Friday, November 30, 2007

More noses


Since I didn't post anything yesterday because I was not feeling very well, here's two. One is my youngest son David and the other is my older son Ian's nose. My kids are great. They have been my models since they were babies and I've never heard them complain. Thanks, guys, for helping me out!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

#40--Draw Something With Folds

This is one of my many scrunchies that are all over my house. I have them on the shifter of my car because I like to drive with the windows down and I usually leave the house without one. I pull my hair up a lot depending on what I am doing around the house. But, my husband loves it so I will not cut it. Yet. I thought about doing this in colored pencil because the color is a really nice shade of magenta. But, Teri's goose really got me thinking about plain old graphite, my standby, so here it is. 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Another Nose

This is Day 4 and this time I drew my youngest son's nose because it's just so cute. I can't say that to him since he is 15 and a mom just isn't supposed to say stuff like that! Anyway, a couple of things I noticed that I have observed before: children's nostrils are not as defined as an adult's. This makes it a challenge to define where the nose ends and the cheeks begin totally by tonal values. No lines here. Tomorrow I will have him sit for me so I do a side view. And when my husband returns, it will be fun to do his nose and he has a great nose! The other thing is that tip of the nose doesn't protrude as much as an adult nose does. Just some observations. 2B pencil in small moleskine.

IF--Emergency

This is from so very long ago, but I'm catching up so here it is. I was doing this from out of my head and without the benefit of a model, as you can see by the foot that's searching for the rung. Could've been better if I'd had a model, but I decided to work outside of my comfort zone, so here it is. Not too shabby.

More Noses

Here's Day 3. All 3 of these noses have been mine. Kind of hard to do anything other than straight forward. But, tonight at least one of my sons will be available to pose for me. After I'm done with them doing the straight, left, right, up and down poses I guess we'll have to resort to the pushed up against the window pose and the wrap the head with duct tape pose to make things bit more exciting. lol!

More Doodling


Here are more doodles I did yesterday from the Keys to Drawing With Imagination Book. I started getting pretty goofy with them so I thought it was time to quit.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

#17 Draw a Musical Instrument

This is a drawing of my son's electric bass leaning against my piano. You don't know how hard it was for me stop here at a line drawing! There were beautiful shadows and highlights on the neck and bottom of the bass and I was so tempted to go ahead and do a full blown finished drawing, but I held back. These are sketches. If I want a finished drawing, I can go back and do that later. 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Nose Study

I was over at my friend Penny's house on Sunday for some drawing time and we got to talking and looking at artist's sites and painting videos. Inspired by Anita Davies, we are going to do 30 days of nose studies. I admire Anita's dedication and enthusiasm for her work and enjoy perusing her blogs and following her progress. Seeing her works is very motivating for me and I often wonder if I hadn't gone to art school, would I still feel the enthusiasm for drawing that I use to? Don't get me wrong, I learned immensely from my instructors! Especially Dave Leese who I admire greatly. The one thing I remember about Mr. Leese was that he was a very artistic person in soul. He lived artistically, if that makes sense. Robert Buchanan fueled my obsession with photo-realism. I could not paint to save my life, and I exasperated him and in turn he made me cry (I can laugh about that now!), but I was determined to "paint" with my pencils. Curtis Doll was a huge influence on my drawings also and I learned a lot from the critiques he held. So, I'm not discounting my education. But, art school tends to put many rules and restrictions on a young artist. I've broken some of those rules as in my portrait of the old man, but I look at Anita's work as see how free and vibrant it is. I also see where going back to basics for me is going to be beneficial. So, for 30 days (!) Penny and I are taking our cue from Anita and doing nose studies. And during this time I hope to manage my time better which is a huge hurdle for me. But, I've set goals for catching up on the challenges, doing the exercises in Keys to Drawing With Imagination and catching up on the IF challenges. Lofty goals for me, yes. But, time management and limited exposure to technology are my stepping stones. A big thanks to Anita for all the inspiration she gives me without even knowing it, and for inviting us into her studio to see her growth and her beautiful works. I'm grateful to the folks at EDM for all their support and encouragement as always. Hope this wasn't way too sappy! And now in the name of "time management" I am off to do some art! 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Keys to Drawing With Imagination




I had also started to read the book Keys to Drawing With Imagination and was really enjoying it. I did these four exercises before I let myself become distracted by other things in my life. I swear, if they tested me now, they would probably say I'm ADD. The inside of my brain is a messy, cluttered desk. But, I've redoubled my efforts to work my way through this book because I think it will be beneficial to me and I'm happy when I'm doing the exercises. Doing these exercises brought back some memories for me. When I was in elementary school, I distinctly remember my friends and I doodling like this. We would make words using block letters and then fill them in using those undulating lines. So, one of the doodles I did was of the word love. We would put these on our book covers and use a pen that had 4 different colored inks in it and each line would be a different color. Amazing what you can remember as you're drawing! Micron pens in my small moleskine.

