“Art is a guarantee of sanity.” – Louise Bourgeois

November 6, 2018

And here are my October drawings of hands:

 

Inktober was my inspiration to use ink in all of my drawings this month. This included markers here and there, but as I enjoy working with a brush and ink, that was what I chose most often. Regardless of the ink I use, I generally start with three different shades with the addition of black at times. India ink is my favourite ink and I would create three different dilutions of greys to work with. I like the way that India ink lightens as it dries as I often overestimate how dark I want to work at first. For this same reason, I avoid using undiluted India ink as it is far too black for my taste. I like that India ink is waterproof as it allows me to layer and build up my darker areas as I go. I experimented in a lot of these drawings with other inks – mostly J.Herbin inks and a few other odd bottles I’ve accumulated. Some days I would mix a drop or two of one of my coloured inks in just to see what would happen (thus Shrek hand on the 27th).

Diluting India ink to the different greys I want is tedious at times, so when I found the Ecoline inks in grey, I thought that would be a huge improvement. They are beautiful inks, but not waterproof, so my layering technique resulted in a fair bit of muddiness. Clearly, I need to develop another approach to use with watercolour inks.

Overall, I think this month’s drawings went well. One of my goals this year has been to work with different media and different papers and I played a lot and learned a few things in the process.

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“There is no absolute point of view from which real and ideal can be finally separated and labelled.” – T.S. Eliot

October 22, 2018

And here are my September daily drawings:

 

In my high school art class, the teacher would set up a collection of objects on a large, wooden crate in the middle of the room. Everyone sat around it and there was enough of a variety of stuff piled up to provide us some choice in what we decided to focus on and draw regardless of where we were sitting. At the end of the drawing assignment, all of the class drawings were pinned to the wall and we created this wonderful collection of perspectives and snapshots of the larger view.

This is more or less what I tried to capture in September. I built a busy still life and chose a different portion or viewpoint of it to draw each day. It was challenging to come back to the same subject over and over, but I think that pushing through that initial resistance each time I sat down to draw was a valuable reminder that if I actually observe the everyday items in front of me, I will continually discover new aspects and details that I had missed previously. And this is kind of the point of drawing – to see something new in the familiar.

Here’s a photo of my entire still life for September and one of my drawings from my long-ago high school art class where, rather than choosing a small bit of the still life, I decided to draw everything in front of me.

September Still Life 2018

September Still Life 2018

Everything in Front of You, 1988, Ink on Newsprint

Everything in Front of You, 1988, Ink on Newsprint

“I drew 550 different shoes today, it almost made me faint.” – John Cale & Lou Reed, “Open House” from the album Songs for Drella

August 13, 2018

Before I committed to drawing shoes for the month of July, I counted how many different pairs I could find in the house and was a little surprised that we have so many. And I didn’t draw them all – instead I drew some of my favourites over and over (repetition is sort of my thing) and included one drawing from a photo sent to me. I had also committed to use at least colour in every drawing – possibly not the best plan considering how many pairs of black shoes I chose to draw. One lesson learned: early on I realized that although laces are interesting, they increase the time requirement of the drawing significantly. Most days 30-45 minutes is as much as I can put aside to draw, so that became a determining factor when I was picking my subject each day. As usual, most of these are 5″x7″ and this month I managed to use a wide variety of media. Overall, I enjoyed this challenge and I’m fairly pleased with the results.

“Art happens all the time, everywhere. All we have to do is keep our minds open.” – Jacek Tylicki

Here’s another selection of my favourite drawings from my sketchbook from May and June. Towards the end of June, with my focus on drawing faces, I started skipping my warm-up drawings. At the time it was due to time constraints – I had a lot going on and I wanted to be as quick a possible. This is a busy month as well, but I really think I need to get back to it and start using my sketchbook for quick drawing exercises prior to my daily drawings – blind contours and value maps of the subject I have chosen that will lead me to look at it differently. I will begin tonight and see where it leads.

“Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend.” – John Singer Sargent

July 2, 2018

My experience before June in drawing faces was minimal. I find faces very difficult and would not take on a portrait of someone I know for fear of how they might interpret my lack of skill. I really enjoyed these drawings though – partially because I had such low expectations. I chose to draw faces created by other artists as the images would already be simplified and I would be able to draw on a wide variety of styles. I worked from images I found online mostly. The list below includes the details of the original images with links. (just to prove that not all of the crooked eyes were unintentional…)

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye…”

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” – Walker Evans

June 5, 2018

 

May is over and so are my daily drawings for the month. I adopted the theme of corners in May. I had thought I’d try to focus on creating small spaces, or on the odd things that I might find in the corners of my house, but that wasn’t always that interesting to me, so I expanded it to include the corners of surfaces as well. I liked having a theme – even if it was sometimes only loosely applied and so I’ve taken up a new one for June. On July 2, I will post my daily face drawings and we’ll see how many of them appear to be human.

“Fear is the enemy of art. But it’s a misfortune to be in complete control and a gift to feel slightly lost.” – Melanie Peter

May 21, 2018

Still feeling a little lost and uninspired these days with my art. And that’s ok. I will continue and see what happens next. Here are a few of my warm-up drawings from March and April – complete with really inconsistent colour casts.