THIS BLOG is one year old this October, and to celebrate I thought it time to give it a new hat. So as you see, I have painted one. My parents gave me some gouache paints for by own recent birthday and this is my first ever experiment with them. At first, having only used oils and watercolours before, I was unsure how to wrestle with these strange opaque yet watery paints... I tried painting in great sloopy washes and scrubbing it off again with loo roll, and then tried dense thick colour which I laid on with the finest of brushes in lines as thin as a ladybird's eyelash.
Gradually I warmed to the gouache, and found my own way of using it. I build layers and model with both watercolour and oil paint as if I am drawing with it, putting in little colour washes, then darks, then lights, and more washes, and it seems I attack gouache in much the same way. I found it excellent for lettering.
Though with watercolour I use pencil lines as an integral part of the final image, this time I wanted to see if I could do it all with the brush. I am moderately happy with the result.. though last night I hated it. I have much to thank photoshop for - because I thought my final painting altogether too blue and dingy, and by employing the clever modern digital tools of colour level adjustment and contrast boosting, I have rescued a painting that might have otherwise gone on the scrapheap. It's only a first attempt anyway, I shall most definitely enjoy my further gouache adventures.
Also in my birthday parcel were a couple of photos of a little Rima that my mum had found in her fossickings. Here I am drawing at age five and three quarters, sat at the kitchen table with pens and pencils, more of my drawings on the walls behind me and a milk-toothy grin that I seemed to wear in all photos at that time :)
I find it fascinating to think that those little hands are these hands and that those eyes saw to draw people like that then and see to draw them somewhat differently nowadays. Odd isn't it?
I'm off to paint another clock, make some attempt at clearing stuff and put the kettle on.
And speaking of tea, if any of you should be pining for the old blog hat Penny Farthing Tea, you can now buy it beautifully glazed into a handmade stoneware mug by Gina at Phenix Pottery, providing they've not already been snapped up. And if they have, there are more in the kiln as we speak!
I drew that image yonks ago for the front door of my website; its title is a play on Pennyroyal Tea and it depicts some strange tea-powered travelling contraption.
You'll see teapots and kettles a lot in my paintings. Tea is one of life's essential fuels I believe. I drink copious amounts of it, mostly good ol' builder's tea: strongish with milk and no sugar.
PS ~ If you want a closer look at the painting, you can click on the snippets up there.