April 27, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another

...and you find that you have (not only used about 5 hours of your life you'll never get back) found the most incredible place, resource, or eye candy, and how is it you never knew about that before? A page from my journal from Feb 07. Actually, I filled two pages with these webbed distractions! (The drawing is not mine.)

Another more recent typical "journey" that happened yesterday:

Checked recent postings on e-mail from Everyday Matters and went to Karen Winter's site who linked me to Daily Paintings from new Hampshire who told me about Russell Stutler and his amazing sketches and sketchbooks who sketches in Japan and who lists good resources for sketchers. Among them are some Japanese sketchbooks which led me to search for "Japanese bookstores," thinking some of these gems might be there. Lo and behold, I find there's one in my own city connected to Ujiwama - Kinokuniya Japanese Bookstore. So my day's plans changed (one reason I love Saturdays). I headed down to the International District. I didn't find any of the sketchbooks, however, but it was a fun diversion anyway. I'll go back later and get some of their amazing giant "sketchbooks" with heavy watercolor-like paper in them. (They were called Spiral...) I'll also get the twisted bamboo from Ujiwama - I love those and forgot about them until I saw them there.

Anyway, New Hampshire led me to "from Maine" blog who led me to Library Thing. I've been using something similar (Bookpedia) to keep a record of art books I own, but the features in Library Thing - which is FREE - called me in. I'm keeping track of books I read and checking out the lists of others. Sort of a "Delicious" for readers.

April 5, 2008

Tops and Bottoms and Insides, too

One technique I learned in Caroline's workshop was this one. It worked well with a photo of five ladies waiting at a marina with their backpacks and purses nearby. I drew a contour line of just the top part of the photo, looking at the shapes the bodies made. Then a drew a blind contour line of the bottoms parts, including their legs and feet. It worked! I could then fill the inside details in if I wanted. (( rather like just this much, too!)

This is a sketched version of the same scene as Tops and Bottoms but as sketched from a photo. I loved the women's various sitting and waiting shapes.

April 3, 2008

#23 - Draw your foot.

I drew my shoes during a great drawing and painting weekend held (awhile back) through LaConnor Art Workshops, Washington. (A very cool place.) Caroline Buchanan was the instructor. It was a 3-day workshop on travel journaling, and I took a personal day off work to be at all 3 days (and treated myself to a bed-and-breakfast to stay overnight even though I'm within driving distance (60 some miles). I went in expecting a watercolor emphasis, so, at first, wondered why we were doing all the drawing lessons. It turned out to be one of the best classes I ever had; it moved me up a notch or three in my ability to sketch a scene or design a painting. She went over contour drawing, scribble drawing (I don't know if that's the real name of it, but it's done with a series of fast, little loopy scribbles, "fast sketching," drawing from photos, geometric shapes that build the body...I've always considered myself reasonably good at drawing, but always for copying something directly, not for drawing without a picture to look at, and certainly not drawing "on the run." That weekend changed my whole view and made me a better artist, for many reasons, not the least of which, recognizing where and why the errors are in my sketching to be able to keep getting better.

Something that absolutely amazes me is how well the blind contour drawing works, at least for me. I have especially enjoyed sketching people at airports using this method and to get the right pose. Almost always, without looking at the paper, I'm able to outline the right shape of the pose. Drawing people is becoming one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, the top of the page is my blind contour from an "assignment" out of Keys to Drawing; the bottom are my own feet. As I remember, I blind-contoured the outlines only, then filled in the details. These are very comfortable shoes, by the way, and I've bought 2 more just like them. I see them around a lot, but I don't remember whose they are. I get them from, along with my favorite brand, Softwalks, which I walked on all over Italy and France without my feet EVER hurting. And my feet hurt with most shoes and I can't STAND it when they do!

But I digress...
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