Progress updates · Thoughts & notes

Several months later. . .

You thought I was going to leave forever. Well ha, I’m back.

Sorry it took so long to write again.

Short story shorter, I’ve been busy. And not so much with art, which makes it rather hard to find things to post about. But I’m finally back into the swing of things (hopefully) and I’ll start posting art here once a week again.

Starting with this dog I’ve been working on.

 

Dog PR 1
Graphite with a few pops of color

 

Thoughts & notes

Why the silence? you ask

About that. . . don’t worry. I have an explanation. In fact, I have several.

But before I explain my reasons for disappearing off the face of the blogosphere, I have to tell you some bad news. My silence, though broken for now by this post, will not end quite yet since I’m going camping for the next 10 or so days without internet connection or access to art materials except a couple of pencils.

Even worse, I don’t know if I’ll be back immediately after my vacation, which brings me to the first reason for the silence. I lost the cord to my camera. Translation: I can’t import images from my camera to the computer. Translation of the translation: I can’t show you my artwork, which kinda defeats the whole purpose of posting on an art blog.

The second reason is because I’ve been working a lot more and by the time I come home I am too tired to feel any inclination to post. (And of course, I couldn’t even if I wanted to)

The third, and the most exciting reason (not that it’s a feat considering how boring the other reasons are) is that I’m in the process of designing and creating content for a website that’s going to be populated with drawing tutorials and advice. I’m hoping to get it published by the end of July.

More on that later.

52 Drawings in 52 Weeks · Thoughts & notes

13th drawing of the week (& how I plan to regain my motivation)

Sorry for the lack of a post on Monday.

It’s been a very busy week for me, full of visitors, paper writing, trips to the library, meetings, and hanging out with friends. But don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the drawing of the week. Here it is in all its glory.

 

DEW 13 acrylic still life
I couldn’t get the colors of the photo quite right, but you get the idea

I did this small acrylic painting of a still life with a few dollar store acrylic paints that we had lying around- so basically the cheapest of the cheap.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like using low quality art supplies but I didn’t feel like doing anything really serious or using up my expensive acrylics on something I was just playing around with so I went with these.

And these are definitely inferior to my Liquitex basics- I had to struggle with them as well- whereas when I use my Liquitex paint I’m just struggling with my lack of skill in the medium.

AcrylicsCheap acrylic paint.png

That said, my still life turned out better than I expected it to. I probably could have got it even better too if I had worked on it for a bit longer, which brings me to my next topic. My motivation to do art has been dwindling lately. There is no denying it.

For one, I didn’t do any of my three monthly art challenges. Yes, I started one but I still haven’t finished it and the others, well, I just didn’t feel like doing them. I have to face it. A challenge a week and three challenges a month are just too much. It’s fine when I’m feeling motivated but when I’m not it’s simply overwhelming. So starting this month I’m going to open my options a bit more. If I feel like doing two or three of the challenges, I’ll do that. If not, I’m going to aim for one. The weekly drawings will stay though. No budging on that.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to get myself back into the flow of things. Start bringing my sketchbook on walks, plan a few projects, stop playing solitaire (yes I realize that’s a weird game to be addicted to), and read the art books I got from the library and use them as practice guides- whatever helps.

Maybe since it’s Easter break now, I can have a few days (before I leave for the long weekend) where I post a drawing a day. Not anything overwhelming, just something to get me back into the habit. We’ll see.

 

Thoughts & notes

Painting problems

Sorry for the lack of a post on Wednesday.

The plan was to post of course, but I had planned to post a progress update on some acrylic paintings I had been working on and yeah that went downhill.

It’s been one of those weeks where nothing seems to go quite right and if you put acrylics on top of that it’s just not a good mix. Especially not when you’re still very new to acrylics and painting in general.

Technically, I’ve been painting since I was nine- or whenever it was I started art lessons- but only with watercolor, only occasionally, and definitely not on my own time. I found it too uncontrollable for my tastes. I had a hard enough time controlling a pencil, so how was I suppose to control water? And I didn’t even think of trying to dabble in other kinds of paint.

Old watercolor painting.png
An watercolor painting from when I was eleven

Fast forward to now and I. . . well, I still can’t control paint very well, but I’m a bit more adventurous and I actually have decent quality paint. Except for watercolor. Or gouache.

But I’m not used to it. I really only started seriously painting last year- this time with the addition of oils and a few months later with acrylics. I’m not used to mixing exact colors, I’m not used to painting back to front, I’m not used to well, painting. So it’s a bit of a struggle sometimes. Especially for acrylics.

I realized this especially this week. I wanted to paint so badly but nothing was coming out quite right. I painted anyway. A few small paintings like this one. . .

acrylic-landscape
Loosely following a tutorial by Ryan O’Rourke

And a few bigger ones, like this painting for the Lachri art challenge and the most complicated and- to be honest- frustrating acrylic painting I’ve done so far. And they were all rather frustrating.

feb-lac-snapshot
A sneak peek of the prettiest part of the blocking in process

But I’m slowly learning. It’s painful, but it’ll be worth it. I enjoy painting too much to give up anyway.

I just hope I can finish this painting before February ends. . .

 

Art projects · Thoughts & notes

The joys of a big library

Ahh, libraries. One of my favorite childhood hideaways. I haven’t had the chance to go to one in forever it seems. But now I have an excuse. Art books.

