sketching landscape with Nina Weiss

Nina Weiss is a confident art teacher via video.  Over 3 videos, she shows how to draw a coloured pencil landscape from her own photo.  Here’s the first video:



Portable Sketching Kit

Sketching daily is a great art discipline and finding 20 minutes to sketch is fairly do-able even in the most hectic of schedules.  Grab yourself a few basic tools (set out by tutor Nina Weiss) and you’re good to go…

  1. A box of coloured pencils
  2. a small sketchbook (her hands give an indication of its scale)
  3. 20 minutes

Nina finds it’s important to have these basic tools to hand at any moment when inspiration strikes.

Soon, this blog will feature her on a much longer drawing assignment, working from a photograph she took while travelling.


Portable Takeaway

What drawing/sketching/writing tools do you currently have?

Pool them together – you might be surprised.

Now pack them in such a way that you can have them with you, easy to get hold of, for as much of each day as possible.

start small – Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter works across a wide variety of textures and formats: painting over photographs, painting from photographs but blurring, mirrors, versions of a major Titian painting…… where do you even begin?

On what basis do you choose your format?
I choose depending on the way I feel; randomly, in other words. When I haven’t done anything for a long time, I always start small, on paper.

Interview with Anna Tilroe, 1987 SOURCE
If you would like to see where Gerhard Richter went from his small beginnings with new themes and styles – see a 7 minute video of a gigantic exhibition of his works through his life, put together by the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist – equally as famous in his own line of work as the artist.
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Because Hans Ulrich Obrist is such an amazing curator, working together with the living artist, Richter – they have made an exhibition which is the best of both their work – the gathering together of series (currently broken apart, sold and living in separate parts of the world) – and Richter requesting that there be an added unexpected counterpoint on one part-wall, sometimes making a new piece specifically for that.  So you have the best of the old together with an added spice of something new.

There are even mirrors at the beginning and end of the exhibition – so that, as Obrist comments, the viewer becomes part of the exhibition.

Interestingly, as we see how Richter takes a classic painting, paints it blurred and draws interest from painting blurred photographs…. as I paused the video, I noticed that the curator himself becomes blurred in a mysterious way – see his hands in movement.

“I can’t draw a straight line”

Many people say “I can’t draw a straight line” – this is a great starting point, because there are very few in nature (except the horizon).  Have you tried the freedom of collage?

Watch Rebecca Maloney collage a landscape, from a few lightly pencilled guide marks, using coloured paper from magazines.  And yes, she makes it wonderful because she is a skilled artist – but I bet this is not her first attempt.  What would yours look like?  If you can cover a whole piece of paper or canvas on board – have fun and give yourself a cheer when you complete.  You have created.

More on Collage

If you’d like to experiment more with collage, you’ll find many articles and videos on that subject on this blog.  Just type “collage” into the search box.  Enjoy!



Watching paint move

There is something beautiful in simply seeing colour move – the following videos are closeups of abstract art being made on gigantic canvases.  If you are interested in colour, the making is beautiful, seeing colours move, layer, react.  And a reminder that art includes the element of play, fun and discovery.  Where will your adventure with colour take you today?


Delicate colour palette bigged up

When a muted palette is spread over huge flat surfaces of canvas, to form giant walls of series of paintings, the effect is somewhat like another world.  Painter Jessica Zoob is here making and looking at the remarkable size of her art.


Creative Takeaway

If you normally create in small-scale, try bigging it up.  If you write a short story, try the “On the Road” style of  Jack Kerouac – who apparently sellotaped huge amounts of paper together and then just began typing and kept on.  A computer screen is similarly unchallenged in length – you can type a sprawling remembered saga of adventures, keeping going as long as you can.  Then leave it for a day before reading it back and tweaking.

On the other hand, if you usually work big, try writing small.  If you usually write a full-length film script, write just one scene.  Or if you paint full-height canvases, make something very very small.

Afterwards, reflect on what you learned from the experience.