G’day views, my name’s Graeme Stevenson and I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the series Colour In Your Life. There’s an artist in every family through out the world. Lots of times there’s an artist deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles and mums and dads and come and see how some of the best artists in Australia do what they do. (Music Plays) [Graeme] Well hi guys and welcome back to Colour In Your Life. Well we’re up in Greenbank, in Queensland today And with a magnificent wildlife artist – that’s the best way I can put it, today. Sandra Temple: welcome to the show. [Sandra] Thank you Graeme. [Graeme] Fantastic being here. Now this lady is also the President of the Queensland Wildlife Artist Society. And you’ve also the founder of the Queensland Body Painting Association as well. [Sandra] Body artists. [Graeme] Body artists. Body artists, but very impressive credentials. And also an internationally an award winning artist as well. We’re going to talk about this in the show today. With all the things you’ve done in your life, what brought you to wildlife art? We’re going to talk about that as we go through the show today. started anyway? [Sandra] I’ve always painted wildlife, and I’ve always painted animals. I started I’ve always done pet portraits and now I do endangered species. [Graeme] And it’s fantastic. I mean her work really is amazing and the thing about Sandra’s work, is she uses a number of different mediums. I mean some of the stuff that you’re combining is stuff that I haven’t seen before as well so it’s going to be quite fascinating. But’s let get stuck into the picture. We’re going to be Doing a painting of Signets, they’re black swan babies. [Sandra] Yes. [Graeme] Correct? And Sandra’s going to be taking us through the process of putting all this together with all of the that she actually uses, and I’m going to talk to her more about her career and her history the that she actually uses Quite fascinating, but lets get suck into that we’ll see what we can’t do these little baby birds. [Sandra] Okay. [Graeme] Okay Sandra I can see that you’ve actually drawn out your Signets on that piece of paper. [Graeme] Okay Sandra well what do you do from there? You’ve got a fixate or graphite? [Sandra] What I do is I scribble on the back put pen on here so I know which of my drawing marks I need and then I transfer I need I need. [Graeme] Okay. [Sandra] So this is just a lump of graphite I think it’s about a 8H or something like that. [Graeme] Is is? [Sandra] Yeah, much quicker. Quicker than a pencil. [Graeme] Oh, absolutely. [Sandra] Now the reason why I do this, is because if I’ve spent a day getting my drawing accurate, I don’t want to loose all of that detail once I start transfer and start coloring in. [Graeme] Yeah. [Graeme] And do you do this with all your work? [Sandra] Pretty much, yes. [Graeme] Okay. [Sandra] The reason for that is, that if I want to do a bigger one, I’ve already drawn it up and I can just enlarge it, and transfer it on to a bigger canvas. [Graeme] That’s fantastic. [Sandra] That’s the theory anyway. [Graeme] Wella. [Sandra] There you go. [Sandra] So I’ve got 2H, which is a hard pencil I’m just going to go over these pen lines here, and transfer the detail So I just flick it on one side so that I can check if I’ve missed any thumb nails. [Graeme] Yep. [Sandra] Usually at the end I’ll turn it over and there’ll be a gap somewhere. [Graeme] Funnily enough you’ve been influenced some of the exact some of the men who have influenced me. People like Carl Brenders is a mate super, super realist. And then Robert Bateman – that’s just amazing magnificent artist. [Sandra] I use to spend a lot of time getting out the books from the library. Carl Brenders had a really nice book, and every time I took it back in the library, it would be missing. And I found out later that one of my student’s took it out, so we spent alternate times taking the same book out. [Graeme] That’s amazing Yes, his work is quite incredible. [Sandra] Yeah. [Graeme] So how long have you been the President of Queensland Wildlife Artists Society? [Sandra] More than 15 years. [Graeme] So if anyone wanted to get in touch with the Queensland Wildlife Artists Society, what’s their web site? [Sandra] It’s ww w.qldwildlifeartist .com [Graeme] It’s an important part just apart from the fact that, [Graeme] you’re involved in learning how to paint the beautiful creatures across the world. There’s a great