Some recent sketches in Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook:
I often read about the glorious delight and benefits of opening your palette and having all the leftover colours to play with, but my OCD tendencies ….
Lately though, I’ve been resisting the OCD and taking a walk on the wild side. Got to admit, it’s pretty neat to open my palette to this offering of colours left over from the day before.
A severely tarnished miniature brass teapot my mother gave me about 20 years before she died. She believed that handing it to me herself while she was still alive would have more meaning.
It’s not the first time I’ve sketched this teapot but it’s the first time with watercolours. Revisiting this sentimental treasure not only stirs precious memories. It also proves that my daily sketching practice is yielding fruit – I was able to capture the highlights on the right side.
Looser sketches – It’s an ongoing challenge and a work-in-progress because the tendency to try to control watercolour is real, strong, and natural. However, every now and then, I get the urge to throw control to the wind and put watercolour to paper in a loose manner with no pencil or pen/ink lines to guide or constrain me.
Yesterday was one of those days.
When Jennifer Edwards extended the invitation to join her on her 2017 Pilgrim’s Draw, I took her up on it without any hesitation. Why? Because I followed her 2016 Pilgrim’s Draw on her blog and was fascinated, blessed, and inspired by her thoughts, insights, faith, and sketches.
This year, she offered 40 prompts of ordinary things – one for each of the 40 days leading up to Easter. Some days I used her prompt to generate a sketch and other days, I did a sketch inspired by some other ordinary, everyday thing in my own life.
Those of us who joined Jennifer on this year’s Pilgrim’s Draw shared our sketches and thoughts on Instagram with these hashtags: #apilgrimsdraw #drawyourlife #drawcumentlife #liturgyoftheordinary plus any hashtag that were relevant to the ordinary things we drew every day.
As a Life Sketcher (sketching stuff from daily life) I’m used to sketching the seemingly ordinary/mundane things I don’t usually appreciate or feel grateful for in the normal movement through my days. Following Jennifer’s Pilgrim Draw last year opened my eyes and my heart to the blessedness of ordinary things, and joining her this year, I’ll just say that “life sketching” took on a whole new meaning. I was inspired to look at the ordinary things in my own life from a new perspective and even to ask questions? What role does God play in the ordinary things in my life? What lessons and truths can I learn from these seemingly ordinary things? How do I and how should I think, feel, and respond to the insights I gain?
Here are some of my sketches of ordinary things for this year’s Pilgrim’s Draw:
My word for 2016 was BRAVE. Actually it was a phrase GO BRAVE and I did.
I hunkered down, and bought a bunch of fountain pens: Lamy Safari fountain pens, Lamy Al-Stars fountain pens, Art Alternatives Pen & Ink Sketch fountain pens, Platinum Carbon Desk fountain pen, Platinum Preppy fountain pen, and a
Sailor De Mannen 55 Degreee fountain pen. I have nine fountain pens and use them all every week and to keep them in good working order, I flush them every time I need to refill. I also bought 2 dip pens. Haven’t used them much but that changes this year.
Oh and my favourite permanent/waterproof inks: Platinum Carbon Black, Noodlers Bulletproof Black, Noodlers Lexington Grey, Noodlers #41 Brown and De Atramentis Document Brown. My favourite non-permanent inks – Lamy Black for tonal sketches and the Lamy Violet is solely for writing in my journal with my Lamy Safari Deep Lilac fountain pen.
Aaaahhh, the Stillman and Birn sketchbooks! I’m hopelessly in love with the Alpha, Beta and Zeta hardcover series. Needless to say, my sketchbook hoarding tendencies kicked in and I bought several sizes in each. And did the same when they came out with softcovers. I’ve filled up several and my love for them deepens as I use them.
I bit the bullet and participated in 2016 Inktober – sketches are here and here. And in addition to a couple of my usual monthly sketching challenges in my favourite Facebook groups, I took on a couple of World Watercolour Group monthly challenges. The most enjoyable challenge was food sketching – challenge indeed but so darn enjoyable and satisfying. Watercolour lover that I am I added it to most of my ink sketches. See here and here. As I posted during and after that month when I shared my sketches, I had long admired food sketches by some popular sketchers and secretly longed to try my hand at it. Well you know it is, I oogled from afar but was hesitant to try it. So I jumped at the chance to take part in the challenge. It was a hoot and I had a ball. Once I set aside my apprehension and dived in, I learned that I can roll out some decent food sketches if I take my time, really look at my subject, and Go Brave.
Okay then. So the word/thought/phrase for this year: LOOSEN UP. Why? Because I’ve had enough of my penchant for tight, neat sketches. Whenever I’ve tried a looser watercolour sketch, I like the outcome and I relish the lightness and freedom I feel and I want to experience more of that.
What else is on the cards for for 2017?
More food sketching and people sketching in particular and daily sketching in general. Now that I am babysitting my 1 yr 8mo old granddaughter, I no longer have the long uninterrupted hours doing several sketches each day. However, I make time to sketch something, anything, everyday.
With that being said, below are some of my latest sketches –
Look out for a post about some new art supplies I purchased recently.