A winter break in Kalbarri (about 560 Km North of Perth)…wonderful warm and sunny weather…walked the Murchison Gorge Loop, along the Kalbarri cliffs and along the beaches. Saw emus, kangaroos, bobtailed skinks,an echidna on land plus whales (in the distance), dolphins close to shore and caught a couple of sand whiting in the estuary (one was returned to the sea, the other was delicious). Finally the Pelicans which are fed each day by a team of volunteers….
Sketches from the last of the Black Swan Prize free portrait painting sessions with model Cougar Morrison.in a neon green leopard print dress with bling accessories and red hair, she was quite a challenge to sketch. The glittery lipstick and eye-shadow were impossible to capture with watercolour but it was a really fun and interesting portrait attempt. The top sketch is my second one of the session (size A6) and is better capture of features and expression, the lower sketch was drawn first and larger (A4) and is less fluid…. I was still finding my way around features and models are often more tense in the first hour….it takes time for both artist and model to relax, to really see the facial landmarks and expressions….only two hours is a very short time to get a likeness but I’m happy with my attempts…always learning.
The Black Swan Prize are organising three live portrait challenges – a model is provided (and shade gazebo), anyone can join in, you have two hours to paint or draw in what ever medium you like…..This week it was Grace Barbé and beautiful singer originally from the Seychelles. Grace was wearing a gorgeous green patterned shirt and lots of colourful jewellery so I got a bit carried away with the greens in the shadows, but it was great to have a go at painting her….TWSBI Eco fountain pen with EF fude nib, De Atramentis document Urban Grey ink, various watercolours with Pentel and Kuretake waterbrushes on Winsor and Newton heavyweight cartridge sketchbook.
I’ve made some recent changes to my sketch kit and bought a new pen case – “Lihit Lab smart fit small double pen case” that holds all my sketch gear (except the little water bottle) in one compact unit….
It has 2 sections, one opens like a book with pockets and elastic to hold all my pens and brushes, the other side is a half zip pocket where I store my Altoids paint box and other bits and bobs…..The above pictures are a little misleading, the as the pen is resting on the floor it looks much smaller than the case….actual size see below with pen stored inside….
Below picture…. top row from top left are…
TWSBI Eco fountain pen with Extra Fine nib; Pentel pocket brush pen (cartridge refilled with DeAtramentis Document Black ink); Uniball gel pen with White pigment ink; Pentel broad waterbrush filled with tap water plus a few drops of Lamy black ink (makes a convenient grey ink wash); Zig BrushH20 “broad”waterbrush (this is actually a flat brush); Pentel round waterbrushes sizes fine and broad; Travel brushes (separated in the photo) – 6mm (1/4”) dagger brush synthetic hairs (no name on brush, bought from Malcolm Carver website) and Escoda Number 8 Sable brush; Bic Classic fine ball point; Pentel 0.7mm mechanical pencil with 2B leads; Cheap 6mm flat brush (for gouache); cheap synthetic rigger brush.
Other items above are: Altoids paint box (see next picture below for details); wrist sweat band for wiping brushes; Nalgene bottle of water 60mls / 2oz (this bottle doesn’t fit in the pen case): Nalgene bottle of white gouache 8mls / 1/4oz; Bulldog clip; Metal ruler
I’ve also changed a few colours recently… from top left…Winsor Lemon, Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Buff Titanium, Quinacridone Violet, Permanent Rose, Winsor Red, Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet, Sepia, Perylene Green, Turquoise Green, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Indigo
Perylene Green is my newest interesting colour and the only ready-made green I carry, mixing other greens as needed from above……
I have to say that 95% of my watercolour sketching is done with waterbrushes….even though I have great “proper” watercolour brushes I still love the convenience of waterbrushes. They do take some getting used to ….hold them lightly and gently – don’t squeeze the barrel unless you want water.
It is possible (though a little tricky – needs practice) to get dry brush effects…. thoroughly wipe off excess water from the bristles and paint holding your paper and brush vertical (with the bristles pointing skyward) it feels a little strange – but gravity can’t pull the water down down out of the barrel!