The Daily Sketch (2)

Regardless of your drawing experience or ability, daily drawing is an undemanding way to build creative confidence and develop muscle memory.  Last week I shared three tips that helped me to begin drawing daily.  If the blank white page leaves you with stage fright, try a different approach with these three suggestions:

Decide what you want to achieve with each drawing.  Trying to capture everything in one drawing might leave you feeling overwhelmed.  So focus on one aspect of your subject, or just use it as a means to explore your media.

Plan your drawing before you begin.  Are you going to do a detailed study of a small area or attempt the full caboodle?  The negative space around or between objects can be just as interesting as the subject itself.  And, if your drawing is quite detailed you may prefer to…

Complete your drawings over several sessions.  Don’t feel you have to attempt a new one every day.  Even simple sketches can be built up over several sessions.  Giving yourself and your drawings breathing space lets you reflect on your progress, and helps you minimise overwork.

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The Daily Sketch (1)

I’m getting used to my new daily drawing habit, with 17 consecutive days under my belt so far.  As the first few days are still fresh in my mind I’ll admit it wasn’t easy to start my daily sketchbook appointment.  So, if you’re contemplating daily drawing, but aren’t sure you’ll keep it going, here are a few suggestions to help you over the first few hurdles:

*Choose a simple subject that you’d be happy to keep drawing over several days.  I started with a mini still-life of golden yellow plums on a chocolate brown saucer.

*Keep the subject small so you can move it if you need to.  As my plums were on a saucer, I could pop them in the fridge overnight, and set them up when I was ready to draw.

*Use a media you’re comfortable with for your first piece.  I started with a simple collage and drew over the top, so I could explore colour and line in a fun way.

Look out for a few more tips next week!

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Side Effects

“When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”

James Clear – Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

With yet another turn of the calendar there aren’t many weeks left in 2017.  17 in fact.  That’s 17 fresh starts.  Or 17 opportunities to choose, act, repeat, if you’re developing a new weekly habit.

And I am.

Every week, I intend to complete one ‘sewing’ task.  They will vary in magnitude, and distance from my current comfort zone.  But by the end of the year I should have 17 more items to wear, and a new set of sewing skills under my belt.  But it’s okay if I only complete one.  As long as I turn up for weekly practice.

Oddly, I feel more comfortable problem-solving with fabric and trying out new (and often complex) sewing techniques, than I am drawing with pencil on paper.  Yet there’s more at stake.  Maybe it’s the way I’m looking at things; I’ll be asking myself about that while I’m mindfully sewing.

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Small Packages of Joy

Sometimes it’s the small things that have the biggest impact.

A few weeks’ ago I rearranged my sock and undies drawers, having borrowed Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy from my local library.  The title intrigued me.  And The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up (also by Kondo) was on loan.

In summary, you decide what to keep, rather than what to part with; then store it away neatly in little rolls or packages of joy.  In my opinion (and depending on the garment), a few choice folds works fine, but if you have time to roll, roll away.  Nevertheless arranging them upright and by colour is genius, and a delight to look at.

Now that the inhabitants of my small items drawers are easy to see and select, I’m more thoughtful about what I wear every day.  Not only have I discovered that I own more pairs of opaque purple tights than I thought I did, my confidence has had an unexpected boost, as has my creative energy.

WordPress Prompt: Inhabit

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The Measure of Measure

As I sat down to type this I felt the familiar guilt of having done NOTHING in my sketchbook since my last post two weeks’ ago.  “But you have!” my inner voice tells me. I’d forgotten I’d drawn some character sketches for my Craftsy Expressive Picture Book Characters course, trying to figure out how to make an animal look upset.  But I’ve been asleep a few times since then.  And I’m so used to berating myself for not doing any drawing, that I don’t make a point of revelling when I do.

And this doesn’t take into account other creative things I’ve been doing during the last two weeks.  Mr C and I have started to design our front garden, which is currently a 12x6m patch of gravel, with no foliage.  I’ve also started to adjust a worn-once dress so I’ll wear it more often, and had to create stuff for work.  And although I added a few doodles to my character design sketchbook, that’s not the point.

Creativity can manifest itself in many ways, through words, images, ideas, conversations, and clothes, for example.  So, we shouldn’t use just one method to measure our creativity by, if at all.  The quality of our creative journey is probably a far better indicator of the progress we’re making, than the number of steps (pages/projects) we’ve taken to get there.

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