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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Day 105

This evening I continued my drawing of the china dogs.  It's an interesting and challenging subject because of the two lamps and how they cast light and shadow and the reflections they create in the polished surfaces and in the glass of the picture behind.  I want to continue this when I can to see how it progresses further, even though some parts are wrong (caused by me sitting to the right of the subject but my brain wanting me to draw it as though from head on).

I actually really like it :)

Time: 1 hr 10 mins


Monday, 29 September 2014

Day 104

Wow I'm tired today.  I started a new job and didn't sleep much last night.  I suppose I was technically drawing all day on Vectorworks but it was just rectangles.  It was more maths than art.  

I did the first drawing in a restaurant called Leon in Spitalfields Market and the second is the start of a drawing of a pair of lamps and china dogs in my aunt's house in the room I'm staying at the moment.

Time: 1hr




Sunday, 28 September 2014

Day 103

Another still life of objects found this time in my parents' house.  They have a lot of odd antiques.  Choosing what to put in the composition was quite hard.  It's good to have a mixture of different objects: some simple, some complex, some boxy or cylindrical, and some organic.

I think I did ok on this one.  It's hard to make still life look solid and grounded.


Here's a photo of the scene:


I made the clock too tall and the side of the metronome is different.  I put it down to me having two eyes, not one like this camera, although I did cover one eye a lot of the time so stop the perspective moving too much.

I also put the plant label in the wrong place but decided it didn't matter.  It would ruin the drawing to try and move it to where it is in reality because I was drawing in black pencil and couldn't use an eraser.

Time: 1 hr 10 mins


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Day 102

After drawing my great aunt Ruth I decided to draw her brother, my grandfather, Joseph 'Alf' from a photo of when he was in the in the army in World War II (he fought in the North African desert).

I did three attempts because the angle of his head is really difficult to draw.  The camera's looking up at him in three-quarter profile.

Attempt 1


Attempt 2:


Attempt 3


In this last one which was loads better than the others, I constructed the shapes of the head with circles and ovals.  That made it much easier to fit together.  Often I find I mess up the size of the forehead or the proportions of the lips and chin.

Here's the original photo:


Time: 1hr 10 mins




Friday, 26 September 2014

The Challenge

I just wanted to write a note about the challenge itself and the point of it.

This challenge isn't easy.  I'm still procrastinating most days, I still doubt myself and sometimes I wonder "what's the point?"

The point is that I know I have some kind of talent and that deep down I love making art.  This has got buried over years of formal education with poor guidance and distraction.  I'm not trying to blame anyone for me forgetting about it because I know it's ultimately my own responsibility where I put my efforts and how but that's great because it means I also have the power to go back to what I love and learn to allow myself to do it again! Easier said than done but the point is that it CAN be done.

There's an awesome guy called Scott Dinsmore who runs an amazing website called Live Your Legend.  It's all about helping people find the work they "can't not do." Watch his TED talk, seriously:



Great isn't it? :) I love the story about the swimming advice from the disabled kid.

Thing is it's great watching these videos and feeling all inspired but at the end of the day, if you don't actually DO SOMETHING then nothing will change! Or, more importantly, if you don't CONSISTENTLY DO SOMETHING.  

So one major part of Scott's campaign is getting people to start blogging, consistently, about what interests them.  He's started a blogging challenge you can sign up to here where he very kindly hands out free advice on where to start.

I would LOVE it if some of my family and friends would join the 180 day challenge, not necessarily drawing but anything! Learn French or song writing (hint hint wink wink. You know who you are!!)

It's not easy but if it was it wouldn't be a challenge! And I'm still not perfect.

But do you know what the best thing is? Once I've finished this challenge I know I'll be able to do it again! And again! What will I do next? Jazz piano? Poetry? Dress making? Animation?

Anyway please please please think about it and check out Live Your Legend. 

Night xx

PS and this 180 Day Food Photography Challenge by my friend Ikem







Day 101

I continued the portrait of my great aunt Ruth today.  She passed away last week mid way through making bananas on toast at home aged 97 (her birthday was 24th October). She hated talking about her age but who can blame her? She was stunning when she was young! 

I remember her playing on the playground swings in our village when she came to visit, commenting on the sign that said 'No Adults' by replying "I'm young at heart!"  I hope I still have that energy when I'm in my nineties.  Lesson from Ruth: don't act your age.

Time: 1 hour 10 mins




Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 99

I'm not gonna lie, this is pretty bad.  Tip: don't try and draw and watch Great British Bake Off at the same time. It's very distracting but I still did the hour. It's a drawing from a photo. Amazing how one can go from one of the best to one of the worst drawings in just a couple of days.  But hey it's all practice.

Time: 1 hr


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Day 98

Still life continued. Drawn from a photo this time as I had to move the objects.  I think the most successful bit of this drawing so far is the box of the behind the flower.  The flower might be better if I didn't outline the petals so much; outlining things is a tempting thing to do but it makes the result a bit cartoony rather than lifelike as there is no such things as outlines in the real world, just divides between colour or light and dark.

Time: 1hr


Monday, 22 September 2014

Day 97

Today my friend Niall sat for me.  He has quite an impressive beard at the moment but he wanted me to make him look even more 19th century so I added the spectacles, dickie bow and curly moustache.  I think I captured him quite well.  I must have got braver with my drawing as I am preferring to draw on A3 now.

Time: 1hr




Sunday, 21 September 2014

Day 96

Still life in charcoal.  Getting cylindrical objects looking symmetrical is surprisingly difficult.  The wine bottle's annoyingly wonky.  Doesn't help that I finished the last of the contents before I started ha ha!  And the sequinned boot was being a pain but I'm quite liking it now I've sorted out the shape of the toe (which strangely doesn't look right in the photo) and worked out the technique to get the right texture. 

Still life drawing makes excellent practice for drawing accurate shapes.

Time: 1hr






Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day 95

Drawing one of the windows in the living room on Brushes, trying to get the colours right.  I think it was going quite well.  The good thing about drawing digitally means it's much easier to pick the right colours, plus you have the eye dropper tool.


Then I was going to do a charcoal from a photo but then I started drawing my Thai bag that was slumped on the floor in front of me.  I'm surprised how well it's turned out, especially as I haven't really used charcoal in ages a part from in life drawing.  The great thing about charcoal is you can fade it out by rubbing it with your fingers.  I like to build up the drawing in layers that way.

I've taken a photo of the bag too for comparison, and then a close up of the drawing which is A3 size.

Time: over 1hr 5 mins






Friday, 19 September 2014

Day 94

Today I had a go at drawing over some of the abstract landscapes from yesterday plus doing some flowers with coloured pencil.

Some of the plant drawings needed some more practice first before I drew them onto the backgrounds but I really like the overall effect.


The colours didn't work in this.  Magenta + dark green = yuck.  It was hard to draw from a photo where most of it had been blurred out.




This one's my favourite






Thursday, 18 September 2014

Day 93

Experimenting with colours through mini abstract landscapes




Close ups of the best ones:































Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Day 92

DNA first

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3: The completed piece 40x28 fingerprints = 1,120!!

Close up of the final one

The final one joined up with all the other experimental ones

Life Drawing

Didn't go so well tonight compared to other weeks.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe partly because it was a big class so the model was further away, making it harder to measure proportions accurately.  But then maybe I jut wasn't in the right frame of mind this week. It's strange how one time you can produce something really great and then the next it's totally mediocre.