Three weeks down, one to go

Here’s my progress with World Watercolor Month:

Day 16: Drawing people is not my strong point, and World Watercolor Month is all about trying new things, so I thought I’d challenge myself. I love Francesco Clemente’s watercolor portraits, and I used those as my inspiration. Still a long way to go…(sigh…). But they were fun to do, and I’ll definitely repeat the exercise.



Day 17: Everything possible went wrong with this drawing of a starfish – the masking fluid wouldn’t dry, the masking tape ripped the top layer of the paper off… I think it was all due to the heat. However, I still enjoyed  playing with the stencils.



Day 18: Very busy day, and I got back late, so I only had time to doodle these little blue flowers.



Day 19: More people drawing practice – this time inspired by a photo I took on my visit to Metsovo.




Day 20: Found time to start my new project, a floral triptych. I’ve been doing studies for this since the spring, when the irises were blooming in the garden. I find it really makes a difference to draw things from life, rather than from a photograph. It’s easier to distill the essence of your subject, rather than just its image.




Day 21: I’m now obsessed with this project , so just carrying on. I’m using Canson Watercolor paper, very thick (640msg). I’ve never used this before, and I find it very interesting. It absorbs the color, and leaves it very vivid. Good for wet-in-wet, but also for a hard edge, although the surface is very rough. The back of the paper is smooth, so maybe I’ll try that next time.



Day 22: Started on the leaves. I got interesting effects from lifting the paint with a paper towel, although it won’t lift with a rag. Still playing about, not sure what I’ll leave in and what I’ll paint over.




Day 23: This ‘week’ has eight days, since there are another eight to the end of the month. Here’s the next step to my painting.



I wonder if it’s cheating to post consecutive images of the same drawing? Who knows, and, more importantly, who cares?

The Sketchbook travels again

For those of you who read my post The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook, I have finished my contribution and I’m ready to pack it off to the next person on the list, Constanze, in Munich, Germany.


Centauromachy 460 BC
Centauromachy 460 BC. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)


I wanted to do something referring to Greek history, so what better than the myth about the naming of Athens, which I’ve already written about, in my post Homage to the olive tree.  To make the drawing I took my inspiration from the ancient black and red pots from which one can glean amazing details about life in Ancient Greece – the food, the sport, the fashion, the rituals and the stories. They feature a large cast of gods, goddesses, demi-gods and mere mortals, nymphs, centaurs and satyrs, athletes and animals, as well as household objects, furniture and accessories. A fascinating study.

And now feast your eyes on my masterpiece below:-)


My drawing in the Sketchbook

Standing on the Acropolis rock is Athena, having taken her helmet off, with a belligerent expression on her face. She has just produced an olive tree, using her spear. Poseidon, seated on an elaborate throne, has a rather sheepish look on his face, having lost the contest to a woman, albeit a goddess…

This has been a very amusing project, and I’m curious to see the remaining contributions. So tomorrow I will regretfully pack up the Sketchbook and bid it Bon Voyage.

I did it!

We are on the last day of July, otherwise known as World Watercolor Month. I joined the challenge of making one painting each day, and I’m happy to say I managed it, with very little cheating! (I only posted a couple that I’d actually started before…) I’m rather pleased with myself, and also glad that Charlie O’Shields, whose brainchild this is, egged me on.




Charlie’s great at encouraging people to join in, and also at showcasing the work of other artists. If you haven’t been to see his blog yet, go check it out, it’s fun even for people who don’t paint. It’s called Doodlewash (click here).




This has been a fun challenge – it made me try different things, and also get on with my dog alphabet. Only three to go now, and that baby will have a cheerful wall to look at!




It was also nice  seeing the work of the hundreds of other artists who joined in the challenge. I’ve followed quite a few. If anyone is interested in looking at all my efforts, I’ve posted them on Instagram, at @athensletters.




World Watercolor Month

What’s World Watercolor Month?

It’s a month to inspire people to paint with watercolor (watercolour, aquarelle) while raising awareness for the importance of art and creativity in the world.  Anyone can join the celebration, from master watercolorists to artists just starting out with watercolor!



Best of all, this first year of the celebration will be about raising awareness for children in need of art supplies and art education around the globe. Art is an important aspect of child development and paves the way for a successful future. What would the world be without art?





How could I resist? I’m joining the 31-day challenge – a watercolor each day. Some might be just doodles, some only dabs (abstract dabs?), but it will be fun. It will be motivation to pick up a brush each day, to try new things; and an opportunity to meet other artists. I will be posting on Instagram(athensletters). Below is my first contribution:

Day 1: Sketch of flowers past their prime.