Dr Sketchys – Great fun!

This was my second time attending a Dr Sketchy’s event, and it didn’t disappoint. The format for the events I’ve attended remained the same – and it works well. It’s more of a casual, untutored opportunity to sketch from life. The poses are around 1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minute and 10 minute sessions and there’s usually two performers. The performers don’t always remove all their clothes – and that gives it’s own challenges with sketching clothes over the human form. There’s music, challenges and prizes, and a performance from each of the life drawing subjects. The first session I went to had a fire dancer and cabaret singer (he was very good!), but last week we had a mime dancer (lip syncing) and burlesque dancer. Although the latter pair were entertaining, the fire dancer was very mesmerising.

Here is a selection of sketches from the evening. Highly recommended for a fun night out – it’s informal, great value (£7 entry), and entertaining. You can even get competitive with entries for Nondominant hand, Most Magical Sketch, Partner swap drawing, etc.

Lady Lolly Rouge
Lady Lolly Rouge – 15 min pose and later further refined

Peacock Shimmer

I’ve added a new piece of work to my Artfinder shop – Peacock Shimmer. This contains iridescent paint that shimmers when it catches the light. I had so much fun making this. All my favourite colours together in a majestic animal! Browse and Buy on Artfinder

Peacock Shimmer
Peacock Shimmer – 2018 – Acrylics

And here’s a little video of the shimmer so that you can really see how the light plays across the surface:

Patti Mollica

It was by sheer accident that I came across Patti Mollica’s online art course. I was fortunate enough to find the class just a couple of weeks before registration closed. I had been looking for some time for a course that was based online, with some structure, that wasn’t geared towards total beginners. A lot of the well known courses start you from the ground up, giving you the foundation and basics to build upon. They also tend to be for watercolours and oils – while I’m very much an acrylic painter. As I’m more intermediate (between beginner and intermediate, really, based on the limited time I have to practise), and I’m limited on time, I didn’t want to waste time going over old ground, although I always appreciate the practise that comes with rote exercises.

So, with lots of enthusiasm, I signed up to the Online Color Workshop (sic – she’s based in USA). The timings worked out very well – as a full time worker the 6pm GMT live conference classes were an ideal start time. On the East Coast of USA this translated to around 1pm on the set day each week. We met once a week, for 5 weeks, and if you missed it, you could catch up with the recorded session at a later date. These were in the form of presentations with lots of information, from basic to advance techniques. The homework also reflected different levels of skill, and you could choose what to do. I tried to do it all (as did some others), but found quickly that I needed to be more selective and focus on the exercises I chose. I will, however, go back to the exercises I didn’t manage to complete (there were up to 4 each week to choose from).

There was so much information to take on board – colour theory is such a broad topic and feeds into other areas of study such as composition and value, that I don’t consider my studying “done” by any means. A lot of the information and further reading recommended will continue for me to get the most out of this.

If you enjoy loose painting styles, particularly in acrylic, and wish to further your knowledge – do look out for Patti‘s courses. She also runs workshops.

Here are some of the studies I produced for this course:

All course content and photo references © Patti Mollica

P!nk Attitude – New Ostrich Painting

P!nk Attitude – 2018 – Acrylic ink on mountboard
P!nk Attitude – 2018 – Acrylic ink on mountboard

Added to PaintingsAvailable on Artfinder

Ostriches are one of my favourite subjects – they are so funny and expressive, you can almost see human characteristics in them.
I’m so drawn to these birds – llamas and emus too. I loved playing with the FW Inks here although I still need to practice more. I tried wet-into-wet, but it dried so fast, I don’t think I used enough water. I also cropped the painting afterwards because initially I started with washes of colour, and it slowly, before I knew, became another (more colourful!) ostrich painting.

I think it was the colour palette I started with – pinks, blues, and purples. Before I knew it, I wanted a subject with attitude. The title is a play on pink, punk and funk. I call it – P!nk Attitude.

There will be more birds in this series, with the inks, in less “real” colours. I’m also enjoying embellishing and using my iridescent colours – so watch out.

This week I’m hoping to finish a few pieces I have lying around, or if not finish them, at less progress on more unfinished work. I have a few sketches I’ve been working on. I also intend to take the peacocks further, and try again, but in a looser, less illustrative style. I like the pose that I have come up with, so I’ll try some new, looser variations and try to progress it.

I saw this recent post by Nicholas Wilton, and it’s a good watch. It’s about how to find time to make your art. It’s common sense, but it goes against the notion that you have to spend a lot of hours to grow as an artist / creative. Little and often seems to be proven to help lessons “stick” and not lose energy to keep going. Breaks are good, but consistency, and being able to slot in creating around daily life is important. It’s just not realistic for me to spend chunks of 6 hours or more painting. I work full time, and I try to balance that with eating healthily and exercising as well, which also takes time. None of these things exist in a vacuum. When my mind and body are healthy, I have much more ability to focus during those short periods I can dedicate to my artwork.

Book of the week: Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom
Track of the week: Portugal. The Man – Feel it Still