September 19, 2017 at 5:07 am #11241
First, I am really so glad Chris brought up the podcast that mentioned how to use the Bridgman book a few weeks ago. I’ve since realized that I’ve watched a lot of these videos before and then completely forgotten about them since my short term memory is sh*t right now. I mean, seriously, it’s bad. So that’s discouraged me from watching videos a lot of times because what’s the point if you’re not remembering anything. Plus, I fall asleep watching the videos a lot. But it turns out it’s going in there somewhere and I’m just later on thinking it was my own idea lol. Oh well, at least it’s going in there somewhere and there seems to (maybe?) be some kind of improvement happening (soooo gradual). It’s nice to know the info isn’t getting lost (like my car keys last week!)
This last week, I did a double life drawing session on wednesday plus did some random color mixing exercises in gouache at dinner between sessions. On Sunday, they had a nine hour model marathon at the same life drawing place and I did that. I used the marathon different from how I normally utilize the 3 hour sessions and instead of focusing on line and form and pushing to do as many angles and sketches as I could I just chilled out, relaxed and just kinda did stuff.
106 – I’m finally finding a way of doing gesture that feels like it’s working for me – I ditched the newsprint and derwent drawing pencil and did them with a brush and water soluble graphite block. It FELT really good. Even if it doesn’t look really good lol. I no longer dread them, that’s a start I guess
96 – using a Derwent Graphitint pencil
97 – Yes, the lady on the left corner really did have those huge creepy looking eyes – I didn’t just draw her bad! The middle lady really did have a large thigh thing going on… but I drew it really badly. Right side is a leg study that went way too far up I think lol.
98 – no, this lady did not have shrunken legs in real life. My bad.September 19, 2017 at 5:17 am #11246
99 – I think this one came out the best, it was an hour long pose. About 30 minutes in the model was like ”ahhhh!!! my arm!!! and had to move” lol. The guy who owns the studio tried to warn her and asked like a million times ‘are you sure you really want to have your arm like that for a whole hour?’ before we began. So it was actually a 30 minute pose heehee.
100-101 I love this model cause she’s the only one that is conscientious to rotate on different poses so you get different views – love that!
103 – just a random figure from imaginationSeptember 19, 2017 at 5:40 am #11251
100 – the same cool lady that rotates
104 – I have narcolepsy. Well… I was lucky enough to make it 7 hours into the 9 hour marathon without incident and then I fell asleep doing the drawing in the upper left corner here. I have no idea how long I was out but when I woke up I tried to keep drawing and you can totally see where it just all fell apart on me!September 22, 2017 at 10:27 pm #11296
I put out an ad on craigslist seeking out models and finally had my first private session yesterday. Kind of something I’ve decided to do if I have the funds at the time and my narcolepsy is kicking my butt that way I can still get in my life drawing session but not have to worry about falling asleep driving in traffic. Sometimes going to the life drawing sessions renders me unable to do other things for days so this may be a good solution when I can do it.
My first model didn’t have any experience and moved around a lot but we had a great conversation for 3 hours while I drew and I found myself much more relaxed than I am during the group sessions. At first, it was a bit frustrating that she didn’t sit completely still like a professional would have… but, then, it was actually good cause it helped me let go of that weird prickly thing I get while drawing in group like ‘wait… wtf??? did the model’s arm migrate or did I really draw it that off…. GRR!!! It’s not exact now!!! Is it me? Is it them?…” Man, I need to loosen up. Like. A LOT.
All in all it was a successful day, I got a pot of soup made, drew for 3 hours, ate dinner with my model and still had enough energy to go to work that night – excellent!September 29, 2017 at 9:22 am #11418
Went to life drawing session again yesterday and realized something – I am so so so so terrible at drawing dudes. Especially skinny dudes. Well. I guess skinny people in general. I LOVE drawing fat people. Like LOVE LOVE LOVE. It’s waaaay more relaxing and it comes out way better. But at some point, I’ll need to draw some skinny people since I dream of the same skinny character over and over again and eventually I want to be able to paint people and things I see in my dreams and hallucinations. So I’ll probably be taking some time off from life drawing sessions and studying anatomy at home since I feel like I’m just starting to do the same things over and over again without learning anything new when I go. After studying some anatomy stuff at home, I’ll go back to life drawing sessions.
I actually tried doing some DTO homework for once and didn’t do as awful as I imagined I would. I tried to scan it but my scanner is only 8.5X11 and my sketchbook is 11X14 so I couldn’t get it to lay flat. I think I worked on this for about 3-4 hours
and in other news: oh wait…what, Derwent??? You don’t sell your graphitint line of pencils open stock?? Come here and tell me that to my face – cause I already have a favorite color and it’s gonna be a nub pretty soon damnit!
lame. So lame.
