Monday, May 30, 2011

Exploring the Arts One Baby Step at a Time

One of the greatest things about my latest art teacher is that she introduces us to new things, and encourages us to try them.  While we are working on our own little projects, she sits quietly and works on something herself. I often like to check on what she's doing. One week she was tracing around the cut out shape of a cow, over and over again, so that they covered the paper and over lapped.  Then she coloured them in and that's not as easy as it sounds. The trick is to not have two the same touching.  I decided to try that with cats.

Then there was the week when one of the ladies was trying to draw faces, and the instructor thought that understanding the structure of the face would help her draw it better. So she brought in some Plasticine, and we all learned how to sculpt faces.  I tried that again a few days later with some sculpting clay I got at the dollar store, just to reinforce what I learned. Of course, I forgot a step or two, but still, it came out better than I would have expected a week earlier.

Another day she showed us some contour drawings that she had coloured in.  She likes bright colours and had turned these strange looking images into genuine works of art. I have to admit it took a bit more coaxing to get me to do that, and my results aren't worth sharing...yet.  I liked the outlines alright, but I didn't like the results after I coloured them in. I'll keep trying until I find a way to do it that pleases me.  So far I've tried coloured pencils, and watercolour pencils.   I like the watercolour pencil results better, but I think I'll try again using regular watercolours, or maybe just rouge the image with a bit of oil paint and see if I like that better. 

The watercolour pencils are also new to me, and we all worked on our first painting using them 2 weeks ago. Now, this is something I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. Actually, I'm hooked and have already gone out and bought a couple more pencils, and expect to get more and more over time.  They are easy to carry with you when you go somewhere, and you only need one brush and very little water.  I will always love to paint with watercolours, but working with these pencils is also very relaxing.

Today it was suggested that we take part in an upcoming event where we would work on our art outside, where people could see what we are doing.  Oh my goodness!  I went so far as to ask if she wasn't afraid we would embarrass her.  She didn't seem worried about that at all.  So, when I got home, I went outdoors and sat down and tried to capture a hosta with my watercolour pencils.  I got the shapes okay, I think, but I found that perhaps I didn't have the right colours, and I wasn't sure about shading.  It's not the same as working from a 2 dimensional photograph.  But it is another step forward.  I'll take this one in to show her, and see if she will tell me what needs fixing and how to go about it.  And whether or not I take part in that event, I will go outside and try this process again.....soon.


  1. Wow. I am impressed. I wish I could draw half as well as you can. I absolutely adore the painting with the two little birds. Made me think of my twinnies. :)

  2. Fantastic! The cats are amazing and I love the birds. And the face! I can't imagine being able to create a face with your hands. so cool.