I knew a boy who would wear all blue outfits (if you count denim as blue, which I do). The zodiac sign Taurus (the bull) likes blue. They find it calming. The boy I just mentioned was a Taurus. I might have made him nervous. At least I never wore red. Blue gets used as a default colour far too much. Even now, WordPress likes its blue. So does Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. This kinds of degrades blue to me. I believe it’s a calming, neutral colour. I heard today on the television that blue is the colour of communication. That would make sense why it is used for many social media platforms. I try not to have too much blue on this blog. Other than in the art. It’s quite pretty in the art. So, in saying all that, here are a few pieces that utilise blue.

olganoeshalom943102_13208796_bpazucheng.kateinblue galaxy - ashley white jacobsen5senor salmemarilyninblue.paulettesorhaindo

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pink3 conrad-roset3 Diego-Fernandez_5_600_800 Filamentous Mollusca


Red. The first colour of the rainbow. I like red, but I don’t find myself wearing it very often. I don’t know why. I think some people just love red and wear it all the time, whereas others never really get into it. My mum loves red shoes. The three fire signs of the zodiac (Aries, Sagittarius, Leo) are associated with red. Sometimes I notice friends that wear red a lot are one of those fire signs. Red is associated with love. And lust. And is sometimes in art, but not as much as other, more subtle colours. Here are a few pieces that utilise red quite nicely.

conrad-roset3angiewangJAW - nectarfirestarter.olganoeshugobarros.girls

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conrad.roset.4 red - st jane I Need You So Much Closer pink3

Bette Davis

I’m posting this painting I did a few years ago, today, because somebody (somebody cool) purchased a print from my Etsy store. Woohoo! I made an Etsy store ages ago, and only put up a few pieces that I have printed already (but more to come soon). I had almost forgotten that I had done this, when I received notification that I had sold my Bette Davis print. So, I thought I may as well share this image with my viewers.


It’s a lovely, simple painting that I did quite a while ago when I was rekindling my love for art. While I studied art at high school, I focused on still life and abstract art. Only when I left school and began more self-taught art did I start painting people (well, just women… what a surprise). In my third year of University I developed a renewed passion for art and anything creative. I was loving my film studies, writing interesting essays on all sorts of creative topics, and teaching myself how to paint women. I began with some classic actresses whom I was then watching in class. They were the perfect place to begin, and allowed my minimal resources (paper, black paint, a few brushes) to flourish. What better way to translate black and white movie actresses than in black and white? During that year I also experimented with women in colour, and while I like what I produced, it seems the public prefer my black and white pieces. Perhaps it’s the style, or the subject, or  the combination, but they seem to do alright.

I love this image and have the original hanging in my room. So, I am really glad that somebody else seems to agree! I hope the print brings them some joy. If you like this image, I have one small print left for sale on my Etsy store, as well as various prints and products you can purchase on Society6, and my most recent outlet, Redbubble.

Also, let me know if you like artwork like this, and whether or not I should dip my brush back in this style.

rein3 Bow in Hair T

Album Cover

A while back I posted an old self-portrait that I had found hidden in a folder on my old computer. Feeling a little creative, I decided to play with it in Photoshop to see if I could make it a worthwhile piece of art (the portrait on its own wasn’t too good!) and came up with something I was relatively happy with. The essence of the image reminded me of an album cover for an electro / indie band or artist. So I promised myself (and my readers) that I would develop the piece even further (adding typography) and pretend I was half-musical and create my own album cover. The result is below.


I quite like it – although it is a bit weird seeing someone who resembles me (even if just a little) on a cover or poster etc. I suppose the plus side of being a blogger or an artist is that you don’t have to look at images of yourself all the time. I’m more than content to keep my own visual identity a very minor aspect of whatever external identity I may acquire over my life-time. But for now, here’s something you can consider when you visualise the face behind The Visual Female.

And just to be a bit of a nag – The Visual Female now has a Facebook page which you should all go and like! Art and happiness xx

Self Portrait

For any of you that know what I look like, you probably won’t be able to see the connection here too strongly. I’ll tell you why. The final result has been distorted in many ways. First of all, it is based off a painting I did of myself around five years ago. This painting was not to exact likeness and was also based off a slightly unusual photograph to begin with. Secondly, all I have left of this painting is a blurry photograph I happened to find on my old computer. And finally, I have just spent some minutes playing around with it in Photoshop to see what I could transform a blurry, mediocre self-portrait into. Below is the result.


I’m not disappointed, in fact, I quite like the effects I have created. Maybe if I was a super-cool, pop-electro (do I even know what that is?!) singer then it would make for a sweet album cover. Agree? Maybe I should come up with a band name and album title and Photoshop it for real. Challenge to myself accepted (I’ll keep you all posted).

