Saturday, January 23, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice

That is what top artists will say to you if you want to improve your skills in painting. "A painting a day" is another..... Basically, you need to just paint, paint, paint, even if it's just playing with 'colour mixes', 'shadows', trying tonal values, sketching etc. But we all know that..... don't we? It's not the only way we learn, but it's the best way...... Remember, It's a journey of growth, so enjoy it!

How many of us actually do paint daily?... I'm blushing here, as I fall into the 'non-daily' painters camp! Life just seems to get in the way sometimes and I forget that painting is or should be part of my daily therapy. And boy, do I need therapy! However I do feel terribly guilty if,  by the end of the day I haven't picked up a brush or pencil. 2010however does look promising as I find myself with more time on my hands and less daily interruptions.

I have a few commitments this early this year with 2 wonderful workshops coming up so I really need to practice and get my brushes flowing. The first workshop is with Hazel Soan, who will be visiting South Africa soon - Hazel is an internationally renowned artist and is the author of seven books on painting in watercolours. The other 2 exciting workshops I'll attend are in the UK with renowned artist Jean Haines. Jean has been my mentor and inspiration for a number of years now, she has a unique loose style of painting which I admire and is in the process of having her first book published.I have had the fortune of meeting Ms Haines last year at a workshop she ran on 'Watercolours with Life' and although, exhausting, enjoyed my self immensely.

Here are a few sketches I was practicing using Hazel Soan's 'African African Watercolours'.

Sketches from Hazel's book...using my moleskin.

And one using my own photo... minus preliminary sketch.

This painting was from a photo I took at the Rhino and Lion Park last year. 
This ewe was actually feeding.....hence her looking away from the camera,
  I left the young Springbok out of the painting....

I plan to do flowers next.....(Jean style). I have hundreds and hundreds of photos of flower studies.....
so best I get cracking......

Have a lovely weekend all... till next time.....


Melissa Fischer said...

So true, Debbie. I've been doing lots of just plain experimenting with colors and water recently, trying to figure out how to get a certain effect (no luck yet).

And how exciting about the workshops! Are you going to the UK twice for workshops with Jean, or are they both on one visit? I know you'll have a wonderful time.

I was so excited to meet Hazel Soan last August and wish so much I could go to a workshop of hers. I doubt she'll be doing one anywhere I can get to, though.

Melissa Fischer said...

Oh, and I forgot to say, WONDERFUL sketches! I also have Hazel Soan's African Watercolours and love it.

Maree said...

Lovely sketches Debbie! And I'm quite envious about your up-and-coming workshops! When and where is the Hazel Soan one being held?

Susan said...

So very true Debbie, I need to get at that point and not let life interrupt me so much!
Still have a mental block on water colours. I think I will also look at this book of Hazel - do you think we can find it at Incredible Books? (The only decent bookshop near me ;-) )

Debbie said...

Hi Melissa, Thank you! You are so good to be experimenting.... I find repetition is also the key as you become familiar with the subject. Jeans workshops are back to back.

Maree, The Watercolour Society of South Africa, have invited her to run a 4 day workshop in March. Unfortunately for members only! Are you a member? Thanks for replying.

Susan, It takes perseverance and is not always easy as life sometimes is intrusive. I bought Hazel's book on-line through Amazon.... I have seen them from time to time at Exclusive books, but very costly!

Jean Haines ASWA said...

Hello Debbie

I loved reading this. We all know what we should do but as you say life does have a habit of getting in the way sometimes!

I am so looking forward to seeing you again and if you aren't painting daily now I have a feeling you will be eager to after the sessions which will be very full on this year and incredibly exciting.

Keep up the practise because you know you have tremednous talent.......and it is dying to be shown off so let it out!

See you in Spring,isnt that a wonderful thing to say!


jane minter said...

these are wonderful sketches debbie .... enjoy hazel's workshop look foward to seeing you at jean's .