Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Demons

Not much time to work on art today. I got a new washer and dryer and now I am trying to catch up on the laundry.

The first two are just a couple composition ideas. I would really like to get into the good habit of doing these. If I can do them and not worry about how bad they are, I am sure I can convince myself to do more of them.

The last one is a redraw of my demon for the CHOW. This guy looks a little more evil. I still need to fix the hand and foot and add in some details. Even if I don't end up submitting this, it has been a fantastic learning experience. I have had to really think about body language and facial expression as communication tools.

I am seeing a lot of my weaknesses. I am pushing myself to fix the problems instead of burying them under some kind of disguise. In some of the advice to beginning artists, I read that it is a good idea to let your work tell you what you need to study. For example, I am really struggling with the hands and feet, so I should do studies of hands and feet. Using your weaknesses to guide you is great advice about any subject.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Scribbles and Chow

A few more gesture studies, some Loomis and my very first CHOW attempt!

I am stepping pretty far out of my comfort zone in attempting the chow. I am not even sure what made me go look to see the subject for the week, but as soon as I read the description, ideas started brewing in my head.

Now I have a lot of hard decisions. Pants or shorts? Hat or no hat? Horns or no horns? What should the lighting be? How should he be holding his hand? What color.. Oh man, I didn't even think about color! Crap! What media is my final going to be in? If I can make all of these decisions, then I might have a CHOW entry.

What I do know is that I could never have attempted any of this if I had not done all this practicing. Even though I am pretty sure I will never be a character design pro, it is kind of nice to have some rudimentary skill enough to play around with ideas. This is the fun stuff.

Sometimes you just have to say "Why not?"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Male Head Studies and a Quick Composition

I worked on a few male heads just to make sure I could make a male drawing look male.

I also worked on more Loomis heads.

I did a couple quick sketches of the family being couch potato's. The dog looking thing is supposed to be a fox. I am just playing with animal sketches.

A couch potato sketch with ruined lips.

The beginning of my practice in compositions. Hopefully I can make this a daily habit.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Time to start building good habits.

I want to accomplish at least 5 things daily for 43 days. I am currently spending 15 minutes in each room doing the thing that bothers me the most. (I am counting that as one thing) I have also been very good about drawing something every day. I would like to add a daily check on my finances, be it balancing my checkbook, or financial planning.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More more more

I am beginning to wrap my head around Loomis head study. It didn't start to click until I started working on the jaw hinge, which put the feeling if taking up space for me. Funny how that happened. A good lesson learned there is that sometimes I need to push forward to see if I just need to look at it in a different way.

Meanwhile, I have lots of canvas sitting idle and lots of other art supplies that have not had attention in days. I know that if I do not "produce" a piece of work that resembles finished I will start to feel the pressure of all this practice with nothing to show for it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Late Bloomer

I did two more sketches after my post yesterday. One self portrait and one really fast sketch of my daughter as I let the chicken noodle soup boil. I have always struggled with the far eye in a 3/4 view. Yesterday with a bit of fidgeting, I got pretty close. I was very happy about that. The self portrait is terrible, but I am posting it to keep things honest.

Progress does not always move in an upward motion. I have to learn to forgive myself for the "not so good" drawings I produce. There is something to be learned in every drawing. In this case, I learned a lot about my own concentration. While I was concentrating on getting my own head in the right place, my drawing suffered. When I was concentrating on the drawing, my ability to hold a position suffered. It is a lot like rubbing your head and patting your stomach for me.

I think I will get a lot better at taking a snapshot with my minds eye as I practice. If it takes 10,000 hours to become really good at something, I have a few more hours to work. I should probably get busy.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


To understand foreshortened poses, I have to understand the basic foundation of perspective. Perspective is one of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around. That means drawing boxes. Once I learn to draw these things freehand with a certain level of accuracy, perhaps I can tackle figures and other things much more accurately.

As always, it isn't a matter of drawing what I see, its learning to replace what I think I see with what is really there.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Gnome bodies

A couple more sketches. Playing around with an idea for a Gnome character. This is all wrong, but its an idea and its a page in the sketchbook.


