Sketchbook Playground | Skillshare Projects



Sketchbook Playground

No, I have not stopped drawing and painting. But I didn't manage to do it daily. Here is my recent project:

Watercolour Girls -

Day Thirty - Fifty-eight (27/10/2015-27/11/2015, taking Wednesday off): Brush Challenges

It gets easier to sit down and do some arts these days. Once again, I pick a number from my magic box: 28 more days. So this "Brush Challenges" project will last 28 days. My goals are: learn more about my brushes; learn to paint loosely both in watercolour and oil.

Some of my brushes, I have bought many brushes... and I am guilty for not using them as often as I should!  I will try them all in this project:


15/11/2015: Loose Floral Painting

13/11/2015: Scribble drawings

watercolour ink scribble, draw with the ink dropper


Ball pen scribble:


watercolour, ink pen scribble:


"Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa)"

Pohutukawa is an iconic Kiwi Christmas tree with crimson flower. I first drop 3 primary watercolour inks onto a piece of paper, I then use a straw to blow the inks in upward directions to suggest the Pohutukawa flowers.


12/11/2015: Eggplant and Capsicum, Acrylic Paints

so little time so much to do, I should have given some thoughts to composition before starting, and consider the "Rule of Odds". And the capsicum is too close to the edge of the canvas.   


5-11/11/2015: fluid and loose watercolour

4/11/2015: Rosa Chinensis, oil

These red roses are blooming in my garden, quick! Paint them before they fade away.


3/11/2015: Yunnan Marble, watercolour

The Chinese see ink paintings in beautiful marble and turn them into landscape or abstract artworks. I am still obssessed:

Wild-goose (painted from a photo I found online)


Marilyn Monroe (painted from a photo I found online)


2/11/2015: Yunnan Marble, watercolour

The Chinese see ink paintings in beautiful marble patterns and turn them into landscape or abstract artworks. Here I tried to paint the marble effect:


Marble landscape (painted from a photo I found online):


1/11/2015: Pitaya, watercolour


OK, please don't laught at me, this is the first time I taste Pitaya and it is delicous! I am generally happy with the result but I think I can push the colours a bit more, and loosen up the brush strokes next time.

27/10/2015 - 30/10/2015 have been spent on the 12 days project "Watercolour Studies":

12 Days Project Ends

Day Seventeen - Twenty-nine (15-26/10/2015): Watercolour Studies

Yay! The end of 12 days! I will spend 27/10/2015-30/10/2015 on watercolour studies before starting "Brush Challenges".

10 Days Project Ends

Day Sixteen (14/10/2015): Ink studies - I can't beleive I have reach the end of 10 days! I hear it takes 21 days to form a habit. So I pick a number from my magic box: 12 more days. Today is the 1st day and I am going to do some more of those nerve-racking ink studies. 

Materials: ink, Chinese brushes, Japaness rice paper


Day Fifteen (13/10/2015): ink studies - I was forced to be more decisive with my marks. It is not easy, once I put down my marks, I can't change it, and the ink dissolves... 

Materials: ink, Chinese brushes, Japaness rice paper


Day Fourteen (12/10/2015): Watercolour studies of hard and soft edges

Materials: watercolour, brushes


Day Thirteen (11/10/2015): Watercolour studies of a pear. 

Materials: watercolour, brushes


Day Twelve (10/10/2015): Watercolour freehand painting. Chinese painters are true masters of freehand painting. I call it "freehand" because they don't need to draw outlines beforehand. One of these masters I like the most is Wu Guanzhong. Here I try to paint freehand in is not very good, but I am not going to kick myself for not getting it right!

Materials: watercolour, brushes


Day Eleven (9/10/2015): Pressed... I tried to do another orchid drawing with colour pencils today. But I wasn't happy with it at all. A little stressed out, I picked up a book to read. Then this early humans' hunting scene came back, again, and I felt a need to draw it. 

Materials: Gesso, red acrylic paint, brushes, a page of notebook (I used it to copy a poem about the pressure of living, then used the notebook page to cover my bad orchid drawing), A5 sketchbook


Day Ten (8/10/2015): Colour pencils drawing. This orchid is blooming in my garden, I can't help but give it a go with colour pencils. I did many layers of colour, but had to stop as it became very dark outside.

