The finished teapots

I liked the way these two pots have turned out. Putting the time into the drawing certainly helped.

Both are available in my Etsy shop AnneLawsonArt. For more details of the green one click here

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Jade green teapot (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

and for details of the gold one click here

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A pink one and a blue one are in the pipeline.

How does drawing teapots become drawing spirals?

You know me by now….I like to jump around from project to project. So instead of finishing my painting for the exhibition I decided to paint teapots. I have painted them before, and from that my friend Liz lent me one of hers to paint. I love its sensuous curves, and the wide belly looked like it would be good to experiment with watercolour washes.

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Liz’s wonderful teapot.

So off I went and created these two paintings. The photos show them with the original drawing.

However I wasn’t happy with the proportions of the original drawing, so more paper and more drawing. I began with spirals, to help form the elliptic shape of the pot.

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Working out the proportions by using spirals (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

I did pottery many years ago (and would love to return to it). My teacher showed me how to make a teapot, and I remember him telling me about the spout. The end of it has to be higher than the lid and to attach it we cut off the side of the pot. I used those ideas to help me ‘sculpt’ the drawing.

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Spirals on the spout! (Copyright: Anne Lawson2016)

While I was understanding more, I still wasn’t happy. More paper, more drawing. Some geometry, some measuring, and some understanding of angles. One trick I have learnt is to think of angles as a clock face. It helped me to see that the line of the spout went at about where the 5 is on a clock.

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My drawing started with the complete pot and went in a clockwise direction around the page. (Copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

Now I was more confident that I understood the pot and could draw it more accurately.

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(Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

The next step was to trace the outline of the drawing ~ this makes it easy to transfer onto good watercolour paper for the painting. Now that I am looking at this simple line drawing I wonder if I haven’t made the belly of the pot, under the spout, too wide. I will notice more inconsistencies as I paint.

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Simple line drawing on tracing paper (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

Lastly I did a tonal drawing. This is a map of the dark areas and highlights. Drawings like this are an invaluable reference tool, helping give the painting a 3D effect. To make it I put another piece of tracing paper over the line drawing and started to really look at where the darks and lights are. You will see that I left the highlights white, because when I do the painting I have to remember to leave these areas the white of the paper. It is the darkest darks that add oomph to the drawing. Often artists are too scared to go as dark as is necessary. I haven’t done a very good job of modelling the belly of the pot, but there is enough there to help me understand some of the tonal complexities.

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Tonal drawing to map out the darks and lights on the pot. (Image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

I love working my way through drawings like this. It reminds me how lazy I can be, with my first attempt being ‘good enough’. Until, as I painted and realised that it wasn’t good enough, because I had been listening to that lazy part of my brain that says “It is a teapot. You know what a teapot looks like. It looks like this….” The problem with this process is that I don’t take the time to really look and analyse. Where is the edge of the lid in relation to the foot? The top of the spout to the top of the handle? What angle does this line take? Is the pot as tall as it is wide? (Actually it is wider.) Where would the spout attach? How does the handle attach?

So, instead of drawing a teapot I ended up drawing lines and angles and spirals and negative spaces. Now I am intrigued to see what the painting looks like. I will certainly let you know!

 

It’s tea time!

I am so pleased that my Little Sketchbooks have been embraced by you. I have sent off some and they are winging their way around the globe. They have been sent to Wales and North Carolina, Northern Queensland and Melbourne, Washington and central Victoria. I am delighted to give people an opportunity to be creative, and follow their passions. It brings a smile to my face.

On a different art note……You may remember a page I showed you from my current sketchbook, a page of some teapots from my collection. If you don’t remember here it is again.

I really like the way this spreads across the page. It was a conscious composition.(Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)
I really like the way this spreads across the page. It was a conscious composition.(Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)

Well, I received some very favourable comments about it. You are such a supportive group of friends, and I truly thank you for that. The delightful Alys from Gardening Nirvana made this comment

I fell in love with your teapot study. I’ve always loved teapots. Any chance of making those up into some art cards?

and that got me thinking. Not cards, but small studies on A5 paper. I have had great fun with the washes, and as watercolour is a continual learning experience, have learnt so much about water on paper and in brushes. I am also learning about leaving some of the paper unpainted, so that the white comes through as a highlight. The trick is to remember to leave it. I wouldn’t be the first watercolour painter to paint over the white area that had been reserved as a highlight. 🙂

The first studies are of a little teapot I bought in Hong Kong many years ago. I loved the contrast between the smooth body and the knobbly bamboo-like handle. The knob on the lid reminds me of a little grub! It is the one on the right hand of the sketch. In real life it is a dark grey terracotta, so you can see that I have taken many liberties with the colour, both in the following paintings as well as in the sketchbook.

(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art work copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
Rosy pink teapot (Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)

The next ones are modelled on the blue and white pot in the middle of the sketchbook page. I may add some of the pattern in a future one. But, then again, maybe not! It was a present from my sister, as she knew that I love Asian inspired teapots. The different facets have given me interesting areas to play with.

(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)
(Photo and art copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)
Aubergine and gold tea pot (Art work and photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
Aubergine and gold tea pot (Art work and photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

If you click on any of the photos you will be taken to my Etsy store. Then you can look at the description and price. If you are interested in buying, you can go through the shop, or contact me directly: annebags@optusnet.com.au

In my kitchen, at the beginning of June

Celia, over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, hosts a monthly get together. It means that we can take a seek peak into kitchens around the world. It is good fun, and everyone is welcome to drop by. Celia’s own post this month is about teas she has recently bought, and they sound exquisite.

In my kitchen this month is some fresh produce from the Victoria Market.

As we walked into the market I found this persimmon on the road. It was like a shining jewel and I could not resist it. I think I will paint it.

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We also bought some shanks, because it is Winter now, and time for stews and shanks and soups. So there is also chicken stock on the go, made with a couple of frozen chicken carcasses, celery that was lurking in the fridge, a carrot, garlic of course, chilli and ginger, pepper and quite a bit of salt. It cooks in the pressure cooker for a good while. I keep any flesh still on the bones and give the vegetables to the compost. Then I am going to use some of the stock to make cauliflower and bacon soup.

Because it is Winter there are lemons from a friend’s tree. (Thank you Billy!)

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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014

Also this week I am going to cook a cabbage galette from Joanna Harris’ cookbook. You  will know her as the author of Chocolat, and her cookbook is a delight for any Francophiles. I have found her recipes to be very reliable (but can’t comment on their authenticity).

The story behind the book…..My Fella and I had stayed a few days at Mildura, a regional town in the northwest of Victoria. On Sunday we went to a small town nearby to find a market. While there were people wandering around the other stalls, it was the bookstall that had the most interest, seemingly caravaners like us. As I am a sucker for second hand books it soon drew me in too. What did I see……Joanna’s cookbook and for only $3. I quickly tucked it under my arm, protecting it from anyone else that might want to snatch it away! How could they ignore such a bargain? 😉

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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014
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Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014

I have decided to introduce you to some of the fixtures in my kitchen. Today I would like you to meet the teapot. We drink a lot of tea, so the pot needs to be big. A common question through the day is “Would you like a cup of tea?” and you can guess the answer. My first cup comes to me in bed, delivered by my Lovely Fella and I drink it while I read and wake up. ❤

Snug in its homemade tea cosy
Snug in its homemade tea cosy
In its naked glory. How could I not have a teapot that has a botanical theme? :)
In its naked glory. How could I not have a teapot that has a botanical theme? 🙂