I did some doodles this weekend. I started off with a face that I ruined (then ruined on purpose) and moved to some poses in SenshiStocks gallery. These were real fast. The point was to capture movement, since I seem to be a little stiff. When I started using the pen to do the gestures, the one thing that distinctly stood out was how much I use my eraser.

From there I moved to Auroradreams Stock photo gallery and played around with some of her stuff. In the middle of the second page is a quick sketch I did while my daughter played Singstar on Playstation.

This is just a quick sketch of another one of Auroradreams poses. I think I was too tired and could not concentrate on what I was doing.

Her gallery was still up this morning when I got up and I decided to do a better drawing. I went way back in the archives and found this pose to try to capture.

I didn't pay attention to how long it took me to do this sketch, but I do know it was under an hour, which is pretty good for me. I have been using the envelope method of finding the angles and it has helped me speed up tremendously.

If I can get some housework done around here, I hope to get some more sketches done.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Trudging Forward

My daughter stands with one foot on her leg all the time. Not being very successful at capturing her stance, I began doodling to find the problem I was having with the interior structure. On the second page I began playing with the idea of cross contours.

For the second set of sketches I went to Deviant Art and found a couple new stock photo's that I could use. I ended up finding this and this. She has such a soft, kind looking face, I had to give it a second try when the first one did not turn out quite like I wanted it to. I made a collection for stock I have drawn studies from. I thought it would be nice to keep track of the stock I borrow to learn from. That will also make it very easy to return to do more studies later.

I am trudging forward. I don't say that in a discouraged sort of tone. It is uncertainty. I am giving my best effort to improve on something every day. Last night I could not get the proportions down to save my life. Today I did a little better. It took me forever and I erased a lot, but I am pretty satisfied with the results.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Juggling Act

On Friday, I decided to take on the challenge of participating in the WDE at Wetcanvas. The picture that really caught my eye was the lizard. With panel in hand and my painting supplies nearby, I began to draft out the basic shapes.

The Lizard after 2 hours...

Unsatisfied with the results of two hours worth of work, I began to fiddle with it here and there between child care, husband care, dog care, dinner care, laundry care and sleep. Somewhat frustrated, I put the lizard away and decided to work on it during the week. On Monday, I began doing my housework, phone calls and various stay at home mom activities. Tuesday was much the same as Monday, with the exception of getting a little bit of painting in on the Lizard.

The Lizard after several hours...

The big plan was to do this thing in black and white. Once that was dry, I would begin to glaze color over it to give it color and really make this thing pop. While it seemed to be a very nice plan, I did not take into consideration that I ruined my 2-hair brush that I used to make those tiny little lines and I cannot for the life of me get the eye on this lizard correct enough to move on to the color stage of this painting. If you have ever tried to stick your finger in a pinhole, then you understand the futility of trying to paint this eye with a brush too big. I know the shapes I am looking for. I can do it with a pencil. I cannot seem to get that shape with my brush.

I have come to the realization that I will have to purchase another 2-hair brush. Finishing this lizard is irrelevant. The brush is a necessity.

After giving up on the lizard, I decided to pick up the sketchbook and follow my children around the house to catch them holding still for a few moments. When they were not cooperative, I tried to draw the dog. Like the children, they know when I am drawing and they move and scamper as quickly as the children.

Eventually the kids turned on the television and I stared at them as they stared at it. I got a few decent studies in before it was time to go to bed. The sketch below was my favorite of this group.

The juggling act is something I am learning to master. I am learning to work on art in small spurts. I am trying to teach myself to find that zone much faster than I used to. I am also trying to keep a certain level of clean going on in my house as I give focus to my studies. I am either focused on the Mom role or focused on the art. Through the holidays, I was focused on the Mom and family roles. Now that the holidays are done, I tend to want to focus on the art. Why can't I do both? Is it like talking and drawing? Does one eat up so much of my brain that the other ability shuts off?