Friday, June 30, 2017

Mindful Repetition

"Satisfaction lies in mindful repetition, 
the discovery of endless richness in subtle 
variations on familiar themes." 
~ George B. Leonar

"Repetition is the mother of study." ~ Latin proverb

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Beauty Of Repetition

"I believe that the beauty of repetition is 
something that is not explored enough yet." 
~ Keren Ann


"Repetition is important in the training 
not only of animals but also of humans." 
~ Yann Martel

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Of Sky And Earth

"When nature made the blue-bird she wished to 
propitiate both the sky and the earth,
so she gave him the color of the one on his back 
and the hue of the other on his breast."
~ John Burroughs

"There is always more to be found 
by exploring the same subject again and again." 
~ Dion Archibald

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Got The Blues?

"There ain't no cure for the summer time blues."
 ~ The Who

Meet my newest models; a bevy of bluebirds. All the same shape but all in different poses.

Some ¼ turn, 2 minute sketches of the one on the right.

Detail of one sketch with a tonal watercolor wash applied.

I hope the bluebird of happiness visits you today!
Happy Creating My Friends!
X ♥  O

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Victor, Not A Victim

“You are stronger than you know.”
~ Lori Osterman 
We have so many hummingbirds here now . . . . 
But none as significant as this one, "Brave Little Survivor",
who holds a special place in my heart.

I sketched her in my 300 series Strathmore 70# drawing pad
using a 5B drawing pencil from the photo above.

Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sketching With Jon Gnagy

“I watched his show every week and 
I bought all his books.”
 ~ Andy Warhol

I decided to draw along with my very first art teacher, Jon Gnagy, today. I did a good bit of drawing with him as a kid and a week of drawing along with his videos in DrawingEveryday, back in 2011. At that time, his charming daughter (who now maintains his website) contacted me when she saw my blog posts and we exchanged a few emails. I felt a little nostalgic today and thought I'd give it another go. You can learn more about Jon and see my 2011 sketch of this same winter scene and video here ...

"I don't think anyone could draw as fast as Gnagy, but then he seems to have spent a great deal of time preparing so that he could get his picture into 15 minutes or 1/2 hour." 
~ Ron Csuha

In the demos, Jon is using a hard square charcoal stick. (Looks like a conte crayon.) I still have his "Pastel Painting Set" and it has a black and a grey stick in it. You could also use a charcoal pencil or a soft (3B - 5B) pencil (like I did) for the drawings. Notice the way he is holding it like a wand - using his whole arm! (Holding it between his thumb and forefinger.) Although I don't know if he ever really mentioned it, I watched and imitated his approach. He is the first one to teach me how to hold my pencil that way and I have been drawing like that ever since! See more ....

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Everything is Sketchable!

Jerry is a bit of a hoarder and trash picker from way back,
so there is never a scarcity of things to draw around here.
Here is how I set up today's model. I think it helps to get it up
close to eye level and put a solid background behind it.

This is a 15 minute blind contour of a very cute toy dinosaur.
Blind contour doesn't necessarily create a beautiful drawing, but
it is a wonderful exercise in developing your skill of really seeing.

In my opinion, artists put too much emphasis on creating paintings
or finished pieces (a product) and not enough on practicing (the process).
The real joy for me, is in being in the moment, engrossed in the process of creating.

You can see more about blind contour in the side bar here.


Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Friday, June 23, 2017

Learning To Draw

"You learn to draw by drawing." 
~ Mick Masle

Buck Jackson came over today for a 3 hr. drawing session.
We reviewed and executed several exercises from Betty Edwards' book,
 "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". We explored face vases, upside down drawing
and 2 minute gesture drawing with watercolor wash applied. I hope Buck posts
some of her drawings on the DE facebook group. She's a quick study and not afraid of practice.

"To gain confidence, constant practice is essential. Just as a musician needs to practice regularly to retain his touch, the artist needs to be constantly in touch with the medium." ~ R. Lovett

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#ThrowBackThursday - Way Back!

"Perhaps one of the most essential exercises in learning to 
draw or paint is the copying of master works." 
~ Igor Babailov

Leonardo da Vinci's‬ Horse

Although da Vinci did hundreds of drawings, only a handful were ever finished.
 Known to be a procrastinator and a perfectionist, it is very hard to find a drawing
of his that hasn't been left undone.

