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 the the skill in letting go but we learn the skill in perseverance.  It's training, hours in the seat and it's 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...  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

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 simply beautiful about going back to basics and nothing more humble to me than the pencil or 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


Scribbles

Sometimes scribbles is more than enough...

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

IMG_0783.jpg
IMG_0779.jpg
IMG_0293.JPG
IMG_0623.JPG
IMG_9999.JPG
IMG_0770.jpg
IMG_0254.JPG
IMG_0777.jpg
 

Lesson 2 - Scribble Drawing

video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more.

 

Lesson 3 - drawing with your eraser

video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more.

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.  I know I am no where near these skills but I am 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 in this book and ultimately why I got the book.  I love everything about it.  The details are incredible, the exaggerated hand, the body markings.  His work is very expressive and graphic and I can't believe what he can achieve with a humble pencil and a piece of paper.


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 is increased and a different element always appears in my work 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.

 
head-of-christ.jpg!Large.jpg

Studying a Master

Now that you have done some things with drawing, pick a piece from a master and study their work and image and apply that here.

I have chosen The Head of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci.  I am utterly in love with this portrait and I want to try 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 4 - Studying a master


Self Portraiture - to see oneself

I've fallen a little in love with the practice of self portraiture.  Not in a vain way but in the reference study.  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 5 - Pencil SelfPortrait

I didn't size up or measure up and 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

Be Inspired...

I found this book online when I was buying drawing supplies, it was recommended to me.  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

Burnt Offerings

I love using this medium, it's very forgiving and easy to push around.  It's messy and creatively 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 humbling than working with charcoal.  

 

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 6 - charcoal portrait


Compressed Color

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

This is a good place to start.  If you love the medium then go for bigger sets... I'm a little smitten!!!!

IMG_8352.JPG
 
 

Lesson 7 - let's talk about Conte


 

Lesson 8 - Conte


The Art of Play...

 
IMG_E7881.JPG

5 minutes of fun

You only get 5 mins a day to do this little drawing with Liquid Graphite.  It's quick and fast and supposed to make you not think too much.

Oh did I tell you... it's fun.

 
IMG_E7659.JPG
IMG_E7659.JPG

What you will need to begin...

  • Liquid Graphite
  • Small Paintbrush
  • Small sketch pad
  • Water
 
Liquid Graphite, a fun little sketch book.  5 minute play only.

Liquid Graphite, a fun little sketch book.  5 minute play only.

 
 

Lesson 9 - Playing with Liquid graphite

video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more.

20 seconds of craziness

You only get 20 seconds a day to do this little drawing with PEN.  Shock!!!  It's the ultimate lesson in unattachment to outcome.  It's quick and fast and supposed to make you feel a little crazy.  Especially when you aren't allowed to look.  It doesn't matter how ridiculous they look.  They aren't supposed to be perfect.

IMG_7660.jpg
IMG_7667.jpg
IMG_7670.jpg
IMG_7663.jpg
IMG_7671.jpg
IMG_7669.jpg
IMG_7673.jpg
IMG_7664.jpg
IMG_7672.jpg
IMG_7668.jpg
IMG_7665.jpg

Images courtesy of Courteney, Caitlyn and Jeanne-Marie Webb

 

Lesson 10 - Daily fun continuous line drawings... looking, not looking and left handed

video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more.

I hope you have loved this section as much as I have.  I've fallen in love with these humble tools yet again.  I encourage you to keep your daily practice going and have fun and explore and discovery the beautiful art of drawing.

 

Homework

  1. Commit to drawing something everyday for the duration of this class. 
  2. Draw 3 referenced portraits.
  3. Draw 3 intuitive portraits.
  4. Draw 1 self portrait
  5. Pick a drawn reference from a master and draw it and learn
  6. Share your progress in the FB class and on Instagram

See how you go, this may be the start of  beautiful daily tradition.

Click on the titles above to take you to Amazon