Two holidays in a year? That’s unusual for us, but we couldn’t turn down the chance of a good cheap break when some friends offered us the use of their house.
After making, and then writing about the previous diaries, I thought a bit harder about this one. My initial plan was to try to draw more, and write less.
As you’ll see, it started off that way, and ended with plenty of writing. It turns out that there are some things you just can’t express in a drawing – like a fete that was so disappointing that you leave within ten minutes.
Anyway, for better or worse, here are the pages.
Click to see any of the following images at a larger size.
Another difference about this diary is that it is almost entirely in watercolour (including much of the lettering – some of which came out much neater than I would expect, and some, not). We packed very light, and I took a watercolour set which was about the size of a phone – I think it may actually belong to my daughter. It was quite nifty though – eight colours, and a telescopic brush.
Having such a limited choice of colours was really good for my mixing skills. There was no black, for example, so the darkest shade I could muster was a mix of blue or green, with dark brown.
As this was a family holiday, as usual, I didn’t have time to sit down and sketch from life. Almost every image was drawn with a phone photo as a reference.
Sometimes, I wonder what the value is in this approach – after all, I have the photos, why do I need to make a sketch? But in the case of the zoo animal paintings, I found that working from blurry, unclear phone photos did something useful. It made me focus on light and shade much more than I usually do.
I mean, if I was trying to draw flamingo at home, I’d probably reject a blurry image and do a Google image search for something clearer. Without that option, I painted something differently than I normally would have. That’s a good thing in itself.
The hog at the top of the page is drawn with a pencil that has a multi-coloured lead – you never know what colour is going to come next.
People who know my husband may be surprised to see the red hair peeking out of his knight’s headpiece here – he dyed it pillarbox red for the summer. If it’s a sign of a mid-life crisis, well, let’s just say there are worse things he could have done.
The picture of my daughter looking through the telescope is an example of an image drawn from a phone photo that I actually really like.
The last couple of pages were completed at home. They have the most writing of all, and they’re probably the spread that I’m most pleased with – so much for trying to break one’s habits.