July 28, 2014

A sketch of a pencil case and a cable holder..

These are my recent baby steps done earlier this week.

I don't know if I even should be posting these but I do feel some urge to. I guess these posts are part of the reason for this whole blog: to learn and to give a self report n the progress.

I am drawing things that surround me. That are in my own house, mostly.

So this is my pencil box.

Does it look like a wooden box?

Also, a tiny cable holder.

July 25, 2014

Digital art history book

A while ago I was looking for something of art history and I came upon this site which is a digital Ar History "book" by KhanAcademy. The "book" is divided by periods and artist - just like a printed one. As I was flipping through All I could think of is, oh, it's a pity I didn't have it while I was in art college.

This is a wonderful thing, a treasure for library haters like me.

Enjoy it.

July 22, 2014

Illustration Friday: Repeat

This is another IF weekly task - a Repeat.

One of the first things that came into my mind was repeat(ition) as a practice. I used to figure skate, you see so I know very well what a repetition means. It means hours of hours of practice to make one single move look and feel at least decent. Mostly, it is a tiny part of that move. And it's the same thing with drawing: you draw countless times of the same thing to make it feel and look good. For me - these are circles. I still can't find a perfect method to draw circles. Do you have one? I'd like to adopt it. Although, many say that there is an easier way: just to take a circle form of the proper size and draw around it. Or to take a compass, if the whole that stays in the center is not important.

This is my short process for making this sketch. It's not even a sketch. It's just a repeat of something.

I really thought of circles and then I suddenly I saw myself in a first grade trying to write my letters properly.

Funny thing. My first version of the letters was in English; I wrote "R"s, "r"s, "S"S and "Y"s.

And while writing those letters I though, hey, I have no idea how they learn letters in the US, or GB or any other English speaking country. So I did another one in Russian.

Here it is.

While writing I kept on thinking of something Julia Cameron said in her book "The Artist's way". In the book she talked a lot about making some baby steps to make a progress. So my ideas are simple and imperfect at this point, but I do my babysteps.

It's better than nothing.

July 19, 2014

Tips and tricks: tray for my pencils

I've been drawing with pencils for a while now. My good colored pencils are all arranged in a flat sectioned box and my simple ones are in a wooden box just as they are, in a big pile. While drawing I usually take out only those pencils I think I'll be drawing with and put them on my desk. The problem is that sometimes they just roll down and break. To prevent that I decided to buy a little tray with velvet inside, like those for jewelry making or display. Just like this one.
The problem was that I wanted it right away and I couldn't find it anywhere nearby. So while asking for it in a local craft shop I was suggested to make one. I thought, why not? I love crafts! I love working with my hands! I bought a simple wooden tray and some velvet paper (apparently there is such a thing!) and went hope totally excited!

So I took my tray, put a light coat of acrylic varnish on it and simply glued the paper inside.

Obviously I made some mistakes measuring the tray and cutting the paper so I while gluing I had to cut and re-cut it several times. But hey, it was so worth it! Because after 10-15 minutes I had my own new velvet tray. It came a little bit pricey in the end - around $6 - but I really don't mind. I didn't have to browse for it for too long, I didn't have to order it and go to post office for it so I guess in the end it was a money well spent.

July 15, 2014

How to keep track of your published posts?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Because I am really lost at that point. I get ideas for posts every time. There's almost no day that I don't create a draft for a new article. But here's the thing: how do you avoid creating two similar posts on the same subject? I mean, now, when the number of my posts is over 300, how can I keep track of what I've written and what I haven't about?

I began researching the subject and realized that everything people ever written about was how to keep track of your post ideas and what plugin to use to do that.

But there's nothing about keeping track of your already published posts. Like when you publish an article on a specific subject and then, after a while, when you  totally forgotten you already written about it, how do you avoid on writing the same thing twice?

After a shorts discussion with a friend I was suggested to subscribe to my own blog so I could see the list with text synopsis. I should give it a try.

How about you? How do you keep track of your published posts?

