Write a blog they say!
Well, here I go. I am having a shot at writing a blog. Please, keep in mind that I am a visual artist - not a writer.
For the last eight months, I have been away from my studio. My husband and I decided it was time to do the big trip around Australia with our caravan. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There was much to see and do. To really do a trip around Australia justice, you would need to dedicate many years to travelling. We chose to spend time in places we were most interested in and sample the rest.
Naturally, I took along some drawing equipment - A5 visual diaries, pencils, pens, coloured pencils, mini watercolour set. Occasionally, I drew on site though not often. I have a great aversion to being covered with flies and soon retreated into the caravan. We purchased fly veils but the flies around the face and head were still very annoying.
I made the decision to photograph my intended subjects and load a selection onto my iPad. Then, I was able to draw to my heart's content inside the van. Yes, it was hot in northern Australia (late winter & spring) but it was just as hot outside the van as it was inside. Being engrossed in drawing took my mind off the terrible heat. I hate being hot.
Summer was spent across southern Australia. The weather was lovely - generally very cool with brisk breezes. My husband, at times, complained about the chill winds. He hates being cold and isn't particular about strong winds. There were several short heat waves (40 - 46c )while we were in Victoria but they were tolerable dry heat instead of the heavy humid heat of Queensland. Still, there were flies - maybe not quite as bad as northern outback Australia - but annoying all the same. Even now that we are back home there are more flies than usual.
During our trip I completed 150 pen and watercolour drawings. The early drawings were done with watercolour pencils which I went over with a wet brush. I am not a watercolourist although I had completed previously a few traditional watercolour paintings. I wasn't confident using watercolour on A5 size light weight diary paper, preferring the control of watercolour pencils. Eventually, my confidence built and I switched to using my mini watercolour set. I only used a watercolour pencil when I needed to make minor colour adjustments or emphasise something (which was rare). My favourite tool was a white gel ballpoint pen to pick out white areas that somehow were splashed with colour. A5 is an awkward size to leave small sections of white paper. The white gel pen was a very useful companion. The whole time I used just one brush - a rather large (for A5 drawings) size 16 Art Spectrum 1300 white Taklon brush. It helped keep the watercolours loose ( well, looser than they might have been otherwise) and I was still able to manage fine lines with it.
A few drawings were undertaken with gel pen only. These, I found, took too long to do compared to pen and watercolour so that technique was short lived for the travel drawings.
Now, that I am home, I am gradually putting the drawings and the commentary from my travel diary into a book. It is time consuming. There is a lot to do. Once I have completed and published the book I will let everyone know that it is available and where to get it.
Until next time.
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I have had a lifetime passion for drawing and painting. Realistic with an impressionistic touch is an apt description for my work.
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Write a blog they say!