I actually messed up yesterday. Doing twenty minutes at lunch gave me a false sense of security, then when I got home I got distracted and didn't start again til 11.30 with not enough time to complete the hour. I could only do 40 minutes total and publish what I'd done before midnight. Big big screw up. Thankfully my mentor gave me mercy. If I'd posted nothing I would have failed completely and been set back to zero.
So today I did 1hr 20 minutes to make up for yesterday. I feel like I've been drawing all evening. They are 5 minute portraits of three celebrities. Can you tell who they are? If you can then that's good for me because it means they show a likeness. If not, I need more practice (I need more practice anyway).
I think the first one's the hardest to recognise out of the three because she doesn't have a real stand out style that the other two have.
On 10th October I wrote a post about other things I'd like to do with my time. On an evening when I'm not feeling very inspired (I'm bored of drawing celebrities out of Hello magazine) I thought I'd write an update.
1. Make a terrarium.
Well I did that :) and the contents are growing! Not sure it's liking being in the basement though. And those white/pink spots on the moss... Are those good or bad??
2. Find exercise
Not much success in that yet except randomly running through the streets of London for no reason other than it's fun. E.g. When I got my train back the other night I decided to run most of the way home from the station just for the hell of it. I did go for a more strategic run on Monday night just for 5 minutes around the block which was good. Great to stretch one's legs after sitting at a desk all day.
3. Write/learn about food.
My mum told me the other night that she'd learnt that because of how supermarket fruit is picked early and artificially ripened when needed it has much much less of the nutritional value of naturally ripened fruit. I don't know the full stats but it makes sense. Of course if we didn't store and ripen fruit like that we couldn't have it out of season and loads (more) would go to waste but it just shows how important local food is for our health (among many other things).
One of my lovely aunts has offered to collaborate on the food front (hi Caroline!) which would be awesome. I just can't see how to fit it in yet. I think when the drawing challenge is over I can go full throttle on food... I considered quitting the drawing to make time for it but that would be criminal with less than two months to go.
4. Write every day.
I haven't done very well on this (yet). I love my bed too much to do it first thing although I did fit in 10 mins yesterday morning when I'd somehow had a shower and breakfast in double quick time. This is something I need to be more disciplined about. So here's a 7 day challenge to myself: write for 10 mins a day. It will just be for myself but I will report back to say if I managed it or forgot or whatever.
Five and ten minute portraits. Not really happy with most of them. It's hard to draw quickly from a photo that's next to you. I end up looking at the picture too much and not the drawing and can't get the right angle to see what I'm doing and make good observations.
This evening I drew a total stranger in 5 minutes!
It turned out infinitely better than I though it would. I didn't have a pencil on me at the time so was forced to use pen. A good thing I think because I had to really think about the lines I was making. This gave me loads more confidence to practice in pen at home.
These are tracings of portraits from a magazine. I experimented with different ways of making the image to see which areas made an image identifiable as that person. Surprisingly all the tracings have very little character dispute their accuracy in form. This goes to show that it's not accuracy in drawing that makes a portrait characterful, although it helps to an extent.
I've also found that eyes are the most important place to add detail as, not surprisingly, they are where you find most of the essence of that person.
Yesterday I watched Stan 'Proko' Prokopenko's YouTube tutorial on how to create depth in a drawing. He says areas of higher contrst seem closer while areas of lower contrast appear further away. As an artist you can choose where you want the viewer's attention to be. Therefore in a portrait it's best to add the most detail and contrast around the eyes and the least around the hair and neck. This draws the viewer to the subject's expression and character rather than to the stitching in their coat.