I cannot say enough how thankful I am for all your messages and comments. As someone who doesn’t have any real life sketching friends an online support network can heal and inspire. I feel so happy with my decision to come back and am excited to share and connect again.
With that, here are a few sketches from the last week or so. Going back to my favourite subjects: food and flowers!
I sometimes feel I get a dependent on sketching “things” since I find sketching a landscape or cityscape daunting. So many details to get lost in. I challenged myself by drawing the view from our deck of our new hammock in a particularly wild part of the garden. Hoping to get more confident with these sorts of scenes in the upcoming months.
The last week my family have been away on holiday, our first in a very long time. We had a lovely time and I am pleased to say I even managed to keep up painting for my Make a Splash challenge.
#21 Lily Pad and Tadpoles. Don’t feel this one was as successful as i wanted, the white got a bit heavy again.
#22 Luggage. Trying a lighter more subdued palette.
#24 Rooster. We stayed on a farm so there were plenty of these beauties to inspire me.
#26 Peacock Feather. There was a peacock on the farm and his feathers were simply amazing (also they are extremely noisy birds)
#27 Flower Doodle. I happened to pop into an art shop and picked up a few new colours which ended up looking pretty good together, this was my little test to try them.
# 28 Blackberry Flowers
I wish I had gotten more done while I was away, 50 paintings still seems like a stretch for this month. But keeping up a habit when your schedule is disturbed is a challenge in itself.
I hope you all had a great week and I look forward to catching up with all your work.
Hot on the heels of some pieces I really liked of course are ones that I don’t think are nearly so good, but they all count towards the 50 paintings.
#18 Red Clover. This was an experiment in making a dark background. I actually like the effect but just need to refine the edges so I get a crisper image. It’s a bit nervewracking because you need to work fairly quickly with watercolour but painting around all those details is painstaking work.
#19 Moth and Honeysuckle. Simple image I did late at night when I was feeling rather tired.
#20 Morning Coffee. Oh man, do you ever have one of those pieces where you have a good idea but fail on the execution? Yeah, that. I ended up cropping a huge part of this painting out because the perspective of the croissant was really weird and somehow I managed to smear a huge part of the cafetiere. The saucer is a weird dark colour too and I couldn’t decide whether or not to do shadows. I could go on and on, but the plus side is I still like the idea and wish I really had teacups with Russian dolls.
Still going to push through the pain and get some more done. Have you ever had a real painting disaster? If you had I’m hoping you didn’t have to post it for the sake of a challenge.
So I had to make an edit to my last post about Every Day in May, apparently I’m not doing that at all since it’s a very specific set of challenges. Which is fine, at the moment I feel very full doing my Make a Splash challenge paintings. Of course realising that I didn’t need to do birds everyday was equally liberating because I got a sudden urge to do florals again.
#16 Peonies. I love the composition on this and how it turned out. I am keeping up with the more illustrative approach that I used for my Wagtails and I love the effect. My husband even commented how it reminds him of stained glass. It is rare for me to genuinely like a piece of my own work so I am gifting this to my mother for Mothers’ Day, hope she likes it!
#17 Icelandic Poppies. Maybe the composition isn’t as strong on this one but oh those deep rich colours have been something I’ve been chasing for a long time. Much happier with the detail on this too, I used a very tiny brush for the hairs and a script liner for the veins on the petals.
Every month of my art challenge so far I feel like I’ve been a different sort of artist enamoured with a different style and medium. And that is part of the fun really. Some days I just want to pick up a pen and go do some urban sketching, or life drawing but this watercolour challenge has forced me to focus in a way I haven’t done before. The last 3 pieces have all been full A4 sized paintings, finished paintings. It’s a goal I wasn’t sure I’d even achieve by the end of this year. 5 months in I’m finally starting to enjoy my own work and see where I want to be going as an artist.
Have you had an artistic epiphany? A moment where you felt like it was all starting to click?
Feeling in the mood for natural subjects again.
#8 Cactus Flower
Today I had a bit of time to do some sketching in a playing field while my children were at the playground. Of course this time of year it is filled with dandelions, they might be a menace but I still find them charming.
Here is the spread of dandelions I did in different ways. As I gain confidence with this art thing I like to play around with the style of a single subject.
I always love pen and ink, something about the bold line of the pen always seems to feel right to me. I also get to splash on the colour very loosely this way.
This was done directly to watercolour, no pencil or anything underneath. I tried to use the strokes and values to indicate the shadows and petals. While I like it, it seems to lack a bit of impact for me.
The final one (seen in my original shot of the spread) is where I used a darker watercolour outline in a similar way to my penwork. I was looking for a more graphic look without the pen. I did end up muddying it up a little, but maybe I’m getting somewhere with that idea. I was using a waterbrush so the marks ended up pretty thick. I also did some very loose watercolour dandelions but they just don’t read like the flower to me.
In the end I’m still not sure which one I like best, pen and ink or the one with watercoloured outlines? I’ll keep experimenting. Do you have a particular “style” that you tend to stick to? Or do you like to play around?
It’s been a while since I’ve sketched with a pencil, I did some very early in my daily art project but then started inking over my drawings with pen and then progressed straight to pen drawings. I love the boldness of pen but decided to do some more pencil drawings to see how I felt about it.
A few tulips in my garden have just started to open and it was fun sketching them in pencil. I started out with very light lines making the basic shapes and then went progressively darker. I forgot how nice it is to have softer shadows.
In the evening I did this one of some spoons my husband carved a few years ago. The pencil works better for the texture of the wood than pen. The only things I didn’t enjoy was smudging the graphite with my hand. I worry that these probably won’t last long-term in the sketchbook.
Do you use pencils for sketching? Or are you devoted to ink?