Copying old masters (or new masters) drawings are a valuable aid in art development. 
If you are up for a challenge, why not break out of your comfort zone and give it a try!

"When you copy a drawing by a highly skilled artist, you are not only exposed to his
or her drawing techniques, but at the same time you study their thinking process.
If the drawings are studies for a finished painting, you can also learn how the artist
developed an idea from beginning to end."

See a good little article with some tips, techniques and insights here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It Is A Happy Talent

"It is a happy talent to know how to play."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today's sketch was inspired by another PMP reference photo.

I had fun using my intuition and imagination on the coloring of the hummingbird.
"Creativity is about play and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition.
It's crucial to an artist. If you know where you are going and
what you are going to do, why do it?
 ~ Frank Gehry
Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Monday, June 19, 2017

Everybody Wins!

"In art, everyone who plays wins." 
~ Robert Genn

Today's drawing started out mainly as a version of this photo from Paint My Photo. PMP is a site with copyright free photos for artists to use. I am really grateful to photographers who share their work with us. I love free photo sites for art reference, but the pictures are not always of the highest quality. This image, for instance, lacks detail and pizazz.

Before I put the watercolor wash on, I decided to modify the pose
and have some fun playing with the color.
I really enjoyed doing this little cutie.

"Art is a game. Too bad for them who makes a duty of it."
~ Max Jacob

Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Daydream of the Soul

 "Paintings become the playground of mixtures and solutions 
coming together to daydream about the soul." 
~ C. R. Amadeo

Another sketch today from varied reference material.
The gesture was from one place, the color from another
and the detail from something else.

When you are creating, there is no need to stick with reality. 
Let your imagination be your playmate. Go ahead and explore your soul.

Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A loving Embrace

"Drawing is a frame of mind, a loving embrace if you will."
 ~ Susan Avishai

I love this quote about drawing. It is one of my favorites. Ok, I'll admit, I'm a quote junkie and I've got hundreds of favorites! But this one sort of sums up how I feel when I'm drawing something I love and I'm in the *zone (*the place or state of mind you are in when youve made that right brain shift).

Today's little watercolor sketch was done from multiple reference photos and sketches in my many reference folders; collected over the decades; some of which I still have from childhood.  Often when drawing or planning a painting, I use many images to come up with a final design.

We've got hummer action here non-stop now and they are keeping me busy cleaning and filling the feeders. And of course, I'm taking multiple hummingbird breaks during the day, just to indulge in the sheer joy of being in their presence; feeling the rush of air as they zoom by; watching the acrobatic displays, listening to the excited chattering and being enchanted by their never ending magic.

Happy Drawing and Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Friday, June 16, 2017

Don't Think, Just SEE!

"The mind stands in the way of the eye." 
~  Arthur Stern

I am enjoying this daily sketching so much!
Once you make that right brain shift, drawing and painting
becomes an effortless, other worldly experience!

"To really see is to forget the name 
of the thing one sees."
~ Paul Valery

Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Thursday, June 15, 2017

It All Comes Down to Seeing

"Cultivate patience in your heart and you will improve. 
Learn to see well and your hand will become sure."
~ C. P. Brooks

 I was inspired by Rita G.'s colorful bird sketch
and decided to do one of my own today. It was so much fun!

I don't know about you, but I'm really starting to feel those 'ole drawing muscles limber up! I feel sorta like an athlete (who's been away from the game for a while), getting back into shape. I am finding that through daily practice, I'm seeing things more clearly and putting down marks with more sureness and precision than I was only two weeks ago. Drawing is an amazing skill! Once you really get it, it's sorta like learning anything. It may take you a while to get back in the game after a hiatus, but it will come back to you, right where you left off, eager to lead you onward and upward in the great creative adventure of Right Brain Consciousness. If you haven't experienced that shift yet, you don't know what you're missing!  I highly recommend getting Betty Edward's book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Seeing Takes Time

“O snail
Climb Mount Fuji
But slowly, slowly!”

~ Kobayashi Issa

 My friendly model for today's 15 minute blind contour drawing.
It is such a wonderful exercise. I should really do it more often.

"Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small.
We haven't time, and to see takes time - 
like to have a friend takes time."
~ Georgia O'Keeffe
Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another Quick Sketch

“No matter what gifts you have, 
practice is the only way 
to get better at anything."
~ J. Harnum

2 minute gesture drawing

2 minute gesture drawing with watercolor wash

Happy Creating My Friends!

X ♥  O