Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Lot of Bottle

When the experts say to get certain materials, invest in them. I am so glad that I finally forked out  $25 for the packet of graphite powder. It is water soluble so I can now paint with it. I haven’t got around to gently breaking that to my other half yet, so have not tried it. I’ve already have had to explain away the mysterious dark marks across the floor after he tried to use a clean small towel that I repurposed for toning paper with the powder. I guiltily blamed my weights who had nothing to do with it. I digress. Once I got the hand of using the dry powder to tone my paper for a graphite drawing, I found the difference was striking! No lines or scratches. Just a smooth even grey background. What a difference..! My drawings of glass will especially look better. 

When drawing glass, it is less about the object and more about, light sources, highlights, and shadowing. I had the perfect subject which was my Vintage Absolutely Pure Milk bottle. I used the same techniques I learned for my crystal ball sketches. The proportions are a little off, but I felt happy with the cast shadow and highlights. The embossed lettering is okay, but I need to work on lettering on curved surfaces. Speaking of Milk, drawing my bottle invoked so many memories of getting milk delivered by the milkman and of school. 

The murmur of the milk float signaled the start of the day for most of my life in the UK where I grew up and lived for 36 years. If I close my eyes, I can still hear the opening of the gate, footsteps up the path and the clinking and clanging of glass on the front door step as clean empty bottles were replaced with bottles of milk. In the summer, it was a rush to get the bottles in the fridge before the milk curdled. And in the winter when the grounds were frozen, the rush was to get to the bottles before the birds could peck out the foil tops for a drink, and or, before the milk froze. While milk delivery invokes memories of nostalgia, they also raise bitter feelings that leave a nasty taste in my mouth of being made to drink milk out of the tiny bottles at Primary school. (elementary school in the USA). 

I hated milk unless it was freezing cold or had chocolate in it. I could bear a little bit on my cereal or porridge. During the summer, the milk would be outside the school class rooms long before us kids arrived. During the warmer months, by the time we got to drink the milk, it would be warm and sometimes even off. Most of the kids would drink it anyway, but my stomach would churn, and I would almost dry heave at the smell. If I was quick enough, I could pour strategically position myself near the classroom sink and pour it down the drain before the teacher could spot me. Unfortunately, she spotted me once and thereinafter, she would watch me drink it. To this day, I cannot and will not drink milk straight. Not even out of the fridge. I swear some teachers go into the profession to torture kids; except for art teachers of course... 

Vintage Absolutely Pure Milk Bottle in Graphite

vintage Milk Bottle

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