Well, it’s been a not so fun couple of months of getting knocked on my butt every time I begin to manage for a week or two to develop good sketching and workout habits – which seems to be the theme for the last couple years of my life. But I’m back now and I’ve been at it sketching again for the last few weeks – and feeling like I’ve been on such a roll that an anvil is sure to fall out of the sky and crush me. Or maybe just my sketchbook.
Some exciting things did happen over the last couple months though – I got a life size skeleton model and it’s been hangin out in my studio. Honestly, mostly I just put various hats on it and shake it’s hand every day because I’m lonely. (Sometimes I give it hugs – don’t tell anyone!) I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to have it as I did notice a huge improvement when I went back to life drawing this last wednesday. I always always have trouble with the skinny male models and I went specifically this week because I knew one of the ones that’s the hardest for me to draw would be there that day and I wanted to use it as kind of a progress check. I find this guy so hard to draw that every time I go and he’s the model I spend all three of those hours just agonizing like ‘ARGGGG WHY DID I EVEN GET OUT OF BED TODAY?? I SUCK SO MUCH”. He’s skinny, he’s muscular, he has unusual proportions and on top of all that he’s always striking some amazingly awkward pose. There’s a long bamboo pole in the studio and a cane and he uses one of them for every. single. pose. Somehow, I always end up getting a view of him where the long pole is lined up just so and it obscures the contours I came there to study. So anyway, I did find it incredibly frustrating and challenging to draw him again but omg it went sooo much better this time around – I actually got a couple of reasonable drawings out of the session.
I would attribute some of the new found success there to the being able to look at the skeleton model every day and most of it to finally figuring out the info I needed is in the ‘figure drawing from the imagination’ section of this site and I spent a week doing a few drawings from photos every day practicing the mummification lines – it helped sooo much. I will probably continue to focus on doing that exercise for a while yet before I move onto anything else figure drawing.
I’m doing really a lot of random stuff right now trying to find what works best for me. I finally got around to actually doing the pen exercises in Alphonso Dunn’s book – wow! I’m impressed at how easily accessible the info in his book is and at the ease and effectiveness of the exercises. Plus it helps you can search for his youtube videos and watch him do it. Because I do love pen, I got some Zentangle books and I’ve been doing Zentangle a bit just to help loosen up sometimes – man, though, all that stuff really looks the same after a second. Still, the books have been good to spark ideas for filler patterns to be used later in more serious pen work and for just playing around. I was lucky enough a couple months ago to hit up the buy one get one free sketchbook sale at the local art shop and it wasn’t like how Michael’s does it where the sketchbooks cost twice as much as they do anywhere else and then the price just goes to normal during a sale – it was, like, an honest to god amazing sketchbook bonanza. I’m slowly sorting out which ones I will use for what by scribbling in all kinds of media on the back page of them all so I see how they like it. So far, I’ve designated a sketchbook that’s totally about learning pen techniques from the Alphonso Dunn book, one that’s dedicated to only life drawing, one that’s just for stuff like homework here on DTO or copying drawings out of books I have, and a Zentangle when you have nothing else to do sketchbook. It’s taking me a while to develop my sketchbook/daily practice infrastructure but I feel I’m finally making some headway.
It seems like every time I start to try and focus on something drawing wise, I end up realizing that I need to go back and work on some skill set that I need to have before I can do the current thing I’m on…. it seems like I’m finally getting to the bottom of that and have ended up where I need to be for a minute.
114 – doing homework for once and focusing on those form lines whenever I get a minute
115 – I actually really do not hate how this seated pose came out! I’m not sure how I feel about that foreshortening though
116 – alphonso dunn exercises, Zentangle and I was playing with a spirograph lol