Hello everyone !
I hope you’re going well in this first month of 2021?
I want to share some creative inspiration with you, to get you going and make the best out of this year !
First of all I want to talk about Ian Fennelly’s book that was published at the end of 2020 by Studio 51 Boutique.
As you probably know if you already took a workshop with him: Ian is a very generous teacher, and this is a very generous book in which he shares his creative process with a lot of details, loads of images and beautiful descriptions.
As he says: “The creative process begins with the eye, continues with the hand, and concludes with the heart.” He explains how he builds up his layers of sketching, how he looks at a subject, his sketching materials and how he chooses a subject to sketch and finds a story to tell.
I love to read the creative process. And Ian takes a lot of freedom while sketching. When you sketch, I think it’s important to allow yourself to play. You can emphasise shapes and patterns to show what you find important /beautiful. What has caught your attention? Why do you want to draw that? What is your mood? You can show your mood by your choice of colours. Allow yourself to make things bigger or smaller. And, why not, give your hallway a more fancy chandelier and a more colourful floor? Life is too short to spend your time measuring everything in a photographical way, or to count windows !
The books has also very useful tips you can immediately try out, like for example: for painting landscapes. Landscapes can be very green so look carefully for other colours. If you can’t find them in the subject, just look in your palette!
Another tip: Give yourself artistic license. It’s important to give you the opportunity to shape your vision of the world. To select what is important and to look for your own colours. Leave some white space. the white space also creates a sense of depth which draws you in to the sketch and enables the eye to then roam around all elements of the sketch. The white space stimulates the imagination. It also emphasises the key elements of a sketch. Find graphical shapes in the composition to link objects together. Also splashes of colours can link parts of the sketch together. For Ian his choice of colour is the most creative part of his sketching process. The colour will satisfy our urge to play.
“Everything is a compromise, a selection of what’s important and what’s best for the sketch”
Well now reading all this made me very nostalgic about all the urbansketching meetings and travels we had to miss because of the pandemic. If I have to think about something positive that came out of this being stuck at home is that I found time to strech my creative bounderies in making tutorial video’s, starting to work on my new book with Editions Akinomé, and launching my online course on Skillshare.
Don’t forget that you can try my class for free: as by clicking on this link you can have a 2 weeks free tryout !
In the meantime I made another watercolour video.
I try to finish by next month a new online course which will be about watercolour.
I don’t know yet how I will structure the class and on what specific watercolour subject I will focus.
Tell me in the comments below if there’s something particular you want me to show you ?
I’m curious as to how long it took you to actually do this sketch? It is wonderful, Barbara; a colorful and energetic sketch!
Hello dear Carla
thank you so much!
It was about 45 minutes in real time
Hi Barbara, thank you for your blog and encouragement. I have often seen you use the Japanese brush that you seem to favor. How can I identify the brush and know where to purchase one? Thanks, Vern Elmore
thank you for your message.
I don’t remember the name of the brush!
But if you mail the link to the video to Pigment Shop Tokyo they’ll be happy to help you and to give advice. They’re adorable people and love to give advice!
You can use this email: [email protected]
Thank you for your constant inspiration and uplifting posts Barbra
I am looking forward to painting outdoors when we can get over the lockdowns and rain. When you have finished painting how long do you have to wait and what do you do with your sketch book before moving on? There isn’t a problem with bloching and smudges with painting indoors but I wonder about painting whilst out walking.
Sorry I reply so late!
The time to wait for drying very much depends of the weather!
When it’s warm and windy it dries very very quickly, and otherwise I just walk with my sketchbook open to the next spot and it dries quickly while walking, except in winter…