“We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art–we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.” – Anais Nin

July 31, 2017

Another month complete – thirty-one drawings and fourteen paintings made it a busy month. I’m taking some time to draw conclusions from my painting challenge and will post them together in two weeks with those notes.

“If you are willing to do something that might not work, you’re closer to being an artist.” – Seth Godin

July 3, 2017

June drawings complete and all in one place:

Last summer I challenged myself to draw every day in the month of July. I’m not sure I saw a lot of improvement over the course of the month, but in the end, I was pleased with my small book of ink and watercolour images. These were my favourite drawings coming out it:

My intention with my 2017 drawing challenge was to improve my drawing skills. Yet, six months in, I haven’t seen the dramatic change I had hoped for. My ability to accurately foreshorten objects is still atrocious and creating volume is hit or miss. I decided that I need to change something in order to see the return I’m looking for – I need to put more effort in and actually work to improve rather than just show up. So I’ve upped my game and committed to drawing for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Now, before I pick up my Moleskine to do my daily drawing, I begin in my sketchbook – playing with different media or styles or maybe doing a blind contour or other drawing exercise. So far I’m pleased with the result and a little excited about where this might lead.

In June I started out playing with different media each day and that was fun – for a while. Unfortunately, my little Moleskine books have thin pages and I gesso and sand them to eliminate show-through. This creates a fairly smooth, not-very-absorbent surface that limits which media perform well. I’m currently pretty attached to a combination of Copic Multi Liners and KOI Coloring Brush Pens. But rather than commit to a medium or particular items to draw, this month I’m just going to go with what I feel like. We’ll see how it turns out.

 

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” – Neil Gaiman

June 5, 2017

My poor neglected blog. Fortunately, I have done a little painting in the last month – the results are below. I’ve been playing around a bit and am looking forward to more experimentation with dark outlines.

 

Vase Family, Apr 1, 2017, Oil Stick on Canvas Board, 9″ X 12″

 

Banana Shoes, May 21, 2017, Oil on Canvas Board, 14″ X 11″

Pears in a Storm, Jun 3, 2017, Oil on Canvas Board, 14″ X 11″

Single Lonely Pear, Jun 3, 2017, Oil on Canvas Board, 6″ X 8″

My drawing a day project is going reasonably well – another 31 days completed.

For June, I’ve decided on two rules:

  1. All of my drawings will consist of a few items selected from 21 still life props with the addition fresh produce I have on hand if I choose to add it. I’ve photographed all the props together to better illustrate how distant the resemblances in my drawings are to their real-life counterparts.
  2. Any medium goes – as much variety as possible – it’s about being experimental and knowing that some (or most?) of these drawings will be atrocious! This is my chance to play with all of those art supplies I was so enamoured with when I saw them in the store but I really have no idea how to use.

Still Life Props, Jun 2017

 

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

May 1, 2017
Another month of daily drawing complete and another month of very little painting. My personal favourite was my folding chair from April 2nd. Here they are all together:

“I’m only trying to do what I can’t do.” – Lucian Freud

April 9, 2017

Three months complete in my 2017 Drawing A Day Challenge! Here is all of March in one place:

Thoughts so far:

  1. My drawings take me anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes to do and although I often don’t feel I have the time, I have continued to make it happen. Generally once I start drawing I stop thinking about time – generally. There are many days I struggle to get into it. And it shows in the quality of the drawing.
  2. What bothers me most about my drawings is the lack of accuracy. For April I will focus on improving on this.  I will work with diluted India ink at first and then darken up final lines when I feel I have them where they should be.

“One must go on working silently, trusting the result to the future.” – Vincent Van Gogh

March 6, 2017

So my February drawing challenge was to draw from photographs using black ink and grey markers. I had thought drawing from photos would be easier, and although the actual drawing was easier as everything is already flattened, I did not enjoy it as much. It was a pain to find images that I liked and I doubt I’ll do it again. The grey markers were to help me notice value more, but it wasn’t until the 13th that I clued in that I needed to shift how I was working and focus on the various values of the forms rather than drawing outlines in black and filling them in with grey. There are a few drawings that I like in the group, quite a lot that I don’t care for and some that I consider cringe-worthy. And that’s ok. It’s an experiment and it’s all good.

What I gained most in February was more ease in jumping in and being less precious about the result. I’ve reached the point where I care less about how each drawing turns out and more about the practice of drawing.

I completed the second and third lessons in my Craftsy class with the result of the third lesson below. And although I understand the point, I’m getting a little tired of painting the same subject over and over. Apparently I have a short attention span. We’ll see what lesson four brings.

2017 March, Paint & Palette Essentials, Lesson Three, 14″ X 11″

2017 March, Paint & Palette Essentials, Lesson Three, 14″ X 11″

“Draw lines, young man, many lines, from memory or from nature; it is in this way that you will become a good artist.” – Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

February 7, 2017

Thirty one days of pencil drawings complete! I think it went well. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I had thought that I’d run out of things to draw or things that I felt like drawing, but that didn’t happen. Even if sometimes my drawings were of very simple things like spheres or apples. It’s all practice.
For February, I’m trying something a little different. My medium is black fine tipped pen and grey markers. And I am drawing from photographs or other printed images. The switch to pens is to push myself to draw more confident lines. The grey markers is to help develop a better sense of value. February is looking like a busy month for me too and I am hopeful that marker will be quicker than my pencil drawings were. So far it’s been a struggle, but it’s still early.