Trying Tuesday · Uncategorized

Trying Tuesday | Perspective Again

I decided to try perspective again (and probably again and and again and again until I finally understand it).


But this time I watched a video because that’s almost like being in class.  So I found the following awesome videos that helped me wrap my brain around the topic:




Look, I’m serious.  I even took notes:



I even attempted my own thing, which is unfinished because I got tired of it:




Mistakes are so important in art.  More important is recognizing them.  I have so many more mistakes to make, and I am happy about that.



Trying Tuesday · Uncategorized

Trying Tuesday | Critique Edition 1



I’m going to try something I haven’t done since college; a critique.


In my painting classes, all of the students would gather their current projects together and crowd around them.  One by one, we’d discuss our thoughts on each painting.  At first, it was scary and painful.  Your art is your baby, and putting it on display is like putting your child out there for the world to judge.  Our professor encouraged constructive criticism, happily.  No one was looking at anyone’s painting and calling it crap.  Or you know, not justifying why they didn’t like it.


Taking criticism is an important skill.  Not everyone is good at it, but you can learn to take it.  You just have to be able to discern the difference between people who are being mean for the sake of being mean, people who genuinely want you to improve, and people who are too nice (or just don’t have the eye for it).  I want to get better.  As such, I have to be willing to hear where I can improve (and why I should improve).


I don’t really have anyone right now to give me constructive criticism on a regular basis.  My hands are still catching up with my eyes, so I feel, that at the moment, I can give myself some level of a critique.  I think also that examining what I’ve done is a good chance for me to learn and improve.


I did this portrait fairly quickly, only looking at a reference for the hair (couldn’t think of how to style it).  I really want to be able to do quick portraits.  Right now, I just draw and hope the pieces come together.  I don’t try to draw any specific person, just whatever comes out is good enough.  Drawing people I know can be a little scary.  If they see it and they ask “who is that?” it’s pretty horrifying.


Here’s the portrait:




Positives:  I think I captured an uncomfortable expression, which I’m satisfied with.  I like the depth to the bangs.  I like the outline of the left side of the face.


Negatives:  My line work is clumsy.  Rather than draw a line, I go over it again and again until it looks like what I want.  I do often like that style, but it can go from a cool style to sloppy real fast.  Other than her bangs, the rest of hair is flat and something seems off dimensionally.  If I can put my finger on that, I think I can really work out some kinks in general.  The background doesn’t really give a good enough balance.  There’s too much white space at the bottom.  I don’t mind the texturing, but I think it could have a better structure to it.


Happily accepting constructive criticism.  It’s hard to look at your own work objectively.



Trying Tuesday · Uncategorized

Trying Tuesday

Today I decided to try a self-portrait, free-hand, no helpers.  Sadly, the selfie is not my self-portrait.


This is, however, the picture I decided to base my self-portrait on.  Selfies really aren’t my thing, that’s as good as it gets.


So I started sketching:



No tutorial here, me just attempting to draw what I see.  It’s not perfect.  Someday, maybe I’ll do a VERY long series of blog entries covering hours of a project.  Until then, here is a 10 minute drawing.


But I decide, since I’m using my fancy Bristol board, that I would use marker/ink/whatever:




But it’s not bold enough so I add lots of black.  I love black:




I tried.  I’m not satisfied, but that’s ok.  Not being satisfied pushes me to keep going.



Uncategorized · Working Wednesday

Working Wednesday

I have a cool special thing that I do at my church.  I get to pray for youth leaders and their youth.  Someone told me I should draw for them when I pray.  So I do.  For now, I just draw their name.  The mighty creative juices at work, haha.


Does it count as work if you’re not getting paid?  Totally.  So it qualifies.


I start by looking up the meaning of their name.  I think names meaning something is so cool.  For example, the name Elainey is a form of Helen which means light.  I always really hope that something didn’t get typoed on its way to me.  Fingers crossed!  Then I draw a few thumbnails to get me thinking.  Note the vague sketches and dog hair stuck to the notepad.




The last sketch I drew I liked best (why keep going when you know what you want?).  And that’s the one in the top left corner.


So I laid down the lines:




And then I do a rough sketch of the name, erasing and changing as I go:




What a nice blurry picture that I cannot go back in time to fix.  Yay for smart phones.  I’m not going to ever tell you I’m a perfectionist.


At this point I start inking the name after making some changes:




It’s all right.  I don’t like the balance.  There’s too much white before the E, but I didn’t want to go too far to the left and make it too small.  I wanted the word go up because that seems happy.  For the E to be big, it would have to slope down.


Final product:




And I’m done.



Trying Tuesday · Uncategorized

Trying Tuesday

I wasn’t sure what to do today.  So I went with a Brush Pen and some markers.  Wanna know what I actually tried today?  Horrifying myself.  Totally succeeded too.  Are you ready?  Probably not.  Brace yourselves for an onslaught of terrible cell phone pictures of the timeline of a questionable drawing.


I started with a stick figure.  Not the most dynamic, but I guess it’ll do:


I filled in some gaps.  Wish I had noticed the head being too far left.  Oops:


Adding in details:


Outlining even darker:


Shading in for no reason:


More details!  I decided she was the kind of girl who wore flip flops with a fancy dress:


And hops fences.  She had to be hopping over something:


Maybe a tree?:


This is when I broke out the pen.  See kind of pen:


This is ok.  My hands are not yet steady enough to really use this pen so it’s not thick all the time:


I hated the tree.  Tree gone.  Erased everything.  Should have stopped here:


Nope.  Just nope.  I miss oil paints.  I do not like markers:



But hey, at least I tried?


Trying Tuesday · Uncategorized

Trying Tuesday

I strongly believe that creativity is a muscle. Sure, some people are genetically blessed with more ease of growing muscles or creativity, but the more you exercise, the stronger you get. The same holds true with creativity. The more you put pen to paper, the better you get. Just the same: work smarter, not harder. Case in point, if you want to develop incredible biceps, jogging will help decrease fat so they’re more visible, but your biceps won’t be growing. What’s the smart way to improve at art in general? Practice regularly. But what if you want to get better faster? Practice smart.
I take no credit for this idea, but it’s brilliant. This video is how I learned about iterative drawing: (Sycra’s AWESOME video).
So here goes nothing:
Yikes.  I mean, I can see some improvement, but can you even guess who I’m trying to draw?  Because I’m a little torn between it looking like Roddy McDowall and Frank Sinatra and my dear departed grandpa and possibly Alfred from Batman.  It is none of those.
Let me talk about what I learned though because the goal wasn’t to be aweome here, and I’m most certainly not perfect.  I tried drawing the basic head first in 1 and 2.  It wasn’t working for me, but I needed to warm up anyway.  So with 3 I tried drawing eyes first, but without the head shape I lacked something to put them inproportion with each other.  With 4 I tried drawing the nose first, but the size was beyond my control because there was no container to put it in.  I drew number 5 upside down in case that would help me see details I didn’t before.  I think it did help me see those details, but it still dowsn’t really look right.  On 6 I did the mouth first, which went about as well as nose first.  Oops.  For 7, I drew a cross shape and based everything around that.  It helped a lot.  I needed to put some structure down.  So I did that for 8 and 9.  I like the way my last 3 looks.  Can I also just say that I didn’t erase?
I do not think that it looks like my subject matter.
Have you guessed who my subject matter it?  Have you accidentally scrolled too far and found out?
Peter Mayhew.  So sorry Peter.  I tried.