What’s so good about a Collection?

What’s so good about a Collection?

Ahhh, what’s so good about a #collection?
  • 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?
Don’t want to think? Well just follow along with me. 😁 All my Demonstration Collections to date are available at https://shinyhappyart.podia.com/
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!
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:

 

Whites & Blue Skies in Watercolour

Whites & Blue Skies in Watercolour

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

Anna