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.
During Summer in Sydney, Australia, it is always best to walk early. We are expecting another day of 38C/100F temperatures.
Today, I set off a bit later than usual, at 7.00am. It was 17C/63F when I commenced.
As mentioned in previous blogs, I really enjoy walking, not only from the fitness perspective, but also because I get a lot of ideas whilst walking e.g. today, in a 42 minute walk, I came up 8 ideas for articles for this blog, all jotted down via the Google Keep app. Sometimes I get business ideas, or ideas for images, poems and paintings. If they are not recorded by some means, they will be lost…
Sometimes on a walk, I will listen to the sounds of nature, other times a playlist or a podcast, depending on how I feel.
Today, I chose to listen to a podcast by Charlie O’Shields called ’Sketching Stuff.’ I have been following Charlie’s site, ‘Doodlewash’ for some time but only recently started listening to his podcast.
I would encourage you to listen to the podcast if you are in any way interested in getting into Art or indeed, have already started.
Today, I listened to episode #10 and it was informative, inspirational and entertaining. I will be listening to it again over the weekend. (See link below.)
To finish off the walk, I chose a Classical music playlist as it suited my mood.
Sometimes, I will snap some images with my iPhone on my rounds. I took some today but they will come to light in a different article as I seemed to be shooting a theme today. I also have a DSLR, however, if I took that with me, the walk would double or triple in time!
So you see, walking for me isn’t ‘just walking’… it’s also a way of feeding my creativity!
Photography has been a passion of mine for 35 years, though since 2010 (when I did a basic Drawing course and started dabbling in Painting), Drawing and Painting have been slowly increasing in interest for me.
For the first time ever, this year, I have spent more time painting than I have photographing… Wow!
They are two very different mediums, with some similarities, particularly since Digital impacted photography. Painting cannot compete with the immediacy of photography, however, photography (since the Digital onslaught) has become almost machine gun-like, in that where a lot of photographers churn out numbers in the hundreds and the thousands when they go out to take photos.
There are or course photographers who do not take this approach to photography. They give serious consideration to the idea before they even pick up their camera to shoot the image or image series.
These photographers remind me of the painter who gives serious consideration to the idea and plans the painting accordingly. They need to decide on the composition, the story, the colours and the lighting etc. They pre-visualise just like the Black & White/Monochrome Darkroom photographers of yesterday did. Some still do.
Sitting in front of a computer (for me) editing image after image just isn’t as exciting or as fun as sitting in front of the canvas and creating.
This did surprise me somewhat, being a passionate photographer for as long as I have been. Recently, a photographer friend went on an overseas trip for a few weeks and took 8,000 digital images. 8,000! Having to review that many images from the trip are a real turn-off for me.
I’m still passionate about photography, though in different ways than above.
So, why I am attracted to Drawing and Painting?
They slow me down. They force me to think about what I am doing, what I am endeavouring to create, much like using an old TLR (Twin Len Reflex) on a tripod and taking the time to explore a scene with the eyes and the mind instead of firing off shot after shot with a DSLR…
It really takes you back to basics i.e. just using the mind, the limbs, pigments and paper/canvas. It is a challenge to create something uniquely yours without the high-flying technology. This excites me!
We, humans, spend our lives these days ‘tied to technology’ via our ever-present mobiles (cell-phones), tablets and other digital devices. Sitting in front of the canvas or creating in my Journal allows me to disengage.
I was thinking the other day that one can’t get much closer to the raw beginnings of hand-made Art than Drawing, Painting (or indeed Sculpture). The cave-dwellers picked up a rock or some other pigmented material and started to draw/paint.
Drawing and Painting takes one back to the early days of Art, the person, tool, pigment and the imagination.
What you draw, paint or photograph depends on your genes, your environment, what influences your thoughts and actions and your beliefs etc just like those cave-dwellers.
In that respect, only the tools and Mankind’s thoughts and advancement have changed.
In regards to drawing and painting, I am in the early stages of my journey. I feel it’s a journey that I will be on for the rest of my life. Exciting times are ahead!
Written by David Johnson
30 December 2017
Poetry and Prose by #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow, Co-Author of #1 Amazon Bestseller, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, and Jan/Feb 2022 Spillwords Press Author of the Month