Originally it was a 30-day drawing challenge, but I finished it out at 25, which is still pretty great! It was particularly motivating seeing drawings from all the other class participants. (I can’t link it because it was on a closed teaching platform.) It’s always good to surround yourself with an art community if you are trying to do art, which is so often a solitary pursuit.
Next up is a continuation of the composition instruction, this time with paints, and I will be using oil paints for the first time, after 11-ish years of halting progress with acrylics. I am actually putting together a slideshow of my first 11 years of paintings, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I want to see it for myself, and I thought it might be interesting for others.
I may have mentioned it before but it’s so interesting I took a drawing class from Ian Roberts when I follow him for his oil painting videos. It’s also interesting because I don’t have as much interest in painting the kind of landscapes he normally paints. But he has a lot of great insights and is a great teacher, and his YouTube channel is great!
I have signed up for Ian’s Brushwork course that comes after the drawing one (the prerequisite is the drawing class). I don’t often have art-related momentum so I’m not going to give it up just yet. I will be painting in oils for the first time, and trying out some of the non-toxic medium and cleaner options.
I can’t believe it’s April 2022. The pandemic has made time even more unreal than usual. Thanks for dropping in!
The end of the second row has the only landscape (and out of order). Otherwise I’ve been on this crazy still life kick. Part of the reason, is that we are supposed to be taking and cropping our own photos for this challenge, and there’s not much outside where I am at the moment. (Of course, there is beauty in mundane things, etc, but it’s the end of winter and overcast, so no additional landscapes for me yet.)
I mentioned in the last post that I never thought I would be interested in, or any good at, still life drawing. But now I’ve done a whole lot of them, and they are going pretty well!
These are the first 6 days of a 30-day drawing and composition challenge, which is the final (optional) part of Ian Robert’s recent Mastering Composition drawing course. Mainly Ian draws and teaches landscape, but for this challenge we are tasked with using our own photographs, so some of us are doing still life photographs.
Who knew, first of all, that I would enjoy drawing a still life? Or think I could actually do like, a decent one. And in pencil!
This onion and paintbrush went well. It goes against the parameters of the challenge just a little bit, as the challenge is intended to highlight the main dark and light shapes in an image, and this one has just a few too many details. But that’s probably because I kept going after I got the main shapes in. And that was possible because I took this really excellent class.
Reader, it goes poorly. The goal of the class is to produce a finished 11×14 acrylic painting on a wood panel. And this is the no good very bad condition my painting is in right now. In fact, I started a second one (also poorly) in case I throw this one in a fire.
We do have two weeks left. This is the middle The middle is the hardest, right? And then I figured I would write a blog post and share the misery with the few lost souls who find it. I tell you what, I am NOT saying don’t take this class. Everyone has a different experience, is my guess. I am doing more art than I normally would and that was worth the price of admission. Oh yeah, it’s kind of pricey. I used some stimulus check on it and I consider it well-spent.
I will also say this class has a large variety of peers, many much more skilled than me, and some maybe with fewer skills. But the ones who are posting their updates are all KILLING IT with their painting progress. On the other hand, many people are not posting any updates at all, and I am worried about them.
Below is most of what I’ve done for the class. We started with sketches and ideas and then worked toward a final character and image, transfer that to a wood panel and get to painting.
I believe it started going wrong when I wasn’t really happy with my final image, but went with it anyway. The bottom left with the bird is not resolved and needs another or a different creature. The dog character looks too much like a malformed dog and not like an imaginary creature as he should have. Then I didn’t decide my colors ahead of time. THEN I could not get the hang of painting smoothly and being patient. Which is where I am today, as I write this blog post.
Here is my timeline of progress.
So there it is. I hope my next update is much more chipper!
Here’s a couple flyers I made for the online art auction in support of abortion rights that I am organizing with my friend Ann D’Angelo. Most of the art is ours but we are accepting donations and have gotten many amazing pieces.
The world is pretty ugly right now and there are many issues that deserve our attention. This art auction is one way some of us are trying to help out.
I’ve actually been back to Copic marker art cards the last week or two, but it’s been so long since I posted the art is piling up. So. Here’s some new pencil critters! I do like putting them in groups.
Hello to Paint Party Friday! I hope to post the other stuff I’ve been up to next week. Or uh, maybe the week after.
And one last thing. I know the world seems more horrible than ever. It is, and it isn’t. The media would rather make us crazy than inspire or calm us. But those sorts of stories are out there, too. And if you need a daily break, one option might be the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary on Facebook. SO MANY cute photos of sweet, old pups. :)
Life Drawing, May 22, 2016 Prismacolor Nu-pastels on toned paper, 18″ x 24″
I have mentioned my new life drawing adventure a few times, and finally here is some of it! I joined an open Sunday session (12:30-3:30) at the local art center. I only managed to make it to 7 of the first 10 sessions, but have just completed day one of the next 10.
The colorful fellow above was actually wearing a black hat and tuxedo jacket (with regular brown cigar), but I was trying out my Prismacolor Nu-pastels and wanted to use more colors. He’s a sort of naughty Willy Wonka I suppose (though not on purpose). :D
The next one is from my third 3-hour session with the Nu-pastels. This time it’s a bit of a Hindu goddess aesthetic rather than a Wonka one.
Life Drawing June 5, 2016 Prismacolor Nu-Pastels on toned paper, 18″ x 24″
The next is a portrait, so not exactly figure drawing. I probably spent more time on the hair than anything. This took three hours and I am pretty happy with it.
Life drawing June 12, 2016 18″ x 24″, graphite
And finally, this week’s figure using the full three hours. I didn’t show you all my attempts, but suffice it to say even a few weeks of practice can make a big difference!
A tree! A bird! An odd creature at the bottom of the tree, wondering how it got there and where it was going and whether it was supposed to meet someone or was in the midst of an errand? Sometimes it’s hard to know.
Many pencil works happened this month! And I am squeaking a post into May, as I try not to think about how quickly this year is moving. Here’s more!
Winfred, with a small contingent of her many admirers, 9″ x 12″ pencil
A Turtle Merchant, 9″ x 12″ pencil
Cosmo and Bess, 9″ x 12″ pencil
So there you have it! I may put some in my shop, rather than leave them neglected in piles around my office. I hope everyone is enjoying their (speedily passing) 2016! Hello to Paint Party Friday.
The latest 9″ x 12″ pencil drawing, Dash and Philipa. Perhaps you are of the opinion that Philipa should have more of the letter L or more of the letter P. Look, she spelled it for me and she should know!
I haven’t posted in a while. So here’s lots more pencil critters, new since the last post.
Fiona and Ming, Jules and Willow
Hat with Birds, Dingo
Fifi and Juniper, Irina in her party dress
You should be able to click on these images and enlarge them. But WordPress has been tinkering, or something, and things are not working like they once did. Arrgh! However, I have added these to my pencil portfolio, and you can see em a bit bigger there!