We’ve had some dreadful weather here in the UK over the last few weeks. I sit here typing away and the sky looks like a downy blanket of grey clouds. Heavy raindrops have just begun to fall. It must know it’s #WorldWatercolorMonth. I’ve tiptoed out of my comfort zone to explore colour, in particular my new box of Daler Rowney Aquafine watercolours.
If you read my Making Time post a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know I volunteer in the Victorian kitchen garden of a local museum (click back to see recently-added photos). Last spring, while weeding one of the beds we kept finding baby carrots, and I brought them home to draw. I also bought a packet of fresh ones from my local supermarket (reduced to 16p!) and froze them to draw/paint later on. Baby carrots are quite bumpy, and far more characterful than their larger cousins. There’s the added challenge of mixing different shades of orange paint, and greens and purples for the ridges and shadows.
My series of thumbnail sketches was inspired by Clara Lieu, Art Prof’s new Youtube video on composition. I had planned a grid of squares, but kept it random instead, and lightly sketched each one before starting to paint. The best bit (which I only realised afterwards)… at first glance the page looks great. I don’t just see one painting, so I’m less likely to judge them. It’s only when I take a closer look do I start to pick out errors. Compare this page with the two pages of carrots I drew last year, which I usually pick apart.
Clara Lieu is a visual artist and adjunct professor at Rhode Island School of Design, and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the launch of Art Prof: “a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages to learn visual arts in a vibrant art community.” If you’d like to pledge your support, the Kickstarter campaign ends on 19 July. You can visit the Art Prof Youtube channel here, and I highly recommend it!
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