110 – scanned
111 – photo – wasn’t nearly as big a disaster as the last time I tried to draw a statue head for homework… see page one of this journal, image 42September 29, 2017 at 9:24 am #11421
cept that she’s kind of really a lot looking the wrong way. And her nose is way too long and close to her lips. But, hey, you can actually tell it was supposed to be a statue this time – so go team me!October 9, 2017 at 9:13 am #11643
I guess I’m taking today to have a yearly check-in with myself where I just sort of look over the stuff I did over the last year and reflect on what happened and try to figure out what’s next. I really feel like I didn’t get nearly as much drawing done as I would have liked to over the last year. I wanted to be filling up a sketchbook page every single day. Yeah, didn’t happen. And in some instances I actually went months without drawing. But apparently work, respiratory infections, nervous breakdowns, narcolepting uncontrollably, and massive rearranging/cleanouts of my house were unavoidable. So my actual output was crap little but instead of getting horribly depressed and giving up for another zillion years maybe I should take a second today to recognize things that have gone right for me over the last year with the art thing. Because I love bullet points:
* I managed to acquire A LOT of paper and various supports on which to practice – so now all I need is the energy to do it and that’s all ready to go! I’ve acquired A LOT of supplies and various media over the last year as well. Also outfitted my work room with various shelves to keep everything organized – as of this last week I think I officially have shelved every inch of shelvable space in there. I really consider this accumulation of materials to be sort of a prayer for the coming year that my health and energy will improve enough to be able to actually work and experiment consistently.
* I started walking out the door and leaving my house during the day again. WHOA! THERE’S TONS OF **** TO DRAW OUT THERE!! And maybe sometimes total strangers force you to wear Santa hats despite your total lack of consent but at least there’s fresh air and sunshine sometimes. And life drawing sessions where the other people who go there are really nice and don’t force hats on you. And I do find that when I go out with my sketchbook a lot of times people will pause and check out my stuff (which makes me nervous) but then they’ll say something like ‘that looks nice!’ which, aw, that’s nice! They must not have their contacts in but, still, it’s pleasant to make eye contact and socially interact with other people for a split second. Forgot what that was like.
* I really spent the last year since I started drawing again bouncing all the heck over the place but that’s good. I think needed that. And now, just in the last couple of months I’ve developed a much much clearer vision of what I ultimately want to be doing with my art. Last year I was kinda like ‘I dunno I wanna draw something so I can paint stuff’ ‘maybe do tiny miniature paintings for dollhouses cause that’s my other hobby is doing dollhouse stuff – don’t know what I’d paint” “definitely want to start drawing/painting the crazy crap I dream/hallucinate about’
ok, so that last one is really important to me but it was like but what part of what I dream/hallucinate do I really want to depict? Cause there’s A LOT of it. When I sleep: crazy vivid dreams that are really more like TV series in the sense that they pick up where they left off the last time I dreamed in that specific place with that specific set of characters. Crazy talking animals. Weird mold spores that infect humanity and make them hear demonic voices, but don’t worry you just need to bleach the walls every so often and you’ll be fine. strange houses that look just like our houses but just slightly different. The gutters will be different as though I’m dreaming of a past life on an earthlike planet where rain gutters were of course necessary but the finished solution to that problem came out just slightly different than it did here. Just strangeness but so vivid and memorable and detailed. Strange animals that are basically similar to real life… but different in some way I can’t explain. Deer-dogs, strange geese with hair like structures instead of feathers. Last night there were tiny itty bitty spider sized mice like things (so cute!!) that could run up the walls so they must’ve had grippy insect like feet. You’re supposed to smash them and flush them cause if they get in the walls they’ll wreak havoc on the electrical but don’t tell mom and dad I totally didn’t do it… Also, they will get in the cupboards and ruin the rice.
When I’m awake: strong scents like becoming so overwhelmed by the smell of toxic pink artificially flavored strawberry cake that it actually knocked me on my butt one time and just because it was somehow triggered by viewing the color pink unexpectedly. (and that’s why I don’t leave the house if I don’t have to). Crazy vivid colorful patterns that are hard to describe. Sometimes I blink and see in a split second flash that seems at the time to last hours crazy stuff like products that never existed. Last night I was overwhelmed with the sight of these crazy faux fur stuffed animal things. They almost looked like chubby worm/viruses or something but kid friendly colorful and so happy and goofy. Some with long pile striped hair, some with short pile solid hair. I could almost touch them. I see strange looking pots and pans. Lots of flashing lights in my peripheral vision. Lots of strange tastes – or very familiar tastes at strange times. Spiders where there’s probably not any. hallucinations of sensation: laying in bed but I feel like I’m rocking in a boat. when I touch random objects, sometimes I get ‘burnt’ or ‘electrocuted’ and it HURTS. Sometimes it feels like my head is a balloon and it’s floating over the room. Lots of dizziness. sensation of falling over while I’m still standing up. God I wish I did drugs – I would just stop. I have no idea why this is happening to my body.
