December 31, 2013

Why are we making this so-called "New year resolustion"?

The end of the year is coming and soon I will be publishing my 2014 New Year resolution.
The big question is why do we do it at all? Why do we keep making this list? And how many of us really look at it after it is written? Why do we make ourselves promises we (most of the times) can't keep? For whatever reasons may it be?

I was first introduced to New Year's resolution concept several years ago when I began reading blogs. Sometime earlier I was participating in a series of life coaching sessions. At one point the coach asked the audience, "So where do you see yourself in 10 years? Whatever it is, write it down." It was my first time to be asked a question like that and I got a little bit scared. I scribbled something in my notebook but kept on thinking. Then we got asked the same question about the 5 years, a year and 6 months. This is when I was first introduced to the concept of planning my own life.

I remembered that at these life coaching sessions we were asked to be as precise as possible (Where do you want to live? What does your hose look like? How many rooms are in there? What is the color of its walls?). I was puzzled but started fantasizing.

After that I began reading more self-development blogs and by the end of the year they all raised the same subject: The New Year Resolution. Plan your own life. And Write it down. So I did. I made a list and specified to the date.

After finishing the year and seeing how little was accomplished, I felt a bit disappointed because the erased part was really not big at all.

I promised myself to be better next year and made a new list with more stuff in it.

2-3 years passed by and I realized that this "per size to the minute" method does not work for me. I understood that my promises were not enough.

So I did a more freestyle list with plans only without dates. It was a dateless goal list with things I wanted to achieve this year. And that stuff didn't work too - ideas and goals changed, life changed and at that point I even forgot about this list. In the end of the year, when I found and read this list I felt so much disappointed. Even desperate.

Several years passed by.

After that I was introduced to the "don't make a goal list" idea. Don't plan your life. Don't build a list. Build a concept of what you want to become and who you'd like to be.

So I created another list. Nothing specific, just ideas that will be reached and done sometimes later in my life.
It's not even yearly, just something for the future.

Here's a part of it:
  1. Get a degree for kindergarten teacher and open one.
  2. Management degree.
  3. Learn to play a Darbuka (or any other cool instrument)
  4. Learn to Juggle.
  5. Learn to do balloon animals.
  6. ...........
What about you? What kind of list do you have? Because I have a VERY long one and it will be published soon. 

December 28, 2013

A Drawspace art program overview

It's been a year since I began my Drawspace lessons, all shared the results on this  blog. And since I'm done with another section of it (Section K) I believe its time to take a look back and reflect on it.

It's been a year on intensive drawing and many things had changed since I first started it. This is the very first sketch done for lesson A01.
It's the first time in years since I tried working with different graded pencils. Using a tissue paper while shading become a second nature of mine.

But the most important thing is that program made me want to draw every single day. Well, no, I don't really draw every single day, right? But I draw all the time. This year I made more drawing than I ever did before in my entire life! Including my 4 years in Art College! I believe this is the very first time in years that I got hooked on something that hard. Half year through I've noticed that all I want to do is do these lessons. I insisted on doing all the challenges and when there was no challenge in the lesson I just drawn a related subject. Completing this program became important.

At times I felt like Julie Powel from Julie @ Julia. Julie set her goal and she made it. I think I've reached part of my goal at this moment.

So this is a chance to thank Brenda Hoddinott, the creator of the Drawspace art program: Thank you! You are an inspiring teacher that keeps me going no matter what.

December 26, 2013

The unpublished post

Hi all.

Did it ever happen to you that you had an idea but you never got a time/chance to execute it? I'm sure you did. During these past two years when this blog really started to develop I made a long list of draft posts that I wanted to publish but never did. These ideas would pop into my head while researching, or sketching or reading or even watching a movie or taking a walk. If I had a chance I would make a draft post on the subject - just several lines with a short description for myself so I remember what I planned to write about. Sometimes it would be just a headline of the post.

I had some of those in 2012 and when I didn't publish them I said, ok, I'll do it next year. And I moved them to the end of my Blogger draft list. But the thing is that some of these drafts never made it to the Published list this year too! Apparently, 2013 was more intense than 2012. And I am thankful for that. I am writing these lines while rescheduling many of my draft posts, and I have a lot to reschedule. And that is good!

So why did I reschedule and didn't publish them as planned? Because those could be rescheduled. Because there were other posts that should have been published first. Like my Drawing lessons posts or anything else directly related to drawing. Next year's theme would be Creativity Development, so that subject might become some kind of priority. These are the posts that are not a "must" kind of posts but a nice reserve for the case I'll have no idea for tomorrow's post. And I'm thankful that never happened. If you followed this blog from the beginning of the year you could see that at some point I started publishing every other day, which, in my opinion, is not little.

I do hope that one day I will publish all of my rescheduled posts so you'll be able to read them after all.

Have a great day and a great year!


December 24, 2013

Drawspace lesson K05: How to draw boxes with two point perspective.

One thing I can say about this lesson: Torture!!!!!! Torture!!! Do people really work like this? How can you deal with all these lines? How can you not get lost in them, it's crazy!!!