I thought I would also show you the original photograph I had to work with. I remember painting this and luckily took a photo as I went, because I had one of those heated (passionate?) moments where I scribbled all over it and ruined it. And then I tried to make it a collage (bottom of page), with minimal success. I photographed that too. So now you can see it all – a work in progress… five years in the making…. and maybe still making…. Enjoy and stay cool x


Copy Klimt

Like most cool people in the world, I am in love with Gustav Klimt. He has been my art hero since I was a teenager. I always have to scatter a few images of his art throughout my home and he has remained with me from flat to flat over my student years. The beauty in his work is truly incredible and actually quite hard to recreate (trust me, I’ve tried!). Many people, including myself, have attempted to do our own Klimt style piece – some staying true to Klimt by direct mimicking and others by using his style as inspiration only. Below I will share a range of homages to Klimt I have discovered so far. They are all great, but nothing can really beat an original Klimt in my opinion!

Oh, but first I better show you an original Klimt incase you have failed to discover him in your life so far!

Gustav Klimt - The Kiss

Gustav Klimt – The Kiss (detail)

And now for the copy-Klimts





milo manara paying homage to Klimt




And, just for fun I thought I would show you my attempt. I did this for a friend a few years ago. Originally it was done in oranges and golds to be more in line with Klimt, but I found it wasn’t working, so in frustration I kind of scribbled over it with blue which changed the whole essence. I decided I liked it so went with a more icy version of Klimt. I quite like the result as it is Klimt inspired without being as obvious as it could be. I have my orange version in a folder somewhere (!) so maybe I will dig that up at some point for comparison. It’s funny how I had done a whole other painting, which remains hidden under this one. Thank goodness for photography so I could capture the underpainting also. I hope you enjoyed these x

summer painting yellow

Visual Text

Sometimes text is added to an art piece to give it that extra oomph or meaning. Whether it is through song lyrics or a message to make a piece more political, the addition of text can be quite effective. Merging the lines between art and graphic design, here are a few pieces that I think successfully incorporate text and image. Enjoy xx



meghann stephenson




I started thinking about what I wrote about the fleetingness of street art – the way it could be taken away at any second, only to be truly remembered through the camera’s lens – which reminded me of some pieces I did.  This image is the only real memory I have of this painting.  It doesn’t look complete to me, and its technique is quite flawed.  But there is a nice innocence and ethereal quality that I like, and it is quite earthy.  This wee paintings entire life had nearly vanished completely.  I have no idea where the original is.  And, as it was stored on my old computer that has only recently decided to come back to life, it could have ceased existence.  Anyway, I thought I would share this piece so it will never be forgotten.  Happy weekend everyone.  I hope you do something out of the ordinary, and remember: always photograph your art! x

Close Up


This is a painting I did probably around 4 years ago.  This was the time when I started learning to draw faces.  Until then, I had thought that it was something I couldn’t do, and had focused on still life and abstract art during school.  And while this was good for its genre, it never really inspired me too much.  I always preferred looking at portraits (as you can probably tell by reading this blog!) so one year decided to give it a go, and am so glad I did.  I thoroughly enjoy painting images of people and now feel confident enough to do this.  I usually use photographs as references, but love how much you can add in terms of mood and essence through cropping, colour and painting styles. I need to get back into it this year, and I also have another goal to do more writing.  I hope I have the motivation and drive to follow through on these thoughts as it always fascinates me what I am capable of achieving when I give it a go.  I look back at essays or creative writing I did years ago, and much like this painting, kind of think, wow, did I do that?  It’s funny, because as we change and grow we can forget aspects of our former selves, but if we document it in words or art we always can connect to a little bit of our own history.  Which can be a pretty amazing feeling.


copyright Anna McKay 2012

This is a painting I did.  I was hoping to make it to the New Zealand Art Show and sell some work, but it seemed that the judges didn’t like me.  Never mind, now I get to keep it.  I haven’t actually ever sold any art yet.  I would like to as it would be great to get some income and also to know that people have liked and purchased my work!

I used acrylics on paper to make this image.  I really like it.  Her face is so simple (i.e. not much shadow / shading on her skin), but I tried to put nice detail into her eyes and lips so they grab you and draw you in.  I love striking art that you can’t just walk past.  So much stuff out there is good, but a lot of it you might not notice unless you were purposefully looking.  I think this is why I love portraits.  They are certainly harder to ignore, especially when the eyes take you on, or follow you around the room.  Beats landscapes for me any day.  But that’s just me.  What do you prefer?  Painting with people in them, or painting without people??

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