It’s a strange life. It’s overwhelming. All of these random seemingly non sensical probably non existent stimuli that my body seems intent on perceiving (imaginging?) on top of all the crazy stimuli that exists for all to see/hear/feel/smell. It’s hard enough as an artist trying to sort out what is important info when doing a drawing from real life. It’s been SUPER even a lot harder trying to sort out what is important hallucination/dream info that is worth depicting and what to just leave in the unexplained ether. But I do think that has gradually over the last year sorted itself. Would I want to artistically depict the overwhelming scent/taste of artificially flavored strawberries? Even if I could? No. It doesn’t actually seem very important. Just tangy. Are the random alternate reality products or crazy colorful animated patterns important to me? Probably not. I don’t know that I could paint the sensation of electric shock to my hands – or that I would want to even if I could. But I do think maybe – just maybe somewhere in this confused ether I may be connecting to something real sometimes when I dream of these various characters. I know many of them by name, I’m familiar with their facial expressions, voices, cadence. I’ve whittled away many hours of forced sleep and many lonely hours of wakefulness speaking with them. And as much as I’d like to pretend like they’re not – they’re important to me. So this is what I will ultimately be doing with my art. I’m having really clear visions of large portraits done on unframed, stretched canvas hanging in my home. When the visions come, I can see them so clearly. As they go, they fade considerably. I feel doubtful I can ever use paint to make a doorway for these strange mysterious loved ones of mine to walk through and be viewed by people living in this world. But everything I do with art from now on will be focused on working towards that end.
I’m thinking over the next several years I will need
*more life drawing
*more figure drawing
*waaay more anatomy studies since one of these guys is so skinny skinny and you can’t do skinny people without understanding what all those knobs and bumps you’re looking at are. Plus, I imagine it’s going to make the process of drawing people I can’t see while I’m awake go a lot more smoothly if I understand anatomy better. Will help me see form.
*character development studies – some of my people I’ll be wanting to depict in many different portraits from different angles or doing different things and they’ll need to look consistent.
*collection of reference photos. I will be hiring models at some point who resemble in either face or body people that I want to depict.
*landscape studies – I will be doing a lot of plein air paintings over the next couple of years in order to build a mental library of organic shapes/arrangements to later be translated into subtle but abstracted backgrounds for my portraits. Plus, it’s a great excuse to take some road trips with the cat.
*lots of animal studies – I’ve accumulated many blank sketchbooks for this purpose and will divide them into basic broad categories like ‘rodents’ ‘birds’ ‘hoofed things like horses’ ect. Because animals will appear in these portraits too.
*I’ll need to develop better understanding of various mediums and how they work/look/feel so I can decide what my final portraits will be done in.
*I’ll need to develop a much better understanding of how light interacts with form so that I can really depict what I’m seeing in my head without needing a model to match it exactly, because that’s gonna be impossible.
ugh. That’s kind of a list and I don’t really know how to start on it without my thoughts bottle necking rendering me completely useless. Last year was supposed to be my loosening up year, which I suppose I did for about half a second. Over the next year I’m going to really just let myself be stiff and ignore it while I work on the more academic aspects of the craft listed above and once I get a better handle on those I’ll go back to trying to loosen up again. Hard to be loose and free when you’re basically fumbling around in the dark. Well.. at least I’ve got a better sense of what direction to head. Now all I have to do is stay awake long enough to draw.October 9, 2017 at 9:39 am #11644
Now. I do understand that I’m crazy.
Anyway, here is a bit of encouragement that I am clinging to and perhaps a sign that my ultimate goal isn’t totally unattainable. It happened this last July while I had my high fever. I’m loopy on my best days but with a fever? Oh forget about it. I was soaking in a hot salt bath trying to cope with it when I noticed that the full length mirror across from the tub had two blotchy images in the steam that had settled on the surface. They both looked like people from my dreams. I mean like really really looked like them. So I got out some grey scale markers and just drew what I saw value wise and this is what I ended up with for one of the faces. It’s not the greatest technically drawing wise it pretty much sucks. But holy cow it looks like my best dream buddy, Linda!!! (what is the text abbreviation for your imaginary BFF? IBFF? best dream buddy forever BDBF? I dunno..) I mean, like, wow really looks like him. A lot. I find it encouraging.
note to self:contract more fevers in the coming yearDecember 23, 2017 at 3:13 pm #12976
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 lolDecember 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm #12981
Yeah, no, I’m really actually loving that seated pose because for once in my drawing it actually looks like the spine and the butt crack are connected to each other instead of like they’re having a heated debate about politics.
