Figure drawing

I could not keep up with the Sktchy challenge due to my full time job and other commitments. It’s a lesson to be learnt though: I need to do what I can and keep things fun.

I attended a figure drawing session hosted by the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago last Saturday. This was the 2nd in person life drawing session I ever attended. I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next one.

Drawing from life really is different from anything else and I have found that I really get into the experience a lot more.

The pictures above are some of the drawings I did at the session. The model was a little shy and to be honest if I were the model, I would be too!

On a daily basis I try to do the life drawing sessions from the YouTube channel The Croquis Cafe. I do the same session for the entire week and compare the drawings at the end. While it may be that these sessions are targeted to more experienced artists, I have found that my observational drawing has really improved by doing them. This week, I’m doing session #310.

The last photo was from session #309 that I did last week. I added the yellow background because I wanted to mark some of the drawings that I felt I experienced a kind of breakthrough with. This particular pose was really challenging for me. At the end of the week I had some better results and I was proud of this last drawing compared to the first.

I did loose momentum to the end of last year on account of my busy schedule but I have gotten back on track. Doing this every day helps me understand. Hopefully one day I can come to the point of constructing a figure without reference. I think that goal can occupy me fully for a lifetime!


Day 8-9

Trying to catch up. Just wasn’t feeling like doing this in any other book. Did these in my regular sketchbook.

Book binding

I can never seem to find sketchbooks with the paper I like. Sometimes I think it would be better if I just get the paper I like and make them myself.

I was going to get the Dina Wakely art journal because I just loved how it looked when I saw it online. The different substrates really appealed to me. This weekend, however, I got this urge and the courage to try to bind my own book. I tried Coptic stitch binding before but I didn’t like the spaces between the signatures too much. So after watching some you tube tutorials, I had a go.

So I found some paper I had, took my mom’s chicken stuffing box, covered it and then just followed the tutorial I saw on you tube.

I added mixed media paper, pastel paper, burlap and a brown craft paper I bought at the art store. I enjoyed the process so much. To the point where I took more of the craft paper and sewed some pages together to make another book.

My intention for this 2nd book is to use it for figure drawing studies. I like doing these studies but expensive books make me feel like I’m wasting paper so I used paper that I can make marks on without feeling like I am wasting materials.

Book binding is cool. I want to do more of it. Wait a minute, I forgot to put in canvas!!!! πŸ˜’ πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

Understand your medium

I am learning to do more experiments and take the time to understand how my tools work. I bought some inexpensive water soluble markers from mead and I could never get good effects. I don’t really use markers. It really isn’t a medium I feel drawn to.

The look I kept getting when I used the markers in different sketchbooks really were not great or rather, not what I wanted.

Then I tried them on my smooth mixed media sketchbook and I liked the results more.

The main issue then being that the paper I was using wasn’t right. DUH!

Usually I would give up and walk away from things but I can say that art is teaching me to keep going back at stuff and going back again and again. Eventually it all comes together.

I’m behind on my challenges hopefully I catch up this weekend!

Artist trading cards

Been experimenting with artist trading cards since I did an online class on Skillshare by Jen Dixon entitled “Creating Small: Mini Masterpieces with Big Impact”. I love Skillshare.

I cut up some of my watercolor and mixed media paper to the standard size of 2.5″ x 3.5″ and have been laying down some initial marks.

These are some really cool idea starters.

I love the concept of creating these small works. This way of working can be a really nice inexpensive way to be creative, work on multiple pieces at once and thrash out ideas. The next benefit is also that they don’t take up too much real estate on my tiny desk!

My WIP stack……

My not started stack and my finished stack

Need to make that finished stack taller!

I was playing around and I did this one for a friend

I have also been playing with florals and I am trying to learn how to make them. Need to experiment a bit more.

This one is a bit bigger because I cut this paper up before I took the class. Artist trading cards should ideally be 2.5″ x 3.5″.

Well my experiments continue!!! I have no idea about the actual trading part tho…. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€” haven’t thought that farπŸ˜’.

Day 4-6

I missed day 4 due to my schedule but I was able to make up for it. I prefer painting to drawing but I have found that in order to paint properly, learning to draw is critical. This has been my experience anyway.

I have been slowly working through a book on figure drawing and honestly it is really helping me understand the figure and how to draw it.

The tips given by the Sktchy artists over the last three days included using media that you don’t usually use. I have no aversion to any type of media to be honest. My choice of medium is really a practical one. For example how much time I have or how much space I have. I hardly use graphite pencils and coloured pencils because constant use tends to irritate the carpal tunnel in my wrists.

Despite this, for the last couple days, I chose to use colour pencils and graphite because I hardly use them regularly and I wanted to step out my comfort zone a bit.

The drawings above I really like and they are not layered heavily they are really sketchy and I think this is the approach I will have to take with the pencils on mornings when I hardly have time. Works that have deeper colour would have to be done over a period of time and in short sessions so I won’t irritate my hands.

I press on to day 7. To be honest, I didn’t think I would feel this way, but I’m actually looking forward to it!

Day 3/30

This one was really rough! Just glad I got it done. I was really glad for the tip tho. I wanted to try doing this but wasn’t sure how to execute it. The tip helped with that.

Used my koi watercolors, prismacolor colour pencils and derwent Chinese white. On to day 4!!!!