sense of preservation and support that you guys give a lot of these endangered species groups across the the world as well with what your doing. [Sandra] That’s right, we work a lot with wildlife and conservation groups donating prints and originals to help them with the fundraising. [Graeme] Now the the fact that you do work a lot in mixed media as well, there’s a whole bunch of different things that you use, and you also use airbrush. There’s one picture I’d like to talk about right now which is about an Orangutang. and that was for the Orangutang Society your the preservation of the Orangutang. [Sandra] Yes, the Australian Orangutang Project. [Graeme] A picture called Going Going Gone – unfortunately which is true. You’ve done that with airbrush and acrylics as well. [Sandra] Yes, so a lot of times I do the bigger paintings under-coated with airbrush; it makes it much quicker. [Graeme] Yeah. Well you’ve been on and in a number of magazines across the world. I mean Canada, the States, but you’ve ended up being voted Artist of the Year through the Wildscape magazine in the UK. I think that’s very impressive. When did that come about? [Sandra] That was a couple of years ago. and I won the professional category. And the following year I won runner-up. [Graeme] Very, very impressive credentials, particularly when people from other countries other magazines are recognising the ability that you’ve got way down in Australia; that’s great. Now part of the credentials or the pre qualifications of being in the Queensland Wildlife Artists Society, is that you really have to take take your own photos and also study – which you do – skins. Really looking looking at the true side of wildlife art, which is really studying the animal. [Sandra] I don’t paint anything that I haven’t studied myself, so I go to zoos, and wildlife parks, museums for skins and and generally it’s a tax exempt holiday. [Graeme] You can’t live your life any better than than that, can you? [Sandra] No, it’s a good life. [Graeme] Yeah. [Sandra] So there we are, we’ve got our undercoat done. [Graeme] Excellent. [Sandra] And our messy graphite is going to to be folded in half so that we don’t make too much mess. [Graeme] There you go. [Sandra] And I will get a little bit of my kneadable eraser and hopefully not knock all of the pencil off now. A little sausage. [Graeme] Just enough to soften it down. [Sandra] Just to lift off some of the loose bits. [Graeme] There you go. [Sandra] Press very hard, this kneadable eraser will off all of the graphite. [Graeme] Okay. Well that’s a first, I’ve never actually seen anybody do that. [Sandra] A white eraser will rub out and this lift off. So I’ve got Sky Blue, a Pitt pen here – and it’s a jumbo, but still has a nice point. I like these as undercoats because the ink itself is permanent. So whatever I put over the top of it, it’s going to stay there. [Graeme] And it is an ink. [Sandra] It is an ink, yeah an artists ink. [Graeme] And also you have a piece called Swan Lake, which is obviously once again of signets. That the Count And Countess of Fabalescalo which is amazing, and the Queensland Ballet company buys a lot of these images for their cards on that one particular piece. [Sandra] Yeah, they buy the cards for the name really. They’re just swans, they’re not ballet. They’re thank you cards cause their blank inside. [Graeme] Oh that’s fantastic isn’t it. Plus the fact that the Count and Contessa own the originals, pretty amazing. [Sandra] They own a couple of mine, yes. [Graeme] That’s wonderful. [Graeme] I mean even using the Faber-Castell pens and pencils that you use, for the 250 anniversary of Faber-Castell, he won the Best In Show, which was Magnificent Box. I was very envious when I saw it, which was Limited Edition box of all of the Faber-Castell pencils; it looks fantastic. [Sandra] It’s a lovely box, it’s beautiful. Okay I’m going to start on the next colour and I’ll use a medium grey, and that’s the Pitt pen here, so again this is a 232. I don’t usually go on the numbers, some people do. The good thing about these pens is you can do one layer and they’ll go dark. And then you do another layer and they’ll go even darker. [Graeme] You’ve got such a wide variety of animals that you do, but there’s a picture that you’ve got which I think is just beautiful. It’s called King of the Castle and it’s of Lace Monitor, and once again in this you’ve used airbrush, the Pitt pens, colored pencils – the whole thing. I mean