As an artist having a change of scenery does wonders for inspiration. 2020 was a write-off for me in most ways but in 2021 I learned to dig deeper into myself to find inspiration in the ordinary and mundane. 2022 has started me on a New Year Daily Drawing Challenge, and in the process of thinking about what I was going to draw I discovered some amazing things.
I had done a couple of portraits of my soon-to-be-lost Bird of Paradise plant for Day 2 and 3 but it quickly became apparent that I already had multiple portraits of all my plants.
By January 4, Day 4 of the challenge, I was truly stumped about what to draw. But as luck would have it Cee’s Challenge that day was ‘Water, Water Everywhere’. I quickly put together a post called ‘Shimmer Like Rippling Light on Water’ and in the process remembered that I had wanted to do studies of reflections on ponds.
A watercolour sketch I had done in the late spring of 2020 (10 Paintings in 10 Days Challenge) featured flag irises reflected in a nearby duckpond, where I realized that water and its reflections made an interesting addition to a painting.
I grabbed this image of a pond at Tanum, a UNESCO World Heritage Rock Art Centre in Sweden. Months earlier I had cut it up into heavily zoomed-in pieces which I started working from.
I started a study of a pond by putting down watercolour washes over white crayon slashes. Then I realized it would have to be quite dry before I started drawing on it so I put it aside and did a pencil sketch focussing on the positive/negative interaction. I really had to think about what I was doing – thankfully all my erasures added yet another dimension to the drawing! (Day 4)
At this point I was a bit disappointed in the colours in my small 5″ x 7″ sketch book. Not really designed for watercolour, the colours were immediately absorbed into the paper and turned dull, not at all like the shimmery blues and greens I wanted. I tried testing out the difference in watercolour between different papers, the bottom designed for watercolour, the top not. However, the book with appropriate paper was four times larger and I knew I would never be able to keep up doing a sketch a day at that size. So it was back to the small sketchbook.
Day 6, a sketch in crayon, watercolour and pencil. This turned out a lot darker than I was hoping for, less about reflections and more about the leaves floating on the pond; also the strange whitish markings at the top.
- My post of ‘Shimmer Like Rippling Light on Water‘ that inspired me.
- More of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fun with Water, Water, Everywhere that inspired me to write my ‘shimmer’ post.
More of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Water.