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.

The post Mini Marathons first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

 

Advertisements

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

The post Skeletons in the Snow first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

Do You Mind?

Watercolour studies

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

With a newfound confidence I don’t recognise in myself, I’m thrilled to be a beginner again.  Impatient as I am, I think I should dive deeper into the dark and dirty world of charcoal, although I have the taste for colour.  I want to explore ideas, practice techniques and push boundaries before my developing knowledge, skills and mind-set prevent me from doing so.  Just as I did in these early watercolour studies before I knew any better.

The post Do You Mind? first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

Dusted and Done

…and with a few waves of the hand the offending sketch had gone.  Magic!

Charcoal is a wonderful medium for learning to draw: it’s relatively inexpensive; you don’t have to start with a blank white page; you can draw with both charcoal and erasers; and willow charcoal can be easily wiped away.  You and your work area will get dusty, but that’s half the fun.  I have no idea why it’s taken me this long to appreciate it.

If you’re beyond outlines and ready to tackle light and shadow I can recommend Clara Lieu’s YouTube series on drawing a charcoal portrait to get you started, no matter your subject; read my review here.

If my internet connection hadn’t failed on both the evening I finished and the following morning, I would have left my own charcoal still-life alone.  The unusual disruption gave me pause to crit (and continue) my drawing for the Art Prof’s October Art Dare: Superstition, by adding my hand.

 

I love the tradition of superstitions, and “touch wood” is one my family often uses to repel fate or bad luck.  There are a couple of clues to this hidden in my composition; can you spot them?  Answers on a postcard…

The post Dusted and Done first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

The Daily Sketch (3)

Developing a regular drawing habit has taught me a few things.  For one, I was under the illusion that my drawing ability was more advanced than it actually is.  Not particularly surprising as, over the years, I’ve practiced drawing sporadically.  I’ve also become so comfortable with life-drawing I find other subjects difficult.  Until recently, I didn’t even know how to begin a drawing.  There was no set process, I just played about making the odd mark, then I was on my way.  Each drawing just seemed to evolve.

As I’m now re-learning to draw, I’m also learning to accept I won’t always like what appears on the page in front of me.  If you’ve noticed a gap between where you currently are, and where you think you should be, here are some suggestions to reframe your view…

Focus on the tactile quality of your drawing medium.  If you’re feeling apprehensive about the outcome of a sketch, concentrate on what it feels like to handle your choice of medium, or make marks on your paper, instead.

Don’t judge your drawings; look at them with an objective eye.  Muse over what you’re learning (from the medium, your technique, the subject…) and decide how you want to approach your next drawing.  What would you repeat or do differently?

If you’re anxious about drawing, either complete it as early as you can, or promise yourself a treat when you’re done.

Add a smiley face to your calendar after every drawing session.  You turned up to the page, and that’s just as important as the accuracy of the lines you just drew.  There are many ways to record your progress; I chose smiley faces, and they’ve helped me draw daily for a whole month!

The post The Daily Sketch (3) first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.