Wednesday, March 09, 2011

to be inspired.

Have you ever looked at someone's artwork and been so inspired you think to yourself, "I'd like to try that style." Well, that's EXACTLY what happened to me yesterday. I got an email that someone new was following me on Twitter, so I clicked their name and it went to this super, cool textile workshop called Harvest Textiles in Australia. Check out their site. It's amazing. In the meantime here's a few examples of a screen printing class that they offer. All I can say is gorgeous and dang, why do they have to be in Australia?!

Then on their website I found this artist who is teaching a watercolor class at their shop, who has this loose, sort of skewed watercolor style where mainly she focuses on food and packaging. Her name is Dawn Tan. I'm in love with her style. Here's a few examples:

Well I have to say... it was like the little lightbulb (it was more like the old, cube-like flash bulbs from vintage cameras if you really want to know) went off inside my head because what do I love most... food and my watercolor paints. By now if you read my blog, you know I usually illustrate these tight, detailed images. I remember as a child I used to love going grocery shopping with my Mom to mainly stare at all of the food packaging as I rode in the cart seat while dangling my feet in food delight. I could be at well, any store and if some cool packaging caught my eye, I could spend time in the food aisles for hours. I love the international food aisle at my grocery store. For one, you already know I love to cook and new ingredients mean new yummy dishes, but also from an eye candy perspective, packaging is well... amazing to me. After all, most of us buy products solely because the packaging is interesting to us. I also remember that I used to love drawing food and well any kind of packaging. I remember drawing some Clinique makeup products in high school as one of our assignments in art class. I loved the intricate details of the fonts, and the shiny qualities of the metallic cap and then just the opposite end of the tube being a matte finish.

I decided to throw some caution to the wind and have some fun with my sketchbook tonight. A new sketchbook too I might add, so that's exciting in itself as you know. So, I pranced into the kitchen (oh yes... I did prance) and whipped open the cupboard doors and the first thing that jumped out at me was Nutella. So, I plopped myself in front of the tv and instead of watercolors I used colored pencils. I really wanted that kinda skewed perspective that Dawn kinda did, so I tried to skew the cap in my drawing oddly a bit. I really wanted to do watercolors on this exercise but, I also didn't want to drag my watercolor gear to the living room. Plus, my watercolors that I use are tubes and tubes can be a drag sometimes, squirting out the paint, mixing the colors... On a side note, I have my eye on a 36-pan set of watercolors that I'm dying to purchase soon.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the process of just drawing and looking at the object for all of it's beautiful details. Here I go again with the details. I have to tell you though, I think I should have chosen a box of chicken stock, or maybe the sun-dried tomatoes, because before I could even start adding color to my illustration I had to dive into that darn jar of Nutella. Yes, that's what Nutella does to me. It calls to me.... Cheryl.... you know I'm so delicious! Come see me in the kitchen. Eat some, go ahead. Forget that I'm 200 calories a tablespoon. So, I did... I ate some and dang, that Nutella is so deadly, delicious. But, after my indulgence I got back to work with the color.

My drawing was still pretty detailed. I think looking at it, it's different from my usual style but, it's not really as loose as Dawn's style either. I tried not to be too crazy anal about the exact proportions of the type. I just can't seem to get myself to loosen up to that degree. I do have to say that it was much more enjoyable just doing what I felt. Letting go to just enjoy the drawing exercise. I'm going to try to loosen up my next piece and I definitely want to use some watercolors too, because I think the watercolors are a great way to capture the loose style. All in all, it was really fun and I'm pleased with the end results... except for the 200-300 calories of Nutella that I woofed!


  1. What fun! I love the inspiration and love the Nutella never cease to amaze me girl!



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