Monday, May 01, 2017

Drawing Diary for April

I was going to post a month review for April today but I wasn't having fun writing the post.  I figure if I'm not having fun writing it, then you won't enjoy reading it.  So, since it's now May I thought I'd instead share my creative endeavors from April.

Most of the month saw me struggling to do much of anything creative because for almost the entire first two weeks I was anxious to get Gemma moved to Missouri.  If you'd like to read about the trip you may do so by reading my post, Dream Turned Reality.  Once she arrived I was dealing with a lot of exhaustion, migraines, and rheumatoid arthritis flare ups due to the weather doing some crazy roller coaster tricks (it's getting a bit better with forced rest due to such).  Despite all of this I still wanted to make my goal of at least two watercolor paintings and try to get in some other stuff too.  Signing up for Artnotes on Tara Leaver's website helped some because I inspired to produce a few blind cross contours and a gouache painting.  Seriously if you haven't looked at her website, do so.  Her blog posts are amazing to read and I love how she approaches art.  It's so fresh compared to how serious university got me.  Loosening up isn't easy but it's happening.  Anyway....let's get to the art stuffs that I made this month.

One of the first things I started working on this month was to try and draw Gemma on a card that I was going to send out as a thank you.  After many tries and a blind cross contour I actually gave up on it and just bought a card.  I was too stressed and the photo I was working from was too dark even after lightening it in a computer program.  I am rather happy with the blind contour drawing though.  I think it's the best one that I did this month.

I did look at some other photos from HoP's facebook page and try to draw a likeness of Gemma from them.  I was met with mixed results.  I had only met her once so I wasn't entirely sure how to think through her features.  For instance with Cocoa I knew that he had a little nose, a small dish in his face, and he had some really awesome foretop with a good mane.  While those are things you can more or less see in a photo, it's not the same as actually knowing and when the horse is mine I tend to infuse all that I know of their personality into the drawing too.  This can lead to embellishments of certain characteristics which helps the viewer be able to look at the drawing and be able to make quick observations about the personality.

This is the first watercolor painting that I did and took me almost literally the entire month to complete.  The paper was originally 11" x 14" but after messing up on the left hand side I decided to cut a portion off.  Honestly I think the composition looks better without that left portion anyway.

I drew inspiration from a photo of the inside of a cave for this.  To me it really made me think sand so I chose to pick more sandy type colors for the painting.  I feel like I'm slowly getting a feel for medium and finding a way to make it work a bit for me.  I was able to mix my colors on the paper versus on the palette so that made me happy.  I only used yellow, red, blue, purple, and green.

I actually did three blind cross contour drawings from the first Artnote that I received.  I would've done more but I ran out of ideas of what to try and do a blind drawing of.  The first one is of a picture of a plant in a pot, the second one is from a photo I took of our cat, Loki, and the third one is a from a picture of a random horse on the internet.

This piece came about as a prompt from the third Arnote that arrived in my email.  The suggestion was to use a medium that you had never used before.  For me that is quite a challenge since I've had my hands into all sorts of mediums but 90% of them I am not all that familiar with. I had bought a small set of gouache from Michael's when I had went to pick up something else (art stores are seriously dangerous for me and our wallet).  Immediately I thought of the gouache and dug it out and then decided to do a play on a composition I had come up with in high school.  What I got is what you see.

I am actually rather pleased with it even though it was something I did quick and dirty like.  I found I do like the opaqueness of the medium too, although I'm not so sure about the smell.  I may eventually do a more refined version of this.  In the meantime it helped me greatly through some emotions that I was wrestling with, between missing Cocoa and being happy to have Gemma.

I found a picture of a lily and did a semi-blind contour drawing of it so that I could play with watercolors and ink it.  This was actually inspired by some people in the closed facebook group that you are invited to join upon signing up for Tara Leaver's Artnotes.  I think the biggest thing I need to learn is to layer the paint and not try to go for just one application.  This would allow me to get some better light washes and use the white of the paper if I so desire.  Mostly I look at this as a completion to a goal but at the same time I really like the colors in the flower.

While I was looking at the different kinds of paper I have stashed away on my bookshelf, I found this old drawing of a character of mine.  At the time he was still only pencil lines and since I was looking for something to do anyway, I decided to finish it.  I simply used a micron 0.3 pen to do the inking job and then used a Dixon Ticonderoga for the shading.  I am thinking I should draw more cats.

Ravanel's drawings in her Drawing Diary: March actually reminded that I wanted to play with conté crayon more at some point this month.  So finally as of last Thursday I broke them out along with some smooth bristol board.  I decided to cut the 11" x 14" piece down to much smaller and easier to deal with sizes.  Then I started playing.

Above you can see that it didn't amount to a whole lot.  I was trying to use water to dilute the crayon but it just didn't want to spread.  So I just marked and watered the paper until I got to the point that it felt useless to continue.  Oddly I ended up with a shape that looks rather bird like even though I wasn't trying to make any kind of recognizable form at all.

Next I decided that I would try to abstractify a picture of a horse that I found on the interwebs.  As you can see I got too into just drawing the horse and forgot about actually doing anything about making it look abstract.  Oh well! It was a nice quick study of a horse.

Next I decided to try and do a patchwork/planes kind of drawing of a horse head.  Except for the background (I have no idea what I was thinking), I kind of like how it came out.  I decided to explore this a bit more only in a different kind of medium.

Both of these were inspired by photos that I found by searching through Google but I feel like I also took them and made them my own.  I used the photos more as a visual reference and I like both well enough that they may become their own characters at some point.

I first drew each of these using my Dixon Ticonderoga and then inked them with my Micron 0.3  pen.  The 'patchwork' part was inspired by the one I did with conté crayon and I meant to actually make them more abstract but, well...sometimes drawings take on a life of their own.  I am quite pleased with both of them and mentioned to my husband that I needed to find a way to finish them.  He told me to just leave them as is and if I wanted to add color why not just scan them and print them out to add it that way.  We'll see what happens in the future.  I may leave them as is or I may decided to try and color them in.

Even with how the month went I was still able to produce some art pieces (no matter how crude) and play around.  Since playing is still my focus I am not upset with the results of the products for doing so.  I am just pleased to be making a go of it again.

Also if you want to see any work in progress, extra Gemma and kitty photos, or some photography in general follow me on Instagram.

P.S. Next month I think I need to actually use my scanner rather than taking photos of the art with my phone... I just really don't care for scanning things, it's so much easier to take a picture! However, the scans look nicer.  So, in interest of things looking better,  yeah.


  1. I keep telling myself I need to comment on this, but always at times I don't have a lot of time. Derp, Rav. >.<

    By the way, I really love the "bird like cloud" you made with the conté crayons. Don't hate me, but it's actually my favourite thing of this post! Really something entirely different. As always, it's great to see everything you've been working on (and so much, too!). The water colour is really special (for me water colour always takes a lot of time, too!) and your banner really cute. I should really work on my April drawing diary, I'm hopelessly behind!

    1. No worries. It took me a bit to comment on your post about LOTRO's anniversary. ^^

      Thank you! I'll admit I like the bird thing just because it came out of nowhere. :) I wonder if I could play with it some more. I've been doing more watercolor this month so far and drawing too. Thank you on the banner too. I can't wait to see what you've been up to for April!