Introduction

In this blog, I would like to share my experiences in drawing and painting. I have a strong background in chemistry and my expertise lie in hydrocolloids, physical and analytical chemistry (PhD and postdoctoral projects). I left the field few years ago for various reasons. I am now studying drawing and painting on my own and with the help of online support tutors who provide me critique. As a scientist, it is difficult for me to separate the role of art materials (such as paper, paints, etc) from the drawing and painting experience itself. I don’t have access to high tech analytical equipment, but I have some inexpensive devices and passion.

I am also a vegan and personally I do my best to avoid art materials which contain animal-based raw materials or if the products have been tested on animals. I will share my experiences in commercial art materials which have been declared as suitable for vegans. Often I get asked “why should you care whether paints or pencils contain animal-based raw materials when you are not going to eat them?”. My answer is that I am trying my best not to hurt animals in any way I can. I am doing the best I can, it’s in no way perfect but what matters to me certainly, is that I am trying.

I will discuss my first hand experiences and thoughts on art materials (both commercially available as well as home-made/ DIY approaches) in a future post. My tutors consider this an interesting side-project, and urge me to concentrate on developing my technical drawing and painting skills primarily. At first, I was a bit disheartened as I worked rather hard to gather information and undertake initials studies. I think this maybe of interest to some people at least.

I believe that the spirit of the drawing and painting is linked to how we relate to the art materials. However, the general approach is it doesn’t matter how you make a drawing and painting the role of art materials is marginal. A skilled artist will make a masterpiece or close to it with inexpensive art materials, while an amateur will make a mess even with the most expensive and high quality materials. However, I think that my approach which seems “too intense” and “critical” is not wrong either. For example, Albrecht Dürer and J.W.M. Turner undertook ongoing research into art materials throughout their artistic career.

I am trying to make progress on both the nature of art-materials, and the drawing and painting process (interaction with art-materials). I am learning to draw and paint so I will share my attempts at drawing and painting.