EDiM #121 & 122

June 6, 2011

Reeves gouache, 180gsm Como paper, hand-bound ox-plough book. Penwork using Staedtler Fineliner pen and Lamy Safari fountain pen.

With practice, I’m coming to understand some of the technical aspects of sketching in gouache: how much water to have in the brush, the ratio of water to paint, how to get “gross” effects versus some of the “finer” effects more associated with watercolour. I’m working far too small to achieve exactly what I want perhaps, but I get a chance to work larger soon when I sum up the gorilla experience at the Zoo with some larger painted sketches. I’m not entirely satisfied with either of these (both have drawbacks compositionally), but am learning a lot about the medium.

In terms of subject matter, the “coin” theme of Every Day in May #121 derives from the coin in the mouth of this Vietnamese plastic toy: a child sitting astride a dragon with a coin in its mouth. I assume it symbolises prosperity.

#122 came about because I’ve been intrigued by the way the deciduous tree on my front footpath has been losing its leaves: I’ve been watching them fall from the crown of the tree and with every passing day, more of the tree trunks, from the top down, become exposed. In the mornings, almost the entire tree (except for the lowest branches) is in shadow, as is the front gate and surrounding fences.

 

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