The Log Book
Tales of an Artist Afloat
Jim's been working steadily on Island Prism, and I've been going down to the boatyard to take him lunch, sketch and lend a hand. I thought about making a visual record of everything we are (he is?) doing to get the boat ready for launching, but long furlers and small screws don't make for terribly arresting images. The boatyard itself is far more inspiring, so I've been doodling the boats instead.
Art-wise, this presents lots of interesting things to draw. It also highlights my inability to stick with exactly the same media for two pictures in row! On Thursday I drew a couple of boats being hauled out using Lamy ink and watercolour. I think I'm supposed to be horrified by the way the ink runs when I add watercolour, but actually I like the effect.
Both Prism's anchors are being stored on the ground. Their shapes and slight rusty patina were interesting so I sketched them in ink. I was going to paint them, but then I remembered I hadn't used my coloured pencils in a while. So I slowly built up the layers of colour in my home-made colouring pages. We spent a little while taking the roller furler apart- some of the plastic wedges holding it together were worn and needed removing.
On the drive home, the light over Auckland was absolutely stunning. I wanted my skyline to stay crisp and needed to work fast, so I pulled out my brush pen with de Atramentis document black and drew the view back to Okahu Bay and the city, then added watercolours. My flat water brush was perfect for catching the light reflecting on the sea.
Launch is supposed to be on 17th October. The timing is looking tight and we're not sure if we'll make it. We're planning to move onto the boat in November and have very exciting plans for next year... watch this space! Maybe by that stage I'll even be able to settle down into a signature style and medium. Do you tend to stick with one way of drawing, or do you flit between materials? I'd be interested to hear!
There's a wonderful sense of achievement when you finish a picture that you've been working on all week! I began drawing a word with illustrated letters last weekend. In my infinite wisdom I decided I'd work on it in ballpoint pen and would cross hatch the whole thing. This probably meets Andrea Joseph's success criteria for 'drawing like a barmpot'. I have worked in biro before, but this A4 drawing was the largest yet.
Some things I learned:
I'd love to hear what you think!
It's been a busy month. At school, I've been working with Year 7/8 students to write then rehearse the script for our full school production- which, with a cast of over 800 is getting bigger than Ben Hur! At home I've been taking Andrea Joseph's Creative Lettering course at Sketchbook Skool. I was a little hesitant- I love Andrea's work and teaching style but wasn't sure about a whole four weeks of lettering. I quite like calligraphy, but could I do almost a month of it? Every day? I was worried I'd get bored. I was wrong.
Every day Andrea posted a new video for us to watch, and most days we had a new piece of homework. I like playing with ideas and didn't always complete tasks in a day, with the result that the course finished yesterday and I am approximately a week behind. This isn't a bad thing- I've learned a LOT, and feel very inspired. Many of the ideas are things I will be able to adapt and utilise when the course is over, which is why the initial 'playing around' stage is so important to me. I've got over my feeling that 'lettering must be perfect' but can now make it close to perfect if I want to. I can create words that are pictures and pictures that are words and I hope that the lettering in my sketchbooks will never again be a hastily scribbled and embarrassing afterthought.
Andrea's instruction is excellent and the course is inspiring. Definitely recommended if it's run again. And I still have access to all the course materials, so I can take my time and enjoy finishing off- between helping direct our cast of hundreds! On with the art- and on with the show! Which style of lettering do you like best? Write a comment- or click my instagram link to see more!
An Artist Afloat- Painting the world one anchorage at a time.