The weekend often provides more opportunities to go out and do some urban sketching, here is a quick 10 minute sketch I did from the bus stop in town.
Finally got the nerve to start sketching in my Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook. Oh this paper is simply wonderful, it works with watercolour beautifully and the colours stay so bright and fresh. My first page is a sketch of my current travel palette.
Then in the evening we took a walk in our village and I sketched one of the cottages from a sunny bench.
Yesterday I worked on doing a couple of local landscapes. What we lack in urban architecture around here we make up for in sheer natural beauty.
Pen and Daniel Smith watercolours in HandBook Journal
This is the view of the hills from our bedroom window, it’s hard to get sick of this view which is always changing throughout the year. The heather and bracken can go from purple, brown, yellow and green depending on the season.
Pen and St. Petersberg Watercolours in Derwent Cachet
At the childrens’ request we went to the nearby beach which is hidden gem for these parts, at the bottom of some interesting cliffs which the twisted strata is clearly visible. This was an amazing sketching experience as I was knee deep in sea water, drawing while the children splashed. The sea gets so warm in this particular spot, like a bath. I added colour after we got home.
Though neither of these are perfect I feel like I’ve made a bit of progress with my landscapes, despite not working on them for a while. I did do little value sketches before working on the bigger sketch which I think helped a lot. Looking forward to doing more of these in the future.
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