Tuesday, 3 December 2019

The very best brushes - Rosemary & Co

Whenever I do an order for brushes from Rosemary & Co I say to myself “I do not need another brush” it doesn’t work very well and the resolve is easily broken. 

A few of my favourites... (friends might notice that I put my Ardmore ceramics to good use - and I might add that when I bought these many years ago they were much more affordable!)

And there’s more...

The last order was no different. I have come to like the Red Sable Blend Brushes very much. The mixture provides just the right amount of paint-holding capacity along with some firmness in the bristles. They aren’t as soft as the all sable ones and have the added advantage of being cost effective. My favourites are the Designer pointed rounds which are tapered to a much longer point allowing the artist to ‘draw’ with the brush. The Sable Blend dagger is a very versatile brush allowing for very expressive brush strokes.

I am trying a brush design that I have previously only had in synthetic fibres - a Sable and Ox hair One stroke. It’s quite firm but holds a lot of paint. 

Then there is a very new brush set, the Snowdrop brushes designed for the artist Vladislav Yeliseyev to his particular requirements. The brushes come either as individual round brushes in a range of sizes or as a set comprising three pointed rounds and the wonderful Snowdrop Swordliner - this one was a very special surprise inclusion in my order so I could test the brush.

This brush has a long taper and takes some time to master - lots of practice is clearly needed to use it the way Vladislav Yeliseyev does in his masterful watercolours.  The balance of the handle makes this brush a joy to use - perfectly designed to allow free flowing lines to be created. 

Watercolour abstract using the Snowdrop swordliner. 

Friday, 15 November 2019

2020 Calendars

I have made calendars using my paintings for a number of years now. Last year I had a technical glitch (mainly self-made, I confess) where the dates on the wall calendars were all wrong - actually the wrong year! 

So this year I decided that I would not design one. I even went to the extent of buying a calendar from GOMA. Students coming to the Studio will know how much I rely on the wall calendar to try to keep track of people away and makeup lessons. There is a good space on each date to keep track of appointments and birthdays.

However, I really like having a desk calendar so when I’m working at the computer the dates are right there, and I do like the design I have used. 

So I got busy and added image to the calendar design.It was an easy step to add the images to the format for a wall calendar as well so the Desk calendar and Wall calendar are both designed and ready.

I will be printing these to order so if you would like one please let me know. 

Desk Calendar

Wall Calendar 

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Inktober 2019

Frustrations with technology

Third time lucky. I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, halfway through Inktober. Life got in the way and I forgot to finish it. Then yesterday I resumed writing while out having coffee using an app Blog Touch. Usually the app works well but the app crashed and suddenly the page was blank - no text and no images - just the heading!!!

Foolishly I hadn’t done a draft in iPages and copied it over but had written directly in the app. I’m not taking any chances today.

Inktober 2019

So back to Inktober 2019. I decided ahead of the challenge that I would go rogue and not try to adhere to any of the official prompts but to create my own theme. I wanted to use this time of daily drawing to explore paintings done previously to see if the images would lend themselves to a new series.

I returned to the original images used for the paintings and did a series of ink drawings, experimenting with composition and values. 

Riverside Trees - and below the original painting in oils.I really like the sparse, clean look of this drawing - the white space is very relaxing and quite a contrast to the original painting Riverside Trees which has very saturated colour. 

Pumula Rocks is one of a series painted when I did a Professional Process Course in South Africa. Revisiting the photographs of these rocks gave me inspiration for a few Inktober drawings.

This drawing was done in ink on grey gesso with fountain pens and a dip pen with white ink. 

And another in the Pumula Rocks series...

Bunya Riverside - ink detail above and oil on canvas below

Nymphaea -  Water lilies were the inspiration for a couple of paintings so it was natural when I wanted a break from monochrome to use coloured ballpoint pens for this drawing.

The positive aspect of being in charge of one’s own prompts is that some days an simple Notan drawing is sufficient to lay the basis for a later abstract series. My plan is to use these as a kick start for small watercolour abstract paintings. Now that I have rekindled the daily drawing habit it makes sense to continue and expand the practice.

The sizes of the images are all over the place - those that were uploaded in Blog touch refuse to be resized in Blogger and I don't want to tempt fate and loose the whole post AGAIN if I try to correct the sizing in Blog Touch!