I gotta admit I'm really enjoying working in my sketchbook. While I like the freedom of my "no rules" daily art project, I'm thinking it might be helpful to add a little structure to it by requiring myself to create that daily art piece in my sketchbook and then work on the other ideas separately. I've been really interested in keeping a sketchbook and getting better at sketching in general. I've bought some books to build my sketching skills but I'm thinking a course or two would make it easier to learn. So, I'm super jazzed to have signed up for Sketchbook Skool starting on 10/10. I can't wait for it to start so I'm not going to wait, I'm going to keep sketching like I have the last few days and then I'll post about my experiences and progress with Sketchbook Skool once it starts. I can't wait to see what I'm capable of!!
I mentioned yesterday that I fallen back on bad habits and really need to recommit to developing as an artist. So, I got started earlier today and did some playing around with some watercolor paints. I love how watercolors look but I've resisted them because they can be hard to control and I've been so worried about "making mistakes" that I just thought maybe I should just avoid them. That damn perfectionist makes me crazy! So, I thought today was a good day to just jump in and see what happens. I saw a great tutorial for watercolor flowers yesterday and set out to give them a try. I think some of them in the first image look interesting...not bad for a first try. I also like the second image...they're like spider mums and a little bud. I've purchased a watercolor Craftsy class and have borrowed some Kindle books on watercolor techniques so I'm going to work on this.
I really do want to work toward finding my artistic voice, though I suspect I have several (multiple art personalities?) since I like such a variety of media. As I'm wrapping up my 16th week of this project, I'm recommitting to discovering my artistic self and working each day in earnest to learn as much about myself and art-making so that I can become the artist I know myself to be.
I found an amazing deal the other day on Derwent's Inktense blocks...Amazon had them for 73% off of retail, so I couldn't resist! I got them today and decided to play around a little to see how they blend with water and they are lovely. I'm excited to work with these more I've been enjoying working with watercolor paints but one problem with them is that they aren't permanent even after they've dried so it's hard to layer colors. These are permanent once dry so they shouldn't create mud when one color is put on top of another dried one.
I haven't talked much about my creative process lately, mostly because I haven't really been feeling all that creative. But I keep trying...ok, I'm trying at a bare minimum but I'm feeling like the time is coming to push myself, even push myself hard to find my artistic voice and produce at the level I really do know I'm capable of. I've fallen back into my super-procrastination ways and frankly, I'm sick of myself. So, it's time to recommit to my project and really go all out this time. Game on!
I'm posting early today because I'm teaching a Zentangle class this evening and likely won't have time later today. I've decided to go with a mixed-media approach to the water lily line drawing I posted yesterday. I've opted to do the background water and lily pads with watercolor. The paper is holding up better than I expected. The orange parts on the image are masking fluid I put down to keep some areas lighter so that I can more easily work in some light reflections. Once the paper is completely dry, I can remove the orange and decide which ones I want to keep and which ones will be blended in with the rest of the water. I've decided to color the lily pod and water lily flower with colored pencil. I'll get started on that part tomorrow!
I worked on a few things today but only posting a pic of one of them. The first thing was a drawing of a bottle and apple for the drawing lesson I gave on judging/measuring proportions using sighting. Then I started another drawing on black paper. I decided to try putting down a light shade of watercolor pencil but the blending of it with water really cut the effect so I may have to start again. Finally, I just did this line drawing of a water lily, lily pod and pads. I'm not sure what I want to use to color this, though. At first I thought watercolor but I don't think the paper will tolerate it. Since I outlined with black this will be more of an illustration style and not realism, so maybe colored pencils, not sure...
I've had busy days before where I've had to delay my daily creating but today was crazy! I had a businesswomens networking meeting that lasted all morning, then a lovely lunch with my adorable husband and then what was supposed to be a quick shopping errand turned into an excursion and suddenly the day was gone! So, I didn't get to sit down to work until around 7pm so it made sense to work on an in-progress piece. I was able to get another corner of this one done, so that's great but I'm definitely ready to be done with this one!
