2012 is here already (just where does the time go??) I've been visiting various art blogs, and lots of people have been sharing their arty goals for the coming year. As 2011 drew to a close, I gave this some thought myself, so for anyone interested (and so I have a record of my goals to remind me how far off track I go!), here are some of mine for the coming year...
1. More sketching and drawing from life. This has been on my mind for a good while now. I reckon that the basis of a successful anything arty, for me anyway, is a confident drawing. I'll continue with the life drawing class (for as long as it runs anyway!), and will endeavour to do much more general sketching.
2. Get out and about with the sketchbook. This is very much related to the above, in that it's more sketching and drawing; however, there is the added proviso of going places - there are some places I'd like to visit, including the local raptor rescue centre, maybe some zoos and wildlife parks and the like, sketching wildfowl along the river locally to me, and at a local nature reserve. That kind of thing. Would like to do much more nature sketching. I'm thinking a trip out once a week would be about right...
3. Landscapes. These are my bugbear. I just can't get into them, and having thought about it, I began to wonder whether I would enjoy painting plein air. So getting out and about again (there's a theme emerging here!) and giving landscape painting one last go...
4. Not worrying about painting a 'finished' painting. Although I do enjoy the challenge of a completed painting (I'm thinking particularly of portraits here), I do have a tendency to not start them as it all seems a bit much. So, more small studies and watercolour sketches, painting/drawing from life or using my own photo refs. I've enjoyed the recent small watercolour sketches I've done of animals, painted from zoo refs etc; I've found I've painted more freely and not worried about the end product. So there's mileage in that idea, I'm sure.
5. Experiment a bit. Try combining media, use different supports etc.
So, here's my first effort for 2012, based on my own photo of my cat Sophie, now sadly departed. Started off with a very loose pencil sketch, then dropped colour onto damp/wet paper. Went in with the water-soluble ink pens, and took it from there.
Watercolour and ink, approx 4" by 6" ish.