There is a special gift that comes with showing up daily.

It's something I've seen in my own creative journey and it's one I highly recommend.  There is a certain kind of discipline that comes with the good and the bad of what we produce daily.  Not only do we learn how to let go but we learn the skill of perseverance.  It is training.  Hours in the seat is the best way to track progress.

With daily practice comes confidence, the courage to take risks, to dig a little deeper and to push a little harder.

It brings a knowing of one's skills and a knowing of one's tools.

It's truly how we grow...

IMG_3293.JPG
IMG_E7588.JPG
IMG_7355.JPG
IMG_7589.JPG

 I have fallen in love with the simplicity of drawing and that I can do this anywhere, anytime.

I love how therapeutic it is for me.

 

What you will need to begin:

IMG_E7883.JPG
  • HB Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm
  • 6B Mechanical Pencil 5.6mm
  • Eraser for highlighting
  • Blending stick
  • Soft Paintbrush for dusting
  • Journal of your choice
 

There is something so beautiful about going back to basics and nothing more humble to me than the pencil, some burnt vine or compressed color.  I hope you find joy in this simplicity.

IMG_7657.JPG
IMG_7925.jpg
 
 

Lesson 1 - basic portrait drawing without reference

Music - I Decline - Perfume Genius, Hazy - Rozy Golan ft. William Fitzsimmons, Don't Give up - Peter Gabriel ft. Kate Bush


Scribbles

Sometimes scribbles are more than enough.

I loved this play so much.  Even with limited time and with squiggly lines, one can still find emotions.

IMG_0293.JPG
IMG_0783.jpg
IMG_9999.JPG
IMG_0770.jpg
IMG_0254.JPG
IMG_0777.jpg

Be Inspired.

I found this interesting drawing book from my art shop.  I didn't hesitate to acquire it because it is filled to the brim with incredible illustrations and examples of what can be done with the humble pencil and a piece of paper.

Walk the Line - The Art of Drawing

Marc Valli & Anna Ibarra

"Disregarding traditional visual art categories and art world hierarchies, this book compiles the work of artists for whom drawing has become not just a tool, but an end in itself.  Through feats of technique, observation and skill these artists take drawing to places it never went before, often working on a scale never seen before, creating elaborate masterpieces out of art's most basic tool."  - Book Blurb

IMG_7640.jpg
 Mike Pare - Bliss, 2003. Graphite on paper 127 x 96.5cm

Mike Pare - Bliss, 2003. Graphite on paper 127 x 96.5cm

 Monica Naranjo Uribe - Untitled 

Monica Naranjo Uribe - Untitled 

 Stephen Walton - The Ritual, 2007 Charcoal on paper 30 x 50cm

Stephen Walton - The Ritual, 2007 Charcoal on paper 30 x 50cm

 Qui Jie - Portrait of Mao, 2007 Lead mine on paper 250 x 168cm

Qui Jie - Portrait of Mao, 2007 Lead mine on paper 250 x 168cm

I am so blown a way by the images in this book and inspired beyond words.

 John Paul Thurlow - Cover 92, Lily Allen, British Elle, 2009.  Mechanical pencil on artwork paper 59.4 x 42cm

John Paul Thurlow - Cover 92, Lily Allen, British Elle, 2009.  Mechanical pencil on artwork paper 59.4 x 42cm

 Frank Magnotta - The Tower, 2007 Graphite on paper 162.5 x 125cm

Frank Magnotta - The Tower, 2007 Graphite on paper 162.5 x 125cm

 Ethan Murrow - The Prisoners, 2010 Graphite on Paper 50.8 x 182.8cm 

Ethan Murrow - The Prisoners, 2010 Graphite on Paper 50.8 x 182.8cm 

 Eduardo Flores (Bayo) - A wavering light, 2011 Graphite on paper 76 x 56cm

Eduardo Flores (Bayo) - A wavering light, 2011 Graphite on paper 76 x 56cm

This is my all time favourite piece from this book and ultimately why I purchased it.  I love everything about it.  The details are incredible as is the exaggerated hand and the body markings.  His work is very expressive and graphic.


