Posted in creativity, Drawing, Drawings, illustration, Journal, portraits, portraiture, Procreate art, Sktchy, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours, watercolour

Sketching and Portrait Practice

My drawing practice has been taking twists and turns. I’m still working through my 100 portraits and practicing the human face using various techniques (as you can see from my digital and pen portraits below), but I’ve also been fascinated by lions lately and above you can see three of the studies I’ve been working on. The first one is pen and prismacolor pencils in my tinted visual diary and the other two were drawn on my procreate program. I particularly like the big boy in the centre. I fell in love with his jutting chin and had to catch a likeness of my own.

I do like the girl with the red lips. All of the portraits above are inspired by people posting their photos on the Sktchy app so that artists can draw them. It’s been an invaluable app for providing inspiration and tuition to continue to develop my portrait practice challenge. I’ve done 98 of 100 portraits as of this weekend. Only two more to go.

In between this, I’ve also rewritten/edited fifteen chapters of my novel, but have found that I’ve needed to return to my drawing more often to fill my creative inner bucket.

So recently I’ve started to explore the idea of sketching daily and learning urban sketching. I’ve got a lot to learn in art but particularly in urban sketching and perspective drawing. However, I’ve also decided that it’s about the process of drawing and enjoying the story I create on the page. These drawings of my world and the way I see things, and I’m very much looking forward to developing this new sketching interest over time.

Here’s some drawings I’ve sketched in my small Jasart visual diary over the weekend.

My partner’s Kawasaki motorbike.

I sat down and sketched my partner’s motorbike. It turned out pretty good even thought there are heaps of inaccuracies and a few skewed perspectives on it. Still I’m so happy with this drawing as it’s only the second motorbike I’ve ever drawn.

Sketches in my visual diary using pen and watercolour

I actually like this kind of sketching. It is so enjoyable. There’s a flower I saw on the side of the street the other day and a super cartoony sketch of my hand with my pen.

And above is a sketch of my poodle waiting patiently for his chicken jerky, and my other fur-baby hanging out on the couch with me.

This is one of the things I love about sketching in a visual diary. I can record the world around me and focus in on what is important or interesting in my life.

Now I need to sneak around with my sketch pad until I can draw my cat. It’s a challenge as animals have a sixth sense about being watched and move almost immediately. Anyway, I’ll get there.

And I’m going to keep drawing and doing my best to learn urban sketching and all sorts of perspective.

Until next time, I hope you have a wonderful creative day.

Posted in Alzheimers, Courses, creativity, Drawing, Drawings, Gratitude, illustration, life drawing, portraits, portraiture, Procreate art, Sktchy

It’s been an arty kinda month

It’s been a while since I wrote a post. Seems to be something I say a lot lately. Life’s been busy with my deep dive into developing my life drawing and anatomy skills, learning oil portrait painting, more progress on my portrait practice challenge, and developing my digital art skills too. In between all of that I’ve still be plodding along working on my novel here and there, and going to work, living and spending time with my loved ones as much as I can.

I hope you have been well. It’s turned into a topsy-turvy world with this COVID virus and my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.

So… I’ve been having an arty kind of month and am sharing some of the things I’ve done.

In early July, I attended a four day oil portrait painting workshop run by Jess Le Clerc from Art School Co on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland and focused on capturing my mum as she struggles with Alzheimer’s Disease. I wanted to capture how lost she is and how much she tries to understand what is happening around her.

I wanted to connect with my mother in a special way that conveyed how much I love her.

This oil painting was a very emotional experience for me. As mum emerged on the canvas I found my emotions swell up, crest and crash all over my broken heart. Memories of her before this disease started to steal her memories from us plunged pain in to the centre of my chest. My eyes welled but I also felt great joy as I quietly painted my mother’s likeness.

In a strange way I got to spend four days communing with my mum in a way that goes beyond language and touches the heart and soul. I don’t know if I will ever paint another image that will be as profoundly important to my heart as this one. Above is a photo of the still wet oil portrait.

Jess Le Clerc ran an excellent workshop and catered to many different portrait needs and artist skill levels. She was fun to learn from and so very informative. I wish I had been more developed as an oil painter so I could have peppered her with questions. But I’m still such a beginner I didn’t know what to ask.

Anyway it took some time for me to be able to speak about this experience with my mum’s oil portrait as emotions kept rising for me to deal with. Grief mixed with joy not only in the four days I spent painting but also for weeks afterwards.

As I moved through that experience I found myself doing more digital art. Here are two of my most recent digital portraits from my portrait practice challenge.

These were part of the Sktchy 30 faces in 30 days. I only did three portraits of this challenge as I had so many other things going on in my life. The girl’s hand took me four attempts to make it look like a hand and I think I sat on this digital portrait for about 20 days as I pondered what wasn’t quite right with it. In the end it came together and I am happy with my progress and progress is what counts.

