Fly or Flow?

Apple sketch

Did I mention my resolution for this year was to Simplify?

My attempts haven’t quite gone as expected these past few weeks as I have more commitments rather than less.  So I’ve been asking myself: “Is it better to spend a few good hours on a project, seeking flow?  Or is a quick sprint better for productivity?”

I’m currently practicing quick sprints, setting my timer so I jump from one activity to another, and rushing to finish before the buzzer.  I also gave myself permission to complete even the simplest sketches over several consecutive days, rather than putting them off because I have a heap of other priorities.  I’m not sure this was the best strategy as a drawing that should take 30 minutes is dragging on.  But I’m drawing daily, and that’s a good (re)start.

Footnote ~ I can recommend this apple drawing tutorial which I found on the Will Kemp Art School website; it’s part 2 of 3.  Part 1 explains the theory of shadows, and part 3 is an acrylic painting tutorial.

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Finding the Words

Character-brief.jpg

If this was an illustration or drawing brief I’d be distracting myself with time fillers.  But it’s not, and (despite my lack of experience) it doesn’t seem at all scary.

I’ve just started a creative writing course – a free Open University one on FutureLearn.com, and this exercise appears halfway through Week One.  So, what is it about writing that feels just slightly daunting but doable, yet if we were tasked with drawing the very same we’d make our excuses not to (or in my case, keep putting off until I’d plucked up enough courage just to open my sketchbook, then spend longer criticising the results than I spent crafting my sketch).

But that’s the point of a beginners’ course, isn’t it?  To have a go, make mistakes as we learn something new, accepting every stumble and fall as a necessary part of the learning curve.  Yet, with drawing, whether we’re starting out, starting over or beginning to find our feet it’s harder to accept the very same stumbles and falls.

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Slow-roasted Garlic

Slow-roasted Garlic

Collage, graphite and gouache on paper.

I’d usually rush through a sketch like this, and scribble it down.  For a change I took a little longer to apply the line and tone, pausing to assess what it needed, and refusing to judge my finished sketch.  Daily Drawing Take Two.

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Mini Marathons

hourglass-time-hours-sand-39396.jpeg

Timing is everything when you set yourself a dozen deadlines in one day.

My daily drawing habit has slipped.  But I know I can do it again, if I follow my own advice.  More recently housework has kept me distracted for the best part of a morning, so it’s usually mid-afternoon before I settle down to draw, if at all.

To quicken my pace I’ve been setting a 20-minute timer.  It’s amazing how much you get done when you know you have a deadline; you make every second count.  I’m allowing myself short bursts of housework alternated with creative work.  I’m getting better at not putting off, and scheduling ‘mini marathons’ of activity is helping me get more done in a day.

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Skeletons in the Snow

Troutbeck in snow

This was the view from our Cumbrian cottage last week; no two days of weather were alike.  I loved the dark shapes of the skeletal trees against the snow-covered hills, and attempted to simplify their shapes with a retractable pencil in my pocket sketchbook.

WordPress prompt: Simplify

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