Set up a still life with decorative gourds of various shapes and markings. Try some drawing exercises first.
A blind contour drawing - pretend your pencil is wandering over the contours of the gourds as it draws on your paper. Don't look at your paper as you draw. It should look funny when you are done - and yet it will have it's own beauty. My example is below.
Draw the negative shapes - scribble or block them in without outlining first. Create the edges at the same time you are filling in the area. Move your pencil in all directions. Use a soft pencil.
Draw from the inside out. Build up the forms as if you were winding a ball of yarn.
For your painting draw a careful line drawing (if you like) then paint as you wish. Painting from light to dark is usually best with watercolor. I did take step-by-step photos as I painted this, but I will leave that for another day, or not!
From a letter to a student who would miss this week's class because of a cold:
If you have onions in the house you may enjoy making a still life to paint. Class arranged this still life. We started off with a blind contour drawing, then a regular contour drawing, then did paintings as we wanted to. But before we picked up any tools we brainstormed several lists of ideas:
a) connotations, metaphors, qualities, descriptions, associations of onions and garlic
b) warm-up exercises one could do before painting
c) watercolor techniques one could use in painting
d) visual/image treatments one could use in interpreting the subject
I haven't formally written up the lists yet. Hopefully you'll come up with some ideas to add to it. I really like this brainstorming ideas process. I'm not sure others like it too well. It's important people find they have answers within themselves - tons of them.
You must immediately paint the onion still life (preferably from actual onions). First of all, painting will make you feel better. Second of all, you can then make yourself a good onion soup, which is a good cold therapy! Just think, two remedies in one!
- Drink plenty of hot water. Direct moist heat helps fight infection. That's what a fever is for.
- Take a dose of equal parts honey and vinegar with a bit of water - this helps cut congestion.
- The amazing therapy I discovered last winter - snort warm salt water up your nostrils. Mix a cup with table salt and quite warm tap water. Tuck your head down sticking your nose into the cup. Draw the water in slowly (through your nose) til it reaches your sinus then blow it out into the sink. Keep repeating. If you keep your head down it won't do that awful water up your nose feeling. When I did this with a cold/flue? last winter I was basically done with the cold in two days. I couldn't believe it.
Warm salt water is one of my basic cure-alls. That, and honey, vinegar, cold water, hot water, and ice - not necessarily together of course, and for various problems.
Here are my demonstration drawings from the kids' workshop on drawing owls and bats. Click the title links for enlargements to color and draw from.
Flying Bat and Hanging Bat coloring page, after Maurice Sendak, from The Bat Poet, by Randall Jarrell
Inspired by Arnold Lobel's Owl at Home. I asked the kids what pictures they could remember from the book. The owl running up and down stairs, and the owl looking at the moon. Which did they want to try? The owl looking at the moon, but not dressed in a suit. I think they thought this would be easiest to draw.
Read more to see Kids art -Read More...
My demonstration drawings from a recent kids' drawing workshop - click the title links for coloring pages to draw or color. Some were drawn from old silhouette illustrations. There is a drawing after Beatrix Potter's Pig Robinson. Kippe Kuh is a Danish children's book that my grandmother Thyra Jakstein translated into German. It was read to me often - about a stubborn cow who wanders off the farm and into the city. I think she even rides a street car!
Old cow coloring page
"Kippe Kuh" coloring page
Old pig coloring page
Pigs, after Beatrix Potter, coloring page
Ram, Ewe, and lamb coloring page
Step-by-step drawing of ram (pdf)