Schoolism - Foundation Studies Course - Weeks 4 and 5

I know that I'm a little behind on this post due to some personal and client projects that came up but below are my 2 assignments for week 4 on 'Composition' with Thomas Fluharty.

I took a little longer on my second assignment for week 4 trying to get the lighting, poses and expressions right. For both assignments, we were given photos to use as reference and encouraged to include as many as possible using all the tools we learned from this course to create a pleasing composition.  For my first assignment, I used all 4 of the provided images (dog, cat, window and flowers). For my last assignment, I used 4 out of the 5 images because I felt that a park bench wasn't necessary to the story of daredevil dogs and it would end up being too busy for the shot. I was thinking that I may do a coloured version later and possibly make a print of it.

Week 5 was an overview of gesture drawing with a suggestion to continue studies by taking Alex Woo's class on gesture drawing. I wholeheartedly agree and have already switched to his class. It's a great tool to help you see things in a new way and to keep poses from looking stiff. I will be posting more on that soon.

TV Sketching

It was an eventful and productive long weekend. The hubby and I kicked off the weekend watching a late night viewing of Mad Max with some good friends. It was a pretty fun ride with all the non-stop action and stellar visuals. I felt very inspired when I got home but sleep prevailed and drawing would have to wait.  

We did a ton of yard work with our neighbours. The pesky weeds in our lawn never seem to abate and I often think the war over the weeds is a losing battle as I picture evil fairies or raccoons replanting the dandelions we diligently remove. To celebrate our small victories we decided to have an impromptu bbq with our neighbours. Yum, yum! 

After all the work, I did finally manage to squeeze in some drawing time while relaxing in front of the tube watching Outlander, Reign, Lip Sync Battle and Penny Dreadful. For the first two shows I would hit pause and set a time limit between 1 to 5 minutes per sketch with the goal of increasing my drawing speed. For the latter shows, I didn't bother pausing, trying instead to capture the likeness based on my observations and memory. Lately I've been spending a lot of time pouring over Loomis's Drawing the Heads and Hands and Gnomon workshops but I need variety in my study or it gets a little dry. Attached are my sketches, warts and all. :)

Sneak Peak at Monster Artist

Last April, I participated in my first 12-hour comic jam with writer, Oliver Ho. I didn't finish the story in the allotted time but I wanted to complete it at some point. It was a good story and I had some ideas on what the final visuals might look like if I had more time to work on it.  When Oliver recently approached me about including it in an anthology of monster tales he was putting together, I was excited to revisit the story.

Attached is a sneak peak of some of my exploratory drawings of the characters. I hope you like them. :)

The importance of drawing

Remember when you were a kid and loved to draw—just for the pure enjoyment of it?  When you didn’t have a care in the world and time would slip away without you being aware of it?  Ah, to have those days again! When our right brain takes over, drawing can seem effortless but sometimes it is difficult to get into that mode when things like responsibilities get in the way.  These other times can seem like a chore when the left brain is telling you, "You suck! Why even bother?" or you can’t figure out why the feet or hands you've drawn don't look right.  I’m sure we’ve all been there at one time or another.  It’s important to push through because, believe it or not, you are learning and that knowledge is at your right brain's disposal when you are in the mood to play. Keep at it!

I’ve learned from experience that when I stop for too long, I get rusty. So I try to draw even when I don’t feel like it.

Here are some ways I try to keep myself motivated:

  1. Whenever I’m having a bad drawing day, I look through my work from past to present to see the progress I’ve made. It reminds me of how far I’ve come and helps put things into perspective.
  2. I look to other creative areas for inspiration: music, poetry, art, animation, whatever it takes to bring out the emotion I need and I always like to listen to music while I draw.
  3. In the past, I have participated in online art challenges but recently I've stayed away from those while I concentrate on my drawing fundamentals because I felt I was getting ahead of myself. However, these challenges can be useful to an artist's growth; they can identify gaps in our skills and may stimulate our creative problem-solving.
  4. Doodling. It is amazing what happy accidents may occur when you doodle.

Do you have a technique to keep yourself motivated? If so, feel free to share in the comments below.

Some sketches from this weekend: