Posted in Alzheimers, Courses, creativity, Drawing, Drawings, life drawing, portraits, portraiture, skillshare, Sktchy, visual diary, water color, Water Colour, Water Colours, watercolour

Arty fun has been had

In recent weeks, I have been diving deeper into my art practice.

My writing brain is having a holiday from the pressure of editing my novel. I’ve felt a bit burnt out with my writing lately and needed to give myself permission to do something fun where I have no pressure to be at publication standard. No-one has ever put pressure on me to write to publication standard, but I have and I’m a harsh task master.

I have been on holidays and it has helped me to fill up my creative bucket through art.

Below are some of the portraits I have done as part of my portrait practice challenge. These are all black pen and one of them I used yellow and orange pencils to make the flower pop.

The portraits below include a self-portrait I did which is now the basis of my next Skillshare course, called Draw a Self-Portrait in Graphite.

I also experimented with black brush pen to create the quickest portrait I’ve ever done of the young man in half shadow. Then it was back to graphite to capture eyes.

Eyes, eyes, eyes. All one eye studies which I did as part of a Sktchy course with France Van Stone. I’m still doing this eyes course and loving it. I’m about to move on to pen drawings, so I’ll keep you updated when I get those done. The eyes below are of my family, partner and friend as well as one of my own eyes.

Then it was time to tackle one of the most emotionally difficult portraits I have ever done… my mother’s face. She has Alzheimer’s disease and is often lost and confused. The day I drew this portrait (below) my heart ached and I shed quite a few tears as I processed the grief I feel time and again as I come to terms with what is happening to my mum.

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I learned how to combine ink with watercolour and pastel pencils to create the two portraits below.

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These portraits were quite a lot of fun to do. The one above is my boss. It’s not an exact likeness but I caught the fact that he loves bright colours.

Below is the one I did in the mini Sktchy course with Margriet AasmanIMG_0789

This one below is my latest portrait. I did it yesterday as I completed an online sktchy course on how to draw a portrait using charcoal medium. This was quite a challenging medium to work in and I had to get used to pushing around the willow charcoal to create the features, and not go too heavy on the compressed charcoal when I went back into bring the eyes to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this class with Neil Rogers.

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I’m going to keep developing my portrait practice. I’ve done 18 portraits so far and I have been adding to my understanding of how to capture the face as well as get a likeness, then how to allow my own style to emerge. I’m looking forward to what the next eighty-two portraits look like as well as seeing how my preferences for mediums change.

Of course, I haven’t only been doing art classes, I have been learning how to draw in my visual diary and use watercolours to enhance what I want to capture. Above is a sketch of my dining room, multiple watercolour (in graphite watercolour as well as colour) mushrooms, an apple that I ate and painted one bite at a time, three pears.

And to top all this creativity off, I went to an Archery for Authors event where I learned to use a bow and arrow. I’m not the best aim but I killed a balloon and when we went outside to play with long bows, I hit the bullseye!

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It was a fantastic morning. Now if I choose to have a character in one of my novels that uses a bow and arrow, I’ll actually know what I’m writing about.

Until next time, I hope you are living an inspired and creative life.

Posted in life drawing

Life Drawing a Couple

Last Wednesday night I went to life drawing class and had an opportunity to draw two models in the same sitting. They were life partners, so very comfortable with each other.

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This drawing (above) was my favourite from the night. It wasn’t easy to do as I had to look at each section individually and suggest connections between the entangled areas of their bodies. I still got a few things mis-aligned but for the most part I captured a good likeness to them, their pose and the mood of the pose.

The drawing above where five minute poses. I used a white Poca pen for the guy and then added blue soft pastel to bring him and the shadows to life. The woman was drawing with blue soft pastel and white conte. She was sitting on a stool but I didn’t have time to sketch that in. I was pleased with how well the blue stood out on the black paper.

The woman (above) was drawn first in light pencil sketches and then in black ink pen. The man was drawn in 2B pencil. I had a little trouble getting his proportions at first but after a few under sketches he came together eventually.

The sketches above range in time – 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes and 5 minutes. They were mostly warm up sketches at the start of the night.

I’m looking forward to seeing how my rendering of the human form develops over the next year as I attend. I’m a little concerned that my drawings are too tight and I need to loosen up. But art is a work in progress kind of thing, so I’ll keep giving it a go.

I think if you’re interested in attending a life drawing class, you should take the opportunity to get along and give drawing the human form a go. It’s not easy but if you concentrate on looking at the negative space around the limbs, head and shoulders and other area of the body, you’ll find that your drawings will appear on the page.

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I was asked in last week’s class how I got the two models on the page and in proportion.

I’m not sure if you’re interested in my process, but here it is:

Basically I look at the negative space between the limbs and around them. I then look for what I call ‘anchor points’ between the two figures. So, in the above drawing, I noticed that the crease of his bottom was in alignment with her belly, the feet were on the same line, and her head was resting on his shoulder.

When I have all of those areas figured out, I was able to focus on drawing the lines and shapes rather than getting confused and overwhelmed with the idea of drawing the human body.

