This is the 4th of Artizan's monthly team project that gives us each a chance to exercise our creativity offline. The theme for July was "Summertime". Here's what we came up with.
For this month, I wanted to create something very colourful, so I finally got a chance to use the watercolour brush pens I bought last month.
With summertime as the theme for this month, I thought it would be very easy to come up with ideas, but it was actually the opposite - it took me a while to decide on what to do.
My initial idea was to paint three abstract summer landscapes - sea, city and mountains. I started by playing around with the background colours. For the first one, the sea, I wanted to blend the sea and the sand seen from above. To make it easier to see that this was a view from above, I added a few simple silhouettes with some shadow which solved the problem.
For the second one, the city, I wanted to create a sunset landscape so I started with the blend of colours in the background and was inspired by a TV show I'm watching at the moment that is filmed in Los Angeles, so I added two palm trees and a lamp post.
For the third one, the mountains, I wanted to create a sunrise landscape so I started with the blend of colours in the background. These brush pens are very vibrant so while the paint was still very wet, I used some tissue paper as a brush to mute the colours a little bit. As I was adding the silhouette of the mountains (also inspired by TV shows) I thought it looked like the perfect place to add the golden gate bridge and still keep the summer feeling.
It was really cool to play around with colours and silhouettes and see that even simple techniques can end up as really visual pieces.
The theme “summertime” sounded easy – I immediately imagined it should be something with nature and something colourful. I’m noting that everything I’ve painted so far in these challenges involves people so I thought it might be nice to paint a really vibrant scene of flowers. But the idea didn’t really inspire me to get started. I think this is the first theme we’ve encountered that seemed quite straightforward and not as introspectively challenging as previous themes. As a result, my brain didn’t really engage, and I found myself with very few ideas.
I left myself very little time and ended up doing it on my holiday. I brought a sketchbook and a little box of paints and also, charcoals. I decided to work from a recent photo on my phone that was of my daughter swinging on an old buoy hanging from a tree. I really liked the sun-dappled light that had come through the foliage and thought it might be an interesting challenge to replicate. I first tried using charcoals and really liked the atmosphere it created but it was hard to achieve accuracy in the face because the scale was small and charcoals are chunky. I tried again with paints for better control. As she's under the canopy of a tree, a lot of the background is in dark shade. To avoid the possibility of the picture being too gloomy, I chose to paint in dots to give a lighter, more summer-like feel to the piece. Painting with paints on standard paper was hard as blending colour isn’t an option – something I take for granted with watercolours or with oils. But I still really enjoyed the process.
When we came up with the theme, I immediately thought- nature. I wanted to create something with a 'feel-good' vibe.
A few weeks ago, I walked a part of the Barrow Way. It is a beautiful forest path alongside Ireland's second-largest river Barrow. I was so taken by the beauty of the river scene, that it further inspired to create this piece.
I was very lucky to find an old print I made years ago. Charcoal and yellow tones in the print suited me perfectly when creating a sunset feel. The rest of the scenery just followed. And soon, in my mind's eye, I was sitting on a rock, in the middle of a pond marvelling at beautiful green and brown tones, bursting with life.