 Materials: HB pencil, colour pencils, A4 sketchbook


Day Nine (7/10/2015): Watercolour funs. I didn't follow any colour and composition rules, just put a few colours together to learn about watercolour. Flat wash, wet in wet, lifting off, not so successful "dropping in colours" etc.

 Materials: HB pencil, 6B pencil, watercolour, A4 sketchbook


Day Eight (6/10/2015): Getting proportions right!  I try a 1:1 on A4 from life, blue outline is my first attempt from guessing. I continue to make some adjustments, as shown in red outline and green outline, making more measurements and comparison. What I learnt today: don't rush into drawing an object, observe, compare and make measurements. There should be a simpler system in measuring distances and angles....

Materials: HB pencil, colour pencils, A4 sketchbook 


Day Seven (5/10/2015): Getting proportions right! Drawing after Michelangelo - hands in "The Creation of Adam".

Materials: HB pencil, A4 sketchbook, paper is toned with a used tea bag. 


Hands are difficult to draw, I did a few more from life:


Day Six (4/10/2015): Access the visual mode - drawing upside down after Matisse, Picasso. 

Materials: HB pencil, A4 sketchbook 


Five Day Project Ends

Day Five (2/10/2015): I am constantly at war with my inner critic! It tells me something like "You are not good with values and colours!" "Your style are so OUT. You are not creative." The inner critic is so loud, I agree with it. To shut up the inner critic, I find some drawings and paintings I made years ago to remind myself, yes, I can do values and colours, I just need to keep working on them:


Left: value and tone drawing from a photo   Right: study of a Noel Gregory's oil painting

I also include some sketches I did today (2/10/2015), the marks show how scared I was sketching in a public place. I will take a break this Saturday! ... but I've picked a number to decide how many more days I should make art and post online: 10 days

Materials: pens, A5 sketchbook 

Sketch in botanical garden



Day Four (1/10/2015): I didn't manage to make anything on 29 and 30 of September. Have a hectic schedule. But I make it up today (1/10/2015)!

I spent the evening catching up with Assignment 2,3. No much time left for today's assignment! While I finally sit down in front of the TV, I pick up a scissor on the coffee table, some note paper next to the phone, and start cutting. I fold the paper 4 times, draw whatever lines come to mind, and cut out the shapes. It is very exciting to open the cutting and see what the design looks like! 

Materials: a scissor, HB pencil, phone note paper (pink, light blue), A4 copy paper (white)

Beautiful shapes with a scissor


The white ones and the pink one in the second column are inspirted by images of panama textile I collected some time ago. 

8 places where I most likely to create art are: my home (studio or in front of TV), my garden, botanical garden, cafe, museum, beach, national park, art workshops.

Day Three (30/9/2015): I struggle with values, so I decided to do a value study of a simple subject to help me identify values accurately. I spent about 30 minutes to do the pencil drawing and 15 minutes the painting. Here are what I've learnt: *squint my eyes, compare every value with every other value; * light to dark;*mix enough paints beforehand; *be bold with acrylic paints. I have a lot to learn!

Materials: HB pencil, painting brushes, acrylic paints, A4 sketchbook.

Tea cup


Day Two (29/9/2015): On Tuesday morning, I managed to download some poems about spring, and spring is all about flowers, colours, birds, hills ect, so I did a little Zentangle drawing of the Narcissus from my garden (it is spring in NZ!). 

Materials: a pack of Micron Waterproof Ink Pens, A5 sketchbook.

Spring Narcissus

I tried to apply colours to my first drawing, put the ink still bleed, :( I guess I should wait till it completely dry. Here is my second one, black and white:


Day One (28/9/2015): I have been on and off with sketching and painting, and hope to take this class to start doing art daily. My goal is to draw or paint for at lease 5 days and post the results in the class project section. And at the end of the course, keep on making art and posting them online.

Materials: painting knife, acrylic paints, sketchbook.

My first attempt was an orange, but it ends up something unknown. I just play with colours and shapes.



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