Monday, October 10, 2016


What a difference, appropriate materials make! I explained the problem I had with my first monochrome attempt, was the IXL charcoal blocks - used on top of the gesso paint. Well, I found some charcoal sketching pencils, hidden in my supplies cupboard, which I hoped would be more appropriate. I used the "soft" one (as opposed to medium, or hard) with great success this time.

The charcoal blended perfectly with the gesso paint and allowed me to make more expressive marks. I used a reference picture of a windmill, but added my own marks to make it appear as if, it was moving.

It's a simple study, but one of my favourites. Because it's the first time I've been able to capture "movement". It aims a little more on the abstract side (technique wise) but still a recognisable subject in the end.

I was able to complete this in about an hour. Why is it important to note the time? Because it's one of the strategies I'm using to be able to fit creative time in. It's a little window I get in the evenings, where toddlers are asleep and older siblings can watch a favourite show with dad. So small and simple projects, are what works best.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Male torso

I did a painting during the Touchstone course, which I would not normally do. It wasn't part of the course material, but I stumbled across it on the course creator's video collection.

When (or if) I ever find that video again, I'll be sure to post a link. I could not find it in my history files, and a search of the blog again, did not result in success either. It was actually a tutorial from one of the courses she runs, to demonstrate what to expect from the course. Perhaps it was removed?

So anyway, enter my abstract figure painting, in acrylic...

completed September 28

I decided to opt for a male figure, as it tends to be traditional to paint the female figure. The entire painting is different to anything I would normally do, but what I like about the Touchstone course, is how it pushes you beyond what you believe you are capable.

Not that it necessarily "forces" you to. It's however much you want to push yourself, in whatever direction you choose. It was fun to be prompted outside my regular process.

Monochrome Bromeliad

I haven't been very good at updating my progress on the Touchstone course. It has now officially completed (the live session anyway) but we are free to return to the private members group on Facebook, to continue sharing our progress. I will endeavour to continue updating this blog, with the art I made during this time.

Recently, I drew a monochrome study, as part of the course. The aim was to get a feel for the different values between white and black.

Bromeliad - click to enlarge

It was recommended charcoal and gesso (thick white paint) be used together. Although I found it really difficult to work with them. The gesso went over the charcoal, no problem, but the charcoal ate into the gesso - leaving indent marks, instead of black.

I switched to an oil pastel however and it worked much better on the gesso. If I were to do this again, I would just use my white and black charcoal blocks. It was a fun exercise nonetheless.