The Art of Seeing

This is an important practice.  I know I learn and gain so much when I use a reference, in terms of seeing,  interpretation and understanding.  My depth of work has increased and a different element always appears when I push myself in this area.  I am then able to take what I learn in this process and apply it to my intuitive work too.  This is a very enriching way to add to your knowledge base and I highly recommend.

 
IMG_8493.PNG
head-of-christ.jpg!Large.jpg

Studying a Master

Pick a piece from a master, study their work and apply that here.

I have chosen The Head of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci.  This portrait is wonderful and I want to try to capture it in different mediums.  I don't find it very masculine at all but I really do love this style of work.

This again is a lesson in observation and I found it pretty challenging. 

 

 

Lesson 2 - Studying a master

Music - Wounded - Ruth Fazal, Always Remember Me - Ry Cumming ft. Sara Bareilles, Out of the Woods - Ryan Adams, Song from a Secret Garden - Secret Garden, Atlas: Sorrow - Sleeping at Last, Girl with the Red Balloon - The Civil Wars


 

Self Portraiture - to see oneself

I value the practice of self portraiture.  To me, self portraiture is the hardest form of referenced work to do because, not only are we searching for ourselves to show up on our page in the form of likeness, but perhaps we are searching for the essence of who we really are to show up too.  The incredible challenge of capturing a small part of that helps tell a bit of our story in that captured moment of time.

 

 
 
final-5.jpeg
IMG_E7792.JPG
 
 

Lesson 3 - Pencil SelfPortrait

Music - Undun Hulu - Ólafur Arnalds, Winter Song - Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson, Girl with the Red Balloon - Civil Wars, Overwhelmed - Ruth Fazal, Love is Cristmas - Sara Bareilles

 

I didn't size or measure up but kind of roughly eye-balled it.  I kept tweaking it all the way through, making marks and using my eraser for shaping.  In this exercise I only used my 0.5mm pencil and it's tiny eraser at the back.  You can find replacement erasers for these pencils.

 Pentel GraphGear 500 0.5mm

Pentel GraphGear 500 0.5mm

Pentel-Mechanical-Pencil-Refill-Eraser-(Pack-of-48.jpg

I do highly recommend this practice.  I look forward to seeing YOU in the FB classroom.


Be Inspired.

I found this book online when I was buying drawing supplies.  It's utterly gorgeous and it comes with a DVD but she had me at Santa Repararta School in Florence.

Lessons in Classical Drawing

Juliette Aristides

detail.jrht-1624-g370.1.front.082300659X.jpg

"This elegant & accessible primer from master contemporary artist Juliette Aristides distils the drawing process into its essential elements. In "Lessons in Classical Drawing", award-winning author, artist and teacher, Juliette Aristides breaks down the drawing process and shows what all great drawing has in common. The book conveys a start-to-finish overview of the drawing experience and shows what to tackle when first starting a drawing and then how to lay the groundwork for each subsequent step in creating a well-crafted drawing. Packaged with a companion DVD, which aims to eliminate any gaps in the learning process, the reader becomes a virtual participant in a drawing workshop filmed at the Santa Repararta School in Florence, Italy."  - Book Blurb

 

 

IMG_8185.jpg
IMG_8176.jpg
tam_aristides04.jpg
IMG_8184.jpg
IMG_8179.jpg
IMG_8186.jpg

I am so inspired by the level of skill that can be reached with conte, charcoal and pencil.

It is utterly delicate and soft.


Burnt Offerings and Compressed Color

I love using this medium as it is very forgiving and easy to push around.  It's messy and fun to play with.  I know one thing, I don't get to play with it enough.  I loved doing this exercise with you and I continue to learn and grow each time I use different mediums.

To me there is nothing more authentic than working with charcoal because it is really just a burnt stick.