it’s just an absolute mixed media piece. [Sandra] That’s right and the easies part was the scales. [Graeme] Oh was it? You’d think that would be the hardest. [Sandra] No it’s basically cross hatching and then covering it up. Took a long time and a lot of pencils. [Graeme] Yeah, I bet but it’s beautiful piece. [Sandra] So oversized. [Graeme] it’s a beautiful piece of work. There’s one picture that’s called The Hangover, and its a leopard and its sitting in a Marsala Tree. [Sandra] That’s right, a Marsala Tree, where they make the alcohol from. [Graeme] Yeah that’s a fantastic piece, it’s just a beautiful painting. With getting your references you do spend a lot of time at zoos, and parks, and people that and animal carers as well. [Sandra] We don’t have a Queensland zoo as such, so a lot of times I go to New Zealand or interstate. South Australia has a good one. Adelaide’s zoo’s brilliant, and Dubbo zoo of course; that’s the main ones that I go to. Australia zoo has somethings, but there a little bit less likely to let you go and walk around closely to them and get photos. [Graeme] Now you teach, you run workshops, you’ve got some fantastic students. But part of your philosophy with teaching them, is that you really mostly just teach them techniques. It’s not a matter of taking them through an aspect of one piece, you show them varying techniques to help them out with their work. [Sandra] That’s right, I teach them to paint like them. It’s hard to teach them in a class like I do, with all the different levels and different subjects. But it makes it easier for them, so I want them to be able to go home and paint on their own, and do a really good job themselves. So you can see that I’ve done all of the grey now, and it’s time to change mediums. Get rid of the Pitt pens and get the color pencils. This is my traveling set and it holds 120 pencils. First of all I’m just going to going to hit up a little bit more of the blue in the picture. So I’ll just add a little more into some of this here in the lighter areas. [Graeme] So do you find that the colored pencils ride easily over? [Sandra] Yes it does. It’s got a nice texture to this paper. Also it works really good over the top of airbrushed ink as well. [Graeme] Okay. It’s amazing the effect just combing the piece and in these that it turns out to really begin to look like paint doesn’t it? [Sandra] You can make colored pencil look like a painting. Why it’s become popular for art exhibitions now. It use to be be frowned upon – this is a color pencil like a kids picture. Only now it’s more professional. [Graeme] It’s not, but the the end result that you can get, you can obviously see as we’ve looked through your work, [Sandra] Yep. [Graeme] the extraordinary pictures you create. There’s one there that you’ve used, which I thought was a really, really great piece, is called After the Ride, and that’s with air brush and colored pencil as well. It’s a ‘Dry as a Bone’ and a old saddle and a pair of boots. It looks fantastic. [Sandra] It was a workshop on airbrushing with masking. [Graeme] There’s another one as well, you said it it took you a year and a half just to get the reference material. And it’s called Secrets in the Shadows and it’s an award winning piece for you, and it’s of a platypus. I can understand because you don’t normally see out out of the water do you? [Sandra] No, and when you can photograph them it’s early morning and late evening, so photographs don’t come out very well. Now what I’m doing here is I’m burnishing the whole thing, pressing very hard with my white pencil so that I get a layer of white. The burnishing forces all the under colors to sit together, so it’s like layers on on the computer where you have different layers and swish them together. But you can see here it looks a lot smoother but I’m down here this is all choppy, and as it goes through it acts like the surface of the water reflecting all the different colors underneath. [Graeme] And it’s really like it’s sort of fading or out focusing the colors in the back. [Sandra] Yes.You can do it to shade, like fog out the back. [Graeme] Yes. [Sandra] Other ways with the air rush of course. [Graeme] So these are some of the techniques that you teach in your workshop and classes. [Sandra] That’s right. [Graeme] So okay, well I think this is fascinating; I’ve actually never seen this done before myself. I’ve seen a lot of stuff since I’ve started this show. But so your web site address – what is