Monday, 10 November 2014

How NOT to water colour

This weeks sketchbook skool
was for the two things that 
I like least.
Landscapes (eww) and proper water colour
(not the colouring in that I call water colour).
To make it worse, I had to do it
plein air, or outside as I would say.

I decided to tackle the landscape bit first.
I was sitting comfortably on the 
outside couch on my patio
and decided to draw the trees in my garden
and the trees over the back fence.

Looking, looking, there's a lot to take in
and I don't know where to start.
I pick up my pen and draw a tree trunk
 add a few bits and wow this landscaping stuff 
is not my cup of tea.
I splodge on a bit of paint using my water brush,
this is a quick way to do leaves. 
Then it started. 
 The teacher had said to spray the paints 
and get them wet.  I did that before I started drawing
and then decided to mix some colours
 so they would be ready. 
I had this tray on my lap and stuck the brush into the paint,
lifted it to the little dish and then realised the pan was stuck
to the brush, it had gone sticky as it was drying.
I panicked and flicked the brush,
resulting in one pan flying away and over 
into the dirt on the lawn.
I jumped up and of course the whole tray of paints
then fell onto the patio and was coated in dust.
I grabbed the wayward pan and tried to brush it off
but it was stuck hard.  
A word of warning, if you do this don't
 hold the pan and dump it into a bowl of water,
 cos when you lift it out paint runs down
 your arm and onto your trouser leg.
After a few choice words, I was ready to start again.
I got the spray bottle and gave it a good hard spray.
Not a good idea as it splashed up everywhere,
seems once it's been wet it gets really sploshy.
Mess cleaned up, I start again.
This time I get it sort of alright
and I end up with,
well, a mess really.

The rest of my homework was to 
draw birds in the garden.

Now we're talking, I love birds and we have tons of them.
Have you ever tried to get a bird to sit still
while you draw it?

Apart from Charlie, my very vain parrot,
no other birds will sit still for anything.
I gave up after fifty tries and got out the camera.

It was easy once I was inside my art room.
I pencilled up the birds, did them in pen
and then 'water' coloured them in.
Now I know I should have persevered
and done quick little sketches
but after the paint pan incident
I'd had enough.

'Plein air' my foot, it should be called
'plein painful'!


  1. Oh Von, you are a hoot! Love the birds :)

  2. I hate painting landscapes to Von, so you are not alone! But considering the problems you had, you should be proud you bothered finishing at all! And those birds are fantastic! Really awesome! How on earth did you manage that when they move so quickly? :0)

  3. I would freak at painting outdoors but even with all your trials and tripulations (hehe) I think you did a brilliant job.
    As for your birds... they look fantastic. I couldn't sketch a bird quick enough either. I hardly manage with a camera never mind a pencil.
    Thanks for a giggle yet again Vonny,
    I think you're going to pass with flying colours!
    Have a wonderful weekend xoxo


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Thanks, Von.