Monday, August 23, 2010

Drawing Day

In addition to a surprise trip to a not-so-local art gallery, for my birthday I received a copy of Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists, which I'd read about on someone else's blog. So, though I'm not quite finished the projects in The Artistic Mother, I acquired the suggested supplies and got started. The first exercise involved drawing cats -- from memory or imagination. Since I'd actually left my book on the counter of the local art shop when I'd purchased some supplies, I didn't remember the complete instructions, which were to use a permanent, black pen on white cardstock while lying in bed (so that the pressure on the page would be lighter than on a hard surface). Therefore, since I associate drawing with pencils, my first effort was done in pencil copying from photographs in a science book. (I had to take a photo instead of scanning it because of the myriad technical difficulties that abound with the computers in our home!)

My second "kick at the cat" (sorry -- I couldn't resist -- though I would never actually kick a cat!) was done with the appropriate pen using only my imagination:

The extension activity for this exercise was to select the cat we liked best and re-create it using mixed media. So, for my first re-creation, I used watercolour pencils (with water) and outlined in black marker.

She was a pretty kitty, though I didn't really l like the colouring -- so I decided to try a small canvas and pieced paper. I wasn't confident that I could reproduce her freehand again, so I traced her with tracing paper and cut out the pieces, which I then traced on the papers I selected (one of which was a background that I'd made for the Artistic Mother projects). I painted the background canvas with tubed watercolours -- a medium I've never really used before because I actually thought watercolours always came in pallette form! (Pardon my ignorance, my artistic friends!) I also thought they were always transparent -- which clearly they're  not! It was really like working with acrylics, which I like. Here is the resulting pretty kitty, who quite tickles my fancy:

She's cute and quirky, don't you think? DH says I should do a series of cats like her and frame them together. I like the idea -- though I lack confidence that I could create several others in the same style but in different positions, KWIM? Also -- would I try to mimic the background in all the pieces to create unity in the larger picture? Or would I make them all different and find another way to tie them together? Hmmmm . . . some food for thought. (Feel free to share your opinion in a comment below. Just click on the little word "comments" -- I have yet to figure out how to make that more visible!)

Anyway, while I was doing the initial drawings with pencil, DD12 asked if she could use some of my paper and grabbed a pencil of her own. Using a photo in a book as a reference, she drew this:

Personally, I'm pretty impressed! She's never taken formal drawing lessons -- she just draws a lot.

Do you marvel at any creative skills in your family members? What special talents do they have? What are you doing to develop your own talents and creative skills?


  1. Wow, I love the freedom in these. Freedom is something I struggle with in my art. Looks like you've got the groove.

    Have you started any more of the Drawing Lab exercises? Sorry I'm so late in visiting. My life is rather chaotic at the moment and I don't get much time to visit and comment (no matter how much I REALLY want to).

    Hope to see more of your work. I'm subscribing to your stuff so I'll see :D

    Best wishes,
    (baby in one hand, computer in the other)

  2. Thank you, Nutty -- and thanks for subscribing:) Like you, my life has been a bit crazy, so I haven't done any more of the Drawing Lab exercises. I've signed up for Art Every Day Month, though, and plan to try my hand at more of them in November. I really want to get back to doing more art!


Sincere responses . . .

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