I also start drawing general shapes in from the top of the head to the feet, then I develop detail as I go.

For me, I have to be relaxed and in the flow to draw from life. It takes a little time for my mind to quiet down and then I just draw.

Posted in Drawing, Drawings, portraits, portraiture, Sketches, skillshare, Sktchy

100 Portraits Progress Update

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Portrait in Graphite – 8/100 portrait challenge, 27 July 2019

This week, I finished the Sktcy online course, ‘Faces with France: Wrinkles’. The portrait above is the art I worked on as I did the last class. It was great and it took me about two hours to do this piece.

I’m only just beginning to understand how to create wrinkles on the face that look realistic while also not ageing my subject beyond their current years.

It’s quite a challenge. Below is a short time lapse video of how I did this artwork.

This portrait below was done in black pen on white acid free paper. This grand old gentleman was 94 years old. I think I caught a pretty good likeness. I couldn’t see one ear, so it wasn’t put into the drawing. I am starting to build confidence with cross hatching and I am learning patience. Also, I’ve learned that it’s really important to do this kind of drawing on a hard surface as the shadows and lines develop better. I could have pushed more shadow into the forehead but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Portrait 7/100, Ink pen on white acid free paper
Portrait 7/100, Ink pen on white acid free paper – 25 July 2019

 

Here is a portrait I did in colour pencils. Unfortunately one eyes isn’t quite as big as the other but I’m getting better with practice. I loved doing her hair and catching her big eyelashes on the page. I’ve put up the base drawing and the finished portrait.

I tried a different technique on the portrait below, choosing a scribbly style to capture light, shadow and wrinkles. I also used a white gel pen for highlights. I like this portrait but it lost a lot of likeness as I did it. Still my inspiration model was happy when she saw it and that was wonderful.

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Portrait 5/100, Scribbly Portrait – 21 July 2019

I’m really looking forward to seeing how my own style develops as I do the 100 portraits challenge. I’m also taking a few more portraiture classes so I can learn different mediums, techniques and the anatomy of the face and neck area.

I’m also keen to build up my art portfolio so that when I do more Skillshare teaching, I’ve got more tools and experiences to share.

I’m still dabbling in my creative writing, but it’s limited as I am working on a knotty plot problem and need to allow my mind time to move through it.

For now, I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of diving back into my art practice and creating images that I love.

I’m also doing a lot of experimenting with rough sketching and watercolours. I’ll show you those images in a later post.

Until then, Happy Creating whatever you choose to do.

Posted in doodle, Pastels, portraits, skillshare, Sktchy, visual diary, water color, Water Colour, Water Colours, watercolour

Art Practice this week

This week I have been diving deeper into portraits, busy developing my observation skills by focusing on drawing and painting fruit and vegetable compositions and I have also played around with creative doodling in my visual diary.

Here’s my week in art.

The above portraits are the start of my 100 portrait practice challenge which I set myself. They were entered into the Sktchy Pouty Portrait party this weekend. It’s a bit of fun focusing on drawing pouty lips. The little girl’s face is done in soft pastel and the guy’s face is in graphite. I’m still learning and developing my crosshatching technique.

I really enjoy the Sktchy app and the teachers there too. Such a great community.

The portraits above were completed with pen in my visual diary before I decided to do the 100 portraits practice challenge. There’s a few things I would do differently if I were to do them again but overall I’m happy with how they turned out as they gave me more practice at drawing faces and using crosshatching.

I am working on creating a new skillshare course on drawing and painting fruit and vegetables your way. To put my class together, I wanted to spend some time today capturing fruit and veg in my watercolour diary using various watercolour mediums. It was a fun exercise and I even managed to do a timelapse of this project.

Going forward, I plan to fill up the two pages with various fruit and veggies with bites taken out of them. It could be fun.

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Lastly, I sat outside in the Aussie winter sun during the week and did this doodle in my visual diary. It was a lot of fun and I think I’m becoming obsessed with drawing sunflowers now.

Posted in Courses, Cross Hatching, Drawing, Drawings, Red Bubble

Portraiture – Wrinkles

I have been learning how to create wrinkles using cross hatching techniques. It’s through a Sktchy course called, Faces with France: Wrinkles.

I am absolutely loving this class. Here’s what I’ve done so far…

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This one was done with a Bic pen on cream acid free paper. I loved seeing it come together and took some progress shots to show you.

It’s a little scary putting ink down on paper cause you have to be happy with whatever marks are made and move on. For me, crosshatching in ink is a lot like using watercolour. If you make a mistake, you need to embrace it as a happy one.

Here are another couple of pieces I’ve done in 2B and 8B graphite pencil.

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This one was focusing on capturing wrinkles, light and shade and creating volume but not going into the whole face. This was my first attempt at capturing wrinkles.

Here’s the second one.

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I didn’t focus on the beard cause this class was all about the wrinkles. I’m so happy with this piece and in time I might spend more hours developing the hair or better still, I might have another go at drawing this guy with the beard in full.

Here’s some progress shots of the above piece coming together from initial sketch with one eye done through to developing the second eye.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this technique develops over time as I get more practice hours ‘under my belt’ and make it my own.

