Pelican still life –Day #13 of challenge

Painting of pelican figurine and shell

Pelicans, fronds, and more. Paintings from first group lesson.  Click on image to enlarge.

Yesterday I went to my first meeting of a small transparent watercolor group that invites local teachers to come in. In my very limited workshop experience I’ve found that I learn a lot but don’t produce anything worth showing, but this time was different. I was inspired by the pelican figurine and again it’s in my favorite colors of oranges and blues.

The fronds painting lying down was much more intimidating for me, so much going on with a wine bottle in front, fronds, ivy leaves, some fruit there too, and I found the pace very fast…but perhaps because of the extra stress of being in a workshop, but that was also VERY enlightening because it brought home yet again, don’t make it “precious”  don’t think it has to be perfect, just get in there with the juicy paints, try to see the darks and lights and get those down.  My fronds started looking much better once I got some darks in amongst them.  It isn’t done and won’t be done, but it was a great experience.

We started out doing contour drawing which is difficult but I found freeing because the sketch does not have to look like what you’re drawing.  It is when you follow the shape and shadows of the object with your eye while slowly moving your pencil without looking at your paper.  The goal is to sync the two movements (eye and pencil) so that you are measuring the distances on the object you need to make it look realistic.  So you learn an awful lot about the subject you are drawing, but without fretting over making the sketch “look good”.  Does that make sense?  The teacher commented on how the sketchy kind of marks you make with contour, or partial contour (when you look at your paper frequently) can give a life to your sketch/painting that wouldn’t be there otherwise.

All in all, a wonderful afternoon, I came home on such a high.  I am really grateful to have found this group and look forward to next week when we have a drawing instructor coming in.

4 thoughts on “Pelican still life –Day #13 of challenge

  1. learning is so good, but you have to accept that you will make mistakes and not everything will deserve framing, but will be a step towards your great masterpiece 🙂 I am glad you have found a group


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