Living In Lockdown – Onwards and Upwards

Saturday 25th April

Paddy cooks dinner. Tonight he is doing oven fried chicken. We are experiencing a tumultuous time at home, and it is lovely to be looked after by Paddy. He looks at us all tucking into the meal he has made. “It’s such a lovely feeling to know people are relying on you,” he says.

I paint some of the plants Marcel has filled the house with. I cannot walk very far without being swiped in the face by a palm frond. And I am frustrated that I cannot capture the plants the way I want to. Any day now I will try them in gouache.

Wednesday 28th April

One of the Sketch Talks Challenges on the Urban Sketching Talks a few weeks ago was by the French artist Lapin, who lives in Barcelona. His suggestion was “Draw a plant in your house, as accurately as possible”. So I duck into a corner of the sunroom and draw this gorgeous succulent. Paddy and Liv do the dishes together: the way they like to approach this is to put on loud tunes. I draw and paint very happily while Red Hot Chilli Peppers bashes out. Although this is watercolour, I still think a lot about gouache.

Thursday 30th April

I submit an almost-complete draft for my next book, Drawing Expressive People. I only have a couple of small things to add. So I crack open my almost-new gouache paints (Liv painted a rather large portrait with them when I was still writing my book) and paint some very lovely small peppers I find in the fridge. Painting in gouache is everything I hoped it would be. I am deeply excited.

I paint another picture in gouache, just to use up the paints I have squeezed out. I will try not to make that mistake again. I make up the colours according to whatever is on my palette. The paint handles beautifully.

Things are looking up.

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