Below you’ll see some life drawings from July as well as a study of the human eye. I’m learning more about anatomy and how to use light, shade and tonal values to create what I want you to see. It’s going to be fun to see how my slowly developing anatomy skills show up in my life drawings. I have no specific expectations, only a curious openness to what appears on the page.

Then I found my most favourite artist, Aaron Blaise, and joined up to be a member of his art classes because… well… I love his work and I am grateful such a great teacher is out there sharing his art and animation knowledge for creative hungry creatives like me.

I signed up to do his Hidden Creatures of the Forest class and this is my first digital panting. I followed along and created my own version of this fern creature. I admit I love him. And I am so looking forward to doing more of these kinds of creatures. They wildly imaginative and fun to do. Although I have discovered that digital art takes me three times longer to do than traditional art does. Maybe I am putting more time and attention into every detail now…?

The above fern creature is set against a photo that I took while in England in 2018. It was fabulous to use some of my photos from my big UK trip in my art. I hope you like him as much as I do. But I am biased. I love him!

Anyway, lots to do. More art, more writing, more meditation and stuff. So I’ll sign off now. Whatever you’re doing I hope it’s creative and filling your inner bucket up with joy and happiness. In these strange times I think it’s important to come home to yourself and let your creativity out into the world.

Happy Creating!

Posted in characters, creativity, doodle, Drawing, Drawings, illustration, portraits, portraiture, Procreate art, Sketches, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours, watercolour

Sunflowers and the Arty Lifestyle

I couldn’t walk past a trio of sunflowers while out shopping for essential groceries. The bright yellow drew my eye and I whisked the sunflowers from the bucket and into my basket without a second of hesitation.

I new the moment I saw their pretty faces that I wanted to draw them and paint them with watercolour. And here they are. 03B68C32-EAB2-4F5F-87F3-A26BEA9174E3

I spent all day sitting on the veranda sketching these beauties into my watercolour visual diary and the rest of the day painting them in an attempt to capture the life of they beamed at me.

It was a day of pure creative happiness. Blissful time spent drawing and painting without worrying about anything at all.

I did several other drawings/watercolour paintings of my sunflowers. They were too beautiful not to capture them from various angles.

Earlier in the week, I played around with more black ink and watercolour to create this beautiful King Protea. Unfortunately, while I was outside sketching it something small and green fell on the page. F7FD804E-8CC6-46AA-8EBA-69C61BD43D3C

I thought it was a seed pod from the over hanging tree. When I brushed it off the page it squished a small insect creature into the paper and so this one is very close to nature.

I’m so sorry little nature bug – I didn’t mean to turn you in to art collage in my visual diary!

It was so delightful to see this flower evolve on my page. I do love it.

My arty lifestyle has been developing each day and each time I draw. I’m still doing my 100 portrait challenge but needed some time out to focus on drawing other subjects. Since my last post, this is the only portrait I’ve done.

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This guy is from Sktchy app and he’s an artist too. A brave guy willing to allow others to draw him in the ‘all-together’. I did this one on Procreate (I’m still learning the program – it’ll take me my whole life time to figure it all out I think) and practiced foreshortening as well as anatomy drawing and getting a likeness.

Then it was on to drawing my partner’s motorbike. It’s his pride and joy, and he is so happy that the Government have allowed riders to go out on their bikes again. Although that’s for a test period to see if we can ease some restrictions and still reduce the amount of cases of COVID-19.

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So I probably won’t see him much over the weekend as he’ll be hitting the road with this baby.

I drew his motorbike on my iPad with Procreate too. It’s my first go at drawing his motorbike. It seemed too complex for me at first but then as I slowed right down and focused on negative space and then just the shapes – circles, squares, curves etc – came together on the virtual page. I am very happy with this first go and am thinking of developing a series of drawings all about his motorbike. It could be fun and that’s what art is really about for me.

Now my arty eye has been draw to illustration and in particular how to create characters on the page using objects (as well as myself 🙂 ). I am having so much fun with this style of drawing and it is so freeing for the imagination.

First you start by drawing what you see and going for some accuracy. Check out my drawing pens.

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Then you start to be playful with the pens and pencils, creating joyful characters of them.

Here’s a page from my A5 visual diary. On the left you’ll see my ‘Playful Pen’, then you can see how my imagination is starting to grasp the idea of turning pens and pencils into playful characters.  On the other page, I have more realistic drawings – my Lamy Pen and my watercolour pallet which I did from observation. Down in the bottom corner, I drew my own eye watching my drawing to show how much I was looking, looking, looking at what I was doing.

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Lastly, I’m learning how to turn myself into a character. Here’s me showing my art and writing to my fan base – my fur-babies, Jack, Rocket and Miss Poppy.

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This was soooo much fun. You can expect to see more doodles like this showing up on my blog as I keep playing around with ideas and documenting my daily life in fun ways.

Until next time, I hope you are staying safe and indulging yourself in a creative life. Creative expression, no matter what form it takes, helps you to come home to yourself and see yourself through the things you make.

Go get some ‘Big Magic’ like Elizabeth Gilbert talks about and just have fun!