Kingfisher Mobile (2015 ink and watercolour A3 approx.)
Last week, a friend and I visited a workshop called Drink and Draw. We turned up with our bottles of wine, drew the harbour from the studio balcony, did some entertaining exercises and completed a drawing of our own choice – in my case a pen drawing of a kingfisher and parrot mobile that hung in the corner of the room.
I enjoy a glass of wine as much as the next man (well, probably more than the next man actually) but I’m not sure whether it helps one draw. I was perhaps a little looser in my line – which is, after all, what I’m aiming for – but that was largely down to holding the pen towards the end, like a brush.
In short, I’m unconvinced that half a bottle of white rioja added that much to my ability to draw a wooden kingfisher, although it was a fun evening.
In the Fen Country (collaged watercolour squares 2012 A4)
A few years ago I attended another of Annie Rice’s inspiring workshops, this time on watercolour landscape painting. After a few warm-up exercises, we were sent off into the Norfolk countryside to paint. There were water-filled ditches, banks covered in wildflowers, wind-twisted trees that were hundreds of years old, clumps of bulrushes, a derelict barn…but I chose a level field with a distant line of conifers. The resulting painting was the dullest thing you could imagine. When I got it home I was about to throw it in the recycling when I noticed some of the details were quite appealing, so I covered it in a grid of squares and started cutting it up. The more evocative bits were pasted onto a piece of thin brown card to make the image above, far more interesting in its semi-abstraction than the amateurish source painting.