February Faces Recap

February is over! I admit I am breathing a sigh of relief, because trying to figure out WHAT to draw every day while still trying to challenge yourself with things you haven't drawn before for 28 days straight is tough! Don't believe me? Try it next year with me when I do it all again. I'm just glad I chose the shortest month of the year!

This challenge was a great success for me. I have at least 3 projects that I will be developing more as a direct result of these sketches. My favorite, by far, is the crowd of animals that showed up at days 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 14! They feel like ME, they were a lot of fun and I kept wanting to draw more! There were 43 of those animals in total, so with that evolving sketch alone, I exceeded 28 faces in 28 days. I don't feel bad that some days the faces were very quick, or more graphic than drawn, or kinda sloppy. I think that adds to the project, since it's supposed to take you out of your comfort zone anyway. 

If I have to pick a fave that is NOT the menagerie of animals, I think it's the knitting squirrel on day 16. He's cool.

Well over 28 faces in 28 days!

Well over 28 faces in 28 days!

February Faces 4

Today's face is the one on the left, and I drew the right face over the weekend because our waitress had interesting features. Unfortunately, the eyes on both are a little wonky and no matter how I try to fix it, it just seems to get worse. Practicing hair as well, but I need to figure out a few more hairstyles.


Sketchbook Project 2013

An exciting package came in the mail today! A blank sketchbook so I can participate in the Sketchbook Project 2013. I've been wanting to do this for a couple of years and I dared my cousin (and possibly my roommate) to participate with me. The sketchbook is not very big but that is probably for the best. Enough to fill up random moments, but not too much to distract me from larger projects (of which i'm working on 3 right now!) 

I'm not completely sure how I want to fill this sketchbook. There will be hand lettering, because I can't NOT do that these days. Most likely there will be one or two cute characters....but I shouldn't use this for brainstorming active projects I'm working on. Maybe I will use this as a good excuse to get back to something I haven't done in a while: urban sketching. Some of my favorite sketches I remember are random portions of urban scenery: a light post and signage, an archway and sign for a restaurant, etc. I'm not doing much of that right now, but I miss it.

No matter what I do, this will give me a good reason to blog more frequently in the coming months. It's been nearly a month, with nary a word from me. I must fix that.

Illustration Friday: Swarm

I couldn't NOT post for Illustration Friday when the topic, swarm, was so perfectly suited to my obsession with drawing bugs. I just don't know why I waited until Thursday to post when the drawing was finished on Sunday.

I think, perhaps, because this week has been a little off-kilter. I'm settling into the semester and realizing that I don't have enough time in the world to do all the things I want to do, particularly when I am easily distracted. I came to the decision/realization that for my own sanity, I was going to have to drop my Saturday drawing-on-location class that I have LOVED taking for the previous 2 (3?) semesters. Knowing that Will's class often has a waiting list of eager students and knowing that I would be missing 3 out of 6 classes because of traveling for work and other factors didn't make me any less reluctant or less....let down. I've enjoyed exploring my adopted hometown through these excursions, and I definitely know the freeways of northern LA much better these days. (Ignoring the fact that I still get lost on surface streets)

It didn't help that I am most definitely off schedule with the Picture Book Dummy project because I like making things complex and 2-3 characters won't do when you can have 20 (or more!). I am not stopping just because i'm behind, I'm just going to take a bit longer. I'm having a great time creating costumes for all the characters and my Gesture Drawing class is definitely helping with that.

It most definitely didn't help that I had a series of eye exams today in preparation for a corrective eye surgery I'm planning on having at the end of next month. Eye ultrasounds are SO NOT fun!

Luckily, I have a weekend with good friends, random doodling and massive amounts of silliness and junk food to look forward to! Target acquired! To the flowers!

Gouache practice

I got gouache paints this past week because I made the determination that I need to learn to work with both color/value and work in areas larger than the tip of a colored pencil. So i'm going to start doing lots of little painting studies whenever I get the opportunity.

I found a photo that had the slightly atmospheric yet detailed background effect that I've been wanting to master and had a go at it, ignoring the person in it. I felt it went pretty well, although I was surprised at how dark my midtone had to go for the yellow trees to start to glow slightly. I went over areas more often than I would have liked overall, but ease and simplicity will most likely come with practice.

I set up my paints in an old watercolor set, so now my gouache paints will be portable for plein air painting.

Sketchcrawl 30: Natural History Museum

I attended the 30th SketchCrawl at the Natural History Museum today, but only a few crawlers actually saw me. My friend and I decided to draw outside, rather than go in. I've been wanting to draw more buildings to practice perspective. Plus, it was a beautiful day outside. Once you get past the austere front entrance of the building, there is some beautiful architecture at the NHM. Some kid even took a photo of my drawing.

The only minor disappointment was that I was told there was a FANTASTIC sketchcrawl turnout for Los Angeles inside the museum. Oh well. Hopefully, I'll get to see them all at the next crawl.

All my scribble drawings of people today reaffirm the need for me to get back to my 10 minute daily sketches. My quick sketch needs help.


We went to the military museum for our last Drawing on Location class of the semester. It was a lot of fun, but I really need to learn to draw faster. My teacher said i'm just putting too much detail in, but it's so pretty! all the little gears and cogs and nuts and bolts... very distracting. And very fun, even if my second tank drawing couldn't actually shoot anything due to the warped barrel.

Illustration Friday: Old Fashioned

He was less enamored then she at the fabulous old-fashioned apron and bonnet in the trunk.

I was out of town visiting family, and had our cousin return with us for a couple of days. I kept doodling this duo while I was away, trying to get them exactly like I saw in my head. It came out fairly well over all.

Still experimenting with mixing marker and colored pencil. What I'm liking so far is when I nail the value I want in marker, then all I need to do is match the value with the color of my choice. Any lighter/darker colors will work to cover up any mistakes I make with the marker as well. You can barely see all the attempts to get her back arm in the right position now. Still need to pop the darks more, and possibly more saturation of colors.

I also forgot to draw the trunk in the background...maybe I'll go back and add it later. and possibly flowers on the apron.

Illustration Friday: Proverb

"Mighty oaks from little acorns grow"

Woohoo! Two Illustration Fridays in a row, even if they are not posted on Friday. This topic wasn't inspiring me for some reason until I looked at the Wiki list o'proverbs. Once I did that, I had a ton of ideas. The hubby helped veer me into the direction he wanted--"Treants please!"--and I still got to draw what I wanted: a cool and gnarly oak tree! Now I need to learn carving in less then a month so I can transfer my cool treant onto a pumpkin.

I still want to add some highlights and some extra darks, but this is plenty finished to post.