 

What you will need to begin:

  • Derwent Charcoal - black and white and sepia
  • Or any charcoal of your choice
  • Blending stick optional, I like to use my hands
  • Paper of your choice / canvas
IMG_7972.JPG
IMG_7971.jpg

 

Lesson 4 - charcoal portrait

Music - The Power of Love - Gabriella Aplin, End Credits (Pride and Prejudice) - Jean-Yves Thibaudet, #41 Live - Dave Mathews ft. Tim Reynolds, Magic - Jasmine Thompson, Liz on top of the World - Jean-Yves Thibaudet, The Secret Life of Daydreams - Jean-Yves Thibaudet


What you will need to begin:

  • Conte set
  • Blending stick
  • Paper of your choice
 
IMG_5549.JPG
IMG_5915.JPG
IMG_8731.JPG
 
4_conte_carres_sketching_crayons_1.jpg

A mini set is a good place to start.  If you love the medium then go for bigger sets.

I am hooked!

IMG_8352.JPG
 
 

Lesson 5 - let's talk about Conte


 

Lesson 6 - Conte

Music - Everybody Hurts - Jasmine Thompson, Stay Alive - José González, Paperweight - Joshua Radin & Schuyler Fisk, Fangs - Little Red Lung, Dale Yaman - Michael Giacchino, Life and Death - Levon Minassian, Tim Simonec & Hollywood Studio Symphony, Loftið Verður Skyndilega Kalt - Ólafur Arnalds, The Secret Life of Daydreams - Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Elephants - Rachael Yamagata


 

The Art of Play

IMG_E7881.JPG

5MinuteRules

You only get 5 minutes to do this little drawing/painting with Liquid Graphite.  It's quick, fast and prevents overthinking.

Oh did I tell you? It's fun too.

 
IMG_9875.jpg
IMG_E9866.JPG
IMG_9874.jpg
IMG_9876.jpg

What you will need to begin:

The reason why I used Liquid Graphite for this exercise is because it's fluid and easy to move around.

I used the rewettable tubes.

  • Liquid Graphite
  • Small Paintbrush
  • Small sketch pad
  • Water
 
 
 Liquid Graphite, a fun little sketch book.  5 minute play only.    Thank you Betty for introducing me to these heavenly tubes.

Liquid Graphite, a fun little sketch book.  5 minute play only.   Thank you Betty for introducing me to these heavenly tubes.

 
 
 

Lesson 7 - Playing with Liquid graphite

If you don't have Liquid Graphite then I suggest you use Golden Fluids or watercolor tubes.  Move around loosely, quickly and flip that page over after 5 mintues before you become too attached. 

I use this technique as a warming up exercise before I start my studio day.

It's so good to work through the ugly to find the interesting on your way to finding the good.


5SecondRules

You only get 5 to 10 seconds to do this little drawing with PEN, then flip your page over.

SHOCK!!!

It is the ultimate lesson in unattachment to outcome.  It's quick and fast and supposed to make you feel a little crazy.  It doesn't matter how ridiculous they look, they are not supposed to be perfect.

 
IMG_9854.jpg
IMG_9857.jpg
IMG_7669.jpg
IMG_9853.jpg
IMG_7670.jpg
IMG_9858.jpg
IMG_7664.jpg
IMG_E9850.JPG
IMG_7672.jpg

Images courtesy of Courteney Webb

 I asked Courteney to help me with this lesson because her continuous line drawings are amazing and she practises them everyday.  She has a book of faces and hands.  She inspires me to keep practising this skill.

 I highly recommend this kind of creative play.

 
 

Lesson 8 - Daily fun continuous line drawings

MusicBensound


If you are mindful about doing something everyday, this is a fun way to do 5 seconds if thats all you have.  You may be asking what is the purpose of this exercise... it seems silly.  Something definitely happens to our creative-selves when we give it permission to play.  It helps us loosen our grip on the control of the outcome by not allowing our minds to overthink, over analyse or over-perfect... it helps our mind get out of the way.

To create with abandonment is often where our best creative ideas come from.

When I look at this, I can totally see a painting.

 
IMG_9855.jpg
 

Continuous Line Inspiration

I'm blown away at how far you can take this simple lesson.  I love the scale he works in and that he works with both his hands at the same time.  It's pretty remarkable to train your brain to work like this.

I love it.


Conclusion

I hope you have loved this section as much as I have.   I encourage you to keep your daily practice going.

Have fun exploring and discovering the beauty of drawing.

I hope you will share your progress in the FB class and on Instagram

 

Click on the titles above to take you to Amazon