Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Views of an Old Lady

This simple exercise in drawing is starting to grow into something bigger. I don't know what yet.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Drawing for Discipline - Part 2

After about 30 minutes of concentrated attention our lady is coming along.... The pencils keep making tiny marks, mostly tiny circles. I have a bad habit of not stopping to note incorrect dimensions. Today I try to stay aware of ratios, directions, shapes, values, shadows versus physical features. The goal is to create a pleasing image, staying respectful of the original subject, while not needing to depict an exact copy. Choosing to use color forces me to make a number of decisions not necessary if simply copying the photograph. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that the pencil colors are not from my "best" bag, but a third "not exactly my favorites" bunch. I do my best, choosing from a variety of pencils ranging from beige to violet blue. An Apple Green and a few different oranges add a little interest.

After a number of passes I feel the tell-tale gliding sensation of waxy build-up. Sometimes this gets me cranky, but today I decide to think of it as a way to sculpt the woman's features. Back and forth, back and forth. Hmmmmm. She's becoming somebody one might have a nice chat with. Good. Will her lips be an issue? Trust the pencils? O.K., good enough. Time keeps zooming by.
Time to tackle hair? Her partner?

On to part 3 - we shall see what we shall see.

- Sue

Monday, January 17, 2011

Drawing for Discipline

Once upon a time, perhaps 30 short years ago, I bought a studio photograph of an infant in a wonderful Christening gown. Now the vintage photograph collection includes 19th century schoolyard kids, old folks on various couches, a whole album of two sisters' train trip across Canada, and whole lots of images that simply proved too fascinating to not rescue from antique shops, estate and/or garage sales. Real people, real lives, living on paper, whether in black and white or fading shades of color.

On a recent drawing-at-coffee-shop adventure I decided to use a photo chosen at random as a bit of focus and inspiration, and to see what my brain would tell me to do with it.

Starting with a sheet of heavy black paper I "knew" the images would begin as a value study. Look, scribble, look, measure, scribble, compare, re-measure, scribble. I "knew" the drawing would focus only on the subjects' heads. These decisions appear to come unbidden, the thoughts simply are. Then I have to agree to play by each new rule. So far, so good. Go for one hour - see what happens. Even with years of life drawing classes, I've never been secure in being able to depict humans, especially faces. But if faces are made of shapes, well, perhaps results won't be a complete disaster. Be brave in the attempt. Strive for focus, not for perfection. HAVE FUN.

It's amazing how quickly new rules pop up. Sorry, guy, you've been blocked in, but now you're going to be blocked out. It's mom's, auntie's, grandma's turn to shine. Immediately the mind ignores the left side of the paper.

On to the drawing adventure - (to be continued)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Old Tomatoes

Shortly, yes, shortly the huge mounds of snow will melt, mud will happen, and green will appear in our backyards. But I want to pick ripe tomatoes NOW.

In honor of a pretty good, for me, gardening year, and with hope of having those last green tomatoes turning red and yummy, I saved four of the little rascals and watched to see what happened. In time they did fight the good fight, sort of turned to a reddish hue, and then just became kitchen decor.

Recently I took a small nibble and realized that in this case redder was not better...... Sigh and sigh. But I just couldn't toss out these four pieces of last year's fun quite yet- they deserved a tiny bit of honor for hanging in there and trying their best. Out came the camera and on to tomato inspiration!

Now they sit inside of the computer, all warm and cozy and ready for their close-ups. We will return to them shortly and dare to find ways of making these little orbs even more immortal. Mere old tomatoes - ha! They're the best we've got for months -

Artists - appreciate your own versions of "old tomatoes" - boxes of family photos, stuff in the refrigerator, the scene right outside the window. If it's dull or icky - well, not too icky, that's O.K. Simply use what you've got to take your mind, pencil or paint somewhere even just slightly new.

The first week of the new year is behind us - TO TOMATOES.... AND BEYOND!!!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Older Polars

Sometimes it's nice not to sell originals. These two guys are done in oil pastel back when I was afraid of the powdery stuff.
They have their own quirky power - even in repose. One is actually napping. The other - not so much.
Today feels like a napping day. But no - too much to do - so on to a cup of Earl Grey tea, a small gingerbread bear, and geting on with the hours left in this Wednesday.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Motivational Scone

Happy New Year! and on to the Best Year Ever - Part the Fifth:

Once again the One-A-Day Motivational Drawing (Dec. 29) finds me at Stillwater's The Bikery. A recent exercise is bravely putting my hand into the bag of colored pencils - mostly Prismacolor goodies - and being willing to draw with the four pulled out, regardless of hue, plus the beloved Sharpie Marker. Eeek. What to work with today? Medium grey, dark umber, a peachy sort, and grass green. Not exactly the most vibrant in the bag. But self-imposed rules are self-imposed rules.

Soon the paper holds words: Yuck! DON'T BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE..., Do Something fast-Intensely-Focused Non-stop For an Hour Almost Every Day.

I tentatively do a few passes with the colors - they sort of blend into a late-afternoon high sky landscape. Hmmm... there are possibilities. I don't hate these pencils quite as much as I did when they first appeared. Heck, it's not their fault they're today's team. Let's buck up and make the best of it. Hmmm - have to remember that for real life. Ya sure - ya betcha.

All this time a fresh cranberry scone has been sitting quietly on it's plate. Complete. Un-chomped..... On to seeing - on to drawing. Oddly, the chosen pencils work out fine - and the Sharpie is just the thing for the darkest of shadows. Look- draw - look - draw. Most fun is recreating the pointy black shadows thrown by innocent sugar crystals sitting atop scone. Play with values - from white plate to inky shadow - all enhanced by brilliant sunshine.

A few more scribbled remarks and the page is complete. Last sentence: I love drawing.

Yup. And eating good scones.
Try a Motivational Drawing. Or even a Not Motivational Drawing. Start with drawing tools you truly enjoy using, and some day dare to use what ends up in your hand!

On to The Grand Adventure -