I really love to draw from life. It is not always possible for me to find people to draw each day. So sometimes I will grab my sketchbook and follow myself. Here are two sketches from last week. I was getting ready to meet a new doctor. I am not sick just time for my annual checkup!
I am a great fan of anything that Liz Steel sketches from teacups to buildings. Late last year completed her first online 12 week workshop – SketchingNow Foundations. I am now reviewing the workshop. The videos are available for approximately one year. The course will be running again later this year.
I live in a small rural town. So not a lot of elaborate buildings. Still we do have buildings and I walk past them each day on my daily work. It makes sense to draw buildings that are a part of the town I live in.
I am exploring doing detailed sketches and loose sketches. I come from the world of detail but like the look of loose. I think I maybe somewhere in between loose and detailed.
The first is a more detailed, the second is a looser style.
This time I remembered to scan the drawings before painting them. I like the first more detailed sketch. I still need to paint them. I wonder if I will still like the more detailed drawing when it is painted because I enjoy a loose application of watercolor.
Last Friday I had to get out to sketch. The closest people gathering location is Starbucks in Safeway. Friday is always busy with $5 Friday. Normally people visit Starbucks after they get through the checkout. This visit was not the most enjoyable, although I am pleased with sketches. I had one gentleman pull up a chair and sit 2 feet from me to check out his cell phone and eat his lunch. I should have moved. I found it so hard to sketch with someone so close. Not once did he look up to see what I was doing. Next I spilled coffee on myself. I could see a stain taking hold so I had to wet down my top to stop the stain. I came back and finally captured one customer with her laptop. All was going well until two people sat down with their shopping carts blocking my view. So what did I learn? To move and perhaps be more flexible and go with the flow. Everyone is so wrapped up in their lives and their cell phones that no one takes notice of you with your sketchbook!
This is the customer with the laptop and this is one of the customers who blocked my view.
The one exciting thing about these people is they all have hands that are doing something. Hands have always been my weak point. So I took the opportunity to sign up for a class on the Craftsy platform on drawing hands – The Ultimate Guide to Drawing Hands by Richard Pace. It is a good class I would highly recommend it to someone wanting helping with hands. He does the mystery out of the anatomy of the hand. I am going through lots of newsprint practicing drawing hands!
Self portraits are not new to me. I have been doing them for a number of years and in all different styles.
At the moment I can sketch my portrait in pen & ink within 10 minutes. That was not always the case. In 2010 I invested endless hours of practice into portraiture. Some portraits took the good part of a day to complete.
Recently I decided to spend a little more time on a portrait. It reminded me of the challenges and struggles I had when working in a more realistic style. I spent approximately three hours on this portrait before becoming restless and putting my pencil down.
These pen, ink and watercolor wash portraits took less than 10 minutes. The one thing they all have in common is that serious look. It comes from looking straight into a mirror while drawing yourself! I like where I am at the moment. Not every portraits works. But then it is so easy to just turn the page and do another one! I have four sketchbooks devoted to self portraits the majority of which were drawn late at night because there is nothing like ending the day with a sketch!
Heading off to Costco can be fun especially if you have a sketchbook in hand. That is just what I did this week and found a spot in the food court. For those of you who have not experienced Costco it is a large warehouse that sells everything from toilet paper to jeans and vacuums!
What a great sketching experience. It was probably the first time I have put my sketchbook on show. I was not trying to hide it on my knee! Most of the people were seniors doing their weekly visit for supplies. You would be surprised how many people stop by the food court for a snack before they head home.
No one paid any attention to me. Someone asked if they could share my table. Another person divided a strawberry sundae up in front of me. It nearly landed on my sketchbook. She apologized and said she would be gone soon.
I forget sometimes that I am also a senior with a head full of gray hair. Maybe I was just another shopper enjoying my morning at Costco. Anyone could see I was drawing people. No one said a word. Would people have cared if I was younger?
Needless to say I will be visiting Costco again. After Costco I ventured into the supermarket and sketched some more. This was a challenge I was not prepared for. Everyone was moving. Great for quick gesture drawings. The supermarket is also on my list to visit again.
Well maybe these are the backs of people in Costco! The two ladies were at customer service while the gentlemen were in the food line and eating.
Most of the men get separated from their wives and wait!