The Drawing Board #13
Photography for Creatives, Sunflowers, Never Too Small: Camden Loft, Temporary Vegan: Grandma Pizza Pasta
Welcome to my newsletter where I share my personal creative process. I hope to inspire you to pick up a pen, paint brush or spatula and create something spectacular.
Photography for Creatives
I had a blast this past week helping my good friendrun his first cohort-based course: Photography for Creatives. The course focused on the basics of composition and post-production. No one needed a big fancy camera and everything was done on our smartphones.
In just two weeks I learned how to arrange a scene, identify ideal lighting, and grapple with the interface of Adobe Lightroom for basic editing. I also got to meet other creators through exchanging feedback on each other’s photos.
Photography became much more approachable for me. I’m more confident in taking stellar photos of my art, portraits of myself and others, and aesthetic foodie shots at restaurants. Below are some of the photos I took from this course. If you’d like to see more, check out my Glass profile HERE.
Like my CV4W Presentation, I taught a module on the basics of visual composition applied to photography. I talked through some basics, like light, materials, colors, grids, and flow. If you’re interested in learning more about photography and want more info about the next cohort, reach out to.
Remember in TDB #8 I mentioned challenging myself to a daily painting, which ultimately failed right after my first attempt because I expected to create a hyper-realistic painting within a few hours?
Well, I decided to give that painting another chance.
I brought it to my painting class this week. After seeing the grids I drew, my teacher told me I was approaching my painting like an architect. She encouraged me to paint outside the lines with bold, expressive brush strokes of solid color. Attempted to be more free, I arrived here:
Since I tried to accurately match the colors and lighting with the reference photo, the painting still felt too rigid. Everything was still too vibrant and overly detailed. All the elements in the foreground and background were competing for attention.
After stepping back and talking to my teacher, I was inspired to make the painting more ethereal:
First, I painted a thin layer of pale blues and purples over the house. By giving the house a hazy effect, it disappears a little more into the background. Purple and blue are complementary colors to yellow and orange, which let the sunflower to visually pop.
Second, I shaded the center of the sunflower to look more like a soft sphere instead of a donut. This creates a visual balance with the petals, which is where I want the most detail.
Third, I added more and more layers of paint to the petals. You can see in the image below that I’m not just using one type of yellow, or one type of brown. I’m using colors both straight from the tube and mixed on the palette. I also added small strokes of a fluorescent paint: luminous lemon, for more oomph.
Eventually, I want to learn how to create luminosity like Silver Francis without luminous paints, but this is a slow learning process.
I knew this sunflower had potential to be a real showstopper, and I’m glad that I did not give up on it. This painting took an unexpected turn from my original vision of just replicating the photo, and I’m excited to finish it up next week. Stay tuned!
Never Too Small: Camden Loft
This delightful YouTube channel is dedicated to showcasing unique teeny tiny apartments all over the world (but mostly in Australia). Architects and designers get really creative and invent ways to make small spaces feel big through transformable furniture, the use of materials, and of course, mirrors!
Below is one of my favorite episodes featuring a loft in London. The star of the show is the custom built-in bookcase that spans the whole length of the apartment. It extrudes out into the living room and becomes a staircase, then continues up to the lofted sleeping area. At the top it creates a negative space for a desk, then continues above the kitchen… for visual continuity (it seems really inconvenient to access anything above those kitchen cabinets).
Celebrating the loft’s high ceilings, the bookcase unites every room in this apartment. I love the relationship between the horizontal (yellow) and vertical (pink) flow, as indicated in my diagram below:
There are so many lovely design features in this apartment. Which is your favorite?
Temporary Vegan: Grandma Pizza Pasta
Yes, I’m still fasting and attempting to be vegan. But I broke The Fast a few weeks ago for a Grandma Pizza slice (worth it) and I’ve been craving pizza ever since. So the other night I made this vegan-grandma-pizza-inspired pasta. I grabbed whatever I had in the fridge, bought a jar of tomato sauce, and winged it.
This dish was delicious, high in protein (kind of), very filling, and satisfied my pizza craving…for now.
1 24 oz jar of tomato basil sauce (Trader Joes)
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed
3 - 4 cloves of fresh garlic, diced
1 small red onion
1 extra large or 2 small red bell peppers
A bunch of chopped broccoli 🙂 (the more the merrier, TBH)
A little bit of olive oil
1 box of fusilli corti bucati (substitutes: penne, rotini, or long fusilli. Lentil/chickpea/protein penne would be great here as well)
Spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano
Fresh basil, if you’re fancy
Start prepping your pasta. Bring some generously salted water to a boil. Cook your pasta a minute or two under the recommended cook time.
Chop all your veggies into bite size pieces, similar in size to your pasta.
Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Throw all your veggies in there. Once your broccoli is bright in color and a little charred, add your chickpeas.
Cook for a couple of minutes and add spices to taste. Don’t be afraid to add seasonings.
Lower the heat a bit and add your sauce.
Your pasta should be ready. Ladle one scoop of pasta water into your veggie/sauce mixture. Strain the pasta and add it to the sauce/veggie mixture.
Mix everything thoroughly. All pasta and veggies should be coated in the sauce.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Thanks for reading, see you next time!
Happy Creating, Elizabeth