I'll probably start a new project tomorrow!
What I'm about to say might be "out there" for some people. I've never really been into butterflies. They're pretty and all but I've never really had the fascination with them like as decorations or adornments, etc. The only thing I can really recall about butterflies is from a Simpsons episode where they go to Italy, run into Sideshow Bob and his kid, who's set on vendetta, is chasing after a butterfly saying "Vendetta, Farfalle Vendetta". My husband and I cracked up at that. Of course, butterflies represent change and transformation. I'm getting to the "out there" part...in the days after our beloved dog died, we were "buzzed" by several butterflies. We just had this sense that Kagero was sending them to us to give comfort. She, in our beliefs, had transformed from a physical being to a spiritual one and was telling us that she was not only ok, but still with us. Since then, I've regularly noticed butterflies, especially white ones (she was primarily white colored). Since then, not surprisingly, I've thought about incorporating butterflies into my work but nothing has felt like the right opportunity....until today. I decided that one of my ink-stained pieces of paper would look lovely with a butterfly. I think this will be very beautiful when it's done. I often forget to take progress pictures so I managed to remember today and posted the first 3 stages above. I haven't talked about my grief much lately, but it's still very present in my daily life but I'm managing/coping with it. It feels really good to be finding another way to honor her in my work. I miss her every minute.
Crystal Moody, who is working on a year of creative habits, mentioned the Collect app in a blog post. It's a way to keep a visual diary of each day. Here's my collage for the work I created/worked on in August. I took the 2nd off as a vacation day and some days have more than one pic uploaded but it's pretty cool to see all of my work all at once!
I decided that after my marathon art making session yesterday, somewhere around 7 hours, I'm taking it easy today. I have several projects in progress and I really didn't feel like starting something new, so I decided to make some more progress on one of them. This flower coloring business has gone on and on and on...I didn't really grasp what I was getting myself into by deciding to color these but it's already sold so I gotta keep working away! It doesn't seem like I'm making any progress but I now have the bottom right corner done! Planning to start something new tomorrow!
It was an unusually busy day for a Monday. I met a friend for coffee then ran some errands. I had a little time to work before picking my husband up at work then had to make dinner, eat, check email, goof around on Facebook....story of my life, excuses, excuses....
I did find time, though, to finish the final 4 flowers of my paper garden. These were fun to draw even though they are very simple in design. I seem to draw these styles of flowers repeatedly so I'm thinking they are part of my artistic symbology. It's nice to finally figure out something that fits in there. I also like that I chose not to outline them. The outlines are nice but I think these really benefited from the soft edges. It was also interesting to figure out color schemes and try to get a good sense of what colors go together to show the variations in shading. I'm still a little frustrated by the wax buildup and the blobs of color left in some places. I need to look around online and see if I can find info on how to prevent them or at least how to get rid of them when they occur. I picked up some mineral spirits today, which is used as a solvent for blending wax-based colored pencils so I look forward to experimenting with that stuff. I was also super excited and totally art-geeking out to find eraser pencils. They look like pencils but instead of a graphite core, they have an eraser inside, which can be sharpened like a pencil to a sharp point. This means I can erase teeny tiny details when I need to. Super excited!!
I was afraid I'd have nothing to post today but I've made it in at the wire. I gave a drawing lesson today, which was great! But by the time I got home, made and ate dinner, the evening was pretty far gone. As I pondered what to work on, I have several things in progress, I decided to keep it simple and work on the paper flowers I drew and cut out last week. Once again, I pulled out my massive set of colored pencils and got to work. I was able to get two done tonight. These have been fun to work on. I've been trying to use a variety of colors/shades and play with the shading, blending, etc. I've been struggling a little with the wax build-up but I suspect it's that the paper is too smooth. This seems to be an issue for me when I choose to use colored pencils. I keep running into this wall. I need to play around with different papers (goodness knows I have a ton!) and see if I can find some that resists that buildup. I also want to play with some solvents to see if I can get the kind of blending I like with those. So much art to make, yet only so many waking hours in a day!