Some days you just want to make some shapes and fill them with nice colors and gradients.
It was December 2019 and life was good. I had a stable job, plenty of art supplies and a craving for creation. Big problem: what to draw, what to paint? How to improve my skills as a watercolor artist while at the same time, use some of those juicy, succulent, art goodies?
At the same time my kids were and still are, completely infatuated by Pokémon. As a responsible adult, the appeal completely eludes me and I have never driven around town with one hand on the wheel and the other on my phone playing Ingress, a precursor to Pokémon Go. And there is a slim possibility that at some point in the past, I owned a Nintendo Switch with Pokémon Shield, considering my son had Sword. But otherwise, this was completely about the kids.
So there is it, a simple, colorful and recognizable subject matter that could easily fill a challenge month.
Considering the premise a bit more, drawing Pokémon every day for a month, I decided against it and switched the Pokémon with fruit every day so the gallery here has 16 Pokémon, next week we will have 15 fruits because you know, 31 days in the month of January. The list of which Pokémon and fruit to draw was randomized using a Pokémon randomizer and random fruit list generator which to my surprise both existed. The random nature also explains the really odd choices of Pokémon, some of the participants commented on that.
The best thing about this challenge was the comparison between day 1 and day 31, it is obvious that doing watercolor every day will help out your skills even if the subject is simple such as Pokémon and fruits. All art is in a Khadi rag paper HB5 sketchbook and done using Daniel Smith Watercolors in a custom palette that inspired by Jane Blundells blog.
These are part of the Drawcember series, prompted Mistletoe and Gift.
In April 2020, when it became overly clear that the pandemic would keep people isolated for more than just a week or so, a youtuber Teoh Yi Chie came across a marvelous idea called AZ Sketchbook. In the core of it, one picks a sketchbook with enough pages and fills a page or a spread with images starting with the letter of the alphabet, one per letter.
As it happened, he used a Koval sketchbook with 100% cotton paper, the same I bought onle a few weeks earlier. This was meant to be! Big differences between his way of working and mine is that he is absolutely of a different akill level than myself, he has a huge social media following and he was way more disciplined in filling the spreads almost daily. I took way longer and for some reason did S twice and X not at all. All in all, he had a ton of people joining him on Instagram using the tag azsketchbook and everyone had a great time.
After completing it halfway summer I think the result is worth collating and sharing here. One can see some progress as I did a ton of drawing exercises in the same period, especially perspective. Almost all drawings are from photo reference and it was a great way to fill a sketchbook.
As mentioned, the sketchbook is a Koval Artistico with cut corners and a real treat, it is up there with the very best watercolor sketchbooks that money can buy. Pricey, yes, but money well spend. On the other hand, if it is very much outside of your range, book binding is a post for another time.
The palette used is my Daniel Smith travel palette, another post for another time.
Teoh’s playlist of his work, I wanted to link it but WordPress made it a block and that is just as well.
Just trying out some things with watercolors.