Friday, November 21, 2014

Ending Sketchbook Skool Session 1

Today is the end of session 1 "Beginnings" of sketchbook skool.  I wondered if I'd have the mental bandwidth to continue with a second session, because the amount of material contained in the first one was huge.  But I decided to go on to the next session, "Seeing."  One can always go back and review; I think there is a lifetime of material here.  It has helped me learn new techniques, review important concepts, gain confidence, and use sketching and art-making as a meditation.  Besides that it was so much fun!

Here's a sketch (pre-color) of my hairdresser's station.  I hope to post a finished version on Monday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Slow Sketching

This week's sketchbook skool lesson is about slow sketching, really taking time to look at and record detail.  Tommy Kane can spend 5-plus hours on a sketch, which is more time than most of us want to put into daily sketches for a visual journal.  However, the idea of noting detail, sitting in one place until it's done, not giving up, and finishing the thing you started is very powerful.  Learning to pay attention and to work with mistakes.  I imagine if we all spent more time looking and listening instead of talking and doing, we'd learn a lot.  I know I would!

These sketches are done in a Strathmore watercolor journal, with uniball vision pen, and watercolor.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sketchbook Skool Week 6

Wow.  Where has the time gone?  Sketching, that's where.  Week 6 of Sketchbook Skool has now begun and it has been an amazing ride with six different instructors and their different ways of handling their sketchbooks and lots of information to share.  I've loved watching their videos, looking at their websites, and peeking into their sketchbooks as well as doing the assignments.  I was thinking about signing up for the next level class, but my brain may need to rest for awhile and just take in what has been offered.

This is an online class offered by co-founders Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene.  Each week you get a new instructor who provides demo videos and one or more assignments.  The students post their work to a website and can comment on their own and each others' attempts.  It's a lovely, supportive environment.

Although each instructor has his or her own style, techniques, approach, and favorite things to draw, they say several things in common:
  • draw every day
  • try drawing new things and new materials, stretch
  • there is no right way
  • have fun
  • look carefully
  • be nice to yourself
  • mistakes are part of the journey, embrace them and learn from them
  • you will improve with practice
Week 1:  Danny Gregory
Week 2:  Koosje Koene
Week 3:  Prashant Miranda
Week 4:  Jane LaFazio
Week 5:  Roz Stendahl
Week 6:  Tommy Kane

Roz Stendahl had us drawing animals, first ones that don't move and then live animals.  We did gesture drawing, contour drawing, and learned a lot about values.

Koosje Koene had us go outside and draw on location, getting over the anxiety about drawing in public.  We also experimented with colored pencil drawing.

Prashant Miranda had us focus on skies, washes, and silhouettes against the background.

A theme for Jane LaFazio was vegetables, and we used interesting layouts to learn about composition.

This totally simplifies what the weeks have been like, but it's been an exhilarating experience!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week One of Sketchbook Skool

It's been so long since I've posted that I've nearly forgotten how to do it.  I've had terrible technology problems recently, and can't post photos at present.  But the scanner works.  Having just started week one of Sketchbook Skool, I have been sketching every day.  We'll see if I can upload the scans here.  I had forgotten how much fun it is to do this, but my how time-consuming.  I think I'll start setting a timer to see what I can get done in 20 minutes.

These are done in a small moleskine, using extra-fine point sharpie for the contour drawing, watercolor, tombo pens, acrylic ink (on one of them), and colored pencil.  What a lot of fun this is!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 is the year!

Finally!! The watercolor and mixed media work are coming along.  Over the past year I feel so fortunate to have experienced a combination of skill development and lucky accidents, allowing me to be confident and to relax and explore in my painting.  Of course, like anything else, it is frequent practice that brings the most opportunity to learn from what does and doesn't work.

Intention for 2014:  This is the year that I will have a body of work ready to mount in a show.  There is nearly enough work now, but I need to get moving with final touches, matting, and framing.  I've just ordered business cards and am looking into how to make prints and postcards of my work.

I'm also learning how to photograph my art and how to manage uploading from my phone camera to the editing software and the computer.  It's a slow process and makes me avoid posting, but determination will overcome!

Two recent paintings that I'm feeling really good about are below.  Both are watercolor on Arches #140 paper and both use the concept of negative space painting.  One of the most well-known artists who uses negative space painting is Linda Kemp, and there are several instructional you-tube videos featuring her work.  She has also authored the book: Painting Outside the Lines which is a tremendous resource.

Winter Woods 11"x14.5" (17"x21" framed)

Autumn Leaves
18"x24" (24"x30" framed)
Watercolor on 140# Arches Paper