Most of the time, I like doing things my own way. I like coming up with my own ideas and making finished pieces out of them. That, or ditching them within the first five minutes.

And that’s all good and well, but I need to practice the basics.

Technically, I could just go on making my own things and ignore practicing the basics. But the fact is, if I want to improve in the fastest way possible, there is no better way than to practice the basics- among all the other things I’m doing. And I want to improve as fast as possible. (And, let’s face it, there’s some things that I just need to work on)

But I don’t want to practice the basics. Basics are boring and, well. . . basic. Not to mention the vagueness of the word basic. What exactly are the basics? Where does one start? How does one go about practicing the basics? So many questions, not much will power to figure them out.

Thankfully, I don’t have to. I’m leaving it all up to the whim of various artist-authors. Problem solved.

Now all I have to do is put their knowledge to good use. Which I have.

practicing-spacial-awareness-1

These first two exercises I did from the book I’m currently working on were for exercising spatial awareness- trying to accurately reproduce lines and shapes using context clues like other lines and negative spaces.

After I was done, I traced on the original lines in red so you could have an idea of what I was trying to accomplish. I’m surprised with how well I did- especially in the first one.

practicing-spacial-awareness-2

The second exercise I did was a blind contour drawing of a crow. As the name suggests- and as you can probably tell- I didn’t look at my drawing as I did it. The results were pretty hilarious. It didn’t help that I sped through it so fast.

contour-drawing-of-a-crow

The fourth exercise was an exterior contour drawing (which is basically a bunch of fancy words for saying an outline) of the same crow as before. Thankfully this time I could actually look at my drawing. After that, I did a couple other exercises, but you get the point- I practiced.

And that leads me to my final step to get me to work on the basics. Making sure I actually go through with it. Guess how I’m doing that.

If you guesssed this blog, then you are very right.

 

Art challenges · Personal Monthly Challenges · Progress updates · Thoughts & notes

Sneak peeks and shtuff

First, before I get to the exciting part, I need to let you know that I’m not going to be posting every day anymore- not for a while anyway. Instead, I’ll be posting- or trying to post- Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings and maybe throwing in an extra post here or there. Mondays will be when I post my artwork for the previous week and every other day will be more or less whatever I feel like doing.

Now, onto the actual post.

In the past few days, I’ve been working on so many things, new and old, but for the sake of time- and by time I mean post length- I am only going to show you some of new stuff.

Three of them to be exact.

Beginning of Jan LAC.png

First is this. The newest of the new. So new that I only just started an hour ago. As you may have guessed by the presence of the liquin, it’s an oil painting. It’s purpose? This month’s Lachri Facebook group challenge. Yes, I’m leaving you in suspense as to what it is. (Insert evil laughter here)

montage-pr-1

The second is (going) to be a montage of a girl and wolves- if you can even tell by the barely visible lines. Pretty much the only thing I can see is the girl’s right eye and eyebrow because I drew them so dark, but then again I need glasses so I don’t know how reliable I am.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think I’ll be doing this piece in guess what. Yep, colored pencils.

Jan PMAC PR #1.png

And for the last drawing of today, another person, this one for my personal challenge. That person is me. Yes, contrary to popular opinion, I am a real live human being.

I’m kinda nervous about this project- I’m going to be using pen and ink for this which is very unforgiving sometimes. As if people aren’t hard enough as it is. . . I might end up

I might end up switching from my regular dip pen to something that’s a little easier to control. And then there’s the question of stippling. I think I might try that for the face. We’ll see if I have the patience for that.

That’s all for today

See you next time,

Baillie

 

52 Drawings in 52 Weeks · Thoughts & notes

New year, new resolutions

Okay, that title is a little misleading. New resolutions sounds like I actually resolve to do something every New Year. Nope. Not really.

Personally, I think that if you’re going to resolve to do something you might as well do it right then, right there, rather than wait for a new year to come around to improve yourself only to stop a week in. So I generally don’t do them. End rant.

But this year, this year is different. I am doing a New Years resolution- but only because it’s a convenient time to start, okay?

I’m joking. Sort of.

Anywayy, I have resolved to create- draw, paint, sculpt, whatever- one piece each week for the next year. And then show it to you. Just to make sure I keep on top of things.

Wolf DEW 1.png

The piece for week 1 is this colored pencil rendering of a wolf. Image (almost) to scale.

 

So, this is basically Drawcember except weekly?

Not exactly. Unlike with the Drawcember challenge, where I limited myself to one sketchbook to keep myself accountable, I’m going to free this challenge up to any sketchbook or canvas I want. That way I have a lot more room to switch things up- which in case you didn’t notice, I love doing.

Another way this will differ from Drawcember is the timing. For Drawcember each day’s drawing was started the day it was ‘due’ and finished that day as well. For this challenge, it doesn’t really  matter when I started a piece- I could have started two years ago, I could have started a month before, or a week, or at the very end of the week, but as long as I finish at least one artwork each week, I’m good.

This allows for even more freedom for doing stuff like oil paintings which take agessss, but mostly because the point of this challenge (or resolution or whatever you want to call it) is for me to get a consistent- but reasonable- amount of art done. It’s not about the time it takes.