Does it seem like every other post I write either has “simple” or “easy” in the title? It seems that way to me. But I have good reason. I want you to enjoy painting. That’s always been my goal here.
Somehow, I don’t think “How to paint a Time-Consuming, Challenging Teacup” would be to appealing.
Or maybe it would. Who knows? Maybe I’ll try it sometime. While this post is called A “Simple” Teacup, the truth is, it was far from ‘simple’ to draw.
If you look closely, you’ll see the imperfections in this sketch.
Don’t get me started on sketching the saucer. Ugh.
Okay, wait a minute. To be fair, I’ve never taken a drawing class. It’s just something I love to do. And I don’t write about drawing here on the blog much. It’s something I just doodle, erase, doodle some more, and when I’m almost satisfied, I get out a fine tip marker, snap a pic, and post it here. I want you to focus more on painting, not on compositions, vanishing points, etc., etc.
But I gotta tell you, sketching these teacups and saucers was pretty darn time-consuming and challenging. Probably because I thought it’d be a quick little project I could just whip out in a few minutes. Strike one.
There’s a ‘method’ I use when I sketch curved objects. But I didn’t use it for these teacups. Because I thought it’d be a . . . quick little project. ahem.
I know better. I do. I learned many years ago that when humans create they try to make things “perfect”. Symmetrical. Matched. Balanced.
Painting something made by humans is oh-so much harder than painting something made by, say, Nature.
Nature. Natural. Nature makes trees and flowers and bugs and grassy fields.
Nothing is straight or symmetrical in nature. But yet, everything is perfect and balanced. Have you ever noticed that?
Teacups and teapots are pretty too, but they’re made by humans and their curves are balanced and symmetrical. (Can you tell I’ve never tried to make pottery?)
I should’ve known that sketching a couple of teacups and a teapot would be a bit challenging. I should have, but I didn’t.
I actually considered making a ‘halfsie’ pattern. But that’d mean dragging out the tracing paper. And the graphite paper. And that means . . . Work. And creating shouldn’t feel like . . . Work.
The joke was on me. Doing it the right way certainly would’ve taken less time than the drawing/erasing/drawing/erasing took.
There’s a fine line. Do you know the line I’m talking about? The one between joy and frustration. I enjoy drawing and doodling, and even erasing. But after a while that joy can quickly become frustration. Frustration that it’s not perfect, that it’s taking too long, that I should just get out the dang tracing paper and quit wasting time!
After all of these years I should know when that line is approaching. You’d think, wouldn’t you?
*sigh* Well, before complete frustration set in I remembered a little trick I heard or read somewhere from someone –
Turn your paper UPSIDE-DOWN
Here’s the start to my teapot. The curve of the lid is ‘off’. So is the curve of the bowl. Can you see it? Wait a minute . . .
Look at it upside down. (and yes, I actually turned my sketchpad upside down here and snapped a pic, instead of just doing it in Photoshop. sheesh) Now look at the curves. You can really see the imperfections, can’t you?
Just a little tip from me to you: Try turning your sketch upside down the next time. That is, if you don’t use tracing & graphite paper and make a halfsie, like I made with the fleur de lis pattern here.
Once I got the pattern halfway decent, the painting was ‘easy’ and ‘simple’. I used two light pinks on the brush and basecoated the cup and saucer.
A smidge of dark pink here and there.
And then white polka dots dabbed on with a round pouncer.
It took me all of 15 minutes to paint the teacup, after a very time-consuming and challenging morning of sketching what should’ve been a “simple” teacup.
I did make the teacups and teapot into printables, if you don’t mind a few imperfections here and there. Just click on the photo and you’ll go to Google docs where you can print them off.
We’ll play more with painting teacups and teapots later and I’ll show you some
easy simple fun ways to get dimension with highlights and shading.
In the meantime, if you’ve gotta some new words for ‘easy’ and ‘simple’, I’m all ears.
In the meantime, drop by today at 4 pm PST to see a few ways to paint hydrangea. If you can’t make it at 4, the recorded video will be posted in a new blog post that you can watch at your convenience.