Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Some wonderful faces came up this week. The face of the man at the top here looked as if it was straight out of the 1500's - I thought Holbein would have loved to capture it!
I liked it so much I did a profile too (top). They're not exact likenesses but I quite liked the drawings anyway. The other two faces were fun and just as interesting. I think I'm addicted to this show!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
With Jesse wrapped up and flying off to Idaho before I could change my mind (!), I was still in the mood for drawing dogs. Then I remembered I still had an unfinished Yorkie lying around here somewhere so I fished it out and threw colour at it with abandon! I wasn't too happy with it before so I felt there was nothing to lose anyway. It still wasn't quite working until this morning. I was looking at a fantastic drawing on Tommy Kane's blog this week and marvelling at his vibrant colours and thinking about how interesting his crosshatched backgrounds are. My drawing was looking flat so I added various spots of colour in my background (which doesn't show too well in the scan) and it looked a lot better. It's still nowhere near as brave as I want to be, but I think it's a step in the right direction anyway!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This is a drawing of Jesse, now winging it's way to Idaho! Jesse was Sheila's dog (of Idaho Beauty's Creative Journey), now sadly missed and fondly remembered. She was a joy to draw but nerve wracking too. In fact, it wasn't until I Googled black labs that I realised how unique Jesse looked and how I had to get her exactly right! Forty pages of images later I could find nothing like her! I'm much more comfortable drawing people as I can see how close the likeness is, but I think, after drawing Jesse, that getting animals right might actually be more difficult. I'm sure that most of us see a 'cat' or a 'dog' but the owner sees the life, the personality, the uniqueness so much clearer. I had a Blue Burmese, some years ago, and I very rarely see a photo that looks just like her.
Sheila and I met online some years ago at AQL, a group for quilters. I wonder are we the only two quilters to be equally passionate about MotoGP?!
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Every Christmas I like to treat myself to a nice book or three but this year, what with having the 'flu, I didn't have the energy or inclination to do the research (i.e. browse Amazon!). But Katherine Tyrrell, of Making a Mark Reviews highlighted two books that I thought looked very good - Imaginative Realism by James Gurney, and Taking a Line For a Walk by Christopher Lambert. The first has so much information packed into each page it's going to take me a while to go through it but it's an excellent book and useful for all artists and not only those who need to paint what doesn't exist.
The second is a little gem - like having someones sketchbook in your hand.
Lambert walked from Le Havre to Rome and used a page a day to write and illustrate the journey. The handwriting is quite small but not too difficult to read and at the edge of each page is a handy little panel with some of the text of the page and highlighting the date and location in bold. Apart from that unobtrusive little panel it looks just as his sketchbook must have done. I love that his sketches are quite simple - no elaborate shading or detail and coloured simply in coloured pencil (no impossibly beautiful and time consuming watercolours making us mere mortals feel inadequate!) - but I'm also delighted that he hasn't attempted anything fancy with the text (as it was never originally intended to be seen by others). This is, I think, real journaling, not a self conscious attempt to create something pretty or precious.
Paint Amazing Watercolors from photographs by Henry W. Dixon looked like the very basic step by step that I think might help me get out of my rut with watercolours.
As I was looking at Amazon a name caught my eye and I realised I had one of Gwen Diehn's books already - The Decorated Page - which has some lovely ideas for decorating pages. I bought this one - The Decorated Journal - as it seemed to go one step further and I wasn't wrong. It's a beautiful book with loads of inspiring ideas and practical tips.
I have a lot of books with styles unlike my own and ideas for things I'll never do, but if they inspire and get the creative juices going and get me fired up and drawing in my own sketchbooks, then they are worth having. I'm not sure I'll ever totally be happy with a paintbrush, but I want to get into journaling for myself so I predict both Lambert and Diehn's books are going to well thumbed and poured over again and again!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Alastair Stewart and Saira Khan (no, I'd never heard of her either) on Celebrity Mastermind. Mastermind is one of my favourite programmes for the profiles and close-ups! I'll put a series of work in progress drawings of this on my other blog, Sketches by Fiz, later.
I haven't been drawing very much because the light has been so bad (when I'm using colour I prefer natural light) but since we've had so much snow the light is just perfect! If only the nights weren't so long! Now, I have to go out, I may be some time...