Category Archives: online class

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in this exercise we were to take photos of shapes, colours we liked near home and then make drawings of them. click on the photos below to see larger versions of them

the first is a closeup of the bark from a banana tree. I liked the pattern of the lines and textures — the diagonal lines adjacent to the horizontal lines. I tried drawing this using different media — crayons, copic pens, felt pens, derwent pencils, inktense pencils, artbars, charcoal and pitt artist pens.

the second is another closeup of the banana tree. I like the lines once again and the blending of colours and graduation of lines. I tried to show these in my drawings using crayons, pencils, prismacolour pencils, conte pastels and copic pens

this is a closeup of granite in a wall near my apartment. I like the texture mixed with the lines of the decorative scratches, and the tones of the greys. I tried to show these qualities in my drawings using art graf soluable watercolour graphite, pitt artist pens, posca white pen, pencils and copic pens.

the last photo was taken whilst I was on holidays – it’s an interesting rock wall formation showing sharp edged geometric rocks tightly packed together. it was next to a stream (the Tarra River) in southern Victoria. I love the geometric lines and tones of colours in the “V” shaped part of the rock wall.

I tried to replicate the colour tones in watercolour, though I think I overdid them. I added black lines to define the shape of the rocks and provide some shading with pencil.

originally posted at…
I’ve sent the link to Rosemary and posted in the Sketchbook Development facebook group is dedicated for this class and to make it easier for Rosemary to see without seeing all the other unrelated posts, but I’m posting here also to have a record of all my work in one place

flower crazy class

some paintings from Carla Sonheim’s flower crazy 5 week class. I’m learning a few new techniques for watercolour, gesso, and mixing colours and textures to create “imaginary flowers”.

layers of watercolour lines and pens/markers with some pencil shading

painted imaginary flowers in watercolour with gesso painted over the top

watercolour blobs in 3 colours, with gesso masking off interesting shapes to create flowers. scratched lines and textures in the gesso before it dried

plus one of the “2014 — year of the fairy tale” exercises — this is my “princess and the pea” mixed media painting. it’s gouche, gesso and pens. the paints are applied using a credit card instead of a brush. it leads to a “free-er” line. I liked the gouche — they dried very quickly

know your materials

I’ve started the “sketchbook now” class to practice more drawing techniques for my sketchbook, and in lesson one we need to do some tests of our materials. I’ve used some from previous class exercises, which I hadn’t added to the blog, so adding them here as part of this class’ notes. the watercolour washes tests were exercises from Fred Lisaius’ class “Fall Watercolours”. I’ll add more tests here as I work on them

these are the watercolours I’m using most often — a mixture of Schmincke and Winsor & Newton pans:

testing different lines & pen textures:

watercolour bead washes:

watercolour wet in wet wash:

watercolour double wet / flood wash with salt added for texture. I used table salt and since the paper was thick, it didn’t work too well

more watercolour washes, on thicker, handmade paper

watercolour pencils (texta zoom brand) and pens to see what they looked like with added water:

making a dragonscale sample – reverse smocking

I’ve been making dragonscale (reverse smocking) using Michele Carragher’s instructions (she is the game of thrones’ embroiderer). I finally got it to work, after unpicking the first few attempts (& realising I’ve done it on wrong side of the fabric – right side for regular smocking). I’m using this as part of the fabric manipulation topic in assignment 3 work. I’ll use this page to add more details and summarise it (with other samples) on the assignment page later.

notes for the pattern:

first attempt – I had only drawn the dots, not the triangles and became a bit lost, so these two didn’t work out. I unpicked them and started again.

next time, I drew the triangles as a template onto the fabric also. this helped a lot, and I managed to make it correctly this time

the right side of the fabric – this shows the smocking pattern, but the “dragonscale” uses the other side, so I actually made the whole piece on the wrong side of the fabric. oh well. know for next time.

the wrong side of the fabric – showing the dragonscale. I need to iron/press it to flatten it, though I like the puffy pattern also.

some more progress

understanding contemporary art class started this week. very interesting so far – speeding through modern art. use chrome if using ipad, safari is broken

i’m making notes in my workbook. might post photos here. I’ve read you take more in/remember more when handwriting notes than typing. but if i get time i’ll try type them up too so i can search later.


woven eyes

testing some woven eyes for my bees. these have a matte black circular warp threaded into cut fabric (calico in the first test), and shiny black stranded thread for the circular weft, travelling across and around the eye. I used the shiny thread to simulate the shinyness of a bee’s eyes, and woven circles to remind of the multiple cells / lenses of the bees’ eyes.

I learnt this technique from jude hill on her wonderful “considering weave” class / project

the first one didn’t work out as i’d threaded both ways instead of one way only.

but the next sample worked out as I had hoped (seen in my mind) so i was happy about this.

crazy birds

crazy birds is a tutorial from Carla Sonheim. I tried it tonight. it’s a good exercise to help “free up” your drawing and lines. and can be done with kids, as well as adults (kids at heart?)

you start with two pieces of paper. draw circles on one, flower shape / petals on another. cut into quarters and arrange onto the page and draw in the bird shape. use a variety of materials

I think I could try this exercise using fabric also instead of paint

footpath shapes drawings

another exercise I learned from one of Carla Sonheim’s classes, is to practice seeing shapes — animals and other things, in the cracks and lines and shadows on the footpath and other places. I think this might be a type of pataphysical drawing exercise too.

collating some of them here — most a “imaginary animals” or “blobimals” as it’s fun to draw them, and they seem to be everywhere once you start looking! it’s like finding animals in the clouds.

some I’ve done:

and some shapes I’ve collected and am yet to draw the “blobimals”:
some are obvious, and others less so..

weaving in cloth

first attempt at weaving in cloth. there’s quite a few ‘mistakes’ where I flip flopped (let’s call it “flipped a bit” in engineering terms) but it adds to the charm and makes it unique (& if it were a gene, then now there’s a new mutation?)

I like the looser weave when I first started too – I almost kept it like that but decided to finish it to see what it’d look like. I did manage to pull the fabric and create a hole in the corner though. I tried to get variable spaced warps but then this slowed the weaving down a lot as I made more mistakes and had to work out where I was more often. I used different thickness & colour threads to create some more variation. has more pics

I’m going to have to try more of these – it was great fun. this is inspired by jude hill’s “considering weave” class


another idea i’d had since seeing a 3d weaving machine online this week was to put posts (pins in pincushion or toothpicks?) and try weave up too to create contours, maybe like a crater edge in the earth. not sure if it’d work yet. will have to think more and see how this guy’s machine is doing it… it sort of reminds me of those french knitting tools (pegs with nails on the top) except you don’t twist the yarn and it builds the piece in multiple dimensions / directions.