Drawing Practice

Frustrated with my inabilities to realistically do perspective and depth, which I attribute to my lack of depth perception, I’ve decided to re-edu-um-cate myself!  I signed up for an online gouache class by Lena Rivo, which has been great, as well as bought an eBook version of Bert Dodson’s Keys to Drawing.  I have decided to dedicate part of each day to doing at least one of his exercises if possible.  The hope is to improve my drawing skills, which are the problems behind some of my painting issues.

First exercise is contour drawing.  The purpose of this is to get used to the idea of checking what you see against what you draw, and get the idea into your head that what you see is not what you think.  This means looking at angles and curves as well as relationships of parts to each other.  Here are my exercise examples, diving in feet first!

Next was fun – look at your hand face on – that is, fingers in your face!  Close an eye.  Draw!

And then, imagine a pepper.  Draw it.  Then get a real pepper and take a good, strong look at it, and draw.  My imaginary pepper is at the top, and the real pepper, in three positions and three variations of drawing style, are below.

Very glad I chose to do this!  More to come.

Nowhere House

Another perspective study from hell.  Where do you put the vanishing point on paper where the horizon doesn’t provide one!?!

I used 2 point perspective here for the most part.  To figure this out, I drew the basic sketch onto a piece of paper that was larger than the final sketch.  I decided my horizon line.  Then I drew the building, uprights and then angles for the roof line and base of the building, both on the left and the right.  For the wall, I did the same thing, aiming it at the horizon line and trying to get the top and bottom to line up.

Ummm.  Not sure.  It looks okay in a lot of ways except for the wall – too wide nearer the building perhaps than it should be in the lower left foreground.

And getting into perspective.  I don’t have depth perception – eye docs confirm this.  But I do get distance – I can guestimate a distance and when it is measured, I am pretty accurate.  This makes me think that a sense of distance and depth perception are two different things entirely.

Come Winter

It’s chilly here with rains to begin at midnight.  Snow is on the mountains outside the valleys around me.  I miss the smell of a winter of snow and pine, in the eastern woods, Rockies, high desert.  This is a simple morning sketch, iron gall ink, a water brush, some watercolor to recall the wonder of a mountain winter.

Fruitful Bowl

Finally, sat down and did some sketching.  I went out with my friend, Sharon, to a local bookstore for coffee, chit chat, and a bit of sketching.  So glad I did!  Good to get out and see a lovely friend, put a pen to paper, and just enjoy the time.  Lately I have been caught up with potential evacuations from local fires and too much TV bingeing (A French Village on Amazon Prime) and photography.  As a result, artwork has been put on hold.  Now, I hope I have the whatever back, and will continue!

Inktober 2019: #20, 21, 22

Oh, I am so, so, so far behind with my Inktober 2019 drawings.  What can I say?  I will say that other diversions have been there, mostly enjoyable ones.

Okay, on to our Inktober 2019 drawings.

#20:  Tread

I thought of “Don’t tread on me,” tire treads, shoe treads.  Guess which won.

#21:  Treasure

So many things came to mind for treasure – people you love, family, health, and piles of pirate gold.  I think that last one is the easiest to draw.

#22:  Ghost

As Halloween and Samhain draw close, ghosts and hauntings emerge.  As a kid, dressing as a ghost was always a favorite for trick-or-treat.  A ghost family portrait, complete with the bunny ears / devil’s horns so popular in our family photos.

More to come!

Inktober 2019: #13 Ash, #14 Overgrown

I still have #12 Dragon to do, but that is going to take a bit of effort.  Hopefully it will work!

Here, playing more Ketchup, but not too far behind.  I also returned to a better bit of paper, the same sketchbook that contains the first seven of this year’s Inktober.  Much happier with paper, pen, and brush.  Especially the paper!

#13 Ash:  I thought of a tree . . . an ashtray (ewww) . . . a fire (as in what we had over the weekend, which was awful) . . . but decided on a different natural crisis:  the volcano!  Shades of Mordor, shades of hell.

#14 Overgrown:  So many things can be overgrown, but I like the idea of an overgrown, abandoned railroad track.  There is something romantic and nostalgic about these, as well as something very sad.

I am rather enjoying the density of the iron gall ink.  It makes me think of India ink, but it is so much easier to use.  If I remember correctly, India ink does not lend itself well to dilution with water, but the iron gall does beautifully.

 

Ketchup!

I am completely behind on Inktober 2019 this year, and not sure if I even feel motivated to continue.  The iron gall ink is proving problematic on some papers I have been using, as have the pens and brushes.  I chose to do about 4 pictures – all of them here – on some really old paper in an apparently antique sketchbook made of really poor quality paper – at least for artwork.  So, with no further ado or commentary, here you will find #8 Frail, #9 Swing, #10 Pattern, and #11 Snow.

#8 Frail
#9 Swing
#10 Pattern
#11 Snow

Inktober 2019: #6 Husky

In American English, “Husky” can also mean big and strong.  Sumo is full of husky men, trained in the traditional art of Sumo, a form of wrestling or martial art with a long history in Japan.  While I don’t really know anything about Sumo, I’ve always rather enjoyed watching it.

Inktober 2019: #3 Bait

Today’s prompt for Inktober 2019 is “bait” – bait?!  Jail bait.  Cut bait.  Click bait. Take the bait.  Switch and bait.  Crow bait.  All kinds of bait.

I went for the obvious:  a fish lure and a mouse trap.

I also decided that I would use my homemade iron gall ink that I made earlier this year.  Iron gall ink is present in manuscripts, old letters, and the sketchbooks of yore.  It’s something I haven’t done yet, and thought it could be a fun (and very messy) project for the month of Inktober.

So, a fish lure.  I didn’t decide on the iron gall ink until last minute, so the initial drawing was done with a fountain pen and the washes done with the iron gall, sometimes directly applied, other times diluted.  I am using a throwaway brush because iron gall corrodes things, such as pen nibs, so it will most likely do a number on the brush.

A mouse trap with a really generous bit of cheese – and probably an unrealistic amount at that!

So, baited we are.