I am Nora MacPhail, a professional artist from Toronto, Canada (follow me on my Blog, Facebook, and Flickr!). I have been drawing and painting with watercolour for over 20 years. I try to achieve a strong energetic line, by drawing very quickly with a dark instrument, then I add lots of watercolour paint.
I prefer 6B pencils or Micron artist quality pens to start, always drawing first, then I add lots of colour spots, pretty much ignoring the lines I just drew! I want my work to look fresh and poetic, but still realistic. My favourite subject is capturing people in cafes or outdoor patios, enjoying their day and friendly conversation.
I draw from life at figure drawing sessions every week. Drawing from the human figure, usually with charcoal, is a fantastic way to learn to see and draw well. All the shapes are there for me to learn from. Sometimes, I bring some watercolour paint with me for the longer poses, like 20 minutes, because I just can’t resist adding a wash and some splatters.
I also paint still life set ups from my home studio, usually including flowers (as shown above). Flowers are quite abstract and they present a constant colourful challenge.
Finally, I draw and paint from my paint box while outdoors, often urban sketching with the Toronto Urban Sketchers. It’s wonderful to go out plein-air painting. Here is a picture of a 9×12”box that sits on my lap, with a 6×8”pad in the lid and my Winsor & Newton Cotman Travel Watercolour Palette inside. It’s lighter and much more portable than an easel set up, which makes me more apt to bring it along wherever I go!
As you can see, all subjects interest me! My paintings are original and affordable and available for purchase at my etsy shop called Watercolours by Nora.
Thanks and Enjoy your summer!!