Sunday, February 9, 2014

One Drawing A Day; week one

I have been participating in the Artsy Book Club, formed recently by blogger friend Cassie Stephens.  For our first book, we are following the exercises in a book called One Drawing a Day: a 6-week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration and Mixed Media. by Veronica Lawlor.  The exercises encourage us to get out of our comfort zones, using materials and sometimes subject matter that might be in our usual (and comfortable!) repertoire.  We finish our first week today, so I thought I'd share my week's worth of drawing exercises with you.

Day 1: Still life with fine point pen
 My still life consisted of a beloved old camera from my college darkroom photography days, a stuffed alien, a demented looking Barbie, a troll doll, a barometer, and more.

 Day 2: Garden-like still life with dip pen and ink

Day 3: Study of a person (or perhaps hands) with bamboo pen and ink.  
My sleepy-eyed husband modeled for me, and as a result he ended up with a larger-than-life chin.  I just got a new bamboo pen, so I used it for a 2nd drawing, with white ink on black paper.

Day 4: Person or objects from around the house with charcoal to render value and fine point pen for added line. (I used a fountain pen.) 
 I didn't have a person available, so I used stuffed toys from around the house, including a sock monkey that I made, and Nelson the Adirondack black bear, who's cross-continental saga I detailed here on the blog, three years ago.  And how could I forget the stuffed dragon?
By the way, I know some of you have made sock monkeys with kids.  I thought it was absolutely one of the most challenging projects I ever did, with the sock unraveling as I tried to stitch it together.  So Flossie, my sock monkey, is my first and will be my last. 

Day 5: Person, with diluted ink  and watercolor brush; I used a 'neutral tint' ink as well as some black.

Day 6: A  garden with soft graphite pencils
It's the wrong time of the year for that around here, with snow everywhere, so I substituted one of my bay windows filled with plants as subject for this assignment.  I used 2B, 4B, and 6B pencils, as well as a big chunky graphite stick. Along with the drawing you can see my actual window.

Day 7: An outdoor scene with plenty of texture, using a mix of pens, ink, brush, and water.  
Again, I wasn't going to sit outside for this, so I decided to work from a photo on my PC, that I took in warmer weather.  It was a very challenging assignment, since my photo was bursting with autumnal colors, and I was drawing in tints of black ink.  The paper didn't like getting wet, and the pens didn't like drawing on the soggy paper.  On to better things tomorrow!!
One more day of just neutrals and values, and then I think we move on to color!   Yay!!!! I love color!!!


  1. I SOOOO admire the discipline it takes to stick to the commitment to do anything each and every day. I still participate in The Sketchbook Challenge -- one topic for the whole month and no definite number of sketches. When the challenge started, several years ago, I probably averaged a painting or sketch each week, sometimes more. Now, I am usually hard-pressed to get one done each month!! Last month I never did get around to it!!! Back to your drawings -- I like your choice of subjects, especially the sock monkey drawing, and I love the loose quality of the last piece!! I hope you share more as you complete them!!

    1. Christie, it certainly helps that I am retired. I never could have done this when I was working full time. And loose is definitely me when it comes to artwork. I have serious trouble ever pinning myself down!

      One thing that really helps here is that I made a financial commitment: I bought the book plus a few new art materials. Once I commit to something financially I usually am pretty good about following though, and the fact that it is daily makes the goals all really short term. I couple of years back I did the Sketchbook Project, which is designing and completing a whole sketchbook by a certain date, based on a broad theme you are assigned. I did it all in an few days time to meet the deadline, but prior to my completing it, I spent a LOT of time NOT working on it! This 'drawing a day' seems like a more attainable goal to me.

    2. I did the Sketchbook Project that first year, too. I waited until the absolute deadline and then cranked it out. I liked the finished product, but, needless to say, I never signed up to do it again, eventhough now, I think, it travels to an area closer to me where I actually could go and see the projects. (The year I did it, the closest it got to me was San Francisco I think.)

    3. Christie, I went to the exhibit the first year, at it's home in the Brooklyn Art Library (you probably read when I blogged about it). I was amazed at how they fit all those sketchbooks into this little hole-in-the-wall place in Brooklyn. I can't fathom how they manage the numbers of sketchbooks (and other projects) they have going on now. I mean, the place was TINY!

  2. You know I LOVE your drawings!! You have the most Phyl-esque still lives EVER! They are perfection :)

    1. New favorite word: Phyl-esque! Thank you for inventing it! And thank you!