Reply To: Lucille's Sketchbook and Journal

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Lucille Kreps

I’ve been really focusing on constructing line drawings doing the angles thing for the last week. Man, it’s improving things a lot. I hate how my cognitive impairment slows down my art learning and understanding process so bad and how the physical impairments limit the amount of time I can actually spend doing what I learn. I do watch a lot of instructional videos when I’m forced to lay down though and I finally feel like all that info is going somewhere, I also just sit around and think about everything when I can’t get up but can’t sleep any more.

Two major developments in the last few days – first, I think I”m finally starting to understand how to do quick sketches of faces and expressions in a style that’s much closer to how I want it to look. The two faces at the bottom of the pages are super simplified and I think they still took me 15 minutes but that’s better than the hour or two (or four) I used to spend on every since ‘sketch’

the other thing is. I have this irrational fear of getting paint ‘on things’. I think it’s the typical fear of failure that everyone has when they first start to paint… but also I think a lot of it subconsciously has been growing up with a psychotic neat freak who would buy me art materials and then tell me not to get them ‘on anything’. I’m pretty sure ‘on things’ is where art materials go. Seriously, the woman bought me a potters wheel when I was 14 and it had no splash guard… we put it down in the unfinished basement and then she put the fear of god into me about not getting clay anywhere outside of the wheel. Um, that’s not how throwing a pot works dude. So guess how many pots I threw on that wheel? None. Now I’ve got this brand new easle and all these new unopened tubes of paint and shiny new brushes… OMG!!! It’s so HARD just to open the damn paint and get it ‘on things’. I don’t want to get it on the easle. I don’t want to get it on the brush handles or my rinse cup. OMG I definitely don’t want to get it on the $20 rug that I bought to put under the easle to protect the actual floor. smdh! Honestly, I’ve had such a big mental block about it even getting paint on the cheap practice canvas textured paper feels like ‘getting it on things’ lol. So I’ve spent the last few days just getting comfortable in the room I just set up as a painting studio and getting comfortable getting paint on things while I watch instructional videos. I practiced painting more than ten mottled backgrounds onto the canvas paper and even did some on little cheap canvas boards. I think it helped A TON. I took a long sleep and then woke up today and finally understood what the heck it is people are doing when I see them paint on youtube and it looks like they’re just throwing paint around on the canvas without drawing it out in pencil first and it somehow comes out great. I keep feeling really immobilized by the idea of sketching it out and refining it in my sketchbook then transferring it to the painting surface. I mean, that’s nice for a lot of things – I like to do that with my ink drawings. But, crap, I don’t want to be stuck with no other painting options. I thought the other option was to haphazardly block in large blobs of tone with a thinned down paint while you do the underpainting and hope it comes out ok. When I woke up my slow slow brain had finally finished processing the information that, no dude. When you hit the canvas with an underpainting without drawing first you are using the angles and measurements to sketch it out roughly just as you would with a pencil in your sketchbook but you’re just doing it with a brush. Then you’re blocking in tone… then you’re refining the outside contours and micro angles as you continue to the actual painting. I thought I’d give it a try and I don’t hate how my first ever acrylic paint study came out. I outlined one of the underpaintings I did with pen afterwards just to help me see how hard or easy it would be to refine the shapes from there. These sketchbook pages are super thin – they’re the bamboo kind from pentallic and I ended up gel printing them with one layer of gesso – I’m surprised by how well it worked out. There’s a lot of buckling on the back side of the page but it took a lot of paint and medium. I have a stash of these books cause they were hella cheap on sale and it’s good to finally have a way of using them now that I’ve discovered I really don’t prefer dry media.

174-179 I’ve been doing line drawings of animals in really awkward poses to try and see how clear I can get the image without much tone or details. I’ve also been doing a lot of really weird people smoking crack pipes cause they always seem to have they’re hands and face contorted in some weird way that’s super challenging to draw