Shell Shock

🎨 I’ve been attending art and drawing classes in Amsterdam, trying to go as regularly as possible whilst my erratic schedule allows. These classes are run by a young Japanese guy who teaches drawing and painting on the side in addition to his regular day job. 👨‍🎨 For me, it’s an opportunity to master the technical side to drawing and painting. I feel that whilst I have a strong creative mind, my techniques could do with some fine tuning. And of course these classes are for socialising and keeping in touch with my Japanese roots by interacting with other Japanese wives and preventing my own spoken language from getting rusty! 🇯🇵

Sugawara sensei gets his students to start with pencil sketchings, otherwise known as dessin ✏️ . He feels that that is the fundamental basis for understanding about composition, dimension, light and shade, shapes and perspective. My first drawing was an apple 🍎 then a wine bottle next to a piece of brick. Point of the exercise being how to emulate the various textures of the objects on paper. And also to distinguish the varying colour tones and transfer them into monochrome using different graphite pencils ranging from say 5H to 9B. With the classes lasting 2-3 hours, I managed to finish each in a matter of 3-4 lessons.

🎨 By my third drawing, I still wanted to practice dessin before being confident enough (and bored with) to move onto other mediums. I however wanted more challenging objects to draw so I was given a jar of shells and two lose ones lying on black and silver origami papers. Now that was quite something else! It took me at least 6 lessons to complete and perfect. 😇

🐚 The shapes of the shells were one thing but how to make them look real on paper was another. All the bumps and undulating texture. Then proceeding with the smooth transparent glass jars, the grainy texture of the cork and the matte black origami paper in stark contrast to the reflecting silver one. In the end, it was well worth the challenge! 👩🏻‍🎨

😇 And now I’ve been asked if we could display this wonderful drawing at an exhibition at the European Go Cultural Center in Amstelveen on 27 May! Along with the art works of other students, Sugawara sensei actually selected my work too which I’m so chuffed about. It’s such an honour! I hope I’ll be free that day to check it out 🙏

Happy days…. 😊

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