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.

IMG_0792

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

IMG_0787

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.

IMG_0770

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!

IMG_0755

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

100 Portraits Progress Update

IMG_0605
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.

IMG_0603
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.

IMG_0562

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 anxiety, characters, Courses, creativity, Cross Hatching, Drawing, Drawings, Editing, life drawing, Sketches, skillshare, visual diary, Water Colour, Water Colours

Ramping up my Art Practice

In the last month I’ve ramped up my daily art practice. Sketching and using water colour paints in my sketch books most of the time. I’ve also been to another life drawing class, attended my first water colour painting class and today, I have just finished a Sktchy course on cross hatching.

So if you’re interested… here is some of my work.

The cross hatched portrait below is my first one using black pens. It is the image the teacher used in the Sktchy course so you may see it around and depending on who drew it, it might be better rendered than I’ve done here. But having said that, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I just need to practice the art of seeing and capturing shadows with fine cross hatching marks.

Below is my graphite pencil sketch of the guy we did in the Sktchy course. I put him in a frame as I needed to mark out lots of lines to get his features down on the page with accuracy.

IMG_0489

A lot of people like this pencil cross hatch and I’m super happy with it.

I went to a beginners water colour class and learned about blooms and glazes and all sorts of other techniques. I’m a bit heavy handed with the delicate medium but it’s fun to learn, make mistakes and see where they lead.

IMG_0452

Above is my finished water colour mushroom. I had a lot of fun creating this small art work on the paper we stretched. It was a great class run by Holly from Life Drawing Caloundra.

I’ve been doing a botanical workshop on Skillshare and that’s stretched me a lot. Here’s one of the pieces. It’s a vintage inspired flower with petals and stem.

 

IMG_0431

I think I like the stem and leaves the best. It’s all water colour and took a while for me to layer. I’m not the best realism artist but you got to start somewhere right?

IMG_0479

Above is my botanical alphabet project from the skillshare workshop. It turned out pretty good, but I’m not a big fan of fancy fonts. Maybe one day I will embrace them but it irritated me a bit because I kept making mistakes with the pen and had to keep starting over. For me that’s too painful to do and I doubt I’ll become a calligraphy lover… at least not someone who does calligraphy, but I’ll always have respect for anyone who does the art form!

Then it was off to life drawing class on the 29th May to celebrate their first year of regular classes. It was a great night with every spare spot taken up by artists trying to capture the gesture of the model. Above are two of my pieces. I gave drawing on black paper a go and it worked out pretty good. Quite a few people liked that drawing with the soft pastel.

IMG_0474

Then, totally inspired by Sketchbook Skool, it was time to sketch book my way through my life and capture everyday moments. This image as you can see is of my M&M slippers which I picked up in London in late August 2018. I love them and taking time to draw my feet on the coffee table was excellent fun. No need to feel precious about my lines and marks. It was just an impression of my life and an opportunity to practice drawing what I am seeing rather than what my brain thinks it can see.

I intend to keep practicing and learning new techniques. I hope that as I grow as an artist, I will also be able to create better skillshare courses of my own. I’d like to pass on things I’ve learned but only after I’ve practiced enough and made the techniques my own. I’m not very comfortable in front of the camera yet and it has taken me a long time to learn how to video my art as well as to think about the classes I could teach and how to teach creative writing from my own perspective. I face a lot of internal fears every time I come to create a skillshare course, but I’m moving through my fears and into creativity. I even made a course to help other deal with their fears around creativity based on the tools I use to manage anxiety.

They say one of the best ways to learn is to teach and I’m on that road now too.

On the creative writing front.. I’ve been chipping away at my edited manuscript and had to change a few characters which has lead to a chain reaction of changing what they do and don’t do. I’m about a third of the way through my manuscript and I’m so grateful I’m doing lots of art because it stops me from having anxiety brain.

When I write, I feel a lot of angst to get things right. But when I do art, most of the time the angst just vanishes. I can spend hours and hours doing drawings and not even realise time has sped past. I love writing, but it is a different experience for me. It’s a complex and sometimes analytical experience which somehow triggers off the inner critic in me more than art ever has.

I guess this is all part of a learning curve for me. I’d like to publish my story and I’ll keep at it, and I’ll keep drawing every day because the practice is so good for my mental and emotional well-being.

Until next time, happy creating!

Posted in anxiety, Drawing, Drawings, healing, portraiture, Sketches, skillshare

Portraiture

I’ve been studying portraiture with graphite in the last two week. It’s been so good to apply my art and observation skills to the page again.

Below is my first animal portrait in graphite on acid free cartridge paper (my visual diary). It’s a side view of Miss Poppy and her fluffy ragdoll ruff.

