A Herbology Lesson, and an art lesson

“And remember the delicate wand movement we’ve been practising for the Severing Charm; you don’t want to harm your Bowtr—Mr Scamander, what are you doing?”


There’s a scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, where the second-years are given shrubs with bowtruckles in them, and have to use Severing Charms to get the creatures off. I suspect Newt wouldn’t even need a wand. As opposed to some of his more enthusiatic classmates.

Watercolour on Canson cold-pressed paper, app. 17×22 cm.

Those of you who have followed me for a while will have noticed that there was extremely little art this year – and almost none between May and October. I did a few things, but wasn’t very happy with them; this has by far been the longest art slump I have ever experienced in my life.

A lot, I think, had to do with the class I took with SmArt School last year, paradoxically – in retrospect, I think that one thing it did was to show me how far I was from where I wanted to be, and where most others from my class were, and that added to the creative hiatus because whatever I tried to get to where I wanted to be, I didn’t get there.

Inktober proved to be a welcome ladder out of that slump. I had hoped that it would be, and the outcome surpassed my wildest dreams. The main, huge takeaway of Inktober for me was that I can do art every day. And it was small, quick art that I could pour my soul into, not huge, intricate portfolio pieces that occupied – and frustrated – me for a week or two, as many of my class works have done.

Using music to focus was another thing that has proven wildly successful. I even reorganised my desk to make it easier for me to feel tidy and ready.


So not even a day passed after Inktober before I whipped out the watercolours again – and I found that somehow, my brain had kept working all these months, even if my hands at not.

Art is incredible – you can level up without playing the game. This isn’t the first time that has happened to me, but it’s been the clearest example of this I have had yet. I knew how I wanted this piece to turn out. In fact, I had wanted my art to turn out like this for more than a year, and was frustrated when it didn’t work. Now, after lying by the roadside for a while, suddenly all fell into place.

Art is a curious thing. I’m glad I have it back again.

6 thoughts on “A Herbology Lesson, and an art lesson

  1. Glad to see you posting again and would love to see more of your Inktober works! I totally feel you on art slumps…
    I love how you capture the part of Newt’s character I loved the most, with the color palette and the expressions!

  2. Pingback: A Herbology Lesson – SEO
  3. This is a great piece, I especially love the contrast between gentle, careful Newt and the enthusiastic student in the background. I’m glad you got over your art slump, please remember there are always people who look at your art and want to be at your level :-) This sort of leveling up sometimes also happens to musicians (sometimes a piece just has to rest for a couple of weeks and suddenly all diffculties are gone).
    Just to let you know, in a community for fanartists I recced you as an artist I admire: https://drawesome.dreamwidth.org/37769.html
    Happy drawing and happy holidays!

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