Today I’m taking stock

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Mid way through our thirty day challenge in Urban Sketchers Stoke-on-Trent. The subject was ‘taking stock’.

In front of me on the floor is a lovely carrier my friend sent me for Christmas. Its covered in decoupage pictures of me and my friend from years ago, and little cartoons drawn on top of the photos. The box contains all by little bottles of metallic acrylic paints, gold, silver, copper and bronze, but also metallic red, blue, green and brown. There is something nice about adding a bit of sparkle. In it too are packets of brushes, cheap but strong. Finally I have four or five tiny canvases on easle. They were going to be the centerpiece of my craft stall this spring. Instead they lie their forlorn, still wrapped in plastic, waiting for me to find inspiration in these bleak times.

I must paint and keep busy. But all my time is taken up by social media!

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Brushes (new)

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Just got some new brushes, they usually cost a lot, but these were not expensive. They are value brushes, £3.99 each pack. I bought one lot of smallish round headed brushes and one pack of flat ones. That’s eight brushes (nylon) at about £1 each.

Apart from these I must have about twenty or thirty old brushes. I must go through them, maybe throw a few away. But they are like old friends, I use them till all of the bristles have worn away!

Using different shapes gives you different mark making. Round, pointed ones can describe the shapes of petals or leaves. Flat, chisel shaped ones can be used for painting things like bricks, or to fill in larger areas.

These brushes are ‘golden taklon’ by Royal Langnickel. I like them because they are nylon so the bristles last longer and don’t tend to snap or fall out. Also they have rubber grips so they are non slip and easier to handle. They can be used for acrylics, watercolours, oils, temperas and glazes.

I got these from a craft shop in a local garden centre.

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Learning to draw…

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Someone was asking for ti’s on how to start drawing today so I gave this response.

Choose good quality things to draw with. If you use pencils try softer ‘b’ numbers not hard ‘h’ ones. It’s nice to see the marks you make. Also choosing a combination of thin and thick nibbed black pens means you can have different sizes of marks. Choose a sketchbook that has at least a hard back if you can. Not too big. That way it’s easier to hold and it doesn’t slump mid drawing. Finally you could practice making marks with them. I started drawing copies of things when I was a child. I chose something I liked. It helps your hand eye coordination. You don’t have to do that though. Everyone will do things differently.

I suppose I could have talked more about what to draw, but I think basic equipment is important. If you draw something but it looks weedy and thin it it can put you off. Like when you use cheap paints. You don’t get a good effect, you can’t really see the result and you might have to scrub at the paper to get the marks to show up.

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