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!