Saturday, January 17, 2015


Day 17.
I was catching up from yesterday so decided to do two sketched of the same subject. For these I sought to do them both badly, but in different ways. For the first one I used a pen (something in itself I personally never do) and proceeded to start with the mouth of my kitten and work from feature to feature.  The result was disproportionate and askew. 

For the second one I laid out the shape of the face and then filled in the features. I did them both quickly and without really stopping to check accuracy.  The second result was a better shape and accurate features, but only separately.  Put them together and the spacing is off.
With a goal of improving on my ability to quickly lay out a portrait, I wanted to see what does and doesn't work for me.  I mostly use a grid to assure accuracy in my work, but want to be able to sharpen my eye for things so as not to need it and have more confidantly done pieces drawn from life. It pains me to publish these crappy sketches, but it's all a learning process, and I'd rather stay humble than pretend everything comes out perfectly the first time.

I have also been working on a watercolor commission of a full body cat. I was up to the challenge and have so far drawn it 3 times before being satisfied. I am currently at a standstill with the color as I have little extra time and it will take a solid single session to get the main fill. The cat is black, and being just over 5x7, will take just the right brushstrokes to make it work. With four little rescue kittens currently running rampant in the studio, things can be tricky, but at least I am never without inspiration.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Day 4
I have recently been catching up on Sherlock.  Being winter break with my regular shows and taking off a semester of school, I actually have a bit of time to finally check out some of the shows I have been missing.  So, having been thoroughly Sherlocked for the day, I of course had to do today's sketch of Benedict Cumberbatch.  Having never been one for sketching and laying down a quick and solid foundation of a drawing, I ran out of time before I had much more than his eyes in place. Too much drawing, not enough sketching.  My problem has always been focusing too much on the details from the jump, instead of the whole shape.  This is one of the main areas I am trying to fix by doing this project.  I figure a few months down the line I will revisit this reference and see if I have made the improvements I am hoping for.

Day 5
Spent all day at work, was so tired, and it was 11pm. No sketch yet.  I initially thought of vintage toys, like my oil painting from last semester.  Well, I ended up looking through images of vintage trucks.  There is a photographer I discovered through Deviant Art years ago who is awesome, so I thought I would try something different.  Of course, last night I couldn't think of his name, so settled for what I could find. Eh, maybe I need to make my time limit 15 minutes instead of 10? I have only been using a basic B drawing pencil for my sketches so far since I just carry the book around to work and stuff.  I'm thinking tonight I might add a splash of color. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

There Is No Owl

I didn't really know what to expect from myself when I set my Sketch A Day goal.  I guess I assumed the same thing would happen that always does when I think about having to sketch something- I dread it. As it turns out, I spent my time in the bath this evening finally reading the copy of The Once and Future King that I had purchased no less than 8 years ago and my mind wandered to what I might sketch tonight. One of the rules i had set was "No planning," but I don't think this really counted since I was already counting on knocking out today's page right after my bath.
I found I was looking forward to tonight's page, thinking about how much I loved the Disney version of King Arthur and used to play the vhs tapes at night and pause them to sit and draw it out on a large sheet of drawing paper on the coffee table (I should dig this out of my box in the attic just for nostalgia).  Being eager to do any sketching is definitely not something I expected.  I know it's only day 3, but I am starting to believe I may actually get to enjoy this project.  It's definitely nice not having to worry about homework and deadlines for a change and just throw down whatever image interests me. Today it was Archemedes, Merlyn's owl.

I pulled T.H. White's book down from the attic the other day when I was going through some boxes.  I also happened across a small journal my best friend had sent me for my 30th birthday.  It would seem it all had perfect timing, so now I am also using the journal for my sketches since it is nice and small.  The paper is also handmade and toothy, so I like it much better than the bristol board I was using earlier.  I don't know how people can draw on such a smooth surface. It was horrible for just doing quick sketches.
Another day down. I am looking forward to where tomorrow will take me.