Kerrie Woodhouse

Whimsical words and watercolour

Mixed media

Daisy, daisy

Fascinating facts, My art journeyKerrie Woodhouse
 
 

If you set about drawing flowers, it isn't long before you hit upon a daisy. In fact, a daisy might be the very first flower that comes to mind.

The daisy has been appearing in artwork for quite some time - carvings dating back as far as 3000BC depict our beloved daisy.  And the daisy predates us humans by quite a considerable period. Daisies appeared shortly after the demise of the dinosaurs about 50 to 60 million years ago.

I have to admit, I tend to only think of the yellow centred, white petaled variety as a daisy.  That gave me pause today. I do love white flowers. But today I didn't really want to paint a white flower. I'm not sure why this troubled me at all - I am putting a face on the daisy.... Having made that leap from reality... surely the colour I choose for the petals seems neither here nor there!

However, I did some research and found to my delight that the daisy comes in so very many stunning forms and colours. There are over 4000 species of daisies. Daisies are found everywhere in the world except for Antarctica.  They survive in both wet and dry habitats. Daisies have a biennial life cycle, meaning they last for two years. Some of their relatives include echinacea, arnica, artichokes and endives. If you want to see some wonderful photographs and learn more about the delightful daisy head over to this rather glorious website.

The daisy is said to have been Queen Victoria's favourite flower. Not only has it featured in artwork, it has inspired many a poet.  Euripides, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Shelley, and Wordsworth to name just a very few.

It was Goethe's Marguerite who first pulled the petals from the daisy saying 'he loves me, he loves me not'.   That cute, romantic notion has endured. In 1892, Harry Dacre wrote the song Daisy Bell which we all know....

Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do...

For a humble and commonly found flower, the daisy is certainly an impressively significant and enduring symbol.

Explore more of the Flower Face Series and the rest of the monthly series in this project.

 

9 reasons to love coloured pencils

Beginner Resources, My art journey, art tipsKerrie Woodhouse
 
 

Oh coloured pencils... how do I love thee?... let me count the ways!

I may not be a poet, but a list maker? For sure. And I count 9 reasons to love coloured pencils.... thusly...

  1. They return you to childhood. Nothing feels more delightfully child-like than clutching a coloured pencil. Picasso told us that all children are artists. What easier way is there to channel your inner child?

  2. They are unassuming, low maintenance art supplies. Not messy like pastels, no brush clean up required, no waiting for paint to dry, not intimidating like oil paint, they are the friendliest tool in your kit.

  3. The way they feel. Is there anything better than the waxy glide of coloured pencil over paper leaving a rainbow in its wake?

  4. The range of colours. So many delightful colours to choose from, and infinite more nuanced variations appear when you blend them effortlessly together.

  5. Effortless blending. Oh, did I not mention the blending already? On their own, because they are good natured enough to work together to give depth, volume and life. And with a colourless blender pencil or some sort of solvent they dissolve into a seamless paint-like sheen.

  6. No smudging. Being a member of the anti-graphite pencil club I can't not talk about the fact that they won't smoosh all over the opposite page when the book is closed or move if you rub your finger over them. So both friendly and obedient, they are.

  7. Control. I love tiny details. Sadly, I am a teeny bit clumsy, I fear. Tiny pupils and eyelashes and other fine details are quite beyond me with something like a paintbrush. In fact, I should probably just throw away my rigger brush. Pencils enable me. Hurrah.

  8. Transportable. What could be easier than throwing a couple of coloured pencils in a cute pencil case? Add a sharpener and all you need is a bit of paper.

  9. They play so nicely with other art supplies. Now, this is why I bring this up particularly today. I took out my coloured pencils and used them to add the final finishing touches. Coloured pencils work so well on top of watercolour and matte acrylic paint and over gesso.

I adore my coloured pencils (you might have guessed). And Prismacolours are my favourite brand. But we had better not be biased. There are some downsides. I count two.

  1. Breakage. They do break quite easily when sharpening. You can try to improve this by baking them. No, really... I haven't completely taken leave of my senses. This melts the wax inside the pencil so that when it hardens again on cooling all the breaks inside the barrel fuse back together. I havent got around to testing this out yet for myself - will let you know when I do!

  2. Time consuming on a large scale. If you are doing a large picture it can take a quite a long time to build up the colour to the desired intensity. However this is easily rectified by point number 9 in the above list. Start with a wash of colour provided by watercolour or acrylic paint, then bring out the coloured pencils.

That's what I did today. I started with my ink drawing... and I liked it... yay! An improvement on yesterday....

Flower face No 4 WIP ink drawing

Flower face No 4 WIP ink drawing

Then I added watercolour...

Flower face no 4 WIP watercolour stage

Flower face no 4 WIP watercolour stage

And then I got out my coloured pencils to improve the shading and details. And yes. I do keep them in colour bundles with a coordinated colour hair elastic. Please don't judge me...

Flower face no 4 WIP coloured pencil

Flower face no 4 WIP coloured pencil

Final nerd tidbit... apparently both colour pencils and coloured pencils are acceptable names but coloured pencil came first. So I must be a purist. Or just old fashioned. (And since you read this all the way to the end (by the way, thank you) I can only assume that you would be interested in this sort of coloured pencil trivia...)

So tell me.... how much do you love your coloured pencils?

Explore more of the Flower Faces Series

Not everything you create is a masterpiece

My art journeyphoenixarttally

Jane Davenport says ...

Not everything you create is a masterpiece - love it anyway.

Well, today I got a chance to try and do that.

Here she is Flower Face No 3...

 
 

One of the joys of mixed media is that you have unlimited options when it comes to 'improving' your painting. I think I used nearly everything today...

IMG_0256
IMG_0256

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be producing work we like.  But the truth is that producing something you love every time you sit down is unrealistic.  Ira Glass explained it for us - that it is the gap between what our good taste wants to see and what our hands are able to make as beginners. You know the one?... this one...

Explore more of the Flower Faces Series