IMG_0343

Below is a short time lapse that I created of me drawing the above portrait.

I’ve also been studying the basics of human portraiture using graphite. Here are some examples of the lips, ear and hair that I’ve done.

I’ve also been studying the nose and eyes with a focus on light and shadow.

I enjoyed sketching each section of the human face and learning about light and shadow techniques. I also learned about the angles of the eyes, nose and lips. Each technique built on the other and I’m another step closer to creating portraits that look and feel the way I want them to be.

I’m going through a real art phase right now. Still writing and editing my story, but for now, I find that when I get absorbed in my art, I forget about everything that has been bothering me. All the anxious thoughts disappear and I am in the moment. There is no future, no past, only the present moment. That’s why I love art so much. It is a truly healing activity to do.

Until next time, I hope your creative projects are underway and you are having wonderful time too.

For anyone interested in learning portraiture drawing techniques, I recommend ‘Start Drawing: Techniques for Pencil Portraits by Gabrielle Brickey on Skillshare. That’s where I’ve been learning all about portraits in the last two weeks. She’s a brilliant artist and a great teacher who makes it easy for you to learn and apply your new knowledge too.

Thanks for dropping by.

Posted in Abstract, Courses, creativity, Sketches, skillshare

Intricate Line Drawing Class

It’s been a big artistic week for me. I’ve spent hours creating a new Skillshare course called, ‘Create Intricate Line Drawings’, and I’m super excited that I’ve managed to pull this off.

I’ve had to learn how to create effective time lapse videos, create video content that flows and makes sense, draw and draw and draw, get comfortable doing voice overs and figure out how to edit on iMovie too.

Below is a sneak peek at my course thumbnail and I’ve created a super simple, super short time lapse video to show you a snippet of the content.


Create Intricate Line Drawings

Below are three of the intricate line drawings I created as part of my Skillshare course demonstration.

I really do hope people enjoy the class. I’m happy with it. It took days to create the content and now I am utterly exhausted.

Tomorrow, I’m back to travelling on the train to go to my day job. That means it’s time to return to my story, The Living Death of Toddy James. I’ve finally finished the second edit and now I am going through plugging plot holes and polishing it to the best of my ability.

Another step closer to getting my manuscript back to the editor for the next round of creative publication preparation work.

I’ll update you on my next art project in the near future. I’m currently studying portraiture and hope to show you some of my work soon.

In the meantime, happy creating and thanks for dropping by.

Posted in Courses, creativity, Gratitude, photography, skillshare

Learning Photography

Last weekend I started learning the basics of my Canon DSLR which resulted in some photos that I loved. This week, I finished going through the Skillshare.com online course and put some of my new knowledge to use.

Miss Poppy_1_26052018_Portrait

Here is Miss Poppy suffering a long photo shoot session. I used the Av mode on my DSLR to get a cropped image and to capture the sweetness of Miss Poppy’s face.

Here are some of the various photos I took this morning. Miss Poppy has to put up with a lot.

Rocket_1_25052018_AvMode

I managed to catch a photo of Rocket playing with his rope toy. I don’t think I had the camera on the right mode to really catch the moment, but I am learning. And I do love this photo of my poodle.

Rocket_3_26052018_AvMode

Next, I tried to capture Rocket in an interesting composition by getting down on the floor and photograph him from his level. He wasn’t too keen on giving me much face time for the portraits I was trying to take. The look on his face in the second photo says it all.

Jack (above) is a gorgeous boy but he doesn’t believe in sitting still for photos. It took me ages to catch these images and they are a little blurry. I’ll just have to keep trying.

Then I went out to Mapleton which is in the Hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, and took some photos. The images above were attempting to capture the water fall movement using the Tv mode of the camera.

MapletonLookout_2_26052018

This is the view from the Mapleton lookout – or at least, a portion of the view.

MapletonLookout_26052018

I was striving to capture the expansive nature of the vista and to make an interesting photographic composition in the above image.

David_26052018_1_AvMode

Here’s an image of David, my partner. I used the Av mode to get this portrait.

Edward_1_26052018_AvMode

Above is an image of my best friend in the world, Edward. He’s also putting up with me snapping photos of him using the Av mode of the camera.

Selina_1_26052018_AvModeSelina_2_26052018_AvMode

And, lastly, I had to get in front of the camera. I set up the manual settings and gave the camera to David. He did a great job of these photos, I reckon.

Taking a moment out of the busy-ness of life has allowed me the space to capture images that mean a great deal to me. I’m a total beginner at photography, but I am thoroughly enjoying the process of learning. And learning is what inspires my continued growth and I’m grateful for that.