“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.

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“All the hand has to be…

February 12, 2018

“All the hand has to be is the unquestioning seismograph that notes down something, the meaning of which it knows not. The less the conscious ersonality of the artist interferes, the more truthful and personal the tracing becomes.“ -Frederick Frank

Here are the drawings from my January 2018 Art Every Day project.

This year I’ve started with a selection of 11 papers cut to 5”x7”. For January I limited my subject matter to a set of basic white shapes while I experimented with my favourite media on these papers. It has been interesting – by which I mean I’ve been very frustrated or very pleased, depending on the day. I’ve realized I need a little more consistency, so I will be restricting my choice of media for a while to a few I really like – unless I’m in a daring mood and decide to live on the edge.

And I need to push myself to develop my drawing skills. I usually come to my drawing at the end of my day feeling like I just need to get it done before winding down before bed – not the sort of headspace that nurtures experimentation or adventure. Last June I committed to spending more time drawing each day. Now I have to commit to taking on more difficult subject matter and focusing on drawing techniques that will help me build my skills, even when I don’t feel like it. I enjoy drawing, but I also feel a little anxious at the beginning of a new drawing, not sure if it’s going to work out how I want it to. I need to continue all the same and slow down a little, pay attention to what I’m actually seeing and stay curious to what appears on my page as I work.

“Beauty will save the world.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

January 1, 2018

All Monthly Books

My 2017 Daily Drawing Project is complete! And here are the December drawings:

I estimate I spent about 150 hours drawing this year and in addition to the 13 books of drawings (12 Moleskines and a full sketchbook), I have come away with the following:
  1. I learned that, with a drawing habit established, it doesn’t matter how I feel when I sit down to draw. The drawing will start to appear and I will slide into the present moment.
  2. Sometimes drawing is about the subject, sometimes it is about materials and sometimes it is about playing.
  3. The actual subject of the drawing doesn’t matter much – it’s about the exercise of drawing.
  4. I remembered how much I love the feel of the pen or the pencil against the paper.
  5. I need to work on fitting my subject onto my page.
  6. I have a lot of opportunity to improve my technical drawing skills – foreshortening especially.
  7. If I stick with a medium for awhile, I eventually figure it out and may even come to love it.
  8. Apparently I like to draw white objects under harsh lighting.
  9. Shadows are immensely important.
  10. I really like water-based brush markers and working with grey.
Some of my favourite repeat subjects:

My favourite drawings of the year:

I’m prepped for my new 2018 Art Every Day project now and will post each image to Instagram daily and the accumulation of the month’s work each month. In 2018 I will continue to post every two weeks and will rotate between daily drawings, paintings I’m working on and other drawings that show up along the way. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

 

“authorship is a dubious concept…” – Victor Pelevin

November 20, 2017
“I had never understood my own poetry particularly well, and had long suspected that authorship is a dubious concept, and all that is required from a person who takes a pen in hand is to line up the various keyholes scattered about his soul so that a ray of sunlight can shine through on to the paper set out in front of him.” – Victor Pelevin in Buddha’s Little Finger

August 12, 2017, 8″ X 5.5″

Still not feeling much like painting, so I’m posting more of my drawings from July and August.

“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.” ― William S. Burroughs

October 9, 2017

Another month of daily drawing complete. I had wanted to work on a grey ground this  month, thinking I’d play with adding white, but I didn’t find myself all that interested in it when I sat down each evening to draw. I also found the texture of the grey gesso different than that of the white and it wasn’t as nice to work with. It was a bit of a push to do these drawings this month. Hopefully I will find more energy for it in October. I am starting to think about what my project for 2018 might look like…

“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