Satisfying lines

In the little corner of the internet I tend to frequent, we were discussing what to do when without “grand inspiration” and we came to the conclusion indulgence is key. Do something you do often, that is not novel or massively creative but is satisfying to you and will scratch the itch caused by the need to create.

For me, it is line art and doodles using fountain pens with various inks.

TWSBI 580, Platinum Carbon ink and Noodlers Black Swan in Australian Roses.

Drawing is life.

yeah, it seems drawing is just like many other things

It benefits from preparation, physical as well as mental preparation. Too much did I rely on inspiration for production. It is like sitting on the couch wishing really hard to be running and exercising. While, if I had prepared by having a clean set of workout clothes ready, had proper shoes, made sure there was some time in the day and a schedule to train by, there would be no reason not to run.

I think as artists that struggle to get started, we underestimate the amount of planning and preparation we are lacking.

A form of preparation is to have plenty of little projects that one can progress on in small time spans such as 15 to 30 minutes. Planning is knowing what step is needed before the other. If you have troubles thinking of projects, put away your art stuff and work only on a project list. No, you are not drawing but it is not like you were before anyway.

Honestly, it is very clear in my mind now.

Having enough projects and then still exclaiming “I don’t know what to draw” while having the urge to draw, now that may point to the presence of entirely different issues that you will need to work through first.

50 Watercolor paintings

Some time ago I got the book “Watercolour with Love: 50 modern motifs to paint in 5 easy steps” from the library, I just asked for all books that had “Watercolour” in the title and this came in the pile. Most of these books I just leafed through but this one seemed doable so I grabbed an HB5 Khadi cotton rag paper book I had lying around and went to work. It took me close to two months and ended up with 48 watercolor paintings. Filling a sketchbook with simple paintings is a satisfying thing to do.

Fuji View Field in Owari Province

Some days or weeks, the creative juices will just not flow. The past few weeks have been really busy with work and trying to find another role or job and it completely drained me from any urge I had to create. A lot of video games were played and that never helps either.

So when I came back to this piece, of which I only did the rough sketch in red pencil, I was worried I would not know how to work on it. Out of pure insecurity on my ability to ink it properly, I warmed up with my fountain pen for two pages in my sketchbook and then had a go at this Fuji view. It was inked in about 15 minutes and I do not recall what my fear was.

Similar to the coloring, using my Daniel Smith paints, I did this view side by side with a few smaller projects so that while the one was drying, I could work on the other. My dream house, the house I’ll build when winning the lottery, has a big room that is my art studio and that studio has multiple desks and ample room for easels so I can work on multiple pieces all at the same time and I only have to move from one desk to another. Or maybe a long table and a chair with wheels, although I already have that in one of the rooms here in the house so writing this opens a window in my head.

The biggest success of this piece is that it showed me that it will be fine and that I should not give up on myself or my already acquired skills.

尾州不二見原 Bishū Fujimigahara

Inume Pass, Kōshū

The eighth already and this project rested for about a month. There is not that much to go into detail about on this view, other than that the western reader should keep in mind to read from the top right to the bottom left. Made with mostly Daniel smith paints, only the Prussian blue at the top was Mijello but a tube of DS Prussian Blue has been acquired and will be used for these skies in the future.

Kōshū inume-tōge / 甲州犬目峠

As a minor aside, I should not leave a sketchbook open for a month in my room, there were little dust particles that were really in my way when going for the green of the hill in the foreground.

Amstelveen tram station

Again in the series of meh-pril where I draw simple stuff to keep going, this is a little success I wanted to share.

Amstelveen station

As part of the Haarlemmermeer spoorlijnen, this station was build in 1915 and operated for 35 years as part of a steam train network for passengers and up until 1970 for cargo.

The super fast painting took no more than 30 minutes including sketch, ink and paint.

The building has a special place in my heart as we held our wedding reception there.