Archive for the ‘Drawing Project’ Category

drawing projectTomorrow a yearlong project comes to a close. Last September I started sending out weekly emails to a small group of people who agreed to join me in an experiment. I wanted to see if I could confront my inner critic and my fear of drawing and find a way to make drawing feel fun again. I've spent the last twelve months reading drawing books and blogs, obsessively searching for drawing quotes, writing about drawing, and, of course, drawing. It has been quite an adventure.

This last year I've tried new materials, visited new places, and drawn subjects that I probably never would have otherwise. I've dealt with frustration, boredom, and disappointment and I've enjoyed wonder, delight, and a sense of flow. (more…)

everyday artistry drawing projectWhat I came up with for last month's 'draw a monster' assignment

“Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don't know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, ‘You can't do a thing’. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can't' once and for all.”
― Vincent van Gogh

You've decided that you're finally going to start a regular drawing practice. You bought a nice sketchbook, sharpened your pencils, and have a nice collection of markers and paints standing by. You open the first page and... you don't know what to do next. You have no ideas, no inspiration, no inkling of where to start. When you feel a big expanse of nothingness staring you in the face, how do you take the first step? What do you draw when you don't know what to draw?

Last month's theme in the Drawing Project was drawing from the imagination. The goal was to pull images from our minds instead of using reference photos. The assignments were very challenging at first because, though they all gave a starting point, there was still nothing concrete in front of me telling me what to draw. I spent a lot of time staring at blank pages, wondering what to do next.

By the end of the month, however, I was completely hooked on drawing from my imagination. The freedom that came from making things up, experimenting and playing was so rewarding.

How did I overcome the struggle of the blank page staring up at me? Here are a few ideas: (more…)

liking or not liking

Drawing Faces

Five months ago I embarked on an adventure to learn more about drawing, to practice and build skills and, most importantly, to tame my inner critic and learn to have fun with drawing. So far, it has been quite the ride. I haven't always been able to keep up with my two assignments per week, but I'm drawing more than I ever have before and I'm learning so much.

January's theme was 'people' and one of the assignments was to draw 100 faces quickly on sticky notes. This assignment started slowly for me. I drew ten imaginary faces at work, fighting resistance the whole time. Then I decided to draw my Facebook friends' profile pictures and it suddenly became a lot more fun. It was tricky to find the right pen - a Sharpie was a little too thick, and made the faces too simple, and a micron was a little too thin, which had me trying to add too much detail and being too fussy. I finally found that a Faber Castell brush pen was juuuuuuust right because it forced me to simplify the features but didn't obscure them completely. So far I've drawn 60 faces and this has by far been one of the most interesting assignments that I've done. (more…)

drawing projectYahoo! We've almost finished a month of the drawing project. This experiment that I had no idea what to expect of seems to be going quite well. People signed up, they're doing the assignments, they're posting in the Facebook group. The assignments are actually fun (I half expected to be getting into arguments with myself about them) and I'm a feeling a looseness around drawing that I haven't really felt before. My inner critic only woke up during one drawing and the rest of the time has been snoring soundly in a corner. I definitely don't think I've cured my anxiety around drawing, but I think I'm off to a great start. And from the looks of the Facebook group, a lot of others are as well! (more…)

drawing project

Learning to Love Drawing

or

Drawing your Way to a Better Life

or

Why Everyone Should Draw More

I still don't know what to call this project. All I know is that I want it to happen. I want to spend a year drawing as much as possible, learning to improve my skills, but more importantly, learning to calm the critical voices in my head that make drawing so unpleasant. I want to find a way back to childhood, back to when drawing was FUN. Will you join me?

Why spend a year drawing?

People who love drawing really love it. I've been reading a lot of books and blog articles by artist Danny Gregory and he talks about how drawing basically saved his life. It helped him to slow down and recognize the detail and beauty of his life. It brought him out of depression and showed him how to really live.

On the other hand, people who hate drawing really hate it. It can inspire so much anxiety, resistance, fear, and self-loathing that it's no wonder that most people don't even bother trying it. "I can't draw," is what many people will tell you when you bring it up.

We all drew at one point. As children we all felt the joy of making our mark. But once it became clear that childish lines were no longer acceptable, we stopped. Some of us keep trying, and keep coming up against fearsome mental and emotional obstacles. I have a love-hate relationship with drawing: I love the way it feels when it's going well and I lose track of time. I hate the frustration and negative self-talk that attacks me when it's not. To illustrate my relationship with drawing, and to help explain why I want to spend a year facing my biggest creative challenge head-on, here are three stories. (more…)