The exercise that I was using today from my Keys to Drawing book is drawing a pepper from memory, and then from life. I didn’t have a pepper, so I used a banana. The drawings were limited to 40 minutes each, although the from memory drawing took significantly less time, and I will share my theory on why this was after I discuss the process.
The from memory drawing went very smoothly, almost too quickly. I focused on adding little shapes that would define a classic banana shape without over doing the symbolic part; I was very satisfied with it as a whole, until I did the still life version.
Drawing the banana from life was an entirely different experience. I found myself paying more attention to the shadows and details, and it was seemingly more difficult. It was also the longer of the two drawings, taking about 15 minutes more until the time limit was up.
Why did the still life take longer than the from memory drawing? And why was it more difficult? The reason for myself can be found in the stem, mostly. I took a very cursory amount of time on the stem in the from memory drawing; in the still life, I found myself fascinated by the inner details of the fibrous bits, angular and curvy shapes co-mingling into a cohesive and not unattractive whole. I don’t think the still life turned out better, but I do think it turned out more accurate, that being the purpose of the exercise in the first place.
These exercises are obviously not meant to be one-off, but rather a set of disciplines to apply to my art overall. I’m excited for the next one, drawing a tinted glass, to get a feel for incidental shapes like light and shadows, which I feel really bring out the character in a drawing or painting.
For today’s theme drawing, I was volunteering at the Rogue Gallery and Art Center, so I used a somewhat clean medium(Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils) to draw a rendition of a spaceship used in the poster for the landmark German expressionist sci-fi film, Frau im Mond, by the legendary director Fritz Lang.
The original poster, when I saw it, brought out some of the childlike innocent optimism that there was so much to discover and experience in the universe, and even though that is still true, experiencing it with our senses is becoming an ever distant naivety, crushed at every turn by the reality of the harshness of anywhere but our little blue planet. Even though we seem doomed to experience other planets only in proxy, our imagination still takes us to habitable planets in our lifetime, bringing into lovely detail impossible vistas and incredible travels. It is something about our creativity, that ability we express in so many ways, to take us places that may not even exist, that I both enjoy and appreciate. Not only does it feed our adventurous spirit, but it speaks volumes about our spirit as a people, for good and bad.
Drawing is an undoubtedly important skill in painting, and leads to both greater observational skills and appreciation for line and tone. Thus, I have been reading a book with exercises to help me develop and improve this vital skill.
The first exercise involved drawing my shoes without looking at what I’m drawing, or minimizing it, anyway, in a single tone drawing medium. I used a Prismacolor black fine line marker. The second exercise was similar, but it was drawing one’s hand in forward perspective, a very uncommon viewpoint, and challenging; it was difficult for me to continue looking at the shapes rather than try to draw a hand. Overall, for early exercises, I quite enjoyed them. Getting into the creative mindset, that sort of haze where one doesn’t sense time and detail is so interesting, is always good practice, and I always forget how mentally taxing it is. It is definitely a skill, and a skill that I need to grow. Here are the results from the two exercises:
There is a critique sheet at the end of each chapter to do a self assessment of how one has done; once all the exercises for the chapter are finished, I’ll post my self-assessment as well.
This week’s weekly theme was ‘outtathisworld’ and it’s been fun so far! This was my longest effort so far, and the first time I’ve used Gamvar on an acrylic painting. I enjoyed the red moon best, and it shows in the detail I added… The large green planet definitely needs some work.
Discipline is a skill, and I have learned that lesson time an again. Finals this semester reinforced my focus on it by really concentrating my attention on what I need to have done, rather than what I necessarily want to do, although what I need to do and what I want to do are extremely close, by design, these days. So, finals kind of got in the way of my weekly sketch challenge and I ended up skipping two days, and the second day’s effort was very pitiful. But, I have taken up the challenge again, and attempted to paint something that I enjoy: an emotional dog.
I’m sadly out of date on my posts, mostly because I’ve been moving!
Welcome to a (late) blog post for the announcement of the third weekly sketch theme, canines.
For the first image, I tried drawing some dog fur for the first time! It was… Challenging, and I am looking forward to increasing my skills in the animal drawing/painting area. Join in you feel like this theme speaks to you, in any medium you desire, and remember to share on Instagram with the hashtag #weeklysketch!
Well… I skipped a day. It’s finals week(s) here and I haven’t had much time for anything but studying, but I took time out to start a proper series on this really neat theme. Here are my second and third efforts:
I really enjoyed creating both of these pieces. The bottom base sand color was a surprising two-color mix of Pyrrhole orange and titanium white, which turned into a lovely coral color. I intend to continue on in this series until next week’s theme.
For the first day of the undersea theme I decided to do a marker drawing of a penguin to combine the ‘under the sea’ theme with the drawing challenge from creativebug, which was to draw a bird. Obviously the marker drawing, after I had sketched it out, turned into a pastel painting. My Sennelier pastels were sitting on my shelf somewhat disused and forlorn because I have been working more with acrylics and colored pencil as of late, so I decided to give them some love and brave the dust. I think it is somewhat successful, but I might desaturate and roughen the ice boulder in the center of the painting; it distracts from the main focus, the penguin. The reference photo I used was much darker and had very little contrast, so the colors are somewhat fanciful.
Ah, the last day of this week’s theme, ‘City of Wonder’. It’s been a good theme, but it’s time for a new one… I really ‘wonder’ what it’s going to be! This little painting is on a tiny canvas, and you can barely see the little elephant looking on as her city goes to sleep. I have since covered it in iridescent paint, but that doesn’t photograph well. If you wish to purchase this painting(lol) it’s on sale for $15.00 unframed plus shipping to wherever you’re at. On to the next theme!