Friday, 30 September 2011

Day 10 - day of rest

I've spent some time cleaning and tidying up my workspace, while reading about my right brain, and in anticipation of my upcoming week of colour. I'm starting to look around for my objects in related colour ways. One advantage in following the sketch project once the development of it is complete - I can skip ahead & see whats coming up. Aqua is the accent colour in my family room/kitchen, so when I started with my favourite squat vase, it wasn't too hard to find other objects of the same colour way.

... on a tangent

I was so uninspired by my "folds" drawing, that I set out on a tangent tom Sian's sketch project. I figured I needed some help to see the lines and shadows of the fabric. I started looking on the internet, but most of the online tuition was on drawing clothes on the body. So then I thought to look on my bookshelf (I am truly ashamed to admit that I googled before looking for a book). I found Betty Edwards "Drawing on the right side of the brain". Bingo! A lot of the theory resonates with me, and I can hear my dominating left brain - trained for all those years in scientific research - harping on and on. Especially about the folds in fabric - "its all too hard and complicated", " its all just a bunch of lines", "get it finished".

... SO ...

Here are 3 days worth of pure contour line drawings of my hand. Draw the edges slowly while looking at the subject & not the page. I love them in all their imprecision.

I can see why I was quite pleased with a lot of my drawing last week. I realise now that I spent quite a long time doing those sketches, I lost track of the time most days & was having a really good time. I often thought about what direction the line was going, and how the lines related to the spaces in between them as well as to each other. I even remember thinking about how I had wanted to draw what I thought was there, rather than what was really there.


Monday, 26 September 2011

Puzzling patterns on day 9

It is going to take a few days to get a bit more of a hang of this. I did my first one in lead pencil, and then went over it with water colour pencils & blended with a water brush. Turned out to actually give the impression of a bit of a fold - especially if you squint your eyes a lot (and stand on your head!)

Then I used black pen and tried using scribbly lines to get the shadows. Not too successful.

For this one, I worked from both the real fabric and a photo of the fabric. I used a 6B lead pencil & put in the shadows first and then the stripes. I think I haven't looked at the shadow details carefully enough - not enough actual shadow areas.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

anchoring with extra shadow

I just spent all of 2 minutes adding some extra shadow to anchor the two sketches. Before (above) and after (below)

needed that extra bit of dark

Between the Lines - Day 8

Here is my first Banksia - from a couple of days ago. Pen drawing, the real thing and pencil drawing. The seed pods on the cone here are open and airy. I had found these took a lot of concentration to draw - getting the right-ish number of pods on the cone, & getting their size in the right proportion to the total cone.

And here (below) are some drawings of the internal patterning (between the lines) of a different Banksia that I did today. Much chunkier, tightly packed seed pods on the cone. This cone is also physically much bigger than the previous one. The top 2 drawings are with the side of a 6B pencil - the one on the left is made up of just the smudgy marks, & the one on the right uses some fine lines and more white space. Bottom left is the pen drawing with cross hatching. I found these much easier to do than the first series - maybe because they were so tightly packed, or because I wasn't trying to draw the whole cone. I didn't try to get the orientation of each seed pod right, I went for the overall effect of the pattern of the cone.

I really feel that I have devopled a comfort zone here for myself - drawing shells, banksia - natural forms. I am really going to have to force myself to move on to the next "lesson" - drawing puzzling patterns from fabric.


I found a wonderful case moth in the garden, and being an entomologist in a previous life epoch, I couldn't resist picking it up. I even put it in the sun so that I could investigate the shadows. All those sticky bits and shadows were quite challenging. Then it started bumping & bulging, and a huge orange & black catterpillar poked its head out - what a surprise - then it just wandered off - so I returned it to its tree.

Below are some pictures of my subject matter going walkabout - & the stick & bit of leaf where it started.

 After all that excitement, I recalled that "pet" rocks dont go anywhere, so I tried the lines on this one. Lots of lines though, and my brain couldn't manage to focus on individual ones, so I guess its more of an impression.

And I tried the Banksia pod again.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A bit more of days 6, 7 & 8

Every one has a pear or two, but then I remembered I had some lovely BIG shells. These first 2 are in pencil with the cross hatching - can get so smudgy and messy.

The one below is pen - some bits look good, and while I tend to go for the pencil first as I think I'll make mistakes, I like the finished product with pen. Then again, the pencil ones were practice for the pen one. I think I could have worked the shadow a bit more carefully, observed a bit more carefully.

Then I started on one of my banksia pods. Love these one from Verity's tree. This is a practice one in pencil - I'll continue with this tomorrow. I find it hard work doing this - lots of looking back & forth. There is looking inside the line, but not really what Sian had in mind I think.

A bit of days 6, 7 & 8

I must say I am having so much fun with this sketching - i'm ignoring other things for the moment, and enjoying getting really stuck into it. There was some sun today, so I wanted to do the cross hatched shading - the first 2 with pencil, then a coloured one (watercolour pencils). The second pencil one looks good - the stem is really floating over its shadow. The colour one is a bit strange - didn't get highlights and lowlights right there! Then I really like the pen one (lower right). I could still work on the shadows of the pear on the left - that view of the pear gives me problems.

Monday, 19 September 2011

scenes from weekend at Coffs

I think its about day 7

Here are some of my big sketches. Tried using an orange highlighter pen - the only one I could find with thick and thin. Also tried out some water based pastels - not as easy as the inktense to use, but not as expensive either.

I went away for the weekend with my 3 kids (my husband was winging his way to Geneva) - to a wedding on the beach at Coffs Harbour (2 kids managed to fit in a surf between the wedding and the reception). Absolute perfection, and very relaxed. We watched the sun rise on the Sunday morning & did some beach combing. The beach had a lot of beautifully smooth stones, & lots of damaged & smoothed shells - similar to those I have been sketching, but skeletons. So I sketched some of those.

Part of the reason behind doing this project & recording it to a blog, is for me to streamline the physical processes of doing & recording, so some of my images are far from perfect. I am photographing, downloading and (often) making digital collages. I like the beautifully organic shapes of these sea worn shells.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Week 1 Sketchbook - Shells

I quite enjoy doing this shell - I'm really trying to get to know its lines, but I dont really put the effort into getting the bumps exactly right. Dont know why. I feel like I often get the lines fixed in my mind, but they aren't actually true to the shell. Above are days 1 to about 3, & below is 4 to 6.
Again I have put the shell on A6 & A7 page to enlarge the sketch.
The colour below is from my lovely new inktense blocks. Love the way they work.

Haven't done anything much on light and dark

Week 1 Sketchbook - hands

Next I tried my hand - only my left, as I didn't have the energy to put the drawing implement in my left hand. In all my work this week I've used pencil (about a 4B) and a fine felt tip pen. I've tried to vary the size of my sketches by here holding a piece of paper folded into A6 and A7 (my book is A5) this helps me get the sketch larger. I like some of the knuckle lines on the bottom left.

Week 1 Sketchbook - leaves

I find that I'm not very good at following instructions - it can all get rather confusing, but I am enjoying the sketching bit. I've collected some gum leaves while walking the dogs and have sketched them. Afraid I wasn't good at the quirky and ironic needed for background and wording.

Dragonfly POSTart