I’ve been keeping-on-keeping-on with my portrait practice. Last week I hit portrait 65 of 100 of my portrait practice challenge.
I’m happy to say that my ability to see what is in front of me and draw that is improving. This means I am becoming much better at drawing portraits that have a likeness to the person and that makes me feel great. Sometimes their features are a little out of proportion like the lady above… I made her nose a little too large and had some trouble placing her eye on the far side of the three quarter view, but overall I am pretty happy with how my portrait skills are going.
It’s a great way to spend time when I am not working (from home). My art practice is giving me space from the stresses of the world and helping me to figure out who I am and how I am seeing the world from day to day. I have noticed that if I am having an off day, emotionally-speaking, then my drawings can either save me and pull me out of that funk or they are a reflection of the inner turmoil I have been experiencing. I think that’s one of the wonderful things about art. It allows space for the mind to process what has been happening.
A couple of weeks ago I was missing my fortnightly life drawing class so I spent a few hours reconnecting with how to see and draw the human figure with a fabulous yoga pose provided by a Sktchy muse.
The pose was quite a challenge for me to draw and I think I did a pretty good job of it, however, I can see a few errors. It’s always this way for me. I can’t see the errors at first but after a few days away from my work, I can see where I was in the process of drawing and seeing. And I can see where I have gone just a little off course.
Still I enjoyed the process of drawing that yoga pose and it inspired me to get on my own yoga mat. I’m no-where near as flexible as the lady I drew but that’s not the point. I have to keep reminding myself that yoga is about coming to the mat and working with my body where it is. Giving myself some inner love and acceptance.
What can I say… I’m a work in progress!
So this weekend I moved away from doing portraits and the human figure to embrace some nature. I came across an inspirational idea to use a thick felt tipped pen to create botanical compositions. The above drawing was completed today and I had a blast. It’s a combination of gum nuts, eucalyptus leaves and wattle.
So many hours of work but so much fun. I’m still learning where to go darker and when to hold back. But for my first botanic composition I reckon I managed to create a lovely piece of art.
I’m also embracing imperfection and messy art. I am allowed to make it my own messy creation cause when you stand back it looks great… even if its a bit of a messy-mess up close.
Yesterday, I played with the felt tipped pen in my A5 visual diary. It’s got creamy paper and is lovely to draw in. I found an image of a Protea and created this drawing, then I had to put prismacolor pencils on it to make it pop. I do love the combination of ink pen drawings with my prismacolor pencils. It’s so satisfying to see the work come to life on the page.
And finally, last weekend, I spent a number of hours outside observing my lemon tree which I have carted around from one home to another in a pot – always whispering promises that when I finally have a home of my own I will plant it and give its root space to stretch out.
I’m still working on finding a place to call my own. The lemon tree has faith in me.
If you’re interested I did the above drawing on my iPad using procreate. I’m loving procreate and learning how to use it to capture art in a new way. There’s so much to learn.
Butterflies have been flitting around my home in abundance lately and laying their eggs on my lemon tree. It doesn’t have so many leaves now that the caterpillars have munched their way through the green leaves!
But I don’t mind. I’m sure my lemon tree isn’t too keen on being eaten like that but it will bounce back. It always does.
The act of sitting in my fold up chair and sketching my lemon tree was truly therapeutic and de-stressing.
I hope that my arty creations inspire you to take pen or pencil to paper or to try out your own creative line work on procreate too.
In this difficult times of isolation and social distancing, I think the practice of art and creative writing, journalling, singing, dancing, playing instruments – anything creative – is a soothing balm for the soul.
Happy creativity. May you draw, dance and be wild in your creative abandon. Don’t judge yourself. Just know that each attempt is a reflection of where you are at that moment in time.
I love that.