Sunday, August 16, 2015

learning to draw

drawing terrifies me. I usually end up with something like this:
when I was painting dogs, I would grid out the photo and the canvas to get proportions close. 

 I've had artist friends tell me for years that "everyone can learn to draw" and "you do draw, you just do it with your paintbrush". I realized that the second of these was true, because I would do paintings by tracing the outline to ensure that the animals weren't frighteningly deformed but paint the rest from the photo until I had it right.

my friend lisa cheney is an amazing artist and teaches art journaling classes. so I got brave and signed up for one. visual journaling holds a lot of appeal for me. I like being able to play with no pressure, I like being able to dump things and hopefully leave them (or work out as the case may be). I like the ability to try techniques.
lisa's savage mirror class was amazing and got me much more comfortable with drawing, tools, journals, etc.
I started drawing on business trips- very safe- good practice-
made a book to take with me on business trips
and I did use it sometimes- 
but I still wasn't confident in my drawing- and I was taking everything and the kitchen sink with me everywhere & not using any of it. ugh.
so, I signed up for an extreme field journaling class with juliana coles. i'd heard lisa speak highly of her and decided that on line had to be a pretty safe environment.
for starters, I have whittled down the amount of shit that I carry with me all of the time- and still don't use most of it. I am also using things I've had for years (hello travel watercolor kit) that were just gathering dust.
most exciting is that I actually have drawings that I am excited about. what lisa told me for years finally clicked with what juliana is teaching (and what I know to be true from painting)- the mind fills in the blanks. you don't need to paint every feather- the suggestion of a feather, done correctly, is enough. proportions don't have to be perfect, but get the big stuff right.
I struggle with the exercises- but that's what they are, exercises. it's class. it isn't about being inspired, it's about working. so just do the work.

so I drew 4 rooms in my house. and i thought i did a pretty good job. so did my husband, who likes realistic artwork (charlie russell, etc.), and that made me feel good. it isn't perfect, or photo realistic, but there is energy and personality and it is technically good enough.

 took the mobile kit with me on a road trip this weekend and was glad to have it-
prepped this page before we left, drew it on the drive home and finished it in the studio tonight. so much fun, so nice to have the tools to work with

I am really excited to see where this takes my art. i'm grateful to have the time to play and learn and see where it goes.

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