117 – testing out some stuff I’m learning in David Rankin’s “Fast Sketching Techniques” but I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I consistently struggle with trying to turn every thing into a rendered drawing instead of sketching and it really limits my ability to grow and learn efficiently. I also bit off more than I could chew last summer trying to go out and watercolor sketch the whole outdoors when I’ve never actually learned to sketch in the first place so I pretty much just went outside and just got a tan. I like the book so far in how he goes out of his way to define sketching as different from drawing with it’s own distinct purpose. And I do want to be able to get things down quickly… but I also feel like I don’t like the style. Maybe after I get used to sketching something will happen with the style? Also, I guess that’s not the point of it at all… it’s about getting used to using really simple value maps and getting moving targets documented quickly so you can be inspired to do longer duration paintings or drawings. It’s so hard for me to get out of this paralyzing mindset where everything I put down has to look good – His book is cool cause he spends pages putting his crappy 30 second sketches next to his amazing 40 hour drawings so you can understand better why you should do it. Pretty cool book so far.December 24, 2017 at 3:01 pm #13010Marjan Van der DonkParticipant
Love the diversity! And I would love to have a model of a skeleton too! Enjoy all your exploits 😉October 14, 2018 at 8:34 am #18411
wow. So after a really hellish 9 months and finding out what the crap is actually wrong with my brain that’s making it hallucinate so much (along with struggling to regulate everything else in my body) I’m back and I’m doing inktober. I don’t care if it’s a medical condition and not some sort of wonderful spiritual ability.. I’m still planning on trying to paint the stuff I see. Although, I haven’t gotten far at all on that… I’m actually kind of accidentally doing the opposite as I practice. mostly I’m finding that I if draw or even if I just scribble with different things it makes the hallucinations really beautiful and pleasant when they come on and i end up seeing endless worlds of colorful scribbly amazing stuff. So… not what I set out to do drawing, but it’s vastly improved my well being so I’ll take it.
In april I went to a dollhouse show and got to draw the old ladies waiting in line for the show to open and I realized I don’t suck as much as I thought I do… I’d been going out to bars and strip clubs and drawing drunk people in terrible dim lighting from far away moving really fast. was good though – I notice I’m a lot less shy about drawing in public now and a super lot faster than I used to be.
some inktobers. I’m trying to actually follow the prompts since I’ve never been good about that kind of stuff… I’ve done 13 so far which is about 13 more than I thought I could do and probably 13 more than I could have done this time last year. I’m sitting up more lately – so yay! Also, I’ve actually only done 12 but day 7 the official prompt was ‘exhausted’ so I left that one blank and called it performance art. (in other words, cheated because I was too exhausted to draw lol) I’m using 3.5 inch tiles for inktober to keep the drawings small and super managable so I’ll actually do them. On the back I’m writing a bunch of random stuff that’s in my head that seems to block me from being able to actually draw, even when I can sit up. I think it’s helping.
I need to stop being bummed about not really having a style.. I think I just haven’t tried enough stuff yet to have a style. I think the more I let go of the things that i wish were my style but I know they’ll never be, the more I’ll actually find my style. Like, I LOVE realistic pencil drawings. Hate doing them. So that’s probably not what I should be doing. LOVE inky stuff, and LOVE doing it. Love washes. love doing them. thanks inktober!
126 some really random zentangle crap
131 old ladies doin’ it big at the chicago mini show
143 144 i finally went on a camping trip for the first time in my life (shit it is really now or never at this point!) and managed to get some sketching done. it was a nice week and I ate all kinds of camp food stuffOctober 14, 2018 at 8:39 am #18416
all those strip club sketchbook pages did make for an awkward moment in chicago when one of the old ladies wanted to look at my sketchbook, and totally forgetting what it was actually full of I replied ‘knock yourself out’. whoops.. I can’t take myself anywhere.
151-158 inktobersOctober 14, 2018 at 8:42 am #18421
is it only cause my brain is funny that i had trouble with this inktober because I was too busy laughing at the reference photo?November 29, 2018 at 10:35 pm #18921
I finally spent 3 hours last night downloading all the course materials on this website and marking every single course as complete…. hopefully now I’ll be able to use the site more often and more freely. It’s really been a huge roadblock for me not to be able to skip around completely freely on this site as I really don’t learn in a linear fashion. It’s more like I need to just give something a try and then questions naturally arise during the process and then I need to have those questions answered at the moment they occur to me. Being able to freely flick through many different course topics and find my answer is going to be HUGELY freeing….. now I don’t have a way of keeping track of what ive done lol. but that’s ok I guess.
I’m just coming off of another month of having to lay in bed and not get much drawing (or anything else) done but now I’m back to it.
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