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!

Where’s your favourite place?

Where’s your favourite place?

Or even your second favourite place?

One of my favourite places is Rainbow Beach. I have lovely memories from my childhood, and have a fun bunch of terrific rellies to visit there… I just feel really connected to the place.

I visited last weekend and finally made the time to sketch the Rainbow Beach Stairs. These are a pretty recent phenomenon –  they were just normal, concrete stairs until 2018 – and they’re one of those things that make you think… why didn’t someone think of this sooner? They really are just wonderful.

One of the most important reasons I draw and paint, is because I tend to rush around a bit. And drawing slows me down, to really appreciate what’s around me. So, last Saturday, I drew (with a Prismacolor pencil) then coloured (with watercolour) a sketch of these cool stairs. (You can find links to my art supplies here.)

I noticed the progression of colours, and that there were two steps per colour (I already knew there are 72 steps in total as I’ve climbed them many times lately). 

I noticed how the trees each side shaded the stairs and almost met 3/4 of the way up.

I noticed that people are around 12 steps tall.

I noticed the deep shadows under the trees and the pale sand each side of the road, and the perspective of the crossing lines on the road.

(As an aside, for those people who hesitate to draw in public, no-one approached me at all. I drew in peace.)

Then, that afternoon I had a few goes at painting the same subject with acrylics – with a goal to loosen up and work on my ‘impression’ of the stairs. So Version 1 was quite tight… it took some time and I was still discovering new shapes and relationships.

Then I may have had a drink… and tried Version 2 – sketching with a Posca paint pen and only adding colour to the stairs and people (colouring the people was actually my 10 year old daughter’s suggestion).

And then I had another drink… and drew the person in Version 3, then masked her off with tape before swiping the colours across, giving the impression of the stairs. It’s not quite what I had pictured in my head, so I’ll try it again one day soon.

My next step is to take all this experience and knowledge and try a bigger painting (these three were A4 sized) on canvas. And I’m looking forward to it, and know that there’s still so much to discover about the subject and the ways it could be painted.

SO! The upshot of this is – if you have a place you love, draw it.

And draw it again and draw it again. And keep drawing and painting it as long as you enjoy it. Monet did HUNDREDS of waterlily paintings. They were his ‘thing’. Discovering ‘your thing’ is a wonderful process and makes your life richer.

So why not pick up a pencil, and have a go!