No, really sketching every day

Seriously, sketching is like working out. Get your hand used to moving a certain way, get your eyes used to analyzing a scene or catching a sleeve crease, and make these things part of your daily life. And now, I walk the walk and talk the talk, showing off my daily sketches in the hopes that you too will work every day on those things which are close to your heart.

A bit of color. I use ‘Ink-tense’ pencils to color my quick sketches. They are Derwent brand pencils with a watercolor-pencil like consistency. But when you add water washes to make them into paint, they actually become permanent, making them less likely to smear or bleed in high humidity in my abused little sketch pads. I sometimes use a brush with an internal compartment for water when I travel, so I don’t have to carry too much. I also freely use water offered to me at restaurants, blotting my little 0 watercolor brush on paper napkins. I don’t use a lot of color as I go, but sometimes I find it helps.

shy holly dragon

shy holly dragon

And a few sketches showing how the sketch-a-day progress is improving my work in Celtic art. The first is a quick layout for a chariot, the second a quick layout for a piece on Bellanos.

two horse chariot

two horse chariot

Bellanos

Bellanos

So, the sketching is definitely paying off, giving me a better feel for putting down ideas in quick formats and keeping them dated and organized. I feel more confident in putting layouts together without as much fussing, and saving the critique for later.

kjn

kjn

 


Sketching every day

It has always been a point of mine to encourage others to practice. Practice art, practice music, practice writing, practice dance, anything that expresses your creativity and makes you feel in tune with yourself.

So, given an challenge to put my own suggestions to the test, I started a sketch-a-day program for 2009. On January 2, I started out. It wasn’t easy. New ideas, new sketches, what constitutes a sketch for the program?

In June, I attended a family event and my aunt from Britain, who is also an artist, looked at my sketches. There was a style of sketch she liked, rough and quick, that I used to block out ideas that would later transform into more finished pieces. She encouraged me to do more like that. Quick and light.

So starting in June, on my trip from Michigan back to DC, I pulled out a little ringbound sketch pad and began drawing other people at Union Station in DC. In the spirit of sharing and encouragement, I offer these new sketches for review. First, because it is hardly fair for me to encourage others in new pursuits without sharing my own rocky start on this type of thing, and second to let you know I am still working even though the Derrybawn project is a bit slow at this point.

The first pictures are from that initial trip from Michigan to DC in June, 2009. Before I started drawing my fellow travelers, I drew dragon squiggle doodles, leftover from my fantasy art days. I would draw a doodle of swoops and swirls and then create a dragon.

Squiggle dragon

Squiggle dragon

Some are better than others. Be kind to a fledgling sketcher.

And another squiggle dragon

And another squiggle dragon

I drew some odds and ends of illustrations for some of my sister’s writing and poetry as well.

poetry illustration

poetry illustration

And a quick sketch of Union Station, Washington DC

DC Union Station

DC Union Station

one of my fellow travelers.

Lady with suitcase and hat

Lady with suitcase and hat

And the last for this post, the view from my favorite seat at Fado, one of my sketching outposts where the drinks are great and the staff is amused by my sketching.

view from my chair, Fado, DC

view from my chair, Fado, DC

 


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