I’m also loving how I have finally been able to get the whole person on the page. I used to struggle with keeping the person inside the page and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to draw within the boundaries. But lately something has clicked and now I can do it.  I think it’s got a lot to do with learning how to measure and use anchor points to place each part on the page. Anyway I am celebrating.

I’ve also been focusing on my Redbubble shop and added some of my art to the products available to buy. It’s a bit of a challenge for me as I am not (yet) a digital artist and not very familiar with out to erase the backgrounds and enhance my artwork, but I will get there. I’ve got plans to keep learning and playing.

Yesterday, I figured out how to turn this cute little blue teddy bear into art for my Redbubble shop. Check it out if you’re interested or go to my shop to see the other items.

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That’s it from me. Hope you are having a creative day no matter what you’re doing.

Posted in Drawing, Drawings, portraiture, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours

Portrait practice

Last week was super busy so I didn’t have an opportunity to do a lot of sketching. But I did manage to fit in a couple of portraits over the last two weekends.

Here’s the portrait I just finished drawing/painting in my watercolour visual diary. It’s of a fellow artist from the Sktchy community.

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The inspiration photo hinted that this image showed him in a moment of self-doubt about his art. I really identified with that and wanted to support him. Living a creative life and following dreams is filled with moments of self-doubt and those stories our inner anxiety tells about ourselves.

I think I captured a likeness in this portrait. It’s not exact but I wanted to capture the mood of the post and I think I’ve done that.

I’m pretty happy with this artwork.

The images above are the reference photo, the initial sketch and a progress shot of the portrait as I was moving through the creation phase.

A week ago I chose a young lady who was exploring her creative individuality by dressing up with horns and playing with black eyes. I liked how it had a hint of the paranormal to it. Of course I’d like that since that’s the genre I write in.

I changed the bow in her hair so it reflected the rainbow and entered it into the Sktchy Pride Portrait party. It was a challenge to draw and I’m happy to say that the person I drew really liked the image.

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Below is the original reference photo, my initial sketch in graphite and then a progress photo in pen.

On another topic, I’ve been stuck on a particular scene in my novel and have had a lot of trouble pushing through to finish writing the current chapter. But today in a few moments of quiet, I managed to make some progress. It felt so good to finally get through the blockage and see my story develop further.

One more step along the way to completing my novel for the next round of editing.

I hope to be back at life drawing this week, so I may have some more images to share in the coming weeks.

Until then have a great time living a creative life, expressing yourself in the world in your own unique way.

Posted in creativity, Cross Hatching, Drawing, Drawings, life drawing, portraiture, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours

Artistic Playfulness

It’s been another busy period of artistic playfulness. Here’s my next arty update for anyone who may be interested.

Last Sunday, I tapped into the inspirational photos of people on the Sktchy app and found a photo of a fellow artist. She had a beautiful face to draw and I was inspired.

The above photos show how I moved through the stages to get to the final image, which I am pretty happy with.

I started drawing a sketch of her face in graphite, then added a layer of black and brown crosshatching marks and followed up with watercolour pencils, indian ink and white marker pens to capture the light and shadows.

Prior to that I played around crosshatching and adding watercolour pencil to a sketch of my own hand. It was from a photo so that’s how I managed to capture my right hand (which is the one I use to draw).

I also spend a couple of days creating a watercolour portrait of this Mexican Hairless Dog. It’s probably not accurate to the image since I had to shorten the ears to fit him on the page, but I like him. This one painting was created with watercolour paint and watercolour pencils. I had a great time creating a glaze effect on this one. I probably could push it more, but watercolour is a new medium for me so I am in the learning and experimenting phase.

Last Wednesday night I rushed over to life drawing class and here are some of the sketches in various mediums. The drawings are not all accurate or in proportion but I like how my drawing is developing. I especially appreciate that I can now capture the whole person on the page and draw what I am seeing rather than what my brain thinks it’s seeing.

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This one (above) is probably my favourite sketch from the night. It took 20 minutes to do and gave me a challenge with foreshortening as well as capturing the form with crosshatching. I used black ink pen to do this one. There’s only one part of it that irks me as I think I didn’t capture it as accurately I would have liked, but that’s the process of drawing – learning to see and draw exactly what I see. I’m still learning and I’m grateful that I can continue to do that too.

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And just for fun, I’d seen this horse sitting in a shop window, and I liked him so much that I snapped up a photo so I could draw him in my visual diary later. After a long day at work, I decided to chill out while on the train home and that’s when I drew the horse in water soluble black ink pen. Then I used brush pen to get the shading and I’m totally in love with this sketch.

I’m also still writing… dun dun dun. Yes, one day… eventually I will finish my fiction story and I am still clinging to getting it published, even if I do that myself. It’s a long road from concept to first draft to editing to polishing to publication. I will get there – one word at a time.

Both art and writing are about establishing and maintaining a regular practice. It’s tough to do with a busy life but because I love living a creative life, I continue to return to my passions.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have creative day whatever you are doing.