My drawing and painting life
I joined the September Sketching challenge on the platform of Pencil kings. This pushed me to make 21 sketches during the first three weeks of September. I want to paint as well, but because of this I ended up doing a lot of pencil sketches (and no painting).
As I focus on faces this year I focus on faces. But doing a face was not a rule carved in stone. So some days I just made something else, for a change. All in all joining the challenge was good for practicing drawing and for trying out things. But not for painting.
Like I do often, I tried different exercises to get to know a face. I used a vintage photo of a French woman, Cleo de Merode. I got to know her through a drawing lesson and also as she was featured in a magazine I read at the dentist last year. The top row of the collage of faces shows several quick drawings and one graphite drawing which tool me two days (centre).
I drew hands in the first weekend. And when I was bored of faces I drew an owl, for fun. Sometimes I had only a brief time and drew quickly for that reason. On other days, going slowly to reach a likeness. For some I used a lesson from a course. For others I was inspired by photos from Unsplash (platform for copyright free photos).
I also looked at and copied from artists drawings I found on Pinterest or on other websites. It’s interesting to try and reproduce what somebody does. I recently learned about the portrait drawings of Guy Denning, bold works often with charcoal. Amazing how he simplifies the face. Very inspiring. See last column, fourth face down.
I also found out recently about the artist Agnes Grochulska. I learned about her from an online lesson by Jeanne-Marie Webb. She drew from a piece by Agnes – as part of her daily graphite sketching practice. I followed along at the time. On September 7 I found myself another piece by Agnes Grochulska and tried to capture some of the feeling of her work, by using three media (graphite, ink from a Pilot parallel pen and charcoal). See bottom row, second face.
I saw a friend’s drawings who was taking a drawing class from Sktchy. I loved how she worked in loose marks on her drawings. I couldn’t resist and took the class by Joan Martin as well. I’m now half way, and love the techniques from looseness she shows in the course. The guy with the red marks is from that class.
I picked out some of the drawings that I feel are my best of the month.
There are a few sketches that are not in the collages above. They are really light as to be able to paint them with light washes (to be painted later). They wouldn’t show up here as well as the others.
Every time I join (or make up) a challenge to create daily, I find there is also a drawback. I tend to get focused on the things you can do in a day, get to feel a bit nervous if I don’t make one thing every day. I have to tell myself it’s okay if it doesn’t work some days (I am getting better at that). I found a way to pace it this month, to make some drawings that take more time – and use more days for that. I also found a way for days when time available for drawing is brief. I draw smaller or easier things. I even drew some silly drawings some days (quick quick) and let that be it for that day. After all, even when you have given yourself a regime to practice, some days you need a break. I found I needed a break from faces sometimes. I also know that some days I am better at doing the loose loopy drawings and other days are for rough edges and quick drawings. Also to be able to do the focused, controlled and planned drawings I need to feel there’s enough time.
Anyway, it’s more fun to try all kinds of drawing. Otherwise I get bored. And drawing should be fun. 🙂
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