Workshop Project: Kitchen Love, Shapes and other Explorations

Firstly, thank you Peggy and Dylan for those great, inspiring classes.

It’s always so interesting to dive into what I have no clue about. While I have so much fun with all of this illustration exploration there is also a very self-critical and reluctant side to me that I constantly have to tell to be quiet and just wait and see. Does anyone else have those internal conversations going on?

Anyway telling my doubting self to shut up I looked at the muted colour spaces and squiggly lines that I was drawn to when I did Dylan’s Pinterest treasure hunt and thought I'd work with that.

Really, I never think of using muted colours when I look at my watercolours but what’s there to lose?
I started with Peggy’s vases and I have to say I absolutely HATED those colours. I thought I would nevertheless persist - you never know, right. Then after the first few fairly deliberate white lines and dots, that I also didn’t like, I suddenly remembered that I had identified ‘squiggly, loose lines as one of the things that I loved and went for it. And there it was, I was suddenly enjoying myself and even enjoying what it did to those muted colours. After that everything ended up fast, lose and squiggly.

One of the other things I love is some ‘pop’ somewhere in those subdued colour schemes. I wanted my florals to do that in some way.







When I painted the vases it felt like I was painting and adding up lots of different simple shapes to make a more complex shape. That made me decide to explore some very simple, very basic shapes and what that would bring. To counter the muted colours, I went for sunny pop. One of the things I’m really having fun with is textures. Adding textures changes the feel of ‘a thing’ so much.

Note to self: need to play with line colours other than white or black!

I ended up regretting the black outlines. Maybe I should have made them more precise in this case…






I loooove to cook and I love great kitchen ware. I wanted to explore something close to monochromatic with a dash of colour.

I’m not super happy with these. I was time pressured which doesn’t make for relaxed artwork or detailed exploration. There are plenty of spacial issues and I didn’t spend enough time on the handles or even on the pot designs. I have regrets about that but I’m also treating all of this as a learning experience and in that way mistakes and regrets are fertile ground. I learnt a lot!





What I loved:
It felt pretty scary to just wildly doodle around and hope for the best but it was really liberating and also surprising.
Somehow those wild markings add interest, make things hang together and are soooo much fun.
 Just discovering new things, opening doors, feeling like there is a huge pool of possiblities. 
Ignoring my doubts.

Things to think about and improve:
I need to think more about where and how things sit on the page. While I have no problem with that when designing on the computer, somehow my spacial sense goes out the window when I start drawing on a blank page.

Same goes for colour, colour schemes and where on the page those colours might sit. (I’m not a fan of swatches but I’m starting to feel like I have to make some time for them)

I love the squiggly lines but I need to be careful and also observe what I see and not just wildly doodle away.

I need to make enough time to not feel pressured and take short cuts that I know will make me feel disappointed.

I realized I didn’t go for florals so much….. something to think about…. or maybe it's just a time thing at the moment.



I'm not sure how much I'll manage so I'll be updating as I go rather than everything all at once.


Draw 25 different lines:

For some reason I've always loved the idea of a continuous line so I ran my 25 continuously down the page changing it with each step downwards. I decided to not think much (it was 1 o'clock at night when I did it and my brain was already in bed anyway) and just see what pops out.



I worked mostly with an 03 Micron but also changed to some brush pens for some of the fatter lines.

From that some other continuous line play evolved. I feel it's best in black but I'm just adding mistakes, try-out and all.



I loved my pen chatting with the drying birch and maple flowers out on the deck, so here's a 'lil photographic interlude:



Create a texture dance:

Not so much a dance, more of an exploration but I'm loving textures right now. So much fun!!



Find a combination of colors that buzz:

I really wanted to do colour explorations but I ended up having a really hard time with this one. I'm used to working in Illustrator or Photoshop and somehow I couldn't translate that to watercolours. After an afternoon of frustration and eventually thinking I'd throw it all in I came up with the idea of making a bunch of colour swatches. Then I would cut the swatches up and re-arrange them to find my colour pop like that.

For someone who hates doing swatches I've gotta say I had a blast. I went through all the colours in my watercolour set plus some extra blends. I think I had so much fun because doing the swatches was wonderfully mindless. I just let the process I had decided on do the legwork.


The initial swatches:

I really loved the greens and muted greys



Everything cut up and re-arranged somewhat by hue



And some of the colour combinations that popped for me:

Still really loving the greys. I wanted to add some zing to them with the purple and yellow.



Liking the earthy browns was a surprise



I added the blue outside the frame as a possible addition



These seem more yellow here than in the swatches. The day turned rather grey and windy outside which made taking pics difficult.





I've realised that as much as I'd like to add more projects I just can't. I've been doodling away trying to work on something and I'm not happy. It's that ticking clock that doesn't work for me. So I'm going to leave it at that. Looking through it again I feel good about what I've managed and what I'd like to explore more.

It's been such a fun workshop!


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