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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

Scary Stuff

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I think Eleanor must know about making art. Sometimes it's scary. Trying new things and stretching your brain is hard work. Adults have that little bird sitting on their shoulders and whispering in their ear, "It's not going to work".

Every week, I witness artists facing their challenges and working through them.

This painting might not look all that impressive to the untrained eye at this point. So far, this artist has figured out how to make the trees in the background look misty. She's figured out the shadow under the roof. The light yellow patches that you see are dried masking fluid which have been painted to preserve the white of the paper. They will be rubbed off when all of the painting around them is finished and dry. This artist is doing a good job of understanding the process of making a painting. It will be lovely when finished.

Making greens look natural is not easy. This is the first painting in watercolour for this artist. The first.

These hibiscus leaves have one or two glazes on them, and she will go over them with more glazes to build up the darker colours and shapes. A lot of learning has happened in a short time. No wonder she was tired at the 2 ½ hour mark.

And, here we have it..... 99% done! We've got shadows where shadows need to be. (Wasn't easy, believe me!) Grandmother is looking three dimensional.

Painting a portrait of someone you know is extra challenging. And, trying a new medium - watercolour pencils has added to the challenge. This artist is tenacious. And, her tenacity has paid off.

Another stretch.... first portrait for this artist. And, a portrait of a young child sticking out his tongue. This artist takes her time and slowly builds up the layers of graphite. It can be scary, especially when shading the skin of a baby or young child. But, it's necessary if you want a three-dimensional look. Already, the head is popping out a bit... just because of the shadow under the chin.

I love shadows!

Why not end with Eleanor Roosevelt? I think our Wednesday night artists will be able to take the next thing that comes along.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence

by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

You are able to say to yourself,

'I have lived through this horror.

I can take the next thing that comes along.'

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

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