Sunday, September 11, 2011

You've been missed, my friends!

 Wow, did things ever get complicated around here.  Some of you know from our EDM group, or from comments that I've made, that I was in the process of moving to Idaho back in late May.  Well, I'm still here in Houston, having just gone through one of the worst (that would be HOT, HOT)  summers I ever remember.  Oh well, it is a very long story, but the short of it is, I stopped drawing, and when  I started again everything I did was really really bad.   I'm back on track now.  I finished up two sketchbooks and I'm over halfway through a third (huge one, 11 x 14).  It has been too hot to sketch outdoors, so the internet has been my friend. Of all those pages that I've filled, I only scanned twenty five of them because most of them are figure drawings and I don't want to have a blog filled mostly with sketches of nekkid people!   It took me ages to figure out which scans I did want to include in my first post back.  I'm afraid I couldn't resist picking out most of my favorites.  Not that I don't like the rest, but there's a little less color on the other pages. 

This sketch (above) is done directly in ballpoint, watercolor, and on regular drawing paper (as are all of the sketches in this post--in a sketchbook with 'drawing' paper).  The model was on the figure drawing tool here.  At least, that is where I thought I saw her.  I'm on that site a lot though, and I've not seen her again since.  Maybe they took that one off? 

 Hmmm...I can't remember where I got this photo either.  Probably the same site.  What I really like about this sketch, is that I did it directly in ballpoint pen and if you look closely, you'll see that I didn't make many mistakes in my first lines.  I didn't have much to correct.  Her right arm doesn't look quite right now that I look at it on here.  Yep, I think the foreshortening is a little off.  Even so, I'm really happy with it.  That dark looking shadow on her lower back is actually a tattoo. 
Well, since I can't be sure where I got this, here are links to the sites I go to for photo references:

 This giraffe was also done directly in ballpoint.  I was going a little faster with it, got tired of making the spots, so I just finished it up with the watercolor.  I like the sketchiness of it and would be very happy if every sketch turned out as well when done this quickly. 

I've sketched so much lately that I've been hitting that zone where everything seems to come easily, the first time.  On these days there is very little need for an eraser. Though I still get days when I'm just off, and everything is a struggle, and I erase, erase, and erase!  Happily, the on days now outnumber the off ones.   I recently went back through some of my older sketchbooks, and I can actually SEE some improvement.  This of course makes me want to sketch even more!  
 Okay, this is a truer idea of how most of my sketchbook pages look.  Mostly pencil sketches, not very much overlapping or unity of the page (I'm working on that!).  These are quicker sketches.  I especially like the two bottom horses.  The bottom right horse is actually a pretty good representation of how most of my sketches start.  Sort of a combination of contour, with gesture for arms and legs.  Then I go back and add in details, make corrections, etc.
 It was quite some time before I realized that the figure sketching tool that I linked to in the second paragraph also had an animal sketching tool.  That is where I got the references for these.  I really like the cat and horse to the right.  I can't wait to get back to a sketchbook that has actual watercolor paper in it.  I think (hope) they would have looked even better had I not had to fight with paper that dried almost as soon as it was moistened. 
Another one that I liked a lot.  Though I had to walk away a couple of times...those spots were driving me nuts.  It is pencil and watercolor

I wish that I could show you my current sketchbook in it's entirety.  It is by far my favorite.  Unfortunately, it won't fit on the scanner.  It is even hard to look at in person because I used it landscape-wise instead of the portrait because of its size.  It is spiral too and I always had the spiral at the top, so every page has to have the book tilt in the other direction  to see it right-side up.  That is something I didn't think about when I started this one!  But I am proud of it.  It has less 'bad' sketches than I have ever had.  And I have NO pages that I hate, unlike every other sketchbook that I have.  You know, those pages that you just want to go away and stop reminding you how bad you were that day?

Well, I hope that I'll be posting more frequently now.  It was hard knowing what to say after being gone so long and having so much happen in the meantime.  My temptation was to come on here and start at the beginning.  But believe me, that would take a week of posting everyday...big, long, wordy posts too!  So, I've hit one giant edit key, and hope I can just take off where I left last time.  Oh, and thank you so much for your emails.  I'm sorry I didn't answer.  It was one of those frozen-because-I'm-overwhelmed situations.  I currently have over 200 edm emails sitting unopened in my mailbox.  The more they backed up, the harder it got to even check my mail!  I'm going to make an honest effort to get through it all.  I'll be around to comment again very soon!