Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sidewalk Crack Drawings

Finally got this lab done from the Drawing Lab book!  I was pleased when I realized that we weren't going to be drawing on top of the photos of cracks, but just using the crack photos as a springboard for our own drawing.  Then I ended up being very true to the photos. :)  I found this lovely wizard, but every time I tried to draw something that wasn't in the cracks it just seemed wrong.  This is a crack wizard and nothing else.  I still didn't capture him as well as the photo did.  But it was a fun drawing.  Then in another crack I found the goose who seems to be kissing another goose - but it's ephemeral - a reflection?  a ghost?  I tried to make the one goose look very solid and the other fade away.

Another Tree!

At Antioch Park - Jonas watched ducks and hiked around through the drainage ditch under the bridge while I sketched this tree.  The light kept changing as the sun went behind the clouds and I wanted to get those strong shadows - so I kept having to move around the drawing while I waited for the sun to come back.
I'm not particularly happy with my treatment of the leaves - There were a lot more of them than I got in here and the ones I have included look like goo blobs more than leaves.  Need to work on that :)  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

First Attempts - "after"

I'm more than halfway through the book now - so I decided it was high-time I start to do some drawings.  Just from reading the book I feel like I'm already doing much better - though I still have much room for improvement.
 This is the tree and bush in my front yard.  Here I created a value sketch first (on the left, squeezed in on the page of very bad slide drawings from the playground)  From there I did the drawing on the right.  The approach of drawing a box on the page instead of trying to fill the page I got from the author - I love it.  Mostly because, especially in this 5x7 sketchbook, I can never seem to fit my drawing in - so even though I keep overshooting the box - I've still got room to grow.  Also leaves room for notes.  I used 3 different pencils here - HB, 2H and 6B.
I did this one today at the Nelson-Atkins sculpture garden.  Just a cheap #2 pencil from the bottom of the diaper bag - but I'm much happier already.  I feel like I got a fairly interesting composition, and my lights and darks are well balanced.  Those leaves look kinda ginko-y to me even.  But once I've got the hang of this nature drawing stuff I'll have to start working on my architectural drawing.  The building in the background looks like crap.  :)  Straight lines.  Why do they have to be so hard?!

Nature sketching - "before"

These are "before" photos.  Before I started reading the Sketching from Nature book.
This tree - I had no idea what to do with those leaves.  Minimal shading.  No background.  Pretty blah.
This is a drawing of the view out my front window last winter - which is a view of the empty lot across the street.  Which makes for a compositionally challenging piece.  There isn't really a focus - I started a touch of shading on the ground - then didn't like it and abandoned all attempts and putting in any values.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


My favorite drawing exercise so far from the Drawing Lab book was the zoo trip near the beginning.  I enjoyed it so much that I've repeated it several times whenever we've gone to the zoo or the nature center.  I realized that, while finding funny pictures in the swirly lines is great and all, I really want to work on being able to draw from life better.  I have visions of gorgeous plein air drawings.  So I did a quick amazon search and grabbed the first book they recommended (though I grabbed it from the library, because that's the way I roll) It's - The Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature.   I'm loving it.  Just by magic it turns out to be written by a woman who lives in Missouri, so many of the sketches are of the landscape around me - handy!  I'm about half way through -- and so much of it is stuff that I already know - composition, line, value, rule of thirds, etc. etc.  But I'm loving it anyway, because, even though I know this stuff, it's good to be reminded about it.  The first whole chapter was just supplies.  And much like I will read through the list of basic kitchen equipment and cooking techniques in the beginning of every cookbook I buy, I read through this whole chapter.  Even though it's stuff I know, it's fun to drool over all the pencil types and conte and paint and colored pencil.  And there's always that little tip that I stumble across that I never thought of - like the author always sharpens her pencil with a knife instead of a sharpener.  She spends a few paragraphs describing how much better it is to do it this way (then of course tells the reader to do it however they want) so I tried it today - and she's right!  I love sharpening my pencils with a blade!  I'm never going back. :)
Anyway, I will include some nature sketches in here in the near future.  I'm hoping for great improvement :)