A little while ago I stumbled across a ‘Watercolour Canvas’ product in Spotlight, a material and craft store in my local area. Not that I’m all that experienced in Art but I didn’t know there was such a thing called Watercolour canvas. I thought canvas was for mediums other than Watercolour.
It is made by a business called ‘Semco’ and although it is branded ‘Artist Quality’ I’m not sure you would class it as such bearing in mind where it is being sold, the minimal cost and the fact that the term, ‘Artist Quality’ seems to get put on a lot of materials regardless of whether it is or isn’t ‘Artist Quality’. It comes in a range of sizes just like normal canvas and is available in a board or in stretched form.
My first attempt on a board is below, an image using a reference photo I took on our third trip to Norfolk Island, earlier this year. I did a light sketch of the image in pencil, then sketched over the pencil with pigment liners then started painting. The paint sticks sometimes and glides across other times and I used about 3-4 layers in some areas.
I particularly liked the painting in weathered boat areas.
My second attempt on the board is below, a rather simpler, straight Watercolour image. Painting the ocean was particularly challenging as the paint hardly seem to stick to the canvas with the first attempt to apply paint. After letting it dry, I applied more paint and the original paint seemed to get disturbed so, in the end, I used less water and a bit more paint and painted very lightly.
I have a few more boards left and look forward to experimenting with them, though I might apply some Gesso first to see what that does. I also have a couple of stretched Watercolour canvas 8×10’s here, one of which I’m experimenting with.
I’ve commented a couple of times on this Blog about my love for Cacti and Succulents. It was an interest that started when I was 14 years of age when my Aunt Beryl gave me a Succulent on one of the family visits to our place. It was (as I later found out) from the Euphorbia family.
Over the years my liking for Cacti and Succulents increased to the point where I had a small, shallow pot with about 5-6 small Cacti plants in it. I used to dream of the day when I would have a big garden. That came when I got married and moved onto an acre and a quarter of land. I built a 35square metre garden. All up, I had 120 plants in it and in pots around the yard.
Sadly, we don’t live there any more, we moved after 16 years there and are currently on a residential block. What happened to the plants? I brought them all with me didn’t I! They are currently all in pots of various sizes which is not quite the same but it will have to do until we make our next move.
This week, I was accepted as a member into the Cactus and Succulent Society of Australia which is the oldest Cacti Society in Australia. My first meeting (this week) was on Zoom. They usually meet face-to-face in another State (Victoria) but even then have a ‘Zoom-room’ for people that are too far away. There are lots of benefits for being a member of the Society, including a 32 page quarterly magazine which I’m quite looking forward to receiving. They have a Facebook group, library etc so I am looking forward to increasing my knowledge of this wondrous species of flora that captured my imagination at the age of 14, some 44 years ago.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Society, I’ve included some links below to their website and Facebook page and also some other links if you feel you are in any way curious about this species of plant.
Over my Watercolour Sketch a day journey, I have done a number of tutorials by Artists such as Peter Sheeler and Nil Rocha Art. These tutorials have taught me a lot about colour mixing, types of brushes to use in different situations, shadows and much more.
During lockdown in 2020, I chose to do a tutorial every day for 120 days straight and it really opened my eyes and stretched me. In hindsight though, I would have been better off do a tutorial a week as it would have allowed me more time to absorb the new information and techniques that I was being exposed to. Since then, I have been doing them sporadically.
For today’s Watercolour Sketch a day, I decided to do a tutorial by Peter Sheeler (see first image below). I have done some Snow-related images before but none this layered. I had a lot of fun doing it.
Armed with some new techniques, I cleared some time this afternoon and completed an A4 (my Watercolour Sketch a day’s are only A5 size) Watercolour as I was keen to try to implement things that I had learnt in this morning’s tutorial. See image below.
I’m very happy with the result, acknowledging that I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be with my creations.
Creating Art is not my full-time profession and I embarked on the Watercolour Sketch a day as I wanted to create a daily Art practice so as I can improve quicker. Each day, I look forward to be able to do my Watercolour Sketch. On weekdays I spend up to an 30 minutes to 1 hour maximum, on weekends it is longer.
Along with doing my daily sketch I am planning to do one A4 Watercolour as well, per weekend.
Way back in the 1970’s, a television show called, ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’ hit our screens here in Sydney, Australia.
Tales Of The Unexpected was borne out of a series of short stories written by a master of the macabre, Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl was a British Novelist, Screenwriter, Poet and wartime fighter pilot. He also wrote many bestselling Children’s books. For more information on Roald Dahl please click on the link at the end of this article.
The TV show was my introduction to Roald Dahl and later searched for the books that the television series was based on (see below).
I read these books many years ago and they were thoroughly engaging. Some time ago I purchased another collection which had all four volumes plus eight more stories and for reasons unknown has sat on my bookshelf for too many years untouched. There is only so much time and so many books, I guess.
I’m in the process of remedying that now as I am reading the book from cover to cover. Some of the stories I have read before, however, there are a lot I haven’t. Just as they did many years ago, these stories leap from the page and hold my attention, tantalising me, drawing me into the story and setting me up for that ‘unexpected end.’
If you like short stories with a twist, I highly recommend you seek out the Author’s work. Some of the episodes are on YouTube and I’ll include the link below so that you can get a taste of the type of stories.
Today I’m showcasing, ‘Refined By The Sea’ which is operated by Stephanie Thackray. Stephanie, like Helen and myself is a member of Red Point Artists Association in Port Kembla.
Stephanie is another member who displays her Art and Craft at the “Art & Craft On The Grass” which is held on the second Saturday of the month at Red Point Art, 100 Wentworth Street, Port Kembla, NSW, Australia.
Stephanie informed me that she spent five years collecting the raw materials that she then crafts into Jewellery (as displayed in the images below).
On a previous visit to “Art & Craft On The Grass” I purchased a set of earrings from Stephanie for my wife. She loves them!
If you would like to see more of Stephanie’s Art & Craft, her details are below.
Written by David Johnson
29 June 2021
*I receive no monetary benefit for promoting other Artists. I just love promoting creativity.
Poetry and Prose by Author of #1 Amazon New Release, Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow, Co-Author, #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, Spillwords Press Author of the Month, Jan/Feb 2022, and Monthly Contributor to MasticadoresIndia/USA, 2022.