My name is Marina, but I’m known as M. L. Kappa on my blog, and I live in Athens, Greece. (you can also follow me on Instagram & Pinterest!). Since I was a kid, I’ve loved drawing and painting and other arty stuff, such as batik, clay and mosaics. I’ve had no formal training apart from school art class, but I always like to have a project on the go.
Some fail dismally, like a mosaic I made with lovely sea glass, painstakingly collected on the beach, only I didn’t cement it properly and the pieces started falling out! I now have discovered many artists through Charlie’s guest posts, and I’ve been getting tips and inspiration from them.
Generally I work on paper. I experiment with different kinds, mostly quite grainy, because I like the textured effect. I use a lot of Canson, Winsor & Newton Cotman and Arches paper. I draw in pencil, or Faber-Castell PITT artist pens in black, brown or sepia. At the moment I’m using Winsor & Newton drawing inks and half-pan watercolors, Tombow double-point markers, Prismalo Aquarelle colored pencils, and Neocolor II. Also, Talens Ecoline liquid watercolors.
All these are water soluble, and I like mixing them up, and sometimes adding collage. I also occasionally use Sennelier soft pastels. I did a series where I painted over black-and-white photos cut from newspapers. For brushes I use the Winsor & Newton Cotman range, and I have now invested in a squirrel brush – let’s see how that pans out.
Last year I started a blog, Letters from Athens, about life in Greece, and I’ve been making sketches and watercolors for that. My other project is alphabets for each of my grandchildren and assorted friends, with a different theme each time. For some I used the Latin alphabet, and for some the Greek, according to how inspiration struck. With some of the letters (especially X) you have to cheat a little, anyway.
The first was of wild animals. I printed watercolor paper with Linocuts. I made of each letter, using gouache to print the letter, then drew each animal in Prismalo pencils. The second was characters of Greek mythology, where I used ink, watercolor, and stencils for the borders. Then I made one with flowers, again with ink and watercolor, painting mostly from life.
The next one was a sea theme incorporating collage, then equines where I went back to ink and watercolor. I didn’t say horses, because the series included a donkey, a rocking horse and a unicorn! I’m now on my latest, which is of dogs, where I’m drawing on pages torn from an old book.
A fun aspect of the alphabets is the research. I’ve come upon some very interesting sites. For example, one with photographs of Ancient Greek red-figure and black-figure pottery, from which I copied the dresses and hairstyles of the gods and goddesses. Most of the flowers I painted from life, but I still came upon some fascinating information, as for all the animals.
In between, I make sketches from life whenever I have some free time, experimenting with various techniques. I have tried painting in oils and acrylic and I enjoyed both, but I always gravitate back to working on paper. It’s so free, and easy to transport, too. I am on Pinterest and Instagram, but not very organized on either yet – but do take a look!