1,091 Days and Counting…My Daily Art Practice

Today marks the 3rd anniversary since I started my ‘Daily Art Practice’ of a ‘Watercolour Sketch a Day’. For my 1,091st day I decided to sketch/paint a subject that I really seem to enjoy, a Lighthouse.

“Afternoon On The Coast”

One day, I will gather up all my Lighthouse sketches and put them in a blog post for no other reason than to see them altogether. I think it would be fun!

Looking back, I was pleased to do 7 days in a row and when I reached 1 month I really had no expectations of being able to keep up this daily Art practice for 1 year, yet alone 3.

My goals for the ‘Daily Art Practice’ were:

  • Aim to do one Watercolour Sketch a day (and look no further than that)
  • Be a Sponge
  • Improve my skills through practice
  • Lean from my mistakes
  • Practice, practice, practice!

I don’t believe I am ‘naturally talented’ in sketching and painting. Like all children I did draw at school and at home though I am not one of those Artists ‘who have been drawing/painting all throughout their life’, studied Art and are now full-time Artists. (I’m actually a Mortgage Broker and co-run our business with my Wife, Susan and have an additional Mentoring role for Small Business startups. I’m also involved in Toastmasters {Public Speaking}, and BNI {Business Networking}, as well as two other associations).

From 1982 – 2016 I was firmly entrenched in Photography. In the 1990’s, I briefly had an interest in drawing but that didn’t last long as Photography was ‘still King’. In 2010, I took a basic Drawing course and began dabbling in Watercolour (briefly) before dabbling in Acrylic and Oil over the years. In 2016, I decided to concentrate on Oils but it seemed difficult to find the time, consistently.

In 2018, I rediscovered Watercolour though finding the time seemed difficult again. I had a ‘real desire’ to learn it and started looking for ways to allocate more time to it and was (over the course of time) attracted as well to Line and Wash. On Australia Day, 26 January 2019 I decided to aim to do a Watercolour Sketch a Day.

Along the journey so far I’ve:

  • Learnt about some sketching, drawing and painting techniques
  • Colour mixes
  • Brush use
  • Colour Theory
  • Made an innumerable amount of mistakes
  • Increased my belief in myself that I can do this
  • Sold 3 A4 paintings (unexpected)
  • Joined Red Point Artists Association, Port Kembla
  • Made some great connections through Art groups

What’s next?

Well, I still have a lot to learn (and there’s more fun to have) so tomorrow I’m aiming to a Watercolour Sketch and the day after, another one…

My Daily Art practice with Watercolour has also re-inspired my Oil Painting practice so I am aiming to allocate time to that on a regular basis now and am planning to enter some Art Exhibitions and submit my own Art to the next Members Exhibition of the Red Point Artists Association.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

26 January 2022

My Watercolour Sketch a Day images can be found at:

https://www.instagram.com/communicatingcreatively/

My larger paintings can be found at:

https://www.instagram.com/light.inspired/

Time To Challenge Myself more

Since hitting the 1,000 mark with my Watercolour Sketch a day, I’ve been attempting to do less tutorials and also less working from reference photos. I’ve enjoyed doing the tutorials but I thought it was time to start challenging myself more by doing my own original compositions whilst attempting to apply the techniques I’ve been learning within the tutorials.

One of the challenges I have with the daily sketches is that sometimes, I do not get a lot of time to spend on them. Sometimes it can be as little as 15 minutes, sometimes up to an hour. I love doing the daily sketches but am conscious that when time is short, I don’t get the chance to do the multiple layer washes are required.

I still want to do the daily sketches as I want to keep my daily art practice going (Art is not my full-time occupation) as I want to continue to improve and I find the practice quite meditative.

One of the things I am aiming to do is more A4 size Watercolour and Line and Wash paintings. These will need to be done on weekends.

Below are a few of my original sketches since passing the 1,000 day mark.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

November 2021

100 Great Wonders Poetry Challenge!

Yesterday, whilst visiting Mum for lunch, I came across a book I didn’t remember seeing there before called ‘100 Great Wonders Of The World’ – A collection of the World’s awe-inspiring places, buildings and landscapes.

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As long as I can remember, these sorts of subjects have fascinated me. I love reading and researching them. We have not, at this stage done a huge amount of travelling so until we do get to some more, this has to suffice.

Upon borrowing the book and returning home, an idea came to mind to use the images as reference photos for my Watercolour Sketching practice. I realise I can Google these places anytime and references photos on the Internet are seemingly endless, however, having them all in one book is quite attractive. I still find that, ‘curling up with a real book’ is still far more attractive the scrolling online.

This morning, whilst flipping through the book, another idea came to mind… I have set myself a challenge and that is to write one Poem about each of these ‘Great Wonders of the World.’

I will read about each one, survey the images, go away and think on it and then write a Poem.

The first ‘Wonder’ is ’The Great Fjords of Norway.’ Here is the Poem I wrote:

The Great Fjords of Norway
Where Vikings reigned supreme
Long, narrow gorges

Flooded by the sea

Magnificent waterfalls cascade
Against a backdrop of Green
Majestic mountains rise

Snow-laden figurines

Tiny villages are scattered
Indeed they are so remote
Boats are the optimum way
To keep communication afloat

The Great Fjords of Norway
Where beauty reigns supreme
Long, narrow gorges

Flooded by the sea

I think this will be a very interesting challenge as it will help ’stretch my mind’ Poetry-wise and also further inspire us to do more travel when able.

Only 99 Poems to go!

Written by David Johnson
26 July 2020

Nil Rocha Art – A Mentor

Within the past week, a change has come across my Watercolour Sketch a Day practice.

When I started the practice it was because I wanted to learn not only Watercolour but obtain practice in sketching and drawing with pencils and pigment liners.

Over time and sometimes due to time constraints (mainly during the week), I found myself dispensing with the pencils and pigment liners and just doing a quick ‘wash’ sketch with paint only. This is ok, I guess as I was still getting practice, but I wonder how much I was actually learning, leaving myself to my own devices…?

Just under a week ago, I decided that I wanted to go back to my ‘original why’ and I started looking at YouTube and in particular searching the phrase, ‘Line and Wash.’

I came across an Artist channel, ‘Nil Rocha Art’ whose sketches appealed a lot to me. “Nil Rocha Art’ is listed as ‘a Professional Artist in ‘Line and Wash’ drawing landscape and others.

Having now done five of the tutorials, I feel like I am learning so much more now about sketching, painting and the use of colours, mixes etc than I have in all the time previously. Yes, I wish I had done this earlier but I guess we all have our own journey. Previously, I would watch different shows, picking up the occasional tips and practicing them, reading books etc.

I feel that the tutorials are stretching me, exploding me out of my comfort zone and even after only five days, I feel that my confidence in sketching/Watercolour is growing each day. I’ve included the five Line and Wash sketches I’ve done so far, below.

If I was just starting now, I would definitely jump onto YouTube or similar and find an Artist/Mentor that you can follow.

Should you be interested in learning about how to do Line and Wash here is the link to ‘Nil Rocha Art’ YouTube channel. I hope you have as much fun as I’m having.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChARxKHm9NvFsN52nnvpxRw

Thank you to ‘Nil Rocha Art!’

Written by David Johnson
22 March 2020

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“Fishing Trip” Day 416 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day

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“Country House” Day 417 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day

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“Farmland” Day 418 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day

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“House On The Hill” Day 419 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day

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“Hillside Living” Day 420 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day