May the Fourth

May the Fourth

I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but I love the challenge of painting or sketching something for May the Fourth Be With You day each year, and seeing the progress in my art.

This year I surprised myself with this sketch, and I can honestly say I have NEVER sketched C-3PO or R2-D2 before – and they’re busy characters! That’s the main reason I decided to sketch upside down – so that I was only looking at the shapes and not letting my mind get in the way by thinking of arms and legs, etc. I really recommend having a go at drawing this way!

May the Fourth 2021

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Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club – four ways

Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club – four ways

What’s better than one #mooloolabasurfclub ? FOUR.

The first was sketched on our first morning at the beach (fun),
the second from a photo that night (a bit staid),
the third on the beach (while my students may have been taking bets on how long it would take me to finish it – 17 minutes), and
the fourth from a photo as a demonstration painting in our main room with (mildly) spherical perspective and only four paint colours.
 
There’s so much to be said for painting a subject multiple times – and if it’s a subject you love, that’s even better.
 
Danny Gregory of #artb4bkfst says, “Warhol’s Law: if one drawing of a thing looks okay, ten look AWESOME.”
 
I agree.
 
And I think I’m done now.
 
Anna
Painting a home

Painting a home

How do you fit a long house in a square format? I decided to focus on the front door and attempt to capture the pure FUN of this home.

This secret commission was a true exercise in ‘creative decision making’ and such a joy to paint I actually had a few goes at it, getting more familiar with the building each time.
 
Of interest might be the prepping of the watercolour paper with Gum Arabic ‘dust’. Gum Arabic is made from the sap of the Acacia Tree and is used as a binder in quality watercolours. This little jar, complete with tissue, was given to me as part of Olive Bull’s calligraphy lessons about… ohhh… 22 years ago! (See – ‘art supplies ARE heirloom items’!) Back then I used the tissue to rub the Gum Arabic dust onto the surface of the paper I was about to write on – to prevent bleed.
I knew I wanted some hard edges in this painting so I pulled out the jar and prepped the paper and it DEFINITELY made a difference.
 
Gum Arabic can also be bought as a liquid and used to thicken ink for calligraphy (and thicken food colouring, interestingly!). It can be used as a bonding agent for gouache or powder pigments (so that the ink doesn’t wipe away after the water evaporates). It can also decrease cracking in some thick inks.
 
So there you go! You can thank me when you win the prize at the next (online) trivia night!
Drink and Draw (in lockdown)

Drink and Draw (in lockdown)

It seemed, that because we’re all home on Saturday nights during COVID, it was a great opportunity to have a global Drink and Draw – social drawing session.

So I did.

For 8 weeks in a row.

And it’s been AMAZINGLY GREAT.

All the live videos are still there in the Private Facebook Group and you’re more than welcome to join in. 

Huge thanks to everyone who’s joined the group – I’ve got some ideas for beyond COVID, so we’ll see what happens!

Artist goes global with virtual class - article

My #5minutemay Sketch Challenge!

My #5minutemay Sketch Challenge!

Just because there wasn’t enough going on, I got it in my head that I REALLY needed to do a #5minutemay sketch challenge. And of course, June wasn’t going to cut it – alliteration rules my life.

So I have begun! Each day in May I’m doing a LIVE video on my facebook page, of this 5 minute watercolour and coloured pencil sketch, in my A5 size Etchr Labs Sketchbook.

And because I LOVE local and small business, I’ve enlisted a bunch of local businesses to be the subjects.

But THE BEST thing that’s happened is that a bunch of people have joined in too. The ‘5 minutes a day’ thing does make it achievable (I hope) – and by the end of the month, that’s ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE MINUTES. I know. Basic multiplication, but pretty impressive.

This is where we’re up to:

 

Fill your book

Fill your book

Are you onboard yet? Are you painting and drawing regularly?

My mission is to share the joy of drawing and painting because … I have found that it simply makes life better.

I invite to you look for every opportunity to include painting and drawing in your life. Whether you are at home, or out and about, there is always something to capture in your sketchbook. When you start looking, you start seeing, and then you’ll never be the same again!

Watercolour is one of the handiest mediums to have at the ready.Draw coffee cupHere’s an idea.

Take 5 minutes when you sit down to a cuppa and paint your cup.

Look at it from a few different angles and choose what viewpoint to paint it from.

See all the components of the image – the rounded corners, the shadows, the reflections.

Paint it quickly so your hot drink doesn’t get too cold.

Take a photo for a reference in case you get interrupted.

You may not like your paintings to start with but fill page after page and you will look back when you have filled your book and see how you have changed as an artist AND you’ll be reminded of stacks of wonderful memories at the same time.

Don’t forget to date each page.

Then, it will be time to start a new book!

Click here to save $20 on Shiny Happy Drawing – a fabulous online course I’ve put together, that includes over 20 projects to inspire you to create!