I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Wednesday 30 November 2022

Belated Inktober Page

Hello all!  Long time no blogging again... sorry.  I'm trying to shake off a horrid sore throat and chesty cough (tests say not Covid), and writing a blogpost is about all I'm up to at the moment, so here I am!  I've finally got an Inktober update for you, another page of botanical sketches done from life.

I didn't manage anywhere near the full 31 days... in fact, reverse those two digits and you'll have the actual total.  And the last of those was actually done yesterday morning - I needed it to fill the gap in this second page before I could share it. 

Anyway, here are a few photos (click for a larger view) to show you some of the leafy life models and the pen sketches which are the start of the process for these.  It was Inktober, after all, so I made myself start with pen rather than pencil.  I've been using a Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.3, Daniel Smith watercolours, and Silver Black Velvet brushes in a Moleskine A4 watercolour journal.

Sometimes there's a part way stage that seems worth sharing too, and sometimes not.  I was particularly pleased with how the shadows made these rosehip stems "lift off" the page...

As always, there were good days and bad days.  The trouble with doing them all on one page is that the risks feel greater... what if today's painting is so bad that it messes up the whole page?!

The Czechs are great fungi foragers - it's a national pastime - so there had to be at least one mushroom in the autumnal gatherings.

Another acorn (or two) made it on to the page... they are a real challenge to get the shaping right.  I'm still working on it!

The Echinacea or Coneflower has been a gorgeous addition to the garden this year (not sure whether it's going to make it through the winter, but we'll see).  Even in its decayed state it has such beauty...
And finally the little brown oak leaf from yesterday - and it definitely wasn't my finest hour.  As the annotations say: lesson learned... don't try to paint when you're not feeling well!

As well as garden gatherings (which was what was on the first page a few weeks ago), this second page has some things gathered on one of my walks.  Here's a glimpse of the treasures I came home with, and which I was planning to make the subject of other Inktober paintings.  Sadly, most of them didn't get painted in the end.

I think the first trio of leaves and the ragged rosehip stems are probably my favourites - how about you?

I'll leave you with both pages... 13 out of 31 - not brilliant, but not nothing either.  I'm pleased with the results of challenging myself to paint from life.

I'm aiming to continue the watercolour practice throughout the year rather than waiting for July (World Watercolour Month) and October (Inktober) again this time, so I may be back with more botanicals some time soon.  Hope you're all doing well, and I wish you all a wonderful December.

As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colours enough to paint the beautiful things I see.
Vincent van Gogh