Friday, 28 June 2013

Practice is Play is Practice

I continue to practice my 'real life' sketching along with my more imagination based work. It makes my art journal look less cohesive but more whole. I think I'm OK with that... for now.

My favourite thing about this drawing (in graphite) was that my nearly 4 year old son said 'That's me!' and laughed when he saw it. That felt so good. I am not a patient artist so my shading texture is not as smooth as I'd like and next time I will try the blending tool.

This little sprite came about when I was practicing drawing (the teapot shape) but found myself adding a cheeky face without realising. I used Neocolor II on a paper collage & acrylic paint background and looking at it makes me smile. I can think of a few more objects to add faces to in the future...

I hope you made someone smile with your art this week, especially yourself!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

Last week, after sketching quite a bit, I was disappointed in my ability to draw reality. I don't want to draw it all the time (if you read my blog you'll know this is true) but sometimes I want to put something in front of me and draw it as it is. To me.

Then I remembered a book I brought about 10 years ago that I started but never finished. 'The New Drawing in the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards. I got it out and vowed to work through every exercise to improve my realistic drawing skills.

As a 'here I am now' exercise she asks you to draw a self portrait (or selfie in 21st century) before you start the course.

This is mine.

At the time I drew it (16th June 2013) I thought it was quite good and felt fairly impressed with my skills...

This is my selfie from today.

3 days later.

Notice the difference?

If you want to improve your drawing and rendering skills I can't recommend this book highly enough. I'm off to draw another one. :-)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Sketching Practice

After all the drawing & painting from my imagination fun and seeing how much I improved during the 8 weeks of Mermaid's Circus I've decided to work on my sketching from real life skills next. I've joined Juliana Coles's Extreme Journalism ning network and am working my way through her Field Notes course. It's all about sketching in the field then working with those 'notes' and I am really enjoying both the content and, in particular, Juliana's feedback. She is to the point and sees beyond your work with an artist's eye. And she makes you redo things if she thinks you can do better. Gotta love being pushed a bit more!

Here are some pieces I've done so far. The first one (a sketch from the other side of my street) I did 3 times before I pushed the values far enough (I have real trouble with value) to be 'allowed' to go on.

The second one was my response to the question 'What is the essential secret of the day.' I really like it, especially because I would never have attempted to draw a geranium before this course. 

And this last one is a sketch of the beach near me with a colour & a little collage added back at home. There are parts of it that give me hope I will be able to draw/sketch better in the future.

Do you like sketching from real life? Or your imagination? I think they're both important skills to be able to create pieces that make your soul sing. What about you?

Thursday, 6 June 2013

So Long & Thanks for the Fish

The Mermaid's Circus is leaving town & I am sad but so proud to have been a part of an amazing online experience.

The best bit (apart from new techniques taught by a master & amazing journal flick throughs by THE journal master) has been the facebook group. Seeing other mermaid's work and watching their journey's and stories develop has just been life changing. Without question. If you get the chance to take part in something similar please dive right in. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Monday, 3 June 2013

New Techniques

I'm learning some new techniques in a course by Kate Thompson on The Trodden Path ning network and it's giving me heaps of ideas for ways to adapt it to my own work. Kate's work is full of light and magic, there's something ethereal about all the beings that appear under her brush. If you haven't seen it before do go and check out her site at Fractured Angelics.

Here's my in progress piece in my art journal using watercolour and gesso. I really like the layered softness.

It still has a way to go but I don't think I've ever done such a great looking nose and lips before. :-)

This next one is in acrylics and I like it just as much. Don't you just love learning new things? I know I do.