#108 Draw a Lightbulb


I drew this months ago and am now just getting around to posting it. I'm not happy with it. It's ugly, but I don't want to do it over again. Maybe at some point I will, but right now I'm just fulfilling a promise to myself to work through the challenges. 2B pencil in my small moleskine.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chinese Leather Brush Painting



The woman who I did these for sent me a personality description for her kids and I used characters that met those traits. Catie is strong and very peace loving, so I used the pandas and bamboo for her. Anything can be done with names!
This is something I've been working on for about a month now. Leather Brush painting comes from Chinese calligraphy. In ancient times people thought it was good luck to have their name painted. They were given at special events and occasions such as birthdays. It evolved into using symbols to make up the letters, each standing for a trait. Bamboo trees signified strength. Phoenixes stood for birth, and swans show gentleness and kindness. Dolphins are a purely American innovation. They didn't appear until the art showed up in the states. I first saw it at Busch Gardens when we went there a couple of months ago. I have a friend who is teaching my oldest son Japanese in exchange for me teaching her daughter art. We were walking along and passed a shop where they had a group of artists doing these paintings. My friend said her daughter wanted to learn how to do them. I went in and took a look around and thought, how hard could it be? lol! That was an understatement! I came home and searched the net to no avail. This must be the best kept secret. I ran across employment listings for the amusement parks looking for artists, but I couldn't find anywhere to learn it or for supplies. Finally, after looking around on WC, I found someone else who had been looking for the same info and someone had posted a couple of links. I got a kit, complete with books showing the technique and let me tell you, it takes some time to get it down. I'm still working on it. There is an event every year in our town called the ArtStock Studio Tour. The artists put out red balloons and maps are given out to people so they can find the studios, and all weekend long the artists work and people come to see them and sometimes buy a piece of work. I was sitting at a friend's coffee shop just playing with my new art form and people kept asking me if I could do their names. I had just gotten the kit 2 days before and I sadly had to tell them I wasn't ready yet. So, I'm not completely there yet, I still have a long way to go in perfecting these skills, but tomorrow I'm going to my friend's coffee shop again (at her suggestion) and we'll see if anyone wants their name painted. It's actually kind of fun. Can be done pretty quickly and with the holidays coming up, I thought they might make fun gifts. lol! Let me know what y'all think about this. I've mostly been doing individual letters, but I've been practicing with my oldest son's name because it's short. I can finally get the letters uniform in height and they don't slant upwards to the right anymore.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Heartwrenching Good-byes

No art yet. I have some to post, just haven't gotten around to it because I have a project in the making that is taking all my time. And it's crunch time for my oldest son as he graduates in the spring. And since we homeschool, I'm in it just as much as he is. But, that's not what this post is about. I try to keep this blog for my art only, but I witnessed something today that ripped my heart out and I will be doing a drawing to capture what I saw. And so I never forget it. My husband and I and our oldest son went to the airport to pick up my husband's brother who was flying in from Wisconsin. It's guy weekend and a bunch of them are heading for the shore to go tuna fishing. We were early, so we sat down to wait and I love to people watch. I saw them as we were walking through the terminal but I didn't think anything about them at the time except that they were a family traveling. I did get the vibe that they were very sad. I'm very intuitive like that. A few minutes after we sat down they came walking up. A man, his wife and their daughter. The young girl was maybe 12 or 13. As soon as I saw them, I knew. He had close cropped hair and he was stocky. Probably late 20s or early 30s. Strapping young man. I could see his wife was anguished. He kissed her and held her for a long time. They said their I love yous and said good-bye. The little girl was trying really hard to hold back her tears, but when her daddy turned to her and wrapped her in his arms, she broke down completely, sobbing into his chest. It was heart wrenching to watch and I'm tearing up just writing about it. He held her for a long time, telling her he loved her and I couldn't hear what else he was saying to her. But, you could see it was tearing him apart to leave his family behind. He got her calmed down and they said good-bye and he walked into the security area and they turned and walked away down the terminal. I couldn't take my eyes off the little girl. She was wiping her tears with the sleeve of her jacket and her mom was walking with her arm around her. I could see her lean over and talk to her as they walked. I had been especially happy this week as my husband is home and may be taking a job locally which means he will be home more. I know how hard it was on us when he first began traveling for business. But, my husband comes home every weekend. Now I was sad for them because I knew that little girl would be worrying every day about wether her dad would be coming home alive. And it just reinforced my opinion that this war is just plain wrong. Families are being torn apart; fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters being killed for something I (and a lot of other people, too!) don't believe is a just war. It should have never happened. My heart aches for this family and all the other families that I haven't seen that go through this dance every day. I will hope for the end to this war and for them to bring our boys and young women home to their families. Kids should not have to worry about losing their parents. Maybe our president should have to witness a scene like I did today.