What did I do on New Year's Day? Not much.
Why am I still going on about New Year's Day? Because I've been sick for the last ten days, and I'm only starting to catch up now. So it feels like I'm only just starting the year now. Which is pretty bleak, considering we were away in sunnier climes for the week before that. Strange how a bad cold erases good memories, and you feel like the cold has been there forever, and will be there forever too.
But I did do something on New Year's Day - I painted our Christmas polar bear, also known as "speaker bear" because of its proud annual place on top of one of the speakers in the sitting room.
I took a big sketchbook (something like an A3 size) and started to draw the bear - it didn't work out, so I started again. That's the beauty of a large page - lots of white space to play with. And then I used my new gouache set, experimenting with how thick the paint should be, figuring out how it mixes, how it blends. What I discovered is that gouache is wonderful for light and shade and volume (hey, I'm not Christopher Columbus - I hope you were not expecting some earth-bending discovery here). And I can see how it will work for faces. That gouache set will not go dry, I promise.
And here is a black and white version of Speaker Bear, which I think shows the lights and darks beautifully. Speaker Bear has gone back to his home in the attic for another year now. I might be tempted to bring him down as a (very still) live model sooner, though. He was very cooperative. Unlike some other boys in this household.