Gelli prints are always good for days when I'm not feeling too inspired for drawing or painting. That's how I felt last weekend. So I cut out a womanly silhouette from a magazine (If you need to know, it was Pandora Sykes from the Sunday Times Style magazine - a few weeks ago, wearing a crochet dress over a bell-sleeved blouse). I traced the shape on slightly heavier paper, and I used it as a mask for Gelli prints.
The paint that sticks to the mask turned out more interesting than the gelli prints themselves.
And the remaining paper was duly punched into big circles, small circles and hearts. Can't wait to use these. So, all in all, a pretty productive weekend!
Well, I didn't get around to drawing and painting my tea, pistachios and walnuts this week.
But I did try a sketch and watercolour on watercolour paper - you really can't beat watercolour paper. The only thing is that my marker (Faber Castell Pitt pen) drags slightly on the rough surface. Next time I'm in town, I must get a hot-press watercolour paper pad. Hot press is smoother. I tend to buy cold press or rough watercolour paper, as I like the textured effects. Time to try something new.
And yes, it's the time of the year when I start drinking - although the weather here is still cold, summer is the time when I drink the odd glass of rosé. I really hope it gets warmer soon! I still feel like the year has only barely started, i.e. like it's still winter. If the weather is still cold next weekend, I'll start drawing cups of tea again. Ah well. It's all practise!
I am currently a keen follower of Koosje Koene's Draw Tip Tuesdays. Her advice this week was to draw "what's in front of you". Excellent advice, as I often struggle with the "what will I draw?" syndrome.
So, I looked up from my desk, ignored the dead fly on the window sill, and picked up two stones from my little collection. Most probably from Killiney Beach.
And I just drew them. Stones are a very forgiving subject. As long as you get the shading and highlights convincing enough, it doesn't really matter if your angles and proportions are not spot on. So they are a good way to boost your confidence!
I promised I would stick at it, no matter how difficult I find it. This one I drew without looking at the page at all. I struggle with proportions. I have to trust that some day I will recognise myself in these self-portraits.
This one I started without looking at the page. Then I gave up and looked at the page a lot. And it got worse and worse. And I do not recognise myself (thankfully?)
Is there anything positive I can take away from this?
I like how I drew my hair, without worrying about the detail, but catching some elements quite well.
The two little squiggles for the nose are pretty, and can definitely be incorporated in some form of portrait.
I hate to say this, but there is something about the chin that is accurately "me"
Portraits with glasses are hard. Maybe I should wear my contact lenses the next time I draw a self-portrait.
And even after finishing my drawing and watercolour, my tea was still hot, so I quickly ate my snack and did another watercolour, trying just one layer of shadow this time - it bloomed anyway, but I quite like the colours.
I think this video was taken by Shuga from the Baros Marine centre. I just came across it in my files today and I thought it was so beautiful I wanted to share it with the world. Seeing eagle rays in the flesh is one of the most spine-tingling experiences of my life. Beautiful, majestic, like a ballet dancer.
After saying I hate drawing food because I would rather eat it warm, I thought there is one thing that I always let cool down before I touch it - my cup of tea!
So I set up a little still life of green tea, pistachio nuts and walnuts, using one of my favourite mugs, a little plate from Japan and two gorgeous pink umbrella snack plates I got as a birthday present last year.
I picked up an old sketchbook and started drawing, following the contour, and using negative space to figure out how it all connected.
Then I added watercolour. And it looks more three-dimensional than I had hoped. The paper in this sketchbook is not great for a watercolour wash, so I should not have added layers of colour to the shadows, but it kind of works anyway. Next weekend, I'll try something similar on proper watercolour paper and see what happens.
PS: I dipped my watercolour brush in my tea - twice - and drank it anyway!
I've decided to call this abstract acrylic "Tranquility". I'm not sure I love it yet, but I'll look at it for a while to decide whether it's done or not. I used my good old "Painting Abstract" book by Rolina van Vliet for ideas and techniques. It's a great source of inspiration and advice. It's a while since I had looked at it, but it's the kind of book you can pick up and use without having to read it from start to finish.
Abstract acrylics, traditional watercolours, drawing, art journaling. So much to do, so little time
I have a lot to learn, but I just got myself a calligraphy pen set, so expect to see major improvements soon. Next I'll have to pencil in lines so my writing doesn't go all over the place, and pencil in the letters so I don't forget the odd letter here and there.