Friday, 3 October 2014
Free sketching of a robin in flight. I like drawing in this notebook which is pictured below in my kitchen/studio general set up. I don't usually like painting on thin paper, but somehow this notebook seems to be an exception. The size of this notebook is larger than I am used to (15cm x 21 cm closed) and that may be the reason why it works.
This shows the general set up of my kitchen studio. I've taken the photograph after I finished the painting, for size reference of my notebook. On the right is the graphite pencil I am using quite a lot recently for sketching. The lead is quite hard so I could draw faint lines or heavy lines with it. I think I bought it when I went to see Degas exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art. The pencil being a souvenir item, it doesn't specifically say the hardness of the lead, but it feels like HB. I wouldn't have thought I would be using this pencil this much when I bought it. You never know which drawing tool will become your favourite!
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Blue Tit in Flight, Watercolour on 280g Fabriano NOT Paper, 7'5"x5'5", 19cm x 14cm
At the drawing stage, I wasn't quite sure about this painting but it turned out OK, I think. It is painted on NOT paper which has slightly rough texture, and I was drawing using hard graphite pencil and I didn't much like the quality of the lines I was getting, or the scratchy sensation I was getting from the paper surface. That doesn't bother me when I am drawing the landscape. I think it's the small bird and its delicate feathers that don't quite match the paper surface or the drawing medium I was using. Next time I paint a bird, I think I should try smooth paper and see how it feels like.
Having said this, I am quite happy how it turned out. To finish off the painting, I put a tiny tiny amount of white gouache in its eye. If I have to put the highlight at the end, it is always a nervous moment. The eyes make or break the painting, if I put just slightly wrong amount of white and the eyes would look all wrong. Thankfully for this painting it worked.
Monday, 29 September 2014
Miniature Treasures. I am very lucky to own this piece of beautiful artefact!
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
I. LOVE. BIRDS. I stumbled upon a beautiful photograph of goldfinches arguing in flight while surfing on the web, and I couldn't help painting it. Goldfinches are so unique with such striking colours of intense red, yellow and black. A true natures' wonderment.
It is drawn with hard graphite pencil and painted with watercolour in a notebook with quite thin paper. The surface of the paper is very smooth and the graphite pencil runs nicely on the surface, creating free flow of lines which I enjoy very much. The thing about drawing/painting in this notebook is that I feel very casual about making marks and not afraid of making mistakes or I don't care if it will become a successful image. And this often end up in a picture I am satisfied with, because it looks much more alive and free than the ones painted with a lot more care on a proper heavy weight watercolour paper.
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
A watercolour landscape incorporating water surface and trees, and some warm colours. I have gone over on trees too many times on the left bank, and it looks busy with small brush strokes. Still working to "get there" with the fewest brush strokes. I need to work on perspectives and the base drawing that the watercolour hang on. I find that if the drawing doesn't look right, then it will never look right in the finished product so - really need to get that basics right. I am kind of happy that I see some warm colours in the painting, but again the houses don't exactly look right and they could also have been toned down to more neutral, muted colours in accordance with the right bank. Well well, so so so many things to consider!
Monday, 22 September 2014
Again trying and learning how to "get there" with fewer brush strokes. Another tricky thing I find is when to put down the wave shadows. Too early when the paper is still quite wet and it becumes blur, too late then it will leave sharp edges where you don't want it to be.
The painting looks a little too cool for my liking. In fact I tend to use cooler colours much more than warm colours, when painting the landscape. This makes the finished painting looking flat and somewhat monotonous. I need to learn to use my imagination to incorporate more warm tones in the picture, even in reality (or in photograph) it does'nt exist.
Sunday, 21 September 2014
A painting of a randam banana hanging around in the kitchen. I am trying to paint with fewer brush strokes, trying not to leave messy brush marks. I find bananas are good to practice that. They have simple form that curves naturally to suit the brush strokes, so you can paint the form with a few bold strokes and add the shadow on the lower side wet in wet with a little thiker and darker paint. Leave to dry and add a few brown spots plus the shadow, and it's done.
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Drawn and painted from a photograph I took while in Normandy, France. I struggle with the architecture drawing and this one has bits and pieces that doesn't make sence, but hey, it's all good fun and hopefully 'practice makes perfect' one day?!!
The chateau is standing on a verdant ground and it's a lovely place to be. Surprisingly there was almost nobody around, it felt such a luxury to have this place almost to myself (and my friends) for a while.
Monday, 15 September 2014
I had a walk on Strand on the Green by the river Thames the other day. It must have been a spring tide after the super moon on Tuesday. The tide have already turned just a while ago but the riverside pedestrian walk was still wet and slipperly with the mud the high tide brought with it. I was wearing a new-ish cream coloured leather shoes and they were anointed with the mud.
Friday, 5 September 2014
Apart from drawing the wardrobe, I usually also keep a list of smaller items to take, categorised into four: valuables, stationery and gadgets, Wash bag and make up bag. I would like to draw each item but being a procrastinator, the time before the travels are usually limited with actual packing to do - so I didn't manage this time, again.
But this time I have added the suitcase and bags I used. The bags ended up one size bigger than what I originally planned to take (plus at the end of the journey I was carrying one more shopping bag!).
Thursday, 4 September 2014
I have been to Normandy again for summer holiday, but this time I went via Paris. Normandy could get pretty cold even in August so I had to pack clothes fit for three seasons. I didn't get the chance to wear the fluffy silk tunic even in Paris. In a cool/cold regions layering works best.
Sunday, 23 March 2014
Well, he maybe trying to make up with his recent act of breaking my camera's lens protecter.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Sunday, 23 February 2014
It was a fine day in London (at long last), so I took a walk to nearby green, and then had a cup of coffee in a cafe. There was a beautiful dog there so I drew her on the back of a serviette - I was not carrying a sketch pad. I coloured it in with watercolour paint after I got back home.
This is the dog. Her contour looks like it's been drawn with a fine point pen. Her owner told me she's a whippet. With such a short coat, she must get pretty cold in winter.
After painting the dog I started to play around with paint as I realise there was a red in the palette that I hardly ever use (Quin red).