Remembering our first day at the beach with a quick watercolour sketch in my weekly art journal. Happy Sunday!

Sketchbook #5

I always have mixed feelings when I fill up the last page of a sketchbook. I feel content as I have completed something and can move on to the next thing, but also a bit sentimental as it marks the end of a journey, which in this case lasted about 7 years! I started this moleskine pocket size notebook back in 2008, when I had just started to get into outdoor sketching and it has been on and off in my bag since then. Oh so many places and so many memories!

Sketchbook #1 // Butterflies

I had a go at illustrating butterflies during the month of April, and it turned out more difficult than I thought. My mind wasn’t really there and I recognise I didn’t put much effort into it. The colour choice and composition are not my strong points, and it clearly shows in these pages.
Anyhow, I wanted to try some new watercolour pencils, but also I came across my old watercolour palette and thought I would give it a try.
Watercolour pencils are very easy to use and the results can be quite rewarding. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for non-professional watercolours! The ones that I used in these pages are Winsor & Newton Cotman, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can tell the difference between those and the artist’s range. Apparently, in the Cotman series, the more costly pigments are replaced with cheaper alternatives giving the paint a more uniform consistency, thus losing the wide spectrum of hues. However, I have seen well established artists using the Cotman range, with awesome results…so it must be just me then!
I haven’t picked any new subject for the month of May, yet. And although we are close to the end of the month, I’m still hoping I’ll be able to do some new illustrations.

Seasonal palette

Once in a while, more often than not, I get the so called creative block. I stare at a blank sheet of paper and just wonder.  I feel the urge to paint, don’t get me wrong, but the ideas just do not flow and my brain feels numb. Over the years I have learned to overcome this lack of inspiration in different ways, taking advice from fellow artists and discovering what really works for my brain to function again. 

One thing I like to do to get the creative flow back is to play with colours and create palettes. It is a nice and relaxing way to use paint; the urge to paint get satisfied and at the same time you are not committing to paint anything specific. Plus you can do this simple exercise while sitting on your couch (or at least this is what I did!). You can tackle this subject in several ways; making a chart of all your pans and tubes, mixing greens or browns, categorising all your paints by colour.
This time I went for a seasonal palette, trying to combine several colours to recreate the seasons and possibly use them in a landscape painting. I store all my palettes in one transparent sleeve, ready to be used when inspiration does strike!   

Spring in a jar

March’s project has been all about bulbs and spring flowers. I love looking into gardens and parks, and roadside edges to spot little green leaves sprouting through the ground and colourful flowers peeping through. This time of the year is full of surprises if you know where to look and what to look for. I have been indecisive for a few days on how I would create a spring garden, and then it finally hit me. I have fallen in love with Jeninne Zlatkis’s terrarium, and tried to recreate something similar.
Of course the results are not as pleasing as her illustration (nowhere near!), and I’m still thinking this painting is missing something, but so far I have not been able to figure it out. Maybe is the colour scheme or that red-ish frame (which I’m thinking of taking out). What do you think? Suggestions are very much welcome!

The Vintage Garden

My 2014 intentions of creating one painting a month is going well so far and I have managed to paint a lot lately, which makes me overly happy. This has been my labour of love for the entire month of February, and I love how it turned out! I like the symmetry of the topiary, the details of the garden furniture and even the colour scheme, with which I struggled a bit at the beginning. I’m getting more and more accustomed to this style of painting, and I think I might have found my perfect match. Hope you like it to!
The original painting will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop, but I’m planning to add postards and prints as well.

 
 
 
 

Taxus Baccata

On a bright sunny day, a little branch from a massive yew caught my attention. I brought it home, I looked at it closely, then made a little watercolour out of it. So simple, and so complex at the same time. And next you know it, I got to use my calligraphy set for the first time.

The Vintage Garden

This has been my labour of love for the entire month of February, and I love how it turned out! I like the symmetry of the topiary, the details of the garden furniture and even the colour scheme, with which I struggled a bit at the beginning. I’m getting more and more accustomed to this style of painting, and I think I might have found my perfect match. Hope you like it to!
The original painting will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop, but I’m planning to add postards and prints as well.