that? [Sandra] It’s www.sandratemple.com. [Graeme] So guys this is fascinating – I think this is just great. And I’m one of those those things that you want to go home and try it. But you can see the silver effect in the water starting to come through. [Sandra] It’s coming – it’s giving you the smoothness of the mirror surface. [Graeme] Yeah. It’s great isn’t it? [Sandra] We start off really fast and we end up really slow. So you can see so far it’s not been difficult to do. Just step by steps. Most important part is the accurate drawing at the beginning. [Graeme] Yeah, and you were telling me on the property that you have up here, you said you’ve got Peregrine Falcons in the area as well, and we’ve got a picture there of a Peregrine Falcon that you’ve done, and you’ve named it Mine. And once again that’s with airbrush and colored pencil. It’s actually clutching a dead Catbird. But these are a lot of the animals that you get around your own property as well. [Sandra] Yes I’m lucky that I can research and find a lot of the birds and animals around here. It makes it a good place to live. Well that’s all the white burnishing finishing. So, lets put that in there, and I will get rid of that one; fold it in half. You can see all the graphite on here – it’s really delicious. And I’ll put my reference photo up. That’s the one I did my sketch on. Usually I use 3 or 4 different photos, but this time the photo that I took was fine. So we’ll use Vandyke Brown here. I’m just going to get some of the darker brown into the water so that it’s not to blue and purple. [Graeme] This is really where your contrasting starts to come in. [Sandra] It is. The pencil will now go on smoothly because it’s got a flat surface to work on. [Graeme] And that’s because the burnishing has really pushed everything in the paper. [Sandra] Yes. [Graeme] You were saying some pencil manufactures have 800 of different varieties of pencil. [Sandra] Faber-Castell have 120 colors in the range and the same numbers go through all of their paint and dry mediums. The Pitt pen that’s numbered the same as this one 72 will be the same pigment as this one and the pastels, and the pastel pencils. [Graeme] Well there you go, okay so they all perfectly match up. [Sandra] Yes. So excellent for mixed medium. [Graeme] You actually work pretty close to Faber-Castell don’t you? [Sandra] I use a lot of their products. I sometimes do testing of new products for them as well. [Graeme] I think one of the great things about watching you work today is that unlike paint, there’s drying time. [Sandra] Yeah. [Graeme] And you can really put all of this down and get the effect that you want [Sandra] Straight away. [Graeme] in half the time. [Sandra] And this is still the under coat, because the gouache goes on. Okay I’ve done enough of the pencil, just to give you an idea through here of the colors that are being added. So now I’m going to get out gouche. So I use a glass palette. It’s just easy to clean. And my favourite color Burnt Umber and Prussian Blue. The good thing about gouache is it can stay on the palette until I finish or do the next picture with it. [Graeme] You’re also working with wildlife for conservation in Canada as well. [Sandra] That’s right. [Graeme] So can you explain a bit more of that to me? [Sandra] So the Artists For Conservation is a a group of a couple of 100 world wide international artists, and we work with conservation groups, and raise money and awareness, through our art for their different projects. I tend to work with the Australian Orangutang project and the Koala Action group – the local one. [Graeme] I mean these are people that you know, if you’re in Canada they paint the polar bears, or if you’re somewhere else they [Sandra] Yes. [Graeme] Okay. [Sandra] So you can decide if you want to donate funds to world wide fund for nature, or you can work with Save the Tigers, or the Sheldrick Elephants, all of that. I prefer local. [Graeme] Now the white that you’ve just put over there, that’s just the gouache again is a base for other colors that you’re going to put on top once again. [Sandra] Yeah, it’s an undercoat over the pencils so that the other gouache will grip. The pencil is a like wax to it, so it beads slightly. But if you agitate the paper a little bit, it will stick on really well. [Graeme] So you’re exhibiting in the old school house gallery in Cleveland. A great little gallery, its been there for quite some time hasn’t it? [Sandra] Yes, it’s a