:: The Lost Words ::

Featured

“Once Upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that at first almost no one noticed – fading away like water on a stone. The words were those that children used to name the natural world around them: acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, conker – gone! Fern, heather, kingfisher, otter, raven, willow, wren…all of them gone! The words were becoming lost: no longer vivid in children’s voices, no longer alive in their stories.”

I have a book at home called The Lost Words and it is a gorgeous spell book. This is the excerpt on the back sleeve. “…When the most recent edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary was published, a sharp-eyed reader soon noticed that around forty common words concerning nature had been dropped. Acorn, adder, bluebell, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher, newt, otter and willow. The words were no longer being used enough by children to merit their place in the dictionary. The list of these lost words were replaced by attachment, blog, broadband, bullet-point, cut-and-paste, and voice-mail. The news of these substitutions — the outdoor and natural being displaced by the indoor and virtual — became seen by many as a powerful sign of the growing gulf between childhood and the natural world. In response, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris set out to make a “spell book” that would conjure back twenty of these lost words, and the beings they name, from acorn to wren. By the magic of word and paint, they sought to summon these words again into the voices, stories and dreams of children and adults alike, and to celebrate the wonder and importance of everyday nature….”

If you are interested in reading more about this beautiful book here is a link. So with this in mind, one of the sketches that I will be asking my students to complete will be creating an acrostic poem and drawing its being for a “lost” natural being that they could not part with in this world… I chose a tree -)))

20190821-tree-drawing-jane-hannah-loRes
Fountain Pen: Pilot Falcon SEF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black
Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook Art Plus Large

:: Learning to draw… ::

Featured

“We are not born focusing, it’s an acquired skill that requires initial effort and constant upgrading.”

In this day and age, with multiple electronic devices at our fingertips, it is easy to divert our attention to the technology at hand and take away our focus on what needs to be done. The word that is very popular with my students is procrastination: to postpone or delay needlessly.

So to come back to my ramblings… how does an artist learn how to draw, or paint? Is it by copying from the Masters? Is it by drawing/painting in plein air, alive with the elements? Is it by observation? Or is it with the imagination? In my point of view, all answers ring true! I would just suggest to alternate between: sketching from life, working from the imagination and copying from the Masters. And a big thank you to James Gurney who initially sent out this valuable information on his blog…

So for this coming semester, I will try to let the students delve into these three methods of drawing. For the first exercise I will ask them to draw 18 emojis… and this should be from their imagination. The second exercise will be copying from the Masters. The following apple was drawn using curving lines to show the swelling of the apple. I am relying on The Prang Elementary Course in Art Instruction. In this book, examples are shown on the left side of the page what the student is expected to copy on the right hand side. I actually redid the drawing myself as I am hoping that because I did the drawing students will relate more readily than with a very old book… hah-hah!

20190814-jane-hannah-apple-bw-loRes
Fountain Pen: Pilot Falcon SEF
Ink: DeAtramentis Document Black Ink
Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook Large 5″x8″

 

:: Coloured version emojis ::

Featured

Different watercolour papers take paint differently and the new Moleskine Sketchbook which is identified as Art Plus is made for drawing, even though it takes some washes and you do not have to scrub them in as much as with the older versions of the Moleskine Sketchbooks.  It is an improved paper for watercolours, and I feel a bit nostalgic about losing the scrubby texture the older paper used to give me… hah! Things change…

20190814-jane-hannah-18emojis-col-loRes

Fountain Pen: Pilot Falcon SEF
Watercolours: New Gamboge DS, Q. Rose DS, Antwerp Blue W&N
Sketchbook: Moleskine Art+ Sketchbook, Large

:: 18 emojis ::

Featured

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
C. Northcote Parkinson, British scholar

I have been prepping in a kind of a frenzy these last few days as I procrastinated this summer… too well for my liking and habits — hah-hah! I promised myself that I will do as I usually do and start prepping once my final grades are in next May.

For my drawing class I have been teaching different sketching techniques hoping that the majority of my students catch one technique that they will aspire to. Well I have to admit that almost 50% of the students can’t see or apply the different techniques and seem to draw in the same manner as they were taught when they were very young.

So with the help of a very old drawing book by Pranks, I decided to try something new. Learn from the masters by replicating what they are seeing! I myself have been astonished by what I have learned over the years with this technique — quite a revelation. So I am giving it a go for this semester and hope that this might ease some student anxiety over the “blank” page and help them to start drawing.

My first exercise is to see their creativity by getting them to draw 18 different Emojis in their sketchbook… a way for me to look into their creativity and imagination levels! I had fun drawing these and I will be painting them too a bit later on…

20190814-jane-hannah-emojis-bw-loRes

Fountain Pen: Pilot Falcon SEF
Ink: De Atramentis Document Black Ink
Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook 5″x8″