Oh The Fun!

Last weekend, my Wife and I stayed with our friends at Millthorpe, NSW, Australia as my Wife had been invited to a Baby Shower in Bathurst, about 20 minutes drive away.

Whilst my Wife was at the party, I ventured into the CBD and started to look for a suitable subject to sketch and paint.

I came across a lovely-looking building with a dome which turned out the be the Courthouse however, I chose to sit in the park and view it from behind. I quite liked the busyness of the structures in front of it that were set against the backdrop of the dome.

For me, it was rather a challenging subject as I am still endeavouring to learn ‘how much I want to leave in or leave out?’ One of the other challenges I had on the day was it was quite chilly with a wind blowing. The light was just beautiful though, so I sat there and attempted to sketch and paint it, well my interpretation anyway…

I will definitely have another go at this subject at some point. It was the first time out using my new Winsor and Newton Field Kit which has a mix of Winsor and Newton, and Daniel Smith paints.

After I finished the sketch, I set off with my DSLR camera and (of course) my Phone camera to see what I could capture in the beautiful late afternoon light. Below is one example from the iPhone camera.

All in all, I had a very enjoyable couple of hours in the late afternoon light.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

3 May 2022

Surroundings

The Simple Things In Life

communicatingcre

Learning Into Practice

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.

A5 – Day 942 of a Watercolour Sketch a day.

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.

A4 Watercolour Line and wash

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.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

29 August 2021

Peacefulness Comes

A Trip To The Country – Part 3 – Millthorpe

We have ventured up to Millthorpe a number of times since 1995 as it is the home of one of our great friend’s ‘the Dixons’, in fact Susan and Diane have been great friends since their school days.

This time, we were up there for the Wedding of their eldest son. I’m going to leave the wedding to another post, in fact, I will wait till the official Wedding photos arrive.

Millthorpe is a historical village classified by the National Trust and was originally called, ‘Spring Grove.’ More details about the name change and further detail about the town can be found in the link below.

Even though we have been going up there for a many years it is really only in the last two or three visits that I have actually been able to walk around the Town. Mostly, we have been up there for Family celebrations of one type or another.

A rather strange thing happened this time…My DSLR did not come out of the bag. Instead, armed with a small sketchbook, three pigment liners and just my phone camera, I took the chance to do some rough sketches and took many reference photos.

Millthorpe’s buildings are older ones and have a lot of character and I seem to love sketching and painting architecture. I’ve come back with quite a few ideas for sketches/paintings and the camera phone is good enough for reference photos for the moment.

As with any town there are a few Churches as well. I can see myself tackling these types of buildings as well.

I didn’t get a chance to go into the Museum this time around but was delighted to see some Art forms and industrial machinery on the outside.

The weather this time was beautiful and sunny on the Friday and Monday, however, Saturday and Sunday were very cold with single digit temperatures in Celsius.

Usually, we stay with the Dixons, however this time they had a full house so we stayed at a local Air BnB, ‘Millthorpe on Morley.’ It was the first time staying via Air BnB and it was extremely comfortable and very friendly.

The view from the front verandah below (where I was able to sit and journal) on the Saturday morning was very beautiful.

As always, I look forward to our next visit to Millthorpe!

Written by David Johnson

18 April 2021

For more information about Millthorpe, visit:

Morning Sun On My Face

Gauging Improvement

Sometimes along a journey you wonder whether you are improving or not. I remember this happened with Toastmasters early on. I was going along to meetings, writing, rehearsing and giving speeches, taking on roles etc and after three months, I wondered it was having an effect?

A colleague I worked with at the time suddenly said one day, ‘David, you are appear to have greater confidence these days, what’s the secret?’ I knew then that going to Toastmasters had started to affect me in a positive way.

With my Watercolour sketches I have wondered the same thing, although it is easier in one way to gauge improvement as I have tangible evidence in the form of previous Watercolour sketches.

During lockdown last year I did 120 YouTube tutorials in a row and occasionally, I do more. One of the ways I am trying to gauge improvement is to go back to a tutorial but not actually ‘do the tutorial.’

Instead, what I do is sketch the image and do the painting without watching the tutorial. This way, I am trying to gauge what I can do without the step-by-step instruction to see how close I can get to the one I did when I did the tutorial.

Today’s Watercolour sketch (Day 727) is an example of that. I did the tutorial (Nil Rocha Art) back on Day 500. I have added a couple of shrubs and there are some other elements which I have changed but I am pretty happy with the result. I would love to reach the skill level of the tutorials. More practice required!

Day 727 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day – Without the tutorial
Day 500 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day – With the tutorial

I’m happy with my progress with Watercolour in general and with Line and Wash, however, I am looking forward to the time I can do a face-to-face Watercolour course with a professional. I was due to start a 10 week course like this when Covid hit.

I’ve been using Winsor & Newton Cotman Half-Pans for over two years now. I’m thinking that maybe it is time to jump to Artist quality paints and have purchased a set of Primaries.

Still have so much more to learn. Still having so much fun! 🙂

Written by David Johnson

23 January 2021

The Old Mill Cafe

The Old Mill Cafe,