Thursday 23 March 2023

Poppies...In April?

Hello there, and hope you're thriving out there.

The image shows a line-and wash watercolour red poppy poster, with the (editable) text Stand Tall and Be Proud
Click or tap here to get this as a printed or printable poster at Zazzle
(and change the wording, if you wish).

The reason for today's title will be clear if you're in the still-chilly-where-is-the-Spring-we-were-promised UK, anyway (and maybe other places in the Northern Hemisphere).

In the Southern Hemisphere, I guess poppy season is at hand, or just finishing.

Anyway, am guessing that you weren't expecting poppies today, so I'd better explain how come they're here.

Basically, I've been taking time to do Karen Abend's, "Sketchbook Revival," challenge this year. No, not every one of the 26 sessions. But there are some great ones, especially if you're looking to establish (or re-establish, like me) a daily sketching practice that actually feels *fun*.

Close up of a line and wash sketched watercolour red poppy.
Close-up of these poppies in their original sketch...

For example, these poppies were inspired by a Jeanne Oliver video, in which she championed both contour botanical drawing (ie drawing first without taking the pencil off the paper if possible) *and* sketching in odd periods of time that crop up during the day, instead of a longer (but potentially more pressurising "session".

And so, the first sketch for these poppies was done in a stray 20 minutes before heading out, rather than a specially-allotted time. That felt incredibly liberating.

Yes, there was scanning and some extra digital work to get the final result, but joyful and easy production were definitely the name of the game with this one.

If Sketchbook Revival sounds like something you'd enjoy, then, as I type this, I think you can still sign-up. (That's not an affiliate link or anything, I'm just enjoying the sessions).

Photo of Red Poppies Watercolour line-andwash sketch by Clare Walker, BoundingSquirrel.Com
Yes, these poppies were originally in my sketchbook...

The sessions are free, and going out at the rate of two a day until the beginning of April. After which there's a decent interval in which to watch anything else you missed before it disappears. So as I type, it's still very much worth checking it out if you want to.

As far as I can tell, this runs most years. So if you're reading this later on and Sketchbook Revival has closed for now, have a look and see if you can sign-up for any kind of reminder next year. On the basis of that which have experienced so far, I can definitely recommend it.

On that note, it's time just to wish you a great week.