Once again, I'm inspired by Tara Leaver. She posted a pic of her sketchbook where she's working on a rainy street scene with oil pastel. I love hers (click on her name above to see the post) and decided to try it myself. I used water soluble oil pastels. Mine definitely looks different from hers but I like it. I wish I had used sturdier paper since I ended up using so much water but I didn't really expect to use that much when I started it. The goal was abstraction but I think this ended up being impressionistic. I do like it and maybe I'll try it again with different media and see what happens with it. I really do love abstraction, which makes sense since I'm not so much a fan of realism/ultra realism.
I've hit week 11. I think every week I say the same thing...the time goes by so fast. I'm so happy I started this project. I'm still grieving the loss of my dog and will likely be grieving for a while. There are still daily tears but it feel so good to be able to shift my focus onto my art. I think it keeps me from falling into self-pity but isn't the kind of distraction that keeps me from feeling the pain. I loved her so much and everyday wish I could have her back but I know that isn't possible and wallowing in her loss doesn't honor her so I choose to keep throwing myself into my art, to learn as much as I can, to find my voice. So, this project goes on...for how long, who knows? I hope you'll stick with me :)
Week 7 is in the books...crazy! I'm still working away at my current cityscape. I finished all the line inking on one half and have started drawing the pencil lines on the other half. I'll be continuing on it tomorrow but I'm thinking I might work on something else, too. Variety is the spice of life, right?
In other awesome news, I received my free tin of pencils from the Derwent Art Academy. I was just wondering this morning how long it would take for them to get here...they came from the UK and then there they were this morning, delivered by the mail carrier! I'm so excited to play with them!
I still can't believe that 7 weeks have passed since I started this daily art project. Like I said in an earlier post, I plan to keep doing this project until it makes sense to stop. I keep seeing posts on Facebook from inspirational pages/people that say something to the effect of stop putting off your dreams or stop waiting to get started because the time will pass anyway so if you start now, you're already that much farther along. That's how I'm feeling right now...but sometimes wishing I had started earlier than just 7 weeks ago. But I can't change the past, all I can do is be happy that I now have all of these pieces of art created (or in progress...) and they likely wouldn't have been created if I hadn't decided to just make it happen. I've also been inspired to make series of some of the things I've created. As I learn new techniques and as I get better and better at executing them, I know I'll discover what my artistic style and voice are...I'll just know what it is that needs to be expressed. If there is a dream you've been waiting to chase until it's "just the right time", please the right time is right now...this moment is the only thing that's guaranteed. Don't squander it, don't wait, don't worry, don't die with the regret that you never chased that dream!!
Six whole weeks of my daily art project done. If there weren't pictures to prove it, I'd be inclined to deny that it's even happened! I'm so proud of myself for sticking with this. I didn't have a plan when I started this project, no end date in mind. As I've made it through each day, I've realized that I'm gaining so much from this project that it just doesn't make sense to stop yet. It's giving me reason to learn new techniques, try new things, push myself beyond my known limits and blogging about it has given me space to reflect on each project, to think about my creative process and to critique my own art to figure out what I like and what I don't like.. I'm not the most public of people so it's been a little bit of a hurdle to share my feelings about so many things in this public way but I feel like I'm growing through this project in multiple ways.
Today's drawing is another work in progress but I expect to be done with it tomorrow and will post the final as tomorrow's project. I discovered some videos about perspective drawing and just loved the one that demonstrated this perspective. It's often referred to as "worm's eye view" as opposed to "bird's eye view". I've decided to call this "Kagero's Eye View" instead. When I finished drawing in my buildings (it's not any city in particular, just imagined by me), I imagined Kagero walking among these buildings, looking up and seeking this view of the buildings and the sky. It made me smile, which was amazing since Wednesday's have been rough for me. I definitely prefer smiling when I think about her rather than bursting into tears. So, here's today's installment, "Kagero's Eye View". Below this is my week 6 compilation (I'm still working on those flowers...).
Derwent's art academy has been such a blessing in that it has exposed me to techniques I've never tried before and likely would not have given a chance. Today's assignment (the last one!) was to do Sgraffito (scratching) with oil pastels. The teacher said to just use her picture of her cats as the reference image but I like dogs better so I used a pic of a Scottish Terrier instead. Layers of different colors of oil pastel are laid down onto the paper and then the image is drawn in using an embossing tool. Then either the background is scratched away with the embossing tool to expose the colors underneath leaving the dog in silhouette (like mine below) or the dog is scratched away leaving the background darker. I chose colors based on my current preferred pallet of blues and purples. The top layer is the darkest value and before scratching it's hard to tell that there are other colors of various values below it. I realized after I started scratching, however, that I should have used a much darker color on the final layer so there would be greater contrast between the dog and the background but otherwise, I think it looks cool! I'm not entirely sure how or where I'd use this technique in future projects...oil pastels are kinda messy (in a different way from the hard/chalky ones) so it definitely would need to be fixed in some way. I guess I should look up info on how to preserve oil pastels.
I'm super excited to have finished this series of lessons. As I mentioned over and over again, I'm not super great at sticking with things, especially when I feel doubtful about being able to manage the tasks. I guess the fact that it was free and includes a free set of pencils upon completion (bonus!) was enough for me to push myself a bit. I really do have to reflect upon what I've gained through just these 6 lessons. First, I've proven to myself that I can complete something that I start. I realize this is really an absurd idea since there are so many things I've completed in my life, I mean I graduated with a Master's degree for crying out loud!, but I find it so easy to quit when I'm attempting to make art. This is so ridiculous, of course, since I feel so great when I'm making art, especially when my ideas are turning out great. Second, I can successfully try new techniques, even things that look really difficult or complex, with fantastic results. This doesn't mean I've mastered a technique the first time, I'll need to keep practicing to get better and better. But, I tried something new and the world didn't end and I didn't die from doubt and fear. Third, I've been so inspired by the colored pencil on black paper project. I've talked at length in previous posts about what I've learned through that process but if it hadn't been for this art academy, I'm not sure I would have tried this technique. While right now, I'm digging the colorful birds on the black paper and I'm working on a series of them now, I'm also seeing possibilities in doing series of butterflies, tropical fish, flowers and who knows what else in colored pencil on black paper. Inspiration is an amazing thing and after years and years of artist's block, it feels incredible to finally be inspired. Fourth, I feel more connected to my creative process and art making after doing this art academy than I have in, I don't know, forever! I was talking to my dad on the phone this afternoon and he told me how much he likes my colored pencil birds and after telling him about how great it's been making them and trusting that they will emerge from the paper, he said how happy he is to hear the excitement in my voice as I'm talking about them...that he never heard that when I was in college (thanks, Dad, I love you!). And he's right...I've not felt this excited about "work" ever before in my life. While I try to live my life without regrets, if I could go back and be an art major instead of a psychology major...I would seriously consider it. Ultimately, I'd probably not change a thing but the message to me and the message I'd like to convey to anyone who might be reading this. is...nurture the artists in your life, especially those who are still children. Let's stop forcing people into boxes that don't fit them and let them know that they can choose to do the things that make them most happy, that make them feel most at home in their hearts. Life isn't only about how much money you make, how big your house is or that you're driving the newest model of a luxury car. If those things are what's truly important to you, that's cool but I was absolutely miserable chasing these t
Thanks for reading! I'm off to find more free technique classes and stay tuned as the daily art project continues!