Still life with gourds

As I’ve stated in previous updates – I’m trying to re-learn how to make representational art. After so many years of creating abstracted/cartoony imagery from my imagination, I’m reminded of how it is really hard to make something that actually looks like something. So anyway, unlike the previous attempts with the red chair, I have actually set up a little still-life area where I can set a few items and light it somewhat decently. Drawing straight from the still-life, I’m retraining my hand-eye connection to understand proportion, composition, and all that stuff. Ultimately I want to be able to do this with the human form as well, and will be starting those life drawing classes soon. Shown here is an example of a drawing I finished in watercolor and seems to be somewhat successful. The gourds are around apple size in real life,

I am using compact fluorescent bulbs at the moment, but will probably change them for regular high-watt incandescent bulbs soon. The CF bulbs have weird blue tint to the light.

In other news- this huge praying mantis was hanging out in the yard on Saturday. I think he had knocked on the door and was waiting for someone to answer. I don’t know how big he (she?) was but estimate at 5 to 6 inches. Neat. I wondered if it was the grown up version of the little guy who was crawling around on my hat earlier this summer. I don’t know what mantis(es) eat but our yard seems to have attracted quite a few of them this year. I have seen them in a variety of colors and sizes. Neat. I like interesting bugs.