I conveniently just completed an illuminated Letter S just in time for September. This piece was gilded using my Brian Walker recipe gesso, 23K gold leaf, watercolour, ink and Swarovski crystals.
Soon my beloved days of summer will fade and we will welcome the first days of autumn. I always have such a hard time transitioning into the fall and winter season. I feel like I grieve for the greens of spring and petal pinks of summer. I am determined to find the joy that each day brings no matter what date is on the calendar. This month will likely be very quiet on the blog as I work on new handouts for upcoming courses. But I welcome the time to refine my thoughts and prepare for these classes.I always put more in the notes than we can possibly cover in the class but I hope my students will be able to explore the notes well after the classes have ended. Today I spent a beautiful day of drawing and painting. I keep a very small sketchbook for Enchanted Meadow creatures.
The little animals and birds are often the most difficult part of my design process but they add so much to border designs and illuminated letters. Your sketchbook is not a place of judgment. It is a place of growth and experiments. You never have to show it to anyone else but you will be able to flip back through the pages and see how your work has evolved. When I travelled to teach, my sketchbook always came with me along with a pencil and eraser. The practice of drawing can be a wonderful companion. The simplicity of just pencil, paper and eraser adds to the appeal. And just like writing, the practice of drawing or sketching can be so peaceful and meditative.
It was a beautiful first day of September as some of my bird sketches were painted. The image below was painted with my dry brush technique on Daler Langton Prestige Hot Press paper. There is a bit of a tooth to the paper that reacts beautifully to dry brushing. The creation of these study pages helps me as I put the handouts together for each course. The process is so time consuming but I always learn so much along the way.