Sunday, 12 January 2014

Painting By Numbers

Oh my gosh! Did I enjoy myself yesterday or what!

Despite saying that I was going to take things slowly, and build things up bit by bit, once I got the brush in my hand and the smell of Acrylic in my nostrils there was no stopping me.

I started off with a very rough sketch of an idea. When I say rough I really do mean rough. The lines are over laid again and again and there are a lot of smudges and excess pencil marks as I just keep going and going until I'm happy with the result. I then simplify the sketch so only the basic outline goes onto the paper, well you don't want to see loads of pencil marks coming through the paint do you. I tried to position the snake facing left and right but settled on the right as that's how I want it positioned in the final piece. I also changed the shape of the body so that it was more upright.

Then came the paint. I decided on a pea green and filled in the parts of my sketch that represented the top of the body with a light wash. I left that to dry and then added shading in a slightly darker colour and again left that to dry. The reason for letting base colours dry completely is so the detail doesn't sink in and feather. It was the detail where I came slightly unstuck. As predicted my hands shake more than they used to so occasionally my fine line would turn into a thick splodge. Unfortunately the harder I tried to control my hands the more they shook so in the end I abandoned putting in the scale detail. I will save that for the finished piece, which will take days to do.

After adding the background and walking away for a few hours I had time to assess. Well yes I can still draw, pretty accurately I'm shocked to say, but there are mistakes. The green of the snake is wrong, I want something more menacing and green just won't do. Also the blue background needs to be much, much lighter and even, almost a wash. Maybe even a different colour, a very pale beige might have been better. Having said all that I'm quiet pleased with my first piece for ten years, at least. I've included the different stages, see what you think.

Today I'm painting from life, well actually from a picture to see if I fair any better with drawing something that I can actually see with my eyes than with my brain. I will post the results of that in my next blog.

In the news it came as a great shock to me to hear that Ariel Sharon has died. Mainly because I thought he'd died years ago. Eight years in a coma? One has to wonder if the motive for keeping him alive was more to do with the fear of what his departure would cause politically at the time he had his stroke, rather than for the benefit of him or his family.

Talking of which, there is still no news from the Schumacher cap so we can only assume that there has been no significant change in Michael's condition.

Next Friday I'm off to Papworth for my three monthly check. Once again I will ask them whether I'm really on the list for transplant and once again they will say yes I am. Sometimes though you have to wonder when you've heard nothing at all for such a long time. I know my friend Stacie felt like that after she reached the one year marker but then she got two false alarms in fairly quick succession. I know false alarms are horrible, you build up all that hope and there's excitement mixed with fear, but at least they are an affirmation that you are on the list and they are looking out for you. At least when I go I'll know that I'm still fit for transplant. I received the written report from the Brompton yesterday and there were no nasties in it to say otherwise.

Kath, who had her transplant in November, made it up three flights of stairs this week and all without having to stop once for breathe. The change in her is remarkable and, although she is still having to attend hospital regularly, she has now been taken off some medications and has had others reduced. I'm so happy for her and a little bit jealous as I want this so badly now. You never know, maybe I will be writing about how I made it up three flights of steps this time next year.

Well time to think about feeding my boys. I did a beef and ale stew yesterday, which went down a treat. I'm thinking pasta today, I just haven't got to grips yet with what sauce. I feel another rummage through the cupboards coming on.