Now that I don’t have babies or toddlers, there is a space in my week, most weeks, to pull out a sketchbook and draw, paint, color with pencils, ink… I really love being able to make something pretty, to experiment, to put into practice techniques I’ve read about.
I’ve got a really nice set of prismacolors and Bella and Sophie just got some pastels which I’ve been playing with. I like setting up a still life, I’ve done a series of my dutch oven in a bunch of different media.
Sophie joined me one day and did a couple sketches of her own:
At first I just used the cheap Crayola watercolors I got for the kids. And they actually do a pretty nice job, if you’re patient and willing to play at mixing colors. I’ve done a couple interpretations of paintings from our fine art postcard collection, a Matisse and a Hokusai. I’ve painted a few landscapes from my own photographs. But Dom just got me a nice King Art watercolor set (the kind that come in fancy tubes) and I have have also been enjoying dabbling with those nicer watercolors in my sketchbooks. The fancy ones have been a real treat to play with.
I’ve also started flipping back in my sketchbooks and coloring in old pencil sketches: a maple leaf in brilliant red. And then a series of quick sketches that I did when I was introducing the kids to sketching from life. We were playing around with blind contour drawing, where you draw a thing without looking at the paper. I did a handful from a little bronze horse I bought in Greece when I was in college. They seemed like they’d take to color well and they were very fun to paint. I think they make a nice series. And then there is a picture of forks and I think a button or a plate, also a blind contour. it feels very cubist to me.
I also make time for art to encourage my children to paint, draw, color, and create. Often once I start drawing one or another of them will join me. And the more I do it, the more they do. We don’t do many formal art lessons or classes. but I like to show them what I’m doing, talk about technique, give them pointers. It’s very informal, just for fun. We have fun creating together.