Recently I’ve begun tuning the free art project to more closely reflect what is going on around me, both locally and seasonally. I had a couple of failed attempts drawing some blossom related pictures this week, and with time running out, I started to panic a little. What to draw? Then I remembered – there is a family of Egyptian Geese in Beddington Park, two adults and four young.
This small group of birds has attracted a good deal of attention among people in the community, with regular photos appearing on Facebook. I’m not very good at drawing – it’s something I need to practice much more, so as part of that practice, and in a departure from my usual style of work – this week I’ve drawn an Egyptian Goose.
I started using a very muted palette of pencils, and the drawing was just too feint. I’ve worked in some ink (fineliners) and some heavier pencil work. Is it any good? I’m not sure. It was a challenge, that I do know, and that’s part of what this project is about, the challenge.
There’s a tree outside my window, currently full of blossom. On Sunday I went for a walk in the neighbourhood and saw blossom everywhere. On returning home, I remembered I had a winter tree sketch made a few weeks ago, sitting in my ‘unfinished business’ pile. I mixed up some pinks, whites, and reds, and carefully brought the winter tree into a new season.
I shared this new Spring tree on Facebook, then put it in my Etsy shop, where it sold about fifteen seconds after I’d listed it. Head spinning stuff! I’ve since listed a short run, limited edition print of 30 which have started to sell too. Maybe it’s just the timeliness of the image, but whatever it is, I’ve not experienced such a strong and fast positive reaction to my work before now. Thank you to everyone who has shared this image online, and given such encouraging feedback. I appreciate your support.
This week I visited Cass Art in Islington for a drawing workshop with Jake Spicer. Jake’s a friendly guy and an accomplished artist. He spoke briefly about what he thinks the important basics are to help you draw and in time, draw better. I didn’t take notes at the time and here’s what I recall of his suggestions.
Time : Find some, it doesn’t always have to be a lot, but enough to practice regularly
Subjects : Don’t get hung up on what to draw, choose something and draw it
Materials : Keep a small sketch book and pencil to hand, don’t let the absence of stuff to draw with be the excuse for not drawing
Confidence : Grows with time and practice, and part of the process is about making bad drawings and seeing what you learn from them
We then tried drawing something using a continuous line while looking at the subject all the time, not at the drawing. I found this process really enjoyable – here is a sketch of a bookcase.
I had no way of knowing what the final picture would look like until it was finished and I’m really pleased it ended up being a good size to fit one of my small mounts. I’m tempted to trace the basic shape a few times before adding some small details – I might make another small series of images in a similar way that I recently created Stained Glass.
Jake showed us the basics of how to draw a head in profile before inviting us to find a partner and draw them. I’d never made a life drawing of someone else before…there’s a first time for everything.
I can clearly see areas for improvement and at the same time I am happy with this as a first attempt. I really enjoyed Jake’s class – it helped me realise I need to make more drawings, and the basic process is simpler than I thought.