Expression

Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink – Domestika

Last week as I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed I happened upon a course through Domestika. I had registered an account with them some time ago but never actually purchased a course.

This particular day a course came up called, ‘Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink’. This of course, ‘was music to my ears!’ Amongst other subjects to sketch and paint, architecture is right up there so my interest was piqued almost instantly. Even better, it came up as a ‘Weekend Special’ and was reduced from AUD$79.00 to $12.90 so it was too good not to take advantage of.

The course is being delivered by Alex Hillkurtz, a Storyboard Artist in France who has worked on over 20 Feature films.

At date, the course has been completed by over 114,481 students and has a 99% rating.

Thus far I’m on Unit 2, Preparation and am looking forward to doing more of the course on the weekend. When I finish the course I will post the end project here.

In the meantime, here is the link if you would like to check out the course for yourself.

https://www.domestika.org/en/courses/1092-architectural-sketching-with-watercolor-and-ink/course

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

30 June 2022

Emotions Harnessed

Talking With Painters

In Sydney at present, and since 26 June 2021 we have been in our second lockdown. One of the ‘breaths of fresh air’ is getting out for some exercise. My favourite type of exercise is walking. As mentioned in previous articles on this blog, sometimes I listen to the sounds of Nature, sometimes to music and other times to podcasts or short stories.

One of my favourite podcasts is one I subscribed to sometime ago, but only started listening to throughout the latest lockdown. That podcast is ‘Talking With Painters.’

‘Talking With Painters’ features Australian Artists talking to the Host, Maria Stoljar about their life and art. I’ve listened to half a dozen so far and I must say that I find them insightful, interesting and informative.

The podcast is available on:

There are currently 113 episodes available to listen to. I’m looking forward so much to my next walk!

Written by David Johnson

7 August 2021

Communicative Manifest

Helen’s Acrylic Pours – Creativity Spotlight

Last weekend I was at Red Point Artists Association’s, ‘Art On The Grass’ monthly event. Amongst the Artistic stalls on the grass was ‘Helen’s Acrylic Pours’ which is owned and operated by Helen J. Purdy.

I came up with the thought of having a new segment on my blog when I was chatting with Helen last week and she kindly agreed to be the first Artist in this new segment. Thanks so much Helen!

Helen (like myself) is a member of RPAA and you will find her regularly displaying her creations at the monthly event which are for sale.

Helen displaying her Acrylic creations.

Helen is a self-taught Acrylic paint-pouring Artist and she uses canvas and a wide variety of materials. Helen is also prepared to give one-on-one lessons. Her creations are certainly eye-catching and unrepeatable.

I love talking to Artists and hearing/seeing their passion for creation. Helen’s certainly shines on through!

Thank you Helen for allowing me to feature you on my blog.

If you would like more information about what Helen does, would like to purchase some of her Art or would like a one-on-one lesson, please contact Helen via one of the options below.

https://www.facebook.com/Helens-Acrylic-Pours-104730084391759

Written by David Johnson

20 March 2021

*I receive no monetary benefit for promoting other Artists. I just love promoting creativity.

Story To Be Told

Book Treasure Abounds!

Last weekend on our mini-trip to Berrima for our ‘Other Anniversary’, one of the places we went to was one of our favourite bookshops, Berkelouw’s Book Barn. Berkelouw’s is a long-standing business which used to be a second-hand bookshop with approx. 250,000 books.

A few years back the business was converted to become a bookshop/restaurant/wedding reception venue. It now has only approx. 100,000 – 150,000 books.

Every year when we visit we set ourselves a budget and this year came away with more ‘book treasure.’

I was particularly delighted to pick up the following:

‘Artist’s On Art’ From the 14th to the 20th Century

It is an absolutely fascinating book which I am thoroughly enjoying ‘dipping into.’ To read what the Artists thought about Art in general and their own is indeed a delight!

‘Country Verse’ Edited by Samuel Carr

English Country Verse is set against English Country Landscape Paintings and it simply is wonderful to dive into and be whisked away to the English Countryside.

The other four books are novels and I am continuing to build up the library with classic authors of yesteryear:

‘The Black Arrow’ by Robert Louis Stevenson ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald ‘Sweet Thursday’ by Johns Steinbeck ‘The Short Novels by John Steinbeck’ – ‘Tortilla Flat; ‘The Red Pony’; ‘Of Mice and Men’; ‘The Moon Is Down’; ‘Cannery Row’ and ‘The Pearl.’

Our trips to Berkelouw’s Book Barn never disappoint and we are looking forward to our next visit!

Written by David Johnson

25 November 2020


Freedom Through Sketching and Painting

I love the freedom Sketching and Painting gives me.

One basically starts off with no image on canvas or paper. You might have an image in mind and then you set about creating it from your imagination or a memory, or indeed a combination of both.

If you are using a reference photo you already have a basic framework though, generally speaking and unless you are into Photo Realism, you will come up with an interpretation of the image at hand.

The Photographer has a scene before them. Certainly, (they can create an image in Photoshop from other images) but they don’t have to create shadows or the image when they are ‘live’ to a scene.’ Many scenes are already presented.

They choose the composition and begin shooting.

The Painter on the hand has to sketch/draw (mostly) the contents of the image, creating the effect of shadows, light, shape, texture and form with essentially 3 things, canvas, brush, pigment and a skilful hand.

Painting en Plein Air is the closest relation to Photography, I feel. Both the Painter and the Photographer have a scene in front of them and it is up to them what they distill from that scene, composition-wise to come up with an image.

The Photographer manipulates through camera, lens, lighting, angle, filter and later Photoshop or similar, using their imagination as well.

The Painter manipulates with their choice of canvas/paper, brush, pigment, line, angle, light and uses their imagination as well.

Back in the studio both can finish off their piece.

I’m not trying to say that Painting is better or is more creative than Photography though as each medium is irreplaceable. Painting cannot replace the immediacy of Photography. Photography can capture that ‘moment in time’ in less than a second, Painting cannot.

On a personal level, I have been photographing since the early 1980’s, although not as much these days. Sketching and Painting has certainly taken over, particularly in the last 2 years.

One of the things that I love about Sketching and Painting is the freedom it gives me and also the challenge of creating an image using basic tools. 

In an article a while ago I wrote called, ’There Are No 36 Megapixel Brushes’ I wrote about how someone can take a photo with something as simple these days as a phone camera and, due to the technology available, come with a technically decent image. Composition/imagination is another story, however.

As a Sketcher/Painter, we cannot go out and buy a Brush and Pigment that will give us a technically brilliant sketch or painting.

Yes, there are electronic Sketching and Painting apps but you still have to have the technical and artistic skill to create the image.

I still love Photography but it takes up a different place in my life these days. Equipment-wise, I’m heading towards Mirror-less cameras and a high-end compact that I can take anywhere.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my journey in Sketching and Painting and I can see myself continuing this journey for many years to come.

Written by David Johnson

11 October 2020

Looking Into My Soul…

Looking Into My Soul