Tag Archives: feast

The Kick-About #18 ‘Still Life with Blue Vase (the roosbeef)’

The prompt for Kick-About #18 is Fernand Leger’s painting, below.

I’m running late again, for this Kick-about, and I missed the Christmas one. So I have just whizzed down to my supremely messy studio (in need of a good clear out before work commences next week) and painted a few quick Christmas dinner themed sketches inspired by Leger’s perfect little still life. Since I’ve just been to see Joy Hester: Remember Me, at Heide, it felt pretty easy to swing into black ink outlines with minimal colour.

The Lap Sitter

I was a little too hasty with my first sketch. Not having the exact brush pen I was wanting to hand, I used the one that was there. The ink is grey-pale and not waterproof. So when I threw a bit of ink on, it melted. I thought it would, but sometimes I like that look. I switched to waterproof ink and brush with pencil for the next two sketches. I liked the scratchy impulsiveness of the thrown down colour pencil. And then I didn’t really notice my medium any more, because it became all about the people in the images.

The Kick

I rarely do a still life. For me, The Things are all about the people that use them. So I became lost in some invented people and what their moods and relationships might be. In my final image, it was interesting to find that despite the small crowd of people in the central part of the drawing, the subject was really the man at extreme left and the slightly harassed mother at the extreme right. It became all about their isolation within the crowd.

The Feast

As a matter of fact everyone in this last image looks as though he or she is disengaged or separate somehow. Which is often the case at family Christmas gatherings, I think. It can be an emotional time for people, especially for the introverts, and for those who have more than their fair share of family problems. Having said that, our family gathering this Christmas was a warm and relaxed thing and I felt that the connection between people was both grateful and strong. After such a year we were so lucky to have a moment of relatively unfettered togetherness in Victoria before the next Covid cases came along. I’m counting my blessings.

Looking at the three here, the first two are the strongest, and perhaps they suit the medium best: lots of white space; not too much going on; a clear focus. Also, the large central area of red. But I enjoyed doing all three.

Thanks Phil. I’ll try to be on time next time. :-) x

The Feast


The Fast


The Curse of the Black Tongue

This evening was the Drama Class night, when I take my two plus one more to a drama lesson at a big leisure centre. We always enjoy the evening despite the slightly rushy nature of eating early straight after school and then getting to the class on time, when nobody can find their shoes, or their book for the car or remember to go to the toilet until we are about to drive away… the usual stuff. They are a happy bunch of three and I enjoy their nutty company. I also enjoy the slightly-less-than-one-hour of free time at the centre when I can draw just for fun.

This week’s 52 Week Illustration Challenge theme is ‘feast’. It’s not a theme that lends itself to time poor folk because it conjures up mental images of banqueting tables, rife with imaginative and mouth watering detail. Forget that.

Having grabbed the nearest half-stocked ‘art backpack’ as I went out the door with the mad ones, I found that I had limited supplies with me. (You were wondering what that subtitle The Fast was all about, weren’t you?) I had a vintage book to draw in and a box with pencils, fine point felt tips losing their inkiness, a brush tip black pen (also fading), one deep terracotta red crayon and a small paintbrush but no water receptacle.

Thinking I’d hopefully find a pithy quote to illustrate in the vintage book – something that brimmed with feastiness, or failing that, feistiness –  I found it was all about a family during the Gold Rush and that Hugo had used the first half to practice scribbling with thick black texta.


Not to be deterred, I found a page with a description of an extravagant breakfast. I set to work illustrating it using a pencil and the first subject that came to mind: a chicken serving breakfast. Unfortunately the chicken was so long and elegant of neck that she obscured the text she was illustrating, so I swiftly moved on.

I found the page above and quickly drew Mrs Pym in her kitchen with the fading brush tip. She’s okay. But remembering that the brush tip is water soluble I found I hankered to deepen the tone with a bit of water. No water. Aha! Yes! You guessed it. The Curse of the Black Tongue!

I confess I glanced around me to see that nobody was deeply offended, as I proceeded to use the nearest clear liquid to hand… or mouth.

I had half a drama class still to use… what could I find? After a few minutes of fruitless searching, I gave up on wasting time looking for food references in the vintage book. I thought I’d draw a pelican with a border of fish leaping around him on the page. And so I did. But the fine point markers kept running out on me as I drew, so I kept changing, keeping to a .5 or below.

FEAST pelican lores


Although a real pelican  would be more likely to feature blue legs I think, the red crayon came in handy here. And once complete, I was just left thinking how much I’d like one more colour to highlight the fish with. If only!

Oh happy pelican! As I resorted to the Black Tongue again in a not-very-hopeful kind of way, thinking that this time, the ink was waterproof, I found to my delight that all but the bird’s body and one wing were drawn in fine point markers that were water soluble and which when wet became green!

I am quite pleased with my pelican page. But I can still taste that ink on my tongue.