I know art-making makes me happy (as I type that, I remember the time I did a presentation about ‘making art’ and three of my friends came up to me at the end and told me that everytime I said that it sounded like ‘making out’ 😂😅🤣 – anyhoo, both are good).
All you need is something to draw with, and something to draw on.
I recommend starting with regular things, like sketching your keyring on your shopping list, or your earring on an opened envelope.
If you’d like more guidance check out my website and try a ‘Blue Wren’ drawing class, perhaps ‘Shiny Happy Sketching – in Quarantine’, and if you’re still loving it, ‘Shiny Happy Drawing’ is a workshop I’m still proud of after 3 years. It’ll REALLY get you drawing – and happy!
So I’d add just one word to Bob’s quote – I’d say we’re a SHINY happy bunch!
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!
- You get to explore a topic, or an art supply, with purpose.
- You create an impressive body of work.
- You have the opportunity to see your skills improve between artwork 1 and Artwork 8 (or 12 or 20 or 31 or 54 or 100)
- You can take a photo of your collection and FEEL THE FEELS of a joyous job well done.
I started deliberately painting/sketching themed collections last May (remember #5minutemay
?) and haven’t looked back. Last month it was #shaaustralia
and right now it’s all about #shabridgerton
I’ve settled on a goal of 12 pages/artworks/whatever each month (because 31 was an uncomfortable stretch!) and it’s all systems go.
What subjects are you interested in? Is there an art collection project in that? How much time do you have? How many would feel comfortable for you?
Remember that one sketch or painting is one thing, but boy, a collection FEELS AWESOME.
Just pick up a brush or pencil and let’s go!
I’ve had five Zoom calls with lovely Shiny Happy Art Club Members this week, and I found myself recommending SAMPLERS a few times.
These two are on Scrap Book Covers (I use them for planning) from 2017 and 2018.
The thing with Samplers is:
– you get to practice colour mixing
– you learn about your own art supplies (whether you have a little or a lot)
– you have a ‘go to resource’ when you’re wondering how to start mixing a colour
– if you fill a page with marks like this it looks impressive! You’ll feel like an artist!
I have only become a convert to Samplers in the past 5 years but now – I just love them. I do them for every art supply I have. It’s time well spent.
So I encourage you to make time for a Sampler this weekend. Do at least a page (or a book cover!).
If you’re a neat person, rule some lines. If you’re not (like me) just go for it. Mark your colours across the top of the page, and down the left hand side (label them) and then get mixing your grid of colour.
PAINT IT AGAIN. That’s my message for today. The more you look at a subject, and then paint or draw it, the more you will SEE.
Here’s a photo of Cape Tribulation that my friend, Larah, has taken – I painted it (small) as part of my #shacards series and then again (A4 size) as part of #shinyhappylandscapes last year.
Mind you, it’s a lovely reference photo, and as soon as I saw it I asked Larah’s permission to paint it.
Both of these paintings are in acrylic, but before too long I’ll also have a go at drawing it, and probably watercolouring it… and you might even see it on a big canvas after that.
WHY DO THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER? Because there’s something to learn every time… about colour, about materials, about shape, about tone… and you’ll SEE more every time too.
CAN YOU SEE THE PEOPLE SHADOWS IN THE FOREGROUND? I didn’t even notice them when I started the first painting. When I was using a fan brush (a tool I hadn’t used for ages) to do the shore, I noticed the shadows, and now they’re my favourite bit!
Also think about the Masters. Degas did ballet dancers. Van Gogh did sunflowers. Monet did waterlilies. In more recent times, Warhol did soup cans; George Rodrigue did the blue dog, Ken Done does Sydney Harbour.
What are you going to do? Don’t make it difficult – Danny Gregory did/does toast, you might draw your own hand… your coffee cup/s, your pot plant.
Use the same materials or different materials, do it the same size or different sizes… if this is all too many decisions, just get a sketch book (or exercise book) and FILL IT!
I’d love to hear about how you feel when it’s full (and it’s totally ok if you feel like it’s time for a new subject 😉 but I’m pretty sure you’ll thank me).
And here endeth the Art Sermon 😂 😂 😂 !
See you in my Virtual Studio!
On New Years Day 2017 I started deliberately trying to sketch every day. I decided on ‘everyday-ish’ and the first sketch was not about much – an empty chocolate nuts bottle and a pair of scissors or something… sketched with coloured biros. As much as I’ve always been a ‘draw-er’, that was the year my confidence grew. By drawing lots and lots of things I became confident enough to try sketching anything, and I still try and sketch every day.
In 2018, after teaching adults face to face for almost 7 years, it became so evident to me that the people who had the most confidence to paint with me, who started as beginners, were the ones who painted often. And that was the idea that sparked the Paint Along of the Month Club, launched in January 2019.
The idea of painting every month means that the learning with each painting has time to sink in, that you can try a variety of subjects and approaches, and at the end of the year you have at least 12 paintings to show for the learning that you’ve done.
Just a week ago I released Paint Along #22 in the Club series – I’m now working on the next three paintings – and I love doing it and sharing it.
I love the accessibility – I can jump on and do a painting whenever the mood strikes. And they can be painted within a reasonable amount of time which make it easier to fit in and makes you feel as though you are accomplishing. Plus your bright and encouraging teaching style Anna. It’s a delight to join in! DI, Club Member
I love your style of painting, I love your happy and encouraging personality! You have opened the door to the world of creating art to me, in a fun and not too demanding way. I am never reluctant to try a new piece because you have a way of walking me through it that makes it fun, even though I am not an artist, just a beginner who loves to work with colour. BECKY, Club Member
100% love it! It is so joyous & satisfying & mostly relaxing 😁, once I’ve let go of the high expectations I put on myself. RHYL, Club Member
As the Club has grown, and the lovelies that have been with me from the beginning are sharing more, we’re growing up and renaming as the SHINY HAPPY ART CLUB.
From January 2021 I will be including my demonstration collection videos in the Club (ie. free to Club Members). These have been $22-44 each month and while some people have sketched along with everything in the collection, others have chosen, and enjoyed sketching, their favourites!
All paintings up to #24 (released January 2021) will have ‘lifetime access’ (for the life of the website). From then on they will be included and available while a membership subscription is current.
Of course, if you do want to keep a particular class, you can buy whichever ones you choose at a discounted price.
The way the class platform is set up, I will be able to add even more bonuses for members, and if that gets you wanting to sketch and paint more, because I give you more options and inspiration, well… that’s where the joy lives. It’s exciting!
So join me.
Here’s the link to sign up 🙂
So I can focus on all of you lovely members, I’ll be closing the doors of the Club for a while on 15 December. So tell your friends, get your paints out and ready… and let’s go!