This is the sketch. I know for sure now that I need a longer ruler!

December 22, 2013

Drawspace lesson K04: How to draw a cube with a two point perspective.

While writing the title of this post I though to myself, hmm, I wander what is the difference between a cube having one point perspective and a cube having two point perspective? I got the answer straight away. One point perspective is when a cube faces the viewer with its side. Two point perspective - it's when a cube faces the viewer with it's corner. And that's a very nice thing to know.

Now, when this part is clear, here's the sketch.

And there's nothing more I have to say.

December 20, 2013

Drawspace lesson K03: How to draw a cylinder with 2 point perspective.

Drawing a cylinder, that's the subject of lesson K03. And again it's aw, so schematic!
This time I'll do ruler version straight ahead since there is no scheme, there's a method.

Although, after reading and re-reading the article I came to the conclusion that maybe the ellipse closer to the Horizontal line is a half of the ellipse that is farther from it. Maybe I'm wrong but that's what it looks like.

Anyways, that's the sketch.

I guess it doesn't work for me as well as it should, the ellipse is so far from being perfect!

P.S. I might need to buy a bigger ruler....

December 18, 2013

DIY Project: How to utilize the usage of your pencil box - 2

Remember several months ago I published a post about the usage of your pencil box? I used a simple wooden box, put a piece of fabric in it and put my pencils graphite side down.

Well, that's not good enough for me anymore. I need to expand. Because I get really irritated with the fact that my small and large pencils get mixed up and even more I hate the fact that I still have to look for the pencil I need. So I decided to go further. I took an old 3-sectioned Remote control box, put a piece of cloth in each section and separated my pencils: H, B and the leftovers.

I've been working with it for some time now and i's good.

I just hope that I'll be able to paint it fresh sometime soon. I'm thinking, Pete Mondrian style!

And what about you? How do you keep your pencils in order?

December 16, 2013

How to arrange your pencils to make the work efficient

Hi all.

It's been a year since I started the Drawspace art program. The progress is visible and it's wonderful. I draw as I've never drown before and I love it! At this point I'm actually done with the Beginners section and moved on to the Intermediates.
While becoming a little bit more skilled than the same period last year I keep looking for ways to make my work more efficient. I always look for shortcuts. Just like with Short-keys in any software that make the workflow smoother and user friendlier - the same goes here. I look for these "short-keys" to make it easier to work. It doesn't have to necessarily be something big. I believe that every little thing can be helpful. Like a good and comfortable knife or a good pair of scissors. Or a comfortable mouse.

You probably remember my DIY pencil box utilization. I now look for the most comfortable way to arrange my pencils while working with different grades. After all, these are not colored pencils so they all look the same. And it's not that comfortable to always look for the right number on its end. And I'm not becoming blind; I'm just being lazy to look for that right pencil all the time.

At the moment that's what I do: I put my pencils by order, hardest to softest. It's not the best, but it's something. Or maybe one day I'll just purchase this arranger and use it.

Do you have any ideas? Do share here; I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for answers :).

December 14, 2013

Drawspace lesson K02: How to draw an ellipse.

How, really? Because ellipses always felt a bit enigmatic to me. I mean, how can you really know what the upper ellipse of the tee cup should look like regarding to where it stands? I know, I know, you have just to look at it to know what and how to draw.

After reading lesson K02 I realized that as much as the task might look simple, it's not simple at all. Rulers and measures and angles are involved, and as much as I love geometry (I do, I really do!!!), I'll skip the exact part and will just get to know the method. 

So first - a basic ellipse. Some helping lines, some more helping lines and then the ellipse itself.

 This is the precise ellipse. More helping lines than in a previous one.
You can see that the ellipse is not so precise. But you know what? Just out of curiosity I'm going to do the very same exercise on a checkered notebook with a ruler.

OMG, I can't believe I'm actually doing this....

But you know what? it was fun :) I loved working with a ruler, it was a nice feeling. Although I'm not sure it made my ellipsis look better...

December 12, 2013

Drawspace K01: How to draw boxes in perspective

Soooooo..... perspective. The subject was touched lightly in section D and here's a little extension of it. Linear perspective, box' drawing, lesson K01. Yes!!! It's a new section!!!

Last time we did boxes - lesson E04 - I didn't even publish, or to be even more honest, did any drawing. 
This time the task is more interesting and the challenge is really cute, so I just can't skip it.

So let's begin. On of the most dominant tools here is a ruler, but I won't use it; first - I don't like using it and second - I don't really mind if the drawing will be a bit crooked. I won't also look for an exact similarity if the boxes - neither in size nor in positioning. 

So there is a Horizontal line and three levels on objects: above, below and leveled to the horizontal line. 
9 boxes, which lines all connect to the same dot on the horizon. 

Step 2 - making the squares three dimension.

Step 3 - erasing the helping lines.

And this is the challenge. Boxes with faces.

I took a note to myself for the future to do some more drawings using basic forms. 

