self portrait

I did up a little pen & ink self portrait a while ago, the first one since art school, and it was an interesting experience.

One of the side effects of getting older that I hadn’t anticipated was difficulty reconciling how I actually look with how I imagine I look. The “me” in my head doesn’t completely match up with the real-life external “me” anymore (if it ever did) which resulted in some struggles when I was thinking about how to draw myself.

In the end I went with a pretty straightforward drawing without a lot of detail (I was creating it as a new social media avatar). It definitely looks like me, but me with my streaks of white hair and developing crow’s feet absent. Maybe when I am feeling a bit more courageous I will make one for myself that is a little more true to life.

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easter photo

I was scanning photos for my Grandmother's memorial this weekend and found this one:

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No idea where that duck came from but I look like I am willing to defend it to the death.

experimental goldfish

I recently decided to revisit working with gouache (I usually work in watercolour and ink) and have been having a lot of fun getting to know it again. I am particularly enjoying how the paint flows - not quite acrylic and not quite watercolour - and being able to lay opaque colours on top of each other (this is the biggest adjustment after ink/watercolour).

I am not enjoying what it does to my brushes though, I had forgotten how it chews them up. Guess I'll be investing in some new brushes soon.

Here is my experiment from today:

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I love looking at goldfish - especially the fancy flowy ones - but when I paint them or draw them I almost always make all of the details too specific which definitely takes away from their feeling of weightlessness. Making this was fun, and a great way to poke harder at gouache, but I definitely need to spend more time on them.

crow in progress

Spending a lot of time painting tiny shifts in value on this crow. She’s coming along slowly though. 

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I picked up some Acryla gouache this morning and it is fantastic. The primary black is so rich and dark - even when it has dried. I really love it so far.

And, if you have ever drawn (or even looked hard at) a bird and not wondered at how they are actually very small, feathered dinosaurs then you are seriously missing out.