Ugh...feeling like hell but trying to create as much as I can. Today, I decided to play around with blind contours. These drawings are made by not looking at the paper at all (I cover my drawing hand with the previous page in my sketchbook to remove the temptation to peek) while you are drawing, only following the edges of the object with your eyes and trying to have your hand follow that movement. I had grabbed a bunch of squashes/gourdes at the store the other day so I set out to draw them. The leaves turned out really well...I promise I didn't peek once! Blind contours are funky with the emphasis on fun! Hoping for better health tomorrow!
YAY! A new drawing today for my daily art project. I'll still be working on the flowers but I just had to do something new. I also did something different today and I think I need to keep doing this. I started working on this drawing around 8am, finishing around 10:15. Typically, I goof around on the computer until at least 10am and maybe get started working on something then but likely later than that. I didn't even open the laptop today until just a little bit ago (10:35 or so) to download the photo and start this post. It feels so good to have a finished drawing already done! I'm going to have to keep doing that...starting earlier in the day. I still have time to start another project and to work on the flowers, too. Awesome!
I did work from life on this drawing. Cherries are my favorite fruit but cherry season is super short, and they are really pricey! I purchased a bag a couple of weeks ago and was horribly disappointed with them. They were either flavorless or kinda sour. I stopped in Albertson's this morning to get some turkey breast and they had cherries on sale so I figured it was worth another shot. These are delicious! As I thought about what I was going to draw today, I realized the cherries would present an interesting challenge. So, I put some in a bowl and set to work. I still find drawing from observation/life to be challenging. It's sometimes difficult to gauge proportion and perspective but the only way to get better is to practice! I had two light sources so there were lots of higlights on the cherries and double shadow under the bowl. I opted to just color the cherries and leave the rest in graphite. As with many prior projects, this was an exercise in persistence and trust. I started with the stems and those were pretty easy. Then I moved on to the cherries. I first outlined each cherry lightly with purple and then started coloring in with red. I was disappointed at this point because it was hard to differentiate between each of them and I wasn't entirely sure how to proceed. I stopped for a minute or two and seriously considered cutting my losses and moving on to a different drawing. But part of me told me I really had nothing to lose by continuing so, I grabbed a different shade of red and added that on. I was thinking about where the cherries overlapped and how that area would be darker and focused coloring those areas darker. They started taking shape. I moved on to a third shade of red and this is when I saw each cherry start to emerge. I was so happy to have stuck with it. Once I felt they were done, I moved on to the bowl and shadow. I thought about coloring the background, table and bowl but I really wanted the cherries to stand out so I opted to just shade with graphite.. The bowl shape is kinda wonky but I like how this turned out. I've mentioned before that I'm not into photorealism so I wasn't going for a realistic representation of the cherries but I did want them to be recognizable and I think I accomplished that. I'm happy with this drawing and pleased with myself for sticking with it!
Ok...first things first. I sent an email last night to Craftsy customer service with feedback on the colored pencil class. I very kindly detailed the issues/problems I had with the class and suggested that they might want to review it for improvements. Craftsy does have a 100% money back guarantee but the policy says a refund must be requested within 30 days of purchase. I bought this class back in early May so I knew I was outside of the 30 days and noted that in my email. I wasn't expecting a refund at all. I'll give Craftsy props, though...I did get a refund and a very nice email letting me know that they want customers to learn and grow through the classes they offer and since I didn't experience that, they would refund my money. So, yay Craftsy!
Now today has been an off day. As I've said repeatedly by now, I'm a terrible sleeper and the last couple of nights have been particularly bad. Not only was I super tired today, I think I slept in a weird position or something cause the muscles around my right shoulder blade feel tight and achy. I'm right handed so I didn't really feel like drawing today. But I really didn't want to get off track with my daily art project so I sat down for a few minutes and sketched the Portland skyline and colored it with colored pencils. It's another one of those quirky sketches of mine :)
I feel like I've been doing well grieving for my sweet pooch. I have a great support system in my husband, mom and friends. My husband is, of course, grieving for Kagero, too, so I don't want him to feel responsible for always being strong for me so I've sought out some additional support in the form of a pet loss support group offered by a local pet hospital, Dove Lewis. I'm not typically a joiner and being an introvert, it's often difficult for me to put myself out there to strangers and to be in situations where I have to interact with people without the buffer of someone I know also around. I got there super early (1.5 hours ahead of the start) so I figured I'd use the time doing some urban sketching. The lobby of Dove Lewis is nice, spacious so I was able to find a quiet corner with a big window to draw in. Luckily, there was an interesting building across the street and I had a mostly unobstructed view of it. I started this sketch with pencil and definitely erased a lot but once I felt I had a good handle on it, I started to ink the outlines. I had to stop to go to the group session so I picked up once I got back home and then added the color. I like this one. I think I'm getting better at drawing what I'm seeing but it's still nice and loose.
The group session went well and I feel like it helped to share my sweet girl with others, to receive support from them and to offer support to those who are also hurting. I'll probably go to another one.
I've read through several resources on how to cope with the loss of a pet (although she was so much more than a pet to me) and all of them have suggested getting out into nature because it helps us be more present and in the moment rather than stuck in our heads, ruminating on past events that are likely causing more pain. The weekend was more bearable because my husband was home and I wasn't alone. But with him at work, the house was just too quiet and too lonely this morning. So, I set out on a walk. I had to stop by the post office first but then I wandered into downtown Lake Oswego. I walked along Lakewood Bay and then around into a neighborhood. I came upon a smallish park that had a shaded picnic table (I despise the sun and I had waited too long to start my walk so the morning clouds had burned off already). I had brought my sketching stuff with me figuring I'd sketch something near the water but there just weren't any shady spots to stop and I didn't really feel compelled to draw anything I was seeing around there anyway. As I sat at the picnic table, I figured the scene in front of me was as good as any, especially since this is all about practice anyway. I decided just to sketch with color and not with pen or pencil. I did get some Vitamin N (Nature) today and that was nice. I really hope some cloudy days would come along, they always make me happier.
With the passing of our very beloved pooch yesterday, my husband and I just couldn't bear the emptiness of our house today so we hit the road to see where we were led. We ended up at Mt. Angel Abbey south of Portland. It was so quiet and peaceful, just what we needed. I took my sketching stuff in case we happened upon something for me to practice my skills on. I sat for about 20ish minutes sketching this scene (so a quick sketch) and adding the watercolor pencil, which I blended later. It's kinda wonky, lines and angles are a bit askew but I actually really like that loose look to the travel/Urban sketching style. If I wanted truly realistic, I could take a picure, which I did ;). The actual view I had is also included for reference. I'm not a religious person but I do feel like Kagero led us to that quiet place to find some solace.
I've never been much of a sketcher. I've done plenty of drawing but for some reason never really did the loosely styled sketching. Not sure why. Recently, I discovered Urban Sketching...pretty much what travel sketchers do but also doing it around your own hometown. I love my city so much and fell in love with the idea of sketching it with pen and watercolor...but...uh, I don't know how to sketch. I realize this sounds kinda silly to say since it looks so easy but I'm really intimidated by it. It requires the keen observational skills and the ability to work publicly. Filled with fears of inadequacy and the possibility of embarrassing myself, I've not ventured out nor have I really tried much sketching. This daily art project is helping me to be more playful and less serious about my art making and I'm loving what's coming. Today's picture is a quick, loose sketch of my work table. Looking at the result and the table that was my reference, I can see that the proportions of some of the objects are off but overall, I like it. It feels quirky rather than "bad". I prefer to not make photorealistic art anyway and I like how this feels real to me :)