Friday, 5 August 2016

There's a life lesson in there somewhere

My Mum gave me these plants a few months ago. They were small, both taken from the same plant, and both the same size. The one on the left quickly grew and got bigger and fatter. The one on the right grew slowly and only little. At times I wondered if it would make it at all. And suddenly, last week, I noticed something, what was that coming out of that smaller one? Flowers!

Last Saturday I told my Mum about it, and she pointed out the obvious: While the one on the left had put all its energy into growing quickly and getting big and fat, the one on the left had saved its energy and put it into producing flowers. Of course, it makes perfect sense. Isn't nature clever, and can't she teach us a thing or two.

And here's another lesson. Last weekend, I finally got my acrylics out again. After absolute ages. I had this big canvas standing around, with some layers on, and I thought it was time to add some more.


I selected a few paint tubes, mostly greens and blues, and a brayer, and started adding layers. It was going quite well, the brayer allows you to cover bigger areas quickly and adds some nice texture too. Some dripping in contrasting colours, some white, some more brayering - and it all got rather muddy and messy.

Present stage
I decided to let it dry and work on it on another day, but then added some white to try and brighten it up a bit. Of course, after all the dripping and spraying with water, it was still far from dry, and so adding the white just added to the mess. So here's the lesson to remember for next time: have patience and just leave it until it's dry.

The good things is, of course, that it doesn't really matter that it got all that messy, the next layers will cover it up. And I think there will be lots more layers going on this one. I have no idea what to do with it, so this might well become my "let it all out" canvas.

And one last thing. I love drawing with ink, and love my fountain pens. They're great to carry around with you. But I want to use dip pens again more often, at least when I'm at home. I have a whole collection of nibs and inks, and tried out some of them. I love these colours. Now I just have to find a sketchbook that can take these inks.


  1. Great lesson to be learned from those plants. Sometimes we need patience, sometimes we need to play! Have a fun week, happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  2. I love all your work this week, and thanks for the thoughts on the flowers, I was having a similar issue here.

  3. Your drawings are always so well done and informative. Painting is awesome. Very impressive!
    Happy weekend ♥

  4. super sketches, and the inks look fab! I have never tried working with dip pens and I imagine they take lots of practice. Just layering a canvas with splashes of colors is fun! Happy PPF!

  5. I vole how a canvas can sit for awhile- or a long while- and then come out and take on a new life. I love the drips. They give it so much depth, especially with the little leaves still visible on the right. Great sketches too. Happy weekend-hugs-Erika

  6. Yes your mom is right about the plants. Nature is amazing. You art is too. I love this method you are using on the big canvas.

  7. Fun stories all !
    Love watching plants grow!
    Excited to see what your big canvas becomes!
    And do like all the inks too! You might enjoy using them in the latest Sketchbook Skool klass in CreTive Lettering! Just started today ! I'm

  8. Love the plant lesson. Sweet!
    That's the thing about acrylics--you can just keep going and layer and layer and even start over any time you want because it just adds texture. That's why I want to learn more about them. I have only just dipped a toe.
    I have dip pens and nibs that I have only used for writing/calligraphy and never for art. So many things to try and learn and so little time. :)

  9. great post! i love to use dip pens, too. but they are definitely not something you can carry around with you!

  10. neat looking background on your canvas :)

    The closest I have found with a sketchbook that will take ink properly, plain watercolour post card books :p

  11. Nature has some amazing lessons this one is perfect!!Love the before canvas rich in colour, I'm so into that teal and green combo right now, however I look forward to seeing the end results!! I hear they go through many many different stages before completion!! Thanks for sharing!

    Hugs Giggles