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!
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:
Day 1 – Magnolia
Day 2 – Toowoomba Farmers Market
Day 3 – Wirra Designs
Day 4 – Star Wars Day
Day 5 – Betros Bros
Day 6 – Heritage Health Fruit Cake
Day 7 – Metiisto
Day 8 – Crows Nest Soft Drinks
Day 9 – Toowoomba Farmers Market
Day 10 – Tarzan’s Limes
Day 11 – Outlook Eye Centre
Day 12 – Hunter Heath’s Soy Candles
Watercolour paints last really well and can be an heirloom item to be passed down from generation to generation. Don’t hesitate in buying the best set you can afford and use them often.
Painting ‘white objects’ can be struggle for those just starting out with watercolour. The trick is to leave the paper behind as the light. But also remember that white objects are often not white – look for the colours.
My “White Caps on Waves” 2019 (watercolour) – inspired by Brett Whiteley’s painting, “Thebe’s Revenge” 1973-82
Other techniques include using a darker background which can definitely help a white object POP. By making the tones around the white darker, the white ends up looking lighter. You can also use masking fluid which you apply to the page, paint over and, when the paint is dry you then peel off to leave the bare paper. This is definitely worth experimenting with.
The magnolia drawing below was created during a live Zoom session with members of my Paint Along of the Month Club. While the first drawing is nice, see how much brighter the flower with the coloured background appears?
Painting the sky is another skill to practice. The sky is not always blue – it can be made up of many colours. My advice is using a big brush (in relation to your painting) so you are less likely to see brush strokes. Use plenty of water – don’t be scared – and practice. Practice, practice. Observe that the lightest part of the sky is usually at the horizon – it is the furthest away, so it is paler. Above you is the brightest or darkest colour.
And the ducks below aren’t actually ‘painted white’… they’re paper-coloured. It’s the blue sky that makes them white. Practice painting and drawing negative spaces to get better at leaving the white of the subject behind in watercolour.
White Water Colour Ducks
Choosing the right brush size and shape can be a big decision when you are just starting out as a painter.
In my opinion, size does matter – especially if you are painting a big canvas, I recommend you start with a big brush.
Different Brushes Sampler
The shape of the brush matters too – to understand what each brush can do and the marks they can make painting a sampler can really help you get familiar with what each brush can do.
Try them out and see what kinds of marks they can do.
Pulling the brush in different directions, or twisting the brush makes such a difference.
Different Directions Brush Sampler
The more miles on the brush you do, the more you will understand what size and what shape will work best for what you are trying to achieve in your painting.
One Brush – Many Different Marks
I suggest you try different brands if you can, and look for a brush that holds its shape after a few uses.
Really, anything goes!
My only “don’t” is don’t use watercolour brushes for acrylic. In my experience they just won’t hold their shape. And I often use brushes marked as ‘acrylic’ for watercolour – it’s my personal preference.
Get some miles on some brushes and you’re bound to find your personal preference too.