Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Prickly Moments

It's been such an exciting time at Squirrel HQ recently. With election to full membership of the SBA and lots of lovely people tuning in to the You Tube channel and signing up for the newsletter, I feel that I am in the happiest place ever. It's really tiring but so much fun to see how much enjoyment others are getting out of what I do. And to think it all started here as a way to get out of the doldrums. I have to pinch myself.

With so many requests for a tutorial for a bramble leaf, I had to go once more into the prickly patch to hunt out a suitable subject for it's movie debut. Even at this cold time of year the brambles are still going for it, and still biting back. They are quite extraordinarily hardy plants, so in some ways I have much respect for them.

See the result here:

And how it turned out:

The latest bramble leaf 

And one from the archives

In progress

Although I follow my own process for painting... (as covered in the recent Processed Piece posts):
See:'s very different when you are aware of your every brushstroke as it is being filmed. You suddenly become nervous of lengthy pauses or mistakes. But I'm quite happy for errors in my paintings to be shown, and how I get round them. It's all part of the learning and skill building process, and we all need to learn from our mistakes, and find ways of troubleshooting the problem. This is one of things I have always been very open about. I'm by no means 'perfect' at what I do, and everyone makes mistakes in their paintings, (even if they don't openly admit it), but I do know what to do when a problem arises. And that is half the battle in this job. 

Bramble in progress

That first wash can be so nerve wracking,
but I love it's ghostly, ethereal look.

Building up the colour and tone.
This is where it all starts to take shape

A touch of troubleshooting? Hopefully you can't tell.


Where do I begin with the problems this one created. There were times when I literally wanted to throw it out of the window. However, you have to take a critical view, look at it carefully, decide what's gone wrong, think about how you can make it better, go and have a cup of tea, (the cure of all ills) and then get on with it. This one played its part in the selection I presented to the SBA selection panel and will be hanging in their next annual exhibition. So not bad.


Krzysztof Kowalski said...

Wonderful post Jarnie! Thank you very much for your video with explenations. It was a pleasure to watch you paint. Thanks!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thank you so much Krzystof :) I have admired your work for a long time now, so your comment is amazing :)