I took my adorable teapot by my friend Melissa Bridgman (who will join me for my Holiday Open Studio Sale in December) plus a white cup and saucer to Memphis Theological Seminary yesterday to set up a still life for my art journal group.
I wanted them to easily see values (on the simple, white forms), and I also wanted to practice making grays with French ultramarine blue and burnt umber. That's one of my favorite things about watercolor -- that lovely gray that can be pushed from warm to cool and have a spectrum of colors in it. I also mentioned squinting to see value more clearly, getting rid of detail and color (an art class trick that doesn't necessarily trickle out to the wider world), and using one rich color to go with a mostly monochromatic sketch, like the blue above.
It took me a while to get going. My first sketch (below) didn't make me as happy as the second one, but that's also how things work when you're creating. Some of it isn't as exciting as other bits that happen how you want them to. It's just part of the deal.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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