To make art you need your eyes, your hands and your HEART. It’s your heart that makes you choose your colours. Your emotional side.”

And : “What does the picture need?” Choose your colours according to your mood and according to what the picture needs. This is the most important thing I remember from the sketching weekend in Brussels and Gent with Ian Fennelly in August.

All too often I feel frustrated by the choice of colours. How do you choose your colours?

It was a great weekend and Ian is a very generous teacher!

Group photo at Place De Brouckère in Brussels
Place De Brouckère, made by me during the workshop

What else did I write down? I want to share this with you absolutely:

  • He first starts by drawing the big shapes with a warm grey Tombow pen, by holding the pen at the end tip, so these first lines wouldn’t be too stiff and so you don’t smudge the page. You have to find things that make you walk into the drawing, like a pavement or a sidewalk.
  • the drawing happens all with grey Tombows, changing to different grey tones.
  • then he adds watercolour by big “splashes and blobs”. These colours are the emotional colours.
  • don’t forget the splashes!
  • On the dry watercolour he adds crosshatches to soften the watercolour.
  • After adding the watercolour blobs, we have tidied things up by drawing details : Really a lot of details! Take your time and PLAY. Make the street signs communicate with the chewing gums on the street! 
  • Afterwards black lines, black windows and shadows to link the shapes together and make shapes pop out.
  • It’s all about looking, looking, looking !and playing playing playing.
  • Break the drawing down in little steps. If you get bored on one part of the drawing, just pop onto another part of the drawing!  I love this one because I have a very low boredom level
  • Look, look, look again (to the scenery, not to your drawing!!!). What are you seeing as a person, and as an artist? It’s the human elements that make it. Break it all down in simple shapes !
  • Then it’s about colour : that’s where the HEART comes in.
  • Then you finish with the details. The journey of looking ends with the fine details.
  • Make the lines open up the page to enter the picture
View to the rue du Plattesteen, Brussels, by Ian Fennelly

It’s all about how we see the world around us.

“To make art you need your eyes, your hands and your HEART. It’s your heart that makes you choose your colours. Your emotional side.” Forget your left brain side.

Ian Fennelly made us see the world and our way of drawing in a different way. I hope you enjoy the video.

Do you have important insights to share from other artists that helped you in your creativity?

Tell me in the comments below 

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