Monday, April 19, 2010

Feet and Hands

A certain theme runs through most of my sketchbooks--because wherever you are, if you don't feel inspired by your surroundings you can always fall back on these...hands and feet. They are supposed to be one of those difficult tasks when drawing people, so why not get all the practice you can; right? Let me tell you, I do get lots of practice!

This sketch appears about once a month, almost always exactly like this...sketch too close to the top of the page to get the whole thing in, holding the side of my sketchbook. You think I would be tired of doing it but somehow I find it more interesting than my surrounding! Maybe I should take this as a sign than I need to redecorate?

This would actually not be my own feet, and I really enjoyed getting a view I wouldn't otherwise be capable of getting. These are my mother's feet. She had them pulled up onto the couch as we watched "Castle". She had figured out what I was doing by the time I got to her bottom foot, was itching to move, so I rushed and couldn't seem to get the size right. It appears smaller when it should, in reality, appear slightly larger as it was closer.

This may look odd at first. I was sitting in my backyard trying to find something to sketch. So, in a very unladylike manner, I threw my leg up onto the table and sketched. Luckily no one can see into our backyard as I would never sit like this in public!! Could you imagine doing this at a restaurant? Of course, I would hope you would be inspired to draw something other than your foot!

Decided to add watercolor, even though it wasn't watercolor paper. The plants in the background are supposed to be my tomato plants and that is asparagus in the very back, next to the wall. Edited out were my rosemary, chives, and parsley. The gray of the concrete didn't scan well, so it loses a little of the depth.

So, how often do you resort to your hands and feet?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Elephant Post

I love elephants. I love their eyes and the way they move. I love how you can look at their faces and see expressions there. (or is that imagined?)

There is an artist that I saw in a book one time that drew elephants, cartooned in ink with very energetic lines. I wish I could remember his name; those sketches were so inspiring. If you think you might know who I'm talking about, please leave a comment! The above sketch was done from imagination/memory and I found that it was not so easy to do. My memory of how it's ears are shaped, the way the head moves into the shoulders was minimal, at best. I couldn't even finish because I just didn't have enough information in my head to do it. I think I'd like to focus on elephants for awhile. It would be nice to sketch an elephant that looked anatomically correct without a photo reference.

I did this one from a photo on morguefile, posted by JDurham. (ref# 660685). It was done on the bottom corner of my page, so I wasn't able to get the entire body in; well, I guess I could have if I had drawn smaller! As you can see, I couldn't decide what color to paint his skin, so I just tried different things. A little purple, a little blue, a little of this or that. It was fun to do.

This photo was posted on morguefile by KeithCr, ref # 87221. I love this photo! It started as a gestural sketch, but I kept going because I liked it. This one may need a watercolor version-- he's so cute! (In the recesses of my mind, I am praying that he is treated well and is happy!)
Another gestural sketch of an elephant posted by katmyspiry, ref# 61608, on morguefile. This was the last one of the night, and it was late. I wanted to keep going but the eyes weren't cooperating anymore. The other sketches on the page were done on an earlier date, when I was trying desperately to sketch my way through that block. Unfortunately I didn't write down the reference numbers or the names of photographers, but they also come from morguefile.

With the exception of the first one, and the people sketches on the last page, these were all done last night. I was just in the mood for sketching some elephants!

UPDATE: Thanks to Timothy Schorre, I have found the elephant artist! It is Heinrich Kley! Some is bizarre, but I love, love, love his elephants!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Moleskine Exchange, First Entry

This was not easy for me! I had already felt the block coming, then to receive Dan's was enough to send me reeling into the abyss. But, I've done a lot of thinking about that block and this is what I decided- Focusing too much on learning watercolor, I was doing quick sketches in order to add some color and play with the paint. It doesn't sound like a bad thing, does it? But, by doing quick sketches and immediately going to the painting, I was never allowing myself to get into the sketch zone. (Saying that reminds me of the "Suck zone" from the movie Twister!) It didn't take long to loose my rhythm, and the pencil began to feel awkward in my hand. I learn a lot by watching Wil, and I noticed that even though he paints, he still does a lot of sketching. I never realized that I could be doing art everyday, and still not be doing enough drawing to maintain skill. I need to paint to get better at painting, but still need to sketch to not get worse at sketching! And a good sketch is important to a good painting!

So this is what I initially showed Dan as my first entry. I was excited that he noticed how I played with the light to which he had hinted with the sunglasses on his figure. Because the lady I drew had her back to that light, I pushed her sunglasses up on her head, then added the shadows. He noticed that I had kept it in pencil and asked what my thoughts were on that. Well, my thoughts were that I hoped he wouldn't notice!! Or that he would choose to ink that himself because my pen and I hadn't been getting along very well! I knew it needed to be inked though, so I did go back and do it. Luckily I didn't make a mess and I do think it looks better now.

Deciding what to add to Dan's drawing was very difficult for me. Did I want it to be more of a montage of sketches? Should I start telling a story? Of course, crazy ideas popped into my head, playing with scale, putting bizarre people in the background. The possibilities were endless and overloaded my brain! So, I just decided to keep it simple. Dan's figure was turned and I felt she needed to be looking at something. Perhaps it is not the most creative solution, but considering my recent state of mind, it needed to be simple. Maybe next time I'll pull out the wild card!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fake Journal Post #1

Front Cover:Day One:
Click on the photo to enlarge!

To participate in International Fake Journal Month, click the bulldog on the right of my page!

Back from the Depths!

Wow! I just want to thank all of those who commented on my last post. You are all terrific and supportive and just great people! Your ideas have helped so much. In fact, I've decided that in order to prevent myself from feeling uninspired again, I'm going to pick a theme for each month. This month's theme has already been decided, since it is International Fake Journal Month; but some of the others might be self-portraits, dogs, colors, architecture, Halloween characters, package labeling, books, and possibly a comic strip diary. The important thing is that the ideas are finally popping! Especially for the current fake journal will be written from the point of view of my cat, Ollie. I have so many ideas that I actually had to start writing them down so I wouldn't forget!

Also, I wanted to tell you something that recently happened. A neighbor gave me five internet cams/video cameras. They're outdated but new and still in the box. The cameras are okay for the internet cams, but for regular pictures and movies, my digital camera is better. So, it was really nice of him to give me these, but do you know what I liked most?

The bags! They make great travel/urban sketching bags! Inside holds three waterbrushes, a pencil, a fountain pen, a 5"x5" sketchbook (a 5"x6" book max), my paints, a spray bottle, and a paper towel. It is approximately 6"x7"x3".

It also has loops on the back making it possible to convert to a fanny pack. The only con I see is that I don't like to use small sketchbooks. Yesterday, I took the sketchbook out, added a small bottle of water, a cellphone, a camera, and a debit card. Then I carried my sketchbook. Either way, I really like the convenience. And it is nice to be able to get the weight off my shoulders and around my neck thanks me!