I promised you an article about my drawing lessons at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. It was structured around plants. We did visit the botanical gardens in Zürich, there are two, and sat there to draw until our eyes started to cross from looking at the finest detail. Now I like painting, I always did. My world is a world of color. My paintings are abstract layerings of color, my medium of choice are acrylics or watercolors (aquarelle). The only time I tried oil I got headaches from the turpentine, so I stay away from them. But drawing isn’t mine. Not with a pencil. I am pretty good at humans with charcoal all that special anatomical drawing courses paid of. But I have a difficult relationship with my pencil.
But I learned a lot in that course. The teacher Gerda Tobler was wonderful. I haven’t quite found peace with my pencil, but my drawings go better now. I tried to start with watercolor and then add volume and detail with the pencil.
I learned how to manage my gouache colors. Because with water color you do not prime the paper and in acrylics you don’t have to and if you do you use just white acrylic. I tried gouache on naked paper, but this doesn’t work. A acrylic base doesn’t work either, because it is too slick. Now I know I have to use gesso, which after sanding gives a nice smooth, but still fairly porous base.
And we did monotypes. That was fun. You can see some of the stuff I made in my Visual Diary. Gerda also had these leporellos of paintings, which almost looked like story books. I liked them so much I did make my own little story about the alien acorn colonies. Probably also influenced a little bit by Spore.
I learned something else too. I am not yet equipped to take in all the details. From some LOD (level of detail) downwards it got to much input for my brain to be able to differentiate the details. The fractality of nature gives you the opportunity to dig deeper and deeper into all the detail, but at some point you cannot hold it together any more. Its like in programming, if your code modules are more than approximately 6 classes deep and 10-15 classes wide, your brain refuses to hold everything in your cache and it falls apart.