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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Plumdinger!

 

A medley of yellow plums in: [day 1] collage with pen and ink; [days 2-7] pencil; and [days 8-10] my own recipe of ‘ink’ topped with pencil and conté pastel.  The beginning of a new daily drawing habit.  Long may it…

WordPress prompt: Continue

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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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Logo Logic: Fire Walking

When I embark on an art or design project, I always fluster.  Some of my ideas aren’t what you’d call mainstream and often have to be explained.  And that concerns me.

Take, for example, my diversity and inclusion logo design.  My first idea was a Venn diagram.  A bit boring, but no explanation needed.  Yet it just didn’t sit right with me.  I wanted to go with something a little less obvious.  And I did.

But with creative projects I feel I have to keep justifying my idea to myself, or explaining them to others.  At the moment I have limited faith (that comes from experience) but some of my ideas are just so far off the mark I end up on a completely different path to the one I should have been on (again, from experience).

Could I be a trailblazer, a brave pioneer of fresh new territory?  Or am I just lost?

A trailblazer is literally someone who makes marks along their trail so that others may follow behind.  They may not find the destination they were expecting, but if they hadn’t started their journey they would never have known.  I’ve begun to tell myself I’m blazing my own trail.  In time I hope someone feels curious enough to follow, find what I found, and discover where I’m headed next.

Lesson 5: It takes courage to blaze a new trail, so it’s okay to hesitate a little (and you won’t burn your feet).  Enjoy the journey or you’ll miss part of the fun, and take time to discover your destination when you finally get there.

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