Shoot it, Sketch it: Encore

Snowflakes, July 2014 — ink, watercolour and gouache study, 130 x 180 mm
Snowflakes, July 2014 — ink, watercolour and gouache study, 130 x 180 mm
Snowflakes (detail)
Snowflakes (detail)

The snowflakes are back. This is my second study of a photograph I took in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens last spring. It’s looser and more dramatic than the original sketch (below). I really went to town adding watercolour pencil over the top of an ink and watercolour sketch. Using the pencils wet (by dipping them in water) and then drawing on the wet sketch not only produced some wonderfully intense colours, it also added a rather nice texture. It’s a technique that definitely warrants further investigation… My thanks again to everyone who voted in the poll and asked me to draw this one again.

Original photograph and sketch #1
Original photograph and sketch #1

Losing sleep

Springtime — acrylic on canvas, 280 x 355 mm, 2014
Springtime — acrylic on canvas, 280 x 355 mm, 2014

I’ve spent the last few months getting my head around opening a shop online on Etsy and the day is almost here. Who knew it was going to be this much work?! If all goes according to plan, the official opening will be this weekend. I will, of course, make an announcement here and on Facebook : )

I’ve been researching like mad, making the hard decisions about what to sell and how to price them, painting new versions of old favourites (e.g. Springtime was based on this Shoot it, Sketch it painting) and, truth be told, losing a bit of sleep over it all… I don’t want the shop to become my reason for painting. I paint for the joy of it, for the tactile gratification of making something with my hands, for the wonder of stepping back (on a good day) and saying “I did that!” Keeping that focus is important to me. I’m also mindful of other people ― I find myself somewhere between the worlds of fine art and graphic design. I prefer a brief. I set them for myself all the time (hence the Shoot it, Sketch it posts and the In the style of… challenges). So why is opening a shop any different? I don’t know but it is.

I have also been rereading Steal Like An Artist, Austin Kleon’s ‘manifesto for creativity in the digital age’. It’s a wonderful resource full of advice, pithy quotes and encouragement. I dip into the pages from time to time and I am always rewarded. Let me give you an example:

“The manifesto is this: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use―do the work you want to see done.” Austin Kleon

Is it really that simple? I’ll let you know.