Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Little Bit of Paint

At last, an opportunity to wet the brushes. The weather might be inclement but there's always the kitchen table and it doesn't take much searching to find a few suitable elements to make up a still life set up.

A really enjoyable session with my old mate Jed finishing off with the consumption of the bottle contents.

Still Life - Watercolour on rough paper 16" x 12"

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Back to Basics

There's been a lull in my production over the last few weeks with the previous post being my last effort and it was that post that got me thinking about the notions in this piece.

First of all, I was embarrassed about that last post, I thought it a sub standard picture, poorly executed and demonstrating my underlying lack of commitment to it. One aspect that I found particularly disturbing was the poor draughtsmanship. The obvious reason to me is my laxity in keeping my drawing skills up to their best. Like all skills, if not practised then they deteriorate and not being naturally gifted in these matters I need to work at them on a regular basis.

So back to the sketch books to review past exercises and begin some new ones. This post then is a necessary reminder to myself that I must take up the pencil on a daily basis and find something to sketch.

My hand holding the sketch book - graphite on paper

Self portrait - graphite on paper

North Creake Abbey plein air sketch- graphite on paper

Monday, 3 December 2012

November Challenge

Well this month my friend Peter, (, set a stinker or so it turned out to be for me. Being unable to paint much in the last couple of weeks I found myself reluctant to start on this piece. It all goes to show that there is so much of this activity taking place in the head rather than in hands. Everything about it became more difficult than I'm used to, the drawing had to be redone a few times, choosing an appropriate technique was a pain. I guess by now you will have discerned a little less commitment than usual. However, that's what this exercise is all about, getting into an uncomfortable area and giving it a go thereby learning a little along the way. 

Owl - Photograph

My apologies for not being able to identify the species of owl, the reference books are not at hand.

I decided to make a significant crop of the original image and treat it more like a head and shoulders portrait in an attempt to avoid tightening up and trying to get too photorealistic. I've ended up with a flawed image but one from which I've drawn a few lessons about adequate preparation and decision making.

Owl - Watercolour on Not paper 12" x 9"