Drawing again

So, for those of you that think I’ve been a slacker….you’re right. I haven’t really been doing much of anything in the studio for months.  I have recently begun to prep myself for the winter painting months ahead and started to do some drawing…

Some sketching this week.

Just so you know I haven’t abandoned the studio, again…  🙂   I’ve decided to spend some time drawing, for a couple of reasons. First, I needed it. Really felt that my figure skills had gone completely away. I’ve spent so much time on portraiture, that I found it difficult to get figure proportions properly executed. So, back to basics, in a way… Which brings me to the second reason. New pencils and charcoal! Oh, I’ve used charcoal before, but these were pencils rather than sticks. So, this week’s time was spent not only in practice, but learning some new tools.

These are from this week’s time in the studio. Started out with pencil, but moved to the charcoal pencils. Also for the first time, I found myself using the blending stumps more often. I’m sure there is a technique to them, but haven’t figured that out yet.

Nude Sketch 1
Nude Sketch 1
Nude Sketch 3
Nude Sketch 3

I may paint this last one once I am done here.

Charcoal pencil work, in process
Charcoal pencil work, in process

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sketching for a better self.

Constantly sketching is crucial to any artist’s painting skills. It strengthens painting abilities, experiences, and ultimately the final creation. Without accurate drawing skills, we spend more time correcting and possibly disposing of many creations because they “just don’t work”. Believe me, and I know many of you who love to create will understand, not every approach to the easel or drawing board has a happy ending. But more good comes from the preparedness than not.

So, I continue to sketch in the mornings, when I can, to keep the skill-set up to my expectations, and to take some time to indulge in my creative side. Each session, regardless of its success, is a learning experience. It truly is. My studio is littered with my “failures”. Some in piles of stretched canvas and some hanging on my studio walls. All of them I consider studies. I hate them in some respect, but they really do serve as a reminder of what not to do, and sometimes how I may have actually succeeded with my personal lesson.

The following are a few more recent morning sketches done before heading off to work. They do have points that I would change or rework, but for a half hour worth of pencil in my hand, they serve their purpose. The more I do of these, the more confident I am at the easel with a brush in my hand.

Experimenting with media, morning sketching.
Experimenting with media, morning sketch.

This one, while it doesn’t look anything like the subject photo that I used for reference, was an experiment with some media and tools I had lying around. Years ago I had some classes with a local artist in a local art league, where we learned how to use media differently from a traditional elementary taught art class. It was quite the experience and taught me to see values as I had never seen them before. One of these days I’ll post a process that I learned from those early days. “Experimenting with media” was more for discovery and fun than anything. Creating for creating sake. Doesn’t have to amount to much, just create!

25 min morning sketch
25 min morning sketch

I enjoy sketching the portrait in different viewing angles. To me, that expresses the most emotion. Maybe that’s why I watch people so much. I am constantly looking for that new portrait concept, or emotion to convey.

30 min morning sketch
30 min morning sketch

At times, even the simplest looking sketch can take me longer than others. Getting the feel for the drawing just doesn’t come quickly at 4:00 am. Of course, there is the possibility that the amount of coffee I’ve consumed by then could be the difference.

Thanks for your continued interest and support!

Quick sketching.

Okay, I finally did make it to the studio this morning for about 40 minutes of sketching. I had recently purchased some new materials… PanPastel in black, some Sofft knife pads, and charcoal pencils, all of which I noted from David Kassan’s website. So I decided to get ’em out and play a bit. I really like experimenting with drawing processes, and quite honestly, these reminded me of some classes I took years ago.

Anyway, this is the result of my first attempt at sketching in over three weeks. Summertime almost always slows the studio time. It’s not anywhere near a finished piece, And I have a lot to learn, but quite different from my past sketching.

Morning sketching
Morning sketching