Well...I've decided it's time for a new challenge. While last year's daily art challenge wasn't always fun, it did push me to make a lot of art. I've not made as much art this year as I'd like to have by this point in the year so I need another push. What I really feel drawn to (no pun intended) right now is drawing and illustration. I want to get better and quicker at drawing but I also want t work on developing my own style and to find my creative voice (still looking for it) and all the books, articles, websites I've read say the only way to do this is to do the work every single day. I can admit that I've not worked as hard As I need to this year and it's time to get to work. I also want to find some ways to make some money with my art. I really don't want to have to go back to work...so anyway I'll be sharing my drawings on this blog again. I hope you'll follow along!
My new challenge doesn't have much in the way of rules but they will be drawings or illustrations, finished or not. They might take 10 minutes or all day depending on how I feel about how it's going. I'll explore different objects, collections, maybe stories...who knows. I just hope to improve my skills and my imagination in this effort. Today's drawing is of 3 vintage telephones inspired by photos. It's crazy to me that there are now people in this world who have no idea what these things are!!!
I got some great suggestions over on my Facebook page for my next 30 ways to draw something piece but I just wasn't feeling it today. I do some tutoring on the side to bring in some additional income and this summer I've been working with a high school student to prepare for first-year Spanish in the fall semester. I spent hours last night and this morning before our appointment trying to find some exercises to help him learn the vocabulary better. This ate up a ton of art time but it was time well spent as he loved what I found and was much more engaged than pretty much any other time this summer!
So, my contribution to my daily art project for today is three colored pencil flowers. This past weekend, I drew some simple flower designs on a sheet of Bristol paper. I didn't really know what I would do with them but they came in handy today. I cut them out from the larger sheet and decided to color three of them. I opted not to outline them with ink so that the edges would stay soft. I used Prismacolor colored pencils and using three shades of each color, a blender pencil and a white pencil I colored and shaded each flower and leaf.. I find with these pencils that the wax builds up quickly and I have to be careful to not build up too many layers. I suspect the surface of the paper is also too smooth for too many layers of the pencils. I really, really love Tobow's Irojiten colored pencils as they layer and blend so nicely and smoothly but they are also pretty pricy so I admit I'm a little precious with them. Maybe I can get a second set of them and then just go to town! The Prismacolors are really lovely, too, though and come in a huge 150 pencil set! I never thought I'd like colored pencils but I totally do!
The commissioned quote drawing I started yesterday is done! I opted to go more simple with the decoration and just try to frame the quote so that it doesn't get lost. I used the colors of the school at which my friend who requested this piece teaches. It's done directly on the "Read" page from a 1989 copy of Webster's Dictionary.
I can't believe I've been doing this daily art thing for 9 weeks. Where does the time go? But time passes anyway so at least I have 9 weeks worth of art to show for the time passing. I need to bring in some more money, though, so I'm going to focus more on producing art that I love making but that I also hope sells. I definitely still plan to keep learning and trying new techniques but I'm feeling the pull to be more purposeful about what I'm working on. I've had several works in progress in recent weeks so you might see more of those. I kinda like doing that though. It's forcing me to take photos as I'm working and it's cool to see the art evolving. I hope to get a Go Pro camera sometime soon and can shoot some video as I work.
Thanks to anyone who has been reading along and following my progress. Feel free to comment and tell me what you think...but keep it nice, please!
Here's a pic of the finished quote and my week 9 compilation.
I was really hoping to have something new to add for today's contribution to my daily art project but it ended up being a busy day and I ran out of time. I gave a Zentangle class for two very lovely women, who have been amazing students and are swiftly becoming dear friends. They've also been so supportive to me in a number of ways and I am so incredibly grateful for them. I spent time this morning prepping for our class and then gave the class midday and then we were done, got husband from work, made dinner and realized that it was getting late and I had nothing done...eek! So, I grabbed my pencils and set to work on some more flowers. It's coming together and I like the addition of the color but this one is going to take some time. I'm easily distracted so I'm reluctant a little to try to do something else and do this at the same time because I do want to finish it but I also need to keep up my momentum on developing new skills. I'm going to try tomorrow morning to create something new and then work on these flowers in the evening when we're watching TV. I can do this!!
Some days feel so rich with creative energy and others definitely do not...this day is one of the latter. I'm pushing forward, however, and trying to get some stuff done. I think some of what is dragging me down is that I'm tired. I've never been a great sleeper but the last week has been crappier than usual. I really need more sleep and I hope to get some this weekend. I'm also realizing that I need to get my crap together to find ways to generate more income from my art. It just sucks that in many ways, it takes money to make money. For example, I'd like to offer reproductions of some of my artwork and possibly integrate them into some other products like journal covers, greeting cards, etc but I need to invest in getting good scans or photos of my artwork to make these reproductions/products with. Ugh! But, I can't worry about that right now...the money will come and I need to focus on producing art right now.
Today's contribution to my daily art project is a quick drawing of my dog, Kagero. I plan to do a full, freehand portrait of her (probably multiples) but I wanted to come up with a more simple line drawing of her face. I have literally hundreds, maybe even a thousand+ photos of her. I found one that was a closeup of her face, adjusted the lighting so that I could see most of her face and features clearly. I then traces the general outlines onto tracing paper. Then I used the printed photo as reference to refine the details, add some of the shading, etc. I like how this looks for a simple reproduction. I tried a couple of times to make more simple line drawings but they really lost her character and personality so I'm scrapping that idea for now. I might figure out how to make this idea work later.
The other photo below is of my palette. I use a large sheet of glass on a white table as my palette for acrylic painting. After I've finished painting, I let the paint dry and then scrape it off with a razor, paint scraper. As I stood over the table this morning, planning to clean it, I was struck by the beauty of the colors and textures left from my painting session last week. I love the way they've blended, revealing a variety of values and shades. I also love that you can see my finger marks, since I used my fingers to paint with that day. I just had to take a photo.