I bought a pack of A5 sized sheets of Indian khadi handmade paper and wondered how I would actually handle it when outside. I decided that a little drawing board with some bulldog clips might do. A piece of marine plywood made a light but strong back, but the clips got in the way. I replaced them with a couple of loops of elastic.
That worked, but the knots in the elastic got in the way, so I drilled the boards, ran the elastic through the holes and stapled the ends to the ply. That worked well.
I made a cover out of a sheet of a different, irregular Indian paper, which I painted with several coats of acrylic paint and medium on both sides. This makes it into an almost leather like material. It all slips into a bag, and I spent an afternoon sitting in the garden sketching various bits. The beauty is I can put any type of paper I like into it, so far more versatile than a sketchbook.
It is supposed to be summer, so evening classes have ended. For our last session we had a remarkably good model. A young woman who has just finished her undergraduate degree in neuroscience in Iceland and starts her post graduate studies in London in September.
She posed superbly well and could hold a pose for half an hour, which is not easy. But this was the first time she had ever posed nude in front of strangers. She said she had been really nervous until she took her robe off, and then it just felt normal. I asked her why she had thought to take up life modelling. She said she had had a series of internal operations and she had become very self conscious about her body. She decided she needed to do something about it, and stripping naked in a class seemed a bold way of facing it. It seemed to have worked. She looked the most relaxed person in the room. She kept asking questions about how we drew her. She said she could draw brains really well, but nothing else! A remarkable woman, but she will have gone back to her studies before next autumn’s classes start.
We painted a cottage scene last week in our watercolour class, which I quite liked, but thought I could have done better. So as it was a sunny weekend I decided to have a go at painting our own house, which is a classic cotswold cottage with roses round the door. It was very pleasant way to spend a couple of sunny hours, even if daughter-in-law’s puppy wanted to help most of the time.
I started with a complete pen drawing, trying to get the textures of various plants. Neither easy nor quick. You get cramp in your fingers from scribbling after a while.
Then I added the colour over a couple of days up in my studio.
I think the paint may be a little dense, but that’s better than being thin and wishy-washy, as far too many watercolours are. On the whole, quite pleased with the result, which is back up at the top.