A Generous Gift – Italian Handmade Watercolour Paper

Last year, a good friend, business associate and mentor, left for a business trip over to Europe. On her return, She presented me with a gift, a pack of “Amalfi Hand Made Watercolour Paper.” Alison said she saw this paper and thought of me. Thanks, Alison!

I was indeed very grateful as for one, I wasn’t expecting a gift at all and certainly not a pack of fine Italian Watercolour Paper!

Last year was an extremely busy and life-changing year and I struggled (particularly in the latter half of the year) to find, not only quality time but the state I wanted to be in to try the paper.

Today, for my Day 1,431 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day, I thought I would do it. Today, is New Year’s Day Holiday in Australia (as NYD fell on a Sunday), so it seemed like the perfect time to try the paper.

When trying any new paper, I’ve read that it is a great idea to try some small samples so I cut one of the 30cm x 30cm sheets into 6 pieces and I shall use them for my next 6 Watercolour Sketches a Day. This way, I can see how the paper performs, how it takes water and colour etc.

I also thought I would sketch a subject I had done before. It will take time for me to get used to the paper as it is many steps up from what I have been using up till now.

Here is Day 1,431 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day.

Written by David Johnson

2 January 2023

The Organic Artist

Last weekend on our anniversary celebration, I picked a book at a store in Berrima, N.S.W. called, ‘Six Impossible Things. Last year, I purchased a double-glass inkwell at the store and was delighted to see that they had moved to bigger premises.

Erica owns the store and is very helpful. I picked up a Postal dip pen nib and the book below.

The book seemed way too interesting to leave on the shelf. A few weeks back I was talking to a gallery director in Camden and he gave me a reed and showed me how to cut it so it could be used as a dip pen. Looking at my attempt I think I have more practice ahead of me. Oh well, something is worth doing badly until one becomes better at it.

In my limited look at the book since it appears to go a lot deeper into the technical details of creating such tools. I’m looking forward to exploring it more and having some more Arty fun!

Written by David Johnson

29 November 2022

Latest Watercolour Sketches a Day!

Well, moving house is finally over. Now it’s just continuing to open boxes, sort, and set up the different rooms.

I’m a fair bit behind in posts for this month so I had ‘better get my skates on!’

I’ve included a few of my latest Watercolour Sketches a Day. That is all the art-related endeavour I have been able to do lately. Hope you enjoy them.

Day 1,386 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day
Day 1,390 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day
Day 1,391 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day

I’ve been trying to experiment with layers and letting the water do more of the work and I like the effects I am getting so I think I will head more in this direction.

Written by David Johnson

25 November 2022

Experimenting With Card Stock

Mostly when I do my Watercolour Sketch a day, I will use Watercolour paper (in a sketchbook), mixed media paper anywhere from 200 gsm to 300 gsm.

Occasionally, I’ll try a different type, and recently, I purchased some plain and some textured Card Stock. I intend to use it mainly for some junk journals I want to make however, today, I decided to use the Card stock in my Watercolour Sketch a day.

I quite like the way the paint moves around the paper. Below is Day 1,368.

Written by David Johnson

30 October 2022

Urban Sketchers Sydney – October Meet

Last Saturday, I went on my second Meet of the Urban Sketchers Sydney group. This time, the Meet was held in the grounds between the Sydney Town Hall and St Andrews Cathedral.

The main object of the day was to attempt a sketch of a moving subject, the newly built ‘Sydney Light Rail’, a red and deep grey, modern-style tram.

There were 40 or so Urban Sketchers in attendance and most started with the Light Rail as the subject. Quite a few of us went in the other direction and chose stationary subjects i.e. buildings or parts of buildings. I chose the side entrance/steps to the Sydney Town Hall.

Sydney Town Hall

To be honest, I found this subject challenging enough and when it started to rain a little it was even more challenging. After I finished this sketch, I did wander over to the Light Rail and started to sketch it. It was kind of weird how the subject kept disappearing… I didn’t get to finish the sketch at the time but it certainly was an interesting challenge and experience.

We then had the ‘Throw Down’ and once again it was marvellous to see all the different interpretations and styles of those present.

Throw Down

I am so glad that I came across this group on Facebook. Urban Sketchers Sydney is full of friendly and inspirational people and I am looking forward to attending my third Meet in November. I wonder where it will be? 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/usksyd/about/

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

3 October 2022

The Sydney Urban Sketchers

NB: They are actually known as ‘Urban Sketchers Sydney’ however, Sketchers rhymes well with ‘adventures’
and it is the ‘adventure’ I’m writing about.

Expression

The Canvas Is Awaiting…

The Journey Has Begun…

As long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed looking at Art, particularly Paintings.

Many hours have been spent visiting Art Galleries, viewing books, magazines on Art and Art images on the Internet. I love investigating the different Styles and Movements that have (& are being created).

Prior to 2010 I hadn’t really given much thought to actually picking up a brush, except that I thought I might ‘have a go’ when I retired. ‘Out of the blue’ I decided to take a 6 week drawing course at a small Art Gallery about half an hour from home.

I learnt there that I (apparently) draw by line instead of tone and had a wonderful time drawing on A5 to A2 paper using Graphite pencil and Charcoal on subjects such as Architecture, Head & Shoulder Life Portraits and Nature.

It was after the Drawing course that I started to get interested in actually trying my hand at painting. I started playing around with Watercolour. At this point I did not even realise that Watercolour is considered to be the hardest medium. From there I ventured onto Acrylic and enjoyed playing with that, though after talking to the owner of a local Art store I decided to try Oil painting.

I am enjoying Oil painting immensely! I have not had any lessons at this point in time, just tips from my Brother, my Mother-In-Law and a couple of friends. Other influences are the copious amounts of Art books I borrow from the local library, magazines and You Tube videos.

At some point I do intend having some official lessons but for the moment I am enjoying exploring, experimenting and having fun. Sometimes I try to paint from a reference photo and other times from my imagination. I think the latter is my favourite.

Oil painting has become another ‘escape’ for me, much like the other forms of communication found in this blog. It allows me to leave ‘reality’ and it refreshes me.

Sometimes, I can vividly see the scenes that I would like to create via painting, but my technical skill is a fair way behind where it needs to be to be able to replicate what I see in my mind. In time I hope it catches up! In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the place I am at and look forward to the journey of self-discovery and learning.

Here are a few examples of of my paintings thus far…

Written by David Johnson
30 August 2015

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