I’m relatively new to watercolour painting. I’ve been teaching myself to draw and to paint since last September, and as it’s completely new to me and I knew nothing about art supplies to begin with, it’s been a steep learning curve. I have been vegan since October 2005 and my veganism influences not just what I eat, but what I wear, the cosmetics and household products I buy and use, and any products I use for work and my hobbies. Whilst the environmental benefits of being vegan are important to me I am vegan for animal welfare reasons first and foremost.
I thought at first that it wouldn’t be too complicated to find vegan watercolour supplies. I assummed I’d have to be wary over certain red pigments (because of cochineal) and black pigments (because of bone char) but what I didn’t realise was that many of the artist grade paints contain a substance called ox gall which (correct me if I’m wrong) influences viscosity and the way paint holds together in suspension as well as on paper.
This is the first in a new series of blog posts I am writing for beginners in photography sharing tips, techniques and practical advice that I hope will help you to learn how to take better photos. I first picked up a camera nearly eight years ago, and have taken at least one photo every single day since March 2011. I am completely self-taught, and I taught myself photography for free (minus the cost of my second-hand equipment). You can teach yourself photography too, and I’ll show you how.
In this first article, I share a few practical tips and ways of thinking about photography that have been really helpful for me and that I hope help you in the early days of your photography journey. Later in this series I plan to add articles about how you can improve your composition, how to master exposure and the exposure triangle, how to understand the difference between different focal lengths and how a longer or wider lens will change your image and much, much more.
After a few years of not really reading all that much I’ve got back in
the habit of keeping a list of books I’d like to read so that I always have
something on the go. As such, I thought I’d start to keep track of the books I
read. My secret to reading lots seems to come down to not being afraid to give
up on a book I don’t like, and to borrow the majority of my books, which means
I then don’t feel compelled to finish them if I don’t like them, I can just
return them to the library unread.
Minou is going through a phase of sleeping on our pillows at night, so I gave her her own by way of compromise. It means that we don’t wake up with a headache from dehydration, and she seems happy too.
On a very cold day at the start of January I found kitty napping on the hot pipes at the Botanical Gardens. Meanwhile, in the parrot house, a mischief of mice were busy at work climbing up the wall and squeezing themselves through the tiny mesh gaps to pinch grain from the yellow crested cockatoo’s food bowl.