heritage listing building and it’s an old school obviously, and its got a really good feel. It’s got 4 or 5 different galleries in it. And it’s co-op, so if you’ve got work in you have to work there. [Graeme] Well being the multi talented and multi faceted woman that you are, you’ve also produced a number of kids books. I mean, the you said at one stage, you had done a lot of adult drawing book years ago, and now they’re all in vogue and in fashion these days. You might have started a trend. [Sandra] I was before my time. Okay, I’m just going to put in a little bit of detail here so you can see it – starting with the eyes and the beak. I start with dark colors first, because they’re easy to lift off and blend in. It also gives you an idea on how the middle tones will work, once you’ve got the darks in. The really good thing about gouache, as I said, because you can lift it off and blend it in. So what I can do here, I’ve put on the darks quite strongly, and I don’t need it that strong in some place, so all I’ll do is I’ll just bring it across, blend it in. Blend the edges across; fade it in. And I can lift off some areas too, to make it lighter. And I can pick up some of this color as well and use it some of these shadows. Goes in the feathers underneath, it’s really good because you can put dark on light and light on dark, so you go backwards and forwards – lots of layers. My favourite dark color is Burnt Umber and Prussian Blue. This one’s got a little bit of violet in it as well, just to warm it up a little. [Graeme] So with all the wildlife that you do, just on the 2D side of things, you’ve probably put some of this wildlife, into that other wildlife that you have about painting peoples bodies. Would that be correct? [Sandra] Yes. Quite often they turn into animals or they wear animals, but a lot of them are characters so cross painting with costuming and cross painting – it’s my R and R. [Graeme] Yes. Okay with all the work you’ve done over the years, you know, internationally award winning Artist. People from corporate position having your work – clients, investors all over the world. What do you feel makes a good painting? I mean why have they brought your work in comparisons to say somebody else’s? [Sandra] That’s a good question Graeme. I would say it’s: connection. Painting wise or artistically I’d say it’s light and shade. So shadows are very important, but someone’s not buy a painting if it doesn’t connect to their heart. So if if you put passion into your painting, I think that someone will see that and respond. [Graeme] Okay Sandra, well this has been fantastic today. I can see that you’ve still got a lot to do. As you can see through the beauty of television, we’ve screened up the last little bit, I mean there was still a lot of work that you had to do. But wonderful techniques, stuff that I haven’t known myself today which has just been fabulous, it’s just incredible. Thank you so much. [Sandra] Thank you Graeme. [Graeme] Well fantastic day, Sandra. [Sandra] Thank you. [Graeme] That was wonderful; it really was. [Sandra] It was fun. [Graeme] As you can see once again, techniques I hadn’t ever seen these techniques myself today, and I thought that was really fascinating what you did. [Sandra] Glad I could help. [Graeme] Just to see what the pencils did was just amazing. These also are some of the beautiful books that Sandra actually been in international artists books right across the world. Some of the best wildlife artists on the planet are in these books. So very, very impressive. And you’ve actually been in quite a few of these haven’t you? [Sandra] Yes. [Graeme] That’s fantastic. Fantastic techniques. Now web site? [Sandra] Web site sandratemple.com – very easy to remember. [Graeme] Makes it easy as well. And if you want to buy a lot of the work, we’ve got a fantastic shop in Colour In Your Life these days – colourinyourlife.com.au. Come in and and have a look, because we’ve got a store full some of the most amazing art work that you’ve ever see. Come in and browse, I mean you know, prices that will just absolutely blow you away and incredibly talented people as well. But its been a wonderful day, wonderful techniques. Facebook as well, don’t forget to come in and like as us Facebook as well. But we’re going to head off. colour inyourlife.com.au – don’t forget that. And until we see you guys again – remember: make sure you put some color in your life. We’ll see you next time guys. Bye now. [Sandra] Bye.