Rowing Machine

As part of our 2019 resolutions and beyond, we are going to keep fit and trim. So we decided to invest in a Concept2 rowing machine for home use! A great cardio as well as fat-burning work-out for the entire body and soul. With minimal impact, it is easier on the joints and causes less injuries than say running outside. I myself used to run outside a lot but relied heavily on the weather. And in the winter months it is still too dark outside even before 9, and I prefer to work out first thing in the morning. Now that we have a rowing machine lying in the attic, there is no more excuse!

And of course, I really wanted to paint about it today.

Pencil Sketch

This time, I just wanted to do a quick and simple piece that was kawaii. Little One on the rowing machine! So I grabbed my watercolour pad and began sketching away. I like Strathmore’s pad with its thick 300 gsm papers. Though it may have its limitations, pads are more convenient compared to loose papers in that you need not have to go through the trouble of taping down the paper so it won’t buckle up. I had so much fun drawing this actually, and it was surprising not difficult. It’s not very often that I get to draw anime characters from side view so I was pleased to discover how quick it went.

Pure and Simple

For this piece, I went for Japanese watercolours. The renowned Kuretake Gansai Tanbi made from nature-derived pigments (as opposed to chemicals). I have used them a number of times including my nihonga work. The colours are amazingly intense, and due to its organic pigments they come out pure and natural-looking.


For the watercolours, I used a small round brush and a long thin one for the fine details. I tried to make the drawing as three-dimensional as possible for practice like incorporating some pink into the rowing machine to add some shadows. Unlike the previous times, I refrained from using pens or markers even for the eyes. I was in the mood this time to make this a purely watercolour-brushed piece. In addition, I didn’t paint the background either as I somewhat wanted to focus on the subject. The results from using the gansai tanbi watercolour are amazing which may be why I decided to keep this piece simple without background colour or fancy details.

Sports and Creative Therapy

After a half-hour session on the rowing machine first thing this morning followed by an hour’s stroll outside after breakfast, I was well relaxed. First thing that came to mind as soon as I came home was creating a kawaii drawing with the rowing machine! Today it all seemed to go smoothly with the painting because I was more chilled with all the endorphins. And being able to complete something creative gave me even more sense of accomplishment. It does go without saying that keeping active physically and creatively is the key to a healthy mind and body!

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