Painting my life

In Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards reminds us that drawing is simply the process of copying what’s in front of us.  We’re often unaware of just how much the subliminal messages from our analytical brain get in the way of our ability to see what’s in front of us clearly enough to really copy it accurately. We get thrown off course by what we know about the subject we’re painting, rather than being able to screen all of that extra data out and just draw (or paint) it.

Part of my painter’s journey is to constantly work on the development of drawing and painting skills. To that end, I’ve started doing a little practice exercise every week – capturing the shape, colour and essence of the subject. I use small items I have to hand. Last week a rose hip. This week a sprig of rosemary.

Here’s the little piece close up. It strikes me that if I do enough of these, eventually I will have painted the contents of my garden, my kitchen, my house….

6 thoughts on “Painting my life

  1. These little studies or small paintings are sometimes so beautiful – so true to what they are saying about the subject that goes beyond just “an herb” or “a flower” – you’re creating little gems with these and I’m glad you’re sharing them with your viewers.

    1. Hello Rhonda. I’m very pleased you like them, and thank you for saying so. It’s lovely when a reader tells you that they like what you’re doing – makes the blogging all worth while to know it’s being enjoyed. Now that I’ve got my website sorted out, I will hopefully be posting more regularly.

      One which subject, I really enjoy reading your blog. Great topics, and also some fabulous blogs to be discovered in your recommendations.

  2. This is exactly what I experienced at Art college – (not with your garden or kitchen contents) – Our figure drawing lecturer used to take us through exercises that were not really about drawing the figure.
    1) Draw the outline without taking your pencil off the paper and without looking at the paper.
    2) Draw only the negative shapes and their relationship to each other
    3) Draw with no outline only contour lines (like a map) to show the volume
    4) Draw the weight (this one is horribly hard)

    We went through months of these exercises before we actually had a session where we were allowed to draw the pose as we liked – but the sheer discipline had a huge impact on our composition and the way we approached the subject matter.

  3. How on earth do you paint weight? I can imagine that was really difficult. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

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