Still Life Class – I can draw ‘Things’

This morning I went to Louise Burt’s Still Life Class.  You can read about the Life Drawing class here.

I went on my own this time.  This class was full of ladies and there were three first-timers, including myself.  Louise pulled out some fruit, vegetables and flowers along with some props and cloths.  Silly me was so excited that I forgot to take a photo of it all.  After the excitement of Wednesday’s class, I went to Sussex Stationers in the shopping mall and bagged myself a large box of Caran D’ache watercolour pencils at half price.   🙂 I brought them with me today.

Here is the first ever still life sketch with my new pencils.

My photograph is understatedly rubbish, but you can get an idea of the first sketch.  Forget the scribbles on the right.  They are just an exercise in working out a layout for my final picture.  I cut a lemon in half and put one half on an overturned goblet and placed a very long red pepper in front of that.  This was just a quick exercise that I sketched in pencil and then filled in with the watercolour pencils.  I didn’t wet it as the paper was too thin.  Did you know that the cut segments of a lemon look like hearts? 🙂

In the second picture, I made everything on a larger scale using watercolour crayons.

This is a bit better and I have proved to myself that I can actually draw ‘things’ if I put my mind to it.  I still feel there needs to be something else, but I didn’t have anything else to hand to try, so I will embellish it with some items I purchased this afternoon.  My lemons went a bit funny after I wet them, but it was a learning curve and I enjoyed working out ways of fixing them.  The interesting thing about this painting is that my items were only marginally larger than the real thing, so I was able to make it very close to scale.

Here is my final piece:

This was done with acrylic paint, straight from the brush.  It was fun because I only had about 10 minutes to do it in.

This class was more relaxed and fun in comparison to the Life Drawing class.  I learned that I am better at drawing ‘things’ than people and have more fun when I just let rip with a brush and paint.  If I had any frustration, it was trying to make the highlights on the pepper, the lemon was a piece of cake in comparison.  Louise gave me some ideas to try at home.

The ladies were mainly in their ‘Golden’ years and were actually quite a hoot.  Some were experienced and the rest of us were trying something new.  We all had our own style.  Everyone is very encouraging of each other.  It just takes time and practice.  One of the ladies had purchased a table top easel from Lidl of all places, complete with paints, brushes and a couple of canvases.  It is under £20, not bad for a starter kit  – and quite useful to store brushes and other materials.   It is a nice little piece of equipment to have when travelling and using on a table.  (I picked one up this afternoon along with a pencil and pastel box set!)

As before, Louise went around to each person to ask questions and suggest things.  She also makes the tea and coffee  and supplies us with cake!

Classes start up again in March.  Here is another look at her flyer: Louise A4 E flyer_Layout 1

I am showing you what I have been doing because I want to encourage others to try new things.  My art isn’t brilliant, but the most important thing is that I went out there and tried something new.  I have met some lovely people and that is priceless.  The lady that sat next to me today is precious.  She believes that learning to paint with a well-known artist when she lived in Australia is what helped her survive cancer.  Every woman I met today had an interesting story to tell about why they want to paint.

Anyway, I have the bug.  Here is what my dining room looks like at the moment!

It makes me just want to go and pick up a paintbrush! 🙂

By the way, Plan A Head, the art supply shop at 42a Commercial Road, Eastbourne is closing down and everything is 50% off.  I picked up an A1 Board for £7.50, which I will cut into 2 pieces.  Their phone number is 01323 739409.  Further down the road, there is a company called Paint Effects, 22b Commercial Road, tel: 01323 417824, that has unprimed and unstretched canvas to give away .  Yes folks, its free!  He also has some vinyl backed canvas that you can just roll up. It is pretty amazing stuff.   Apparently when they make Big signs and backdrops, they have all this stuff left over.  So do them a favour and do one for yourself at the same time!