December 10, 2013

Drawspace J08: How to work with Charcoal

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the art store on time, so I guess I'll be completing this lesson sometime later.

December 08, 2013

How to develop creativity: a Lewis Carroll quote

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

I am a big movie watcher. And besides watching movies just for the entertainment of it, I always try to take something from it to myself only, a thought, an image, a sound. This quote is from Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton. This is one of these movies that go now as a background sound when I work. Because there are movies, that beside the great visual have also a great script. And, at times, the only way to really appreciate it is to shut of the image and stay with a sound only. Because that's when you really listen to the dialog without being distracted by the picture.

This quote says it all: now it's the time to make it a daily practice.

Drawspace lesson J07: How to work with a grid?

Really? I found the lesson too boring. I read it twice and I had no desire at all to do these squares.

December 06, 2013

Drawspace lesson J06: How to create a shading map.

You might remember that one of the reasons I started taking the Drawspace lessons was to learn how to shade properly. So while the drawing part went ok, the shading part was not so good. To be more exact, I wanted to know the trick of the proper shade placement. I mean, how the hell am I supposed to know where to place highlights and the dark spots?

Since the beginning of the program I kept thinking to myself: What if there is no such a lesson in the program? What if this subject is skipped? This question kept me busy for some time. At a time I didn't even know it was called a shade mapping!

But finally, the time has come. Lesson J06 suggests such a method.

It is actually a variation of a drawing by numbers method. You find your highlight spots, the medium and dark spots, turn them into shapes and fill with color after wards.
I did the outline of the suggested face and the spots and immediately got lots in it.
I mean, come on, it's a human face, not a very friendly subject for a newbie like me!

So I decided to go for a simpler subject and since this lesson is about shading and not drawing there would be nothing wrong if I would take something like a tennis ball or a tea mug.

This is the ball I sketched.
I really tried to find all the bright and dark sports, but since the light was very even and the form is perfect, finding the highlights and dark spots was not that easy (see the paradox?).

For that reason I decided to do a sketch of a coffee cup.

On my way to the kitchen for the cup I decided to do another sketch of the tennis ball and shade it with Squirckles. I thought that since the ball has a soft and woolly texture, Squircles might be a better choice here. On that note, I decided to go and look what the tennis ball is made of, and apparently, it is made of fibrous felt.

This is the second sketch.
Indeed this shading technique felt a bit better fitting for this king of object. I did two sets of shading; the second one was done 2 days after the first session. I added some more dark values but still, it seems, it was not enough. Also, I still make my Squirkles a bit larger than they should be, so that's another thing to practice on.

This is the coffee cup.
It felt weird shading it. Several times I tried to rotate my sheet to make the shading easier but then I would "loose" the proper image. When I tried to lean my head on my shoulder - my lighting would change. I decided not to continue with it at the moment but I did make a note to myself to keep and draw a cup's handle; it appears to be the most interesting part of this object.

P.S Just checked the upcoming lessons. Apparently, I should go and buy some charcoal.

December 04, 2013

Drawspace lesson J05: How to create a focal point of your drawing.

Spoiler:  Lesson J05 is a theoretical lesson. No drawing required to be done. Text and examples, that's all there is.

But, if I may say, a very important text. This lesson gives a beginner artist some points on how to choose and create a focal point(s) of the drawing. In this post I will summarize the suggested methods but I strongly recommend reading the original lesson through.
So what will make an object focal in the composition? What would help it stand out everything else on the drawing?

  1. The position of the object in a composition. 
  2. It's size.
  3. The colors/shading volume. 
  4. Treated with details
  5. Primary and secondary focal points positioned one close to another.

I'm sure there's more to it, but that's what the lessons suggests.

Tip of the post: Along with the practical side - theoretical knowledge as well as different tips and tricks are essential to your success and efficiency. So do look for such articles and for way to make your work easier and enjoyable.

December 02, 2013

Drawing with pencils of a different grade

Hi all!

Do you remember that very first time when you took a non 2HB pencil in your hand? I remember it quite well. It happened in the end of 2012 when I decided to take my drawing really seriously. Last year, when I began drawing, my main subject was Flowers and I used only a 2HB pencil. At that point I didn't have a good enough reason for using anything else. But here's the thing: all my sketches came out pretty dirty. I had a hard time making a light thin line with a 2HB and the erasing itself was not really clean. I had a feeling that the solution was to use different pencils but was not sure about making this change just yet.

This year the situation changed. I joined the Drawspace art program and I had no choice but to start using different pencils. This is the very first sketch done with different graded pencils.

I can tell you now that that was a life changing experience. As of now, my sketches look way neater than before, my erasers hardly work and my hands (yes, yes) stay way cleaner. My favorite pencils to use are 2H, HB, 2B and 8B. These are the once I use more often and at this point I never start a sketch with anything but a light line of a 2H pencil. I keep using 2HB pencils but only for a brainstorming. It's always something really quick and non-detailed.

And what about you? What pencil do you mostly like to use? Or is it a different medium at all? Do share here.