I thought I was done… scanned it and closed the book.
I was happy, at least I thought I was, yet I knew something was off. I studied it using what Roz Stendahl calls the “editing eye”. This isn’t some rash commentary from my internal critic but an honest review of technique and composition to determine what could be improved.
Although I lost the tilt of his head in comparison to the inspiration photo I could live with that. Instead I focused on how washed out my watercolors looked. Now that was something I could change.
Another layer of darker pigments for his hair and beard and a deeper orange glaze for his jacket and I was done.
Not perfect… but done.
#Arteza A4 watercolor book
A few days ago my friend Bobbie Herron published “That Dang Adolescent Period” on her blog, Aloft with Inspiration. In it she describes the idiosyncrasies and unpredictability of watercolor and the importance of perseverance. Please take a minute to read it… I’ll be here when you’ve finished.
Finally I was inspired to revisit a sketchbook-painting I started… and abandoned… over a week earlier. It had hit the adolescent phase where inexplicably everything looked wrong. Not only were my proportions off but my colors looked pale and insipid.
It needed more layers… but where to begin? I was paralyzed. Instead I closed the book knowing it was unfinished.
The sketchbook sat on my desk all week mocking my indecision.
Then I read Bobbie’s post.
It took me less than an hour to add more hair to the crown improving her proportions. A few more layers of bold juicy watercolors and I called it done.
The adolescent had grown up.
A4 – Arteza Watercolor Sketchbook
I spent July continuing my watercolor portrait practice. These two were inspired by fellow Sktchy member, Lauren Arno, who challenged us at various times during the month!
And… in just over a week I’m also going to take her online watercolor class through Sktchy. I’ve always felt there’s no better way to expand my repertoire than by taking classes.
Color me happy!
Where does the time go? This morning I realized I haven’t posted in over a month and yet I’ve completed 2 additional sketchbooks since then.
I guess I’ll start in by showing you a few of my favorite portraits from May and one from early June. All were drawn from photographic references posted on the Sktchy app by other creatives. You’ll see I often switch things up by sometimes forgoing my beloved ink lines and instead choose to sketch in pencil before I paint. There’s a different feel to each of these methods but I enjoy them both.
This month watercolor was my only constant.
Last October I drew a portrait of a Sktchy muse, Ania H. , for the InkTober 2017 challenge. After finishing I stepped back and noticed how far off I had gotten with my proportions, her eye in particular.
Today I was challenged to revisit a portrait and redraw it using the same reference image. Finally… a chance for artistic redemption!
After daily portrait practice, not only can I see facial proportions better but I can translate them onto the page.
I love seeing them side by side!
It’s all about her eye isn’t it.
I know I’ve snickered at the Weather Channel’s recent habit of naming our winter storms but that hasn’t stopped me from documenting them in my sketchbook.
Here in New Hampshire, Riley arrived before Quinn. (Skylar was documented with written journaling and no drawings.)
I’ve been drawing from photos people upload to the Sktchy app I’ve referred to before. When the snow’s falling and you can’t or don’t want to go out it’s wonderful to pick an interesting photo and just play!
I thought we were finished with the winter thing as Toby, Uma, Violet and Wilbur went elsewhere, but I was mistaken. Along came Xanto. It didn’t fizzle out as I had hoped and instead inundated us with nearly an inch of rime ice.
Yes, Xanto got his own page!
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I won’t need to document either Yvonne or Zoey.
I’m ready for Spring!
March has been packed and I realize I haven’t posted my favorite portraits I drew from Sktchy! No big commentary ahead… just a few quick notes.
I love portraits, especially when I can draw hands too… it’s a double challenge.
In this portrait I used watercolor pencils… steep learning curve but so much fun when faced with a model with pink and purple hair. It turned out better than I thought it would… I shut that inner critic up!
I’m also trying to work on figure proportions… now I want pink and black striped socks.
… and see… there’s a portrait in there too!
You’ve heard me talk before about how much I like the Sktchy app I have for my phone but maybe you’re not quite sure what it is or how it works.
Here’s a blurb from the Sktchy website:
What is Sktchy?
Sktchy is an artist’s best friend. Find drawing inspiration in an ever-updating gallery of reference photos. Upload your own photos so other artists can draw you. Discover and connect with amazing artists from around the world. Share your creativity in a fun, supportive community. Bye-bye, creative block!
What if I’m not an artist?
Even if you don’t call yourself an artist, you have creativity worth sharing with the world, and Sktchy is a fun, no-stress way to get started. The Sktchy community welcomes and includes artists of all skill levels, from gallery-repped professionals to amateur doodlers. No matter where you fall in that spectrum, Sktchy is for you.
Sktchy is definitely my go-to site for artistic inspiration!
After a slow start I ended 2017 by creating sixty five drawings of human and animal portraits along with a few landscapes. I was inspired to make a slideshow of my entire 2017 Sktchy work after a few of my friends did the same.
Just under two minutes of fun… I hope you enjoy it!
If the embedded video won’t play please use the link to view it through YouTube.
Today I realized I posted only once in November and I was in danger of not posting at all this December. Just laziness I guess because I’ve been working in my sketchbook daily.
Lately I’ve been drawing dogs using photos people have generously provided through the Sktchy app. I sit on the couch with my sketchbook after dinner and relax with my pen and paints… a little added journaling and I’m off to bed, unwound and de-stressed… and dreaming of dogs.
Last time I was here I was blathering on about showing you my InkTober sketches. Have I done it? No!
That all changes now.
I used photos from the Sktchy app as my references. If you have an iPhone or an iPad I highly recommend you download this app and check out the wonderful art being created by all the users. I’m honored to have my pieces included with theirs.
I will show you all of them… both successes and failures but I’m
going to split them up into groups of five… and one last to celebrate Halloween.
But first, the first five.
Day 1 – #Swift
Day 2 – #Divided
Day 3 – #Poison
Day 4 – #Underwater
Day 5 – #Long
You can’t see that I used pearlescent ink on the flamingo so I took another trying to get the shine.
Yup… all ink… even the backgrounds.