July 12, 2014

Drawing tomatoes

As you know, I've been wondering for a while what to do next. One of the things I thought of was to join flashmobs of a blogger I usually read. But since this project is on a summer vacation now, there are no weekly tasks at the moment. I thought I might use a list of previous tasks but somehow it didn't work for me. So at this point I decided to draw things I have at home and I started with food. Fresh food is always available and since I want in the near future to illustrate some of my favorite recipes I think it would be a great opportunity to start doing just that.

My first object are Tomatoes. I don't really like to eat them but I think that when they are still connected to their branch they make a great drawing subject.

Don't you think?

July 08, 2014

Shading theory in practice.

In this post I will be discussing a theory of shading. I always felt that there is something missing in my knowledge on the subject. So I decided to learn more about it.

One of the first things I found was this article. Very basic and very introductory. I found it nice because it's pretty difficult at the beginning to fill the head with professional terminology. So this is about shading methods, tools and

The second article is actually a summery of shading methods by Brenda Hoddinott of Drawspace. It gives you several methods for shading itself - hatching, crosshatching and squirkling.

The third article is actually the one I was really looking for. Its a solid Light and shading theory, explaining and giving pointers. A must for everyone who wants to understand a little bit more about proper shading.

And the last one is absolutely wonderful! Full with professional terminology, examples ad exercises.

You will enjoy it!

July 04, 2014

Developing Creativity: Draw something simple and then deform/change it.

Well, it's as simple as it sounds. You take an everyday object and turn it into something else.

I decided to take a simple pencil ad see what can I do with it. (sketch 1)

And then I decided to deform it a bit. (sketches 2+3). It's definitely not an original idea, but I've never done it before, so who cares?

And then I just drew whatever came in mind. A Pencil Love? A Pencil Dali? A Pencil Fence? Anything goes...

I loved this exercise. Did you?

July 01, 2014

Mid year resolution: plan, do, review.

It's the 1st of July, which means that half a year is behind us. this means that it's time to check my goal list again, to see the progress and to remind myself about stuff I forgot all about.

This is the original list:
  1. Learn to Airbrush - Not even close!
  2. Learn blind typing.
  3. Learn to draw Dinosaurs - I started to read a bit about them, so I guess it counts for something. 
  4. Learn to draw animals - http://www.howtodrawanimals.net/
  5. Illustrate children's book - I'm thinking of just taking any book and illustrate it. I'm still considering it. 
  6. Learn about Mesh tool in illustrator - at this point it's irrelevant, since I hardly work with illustrator on such a level.
  7. Learn to draw with a ball pen or any other media which is not a graphite pencil - I did plenty of sketches with colored pencils. Does it count?
  8. Illustrate favorite recipes - I am about to.
  9. Sketch, sketch, sketch! As much as possible - done. It's all here in the blog .
  10. Learn to draw Chinese calendar characters.
  11. Finish the flower project this year - I'm half way through. Only two months left to finish.
  12. Work on portraits and human figure sketches - I did some human figure/portraits drawing during the Drawspace project but left it in the middle since I got a bit frustrated and tired of it. I'll get back to it later.
  13. Be ready with holiday illustration at least 1 month in advance - Maybe not one month, but two weeks, for sure. 
  14. Complete Drawspace program and find another one - Finished 90% of it. Fount alternative programs.
  15. Become a regular on Illustration Friday.
  16. Learn to shade properly - I worked a lot on it during the Drawspace art program. Obviously, I'm not there yet and still learning. 
  17. Learn to draw water properly.
  18. Follow a Shoo Ryner tuts on Youtube.
  19. Learn more about graphic design.
  20. Focus on creativity development - trying as much as possible. There are 6 creativity posts already, each dedicated to another exercise.
  21. Learn to swim.
  22. Make a 30 circles in 1 minute a monthly exercise - done. There are others, too.
  23. Participate in drawing flashmobs.
  24. Get better in photography.
  25. Take animal photo shoot session in a local zoo.
  26. Keep developing my Graphiking gift shop.
  27. Keep blogging - almost 70 posts from the beginning of the year.
  28. Develop readership for this blog.
  29. Do more SEO for this blog.
  30. Get an MA for kindergarten teacher and open one. 
  31. Get an MA in business management.
  32. Learn to play a Darbuka drum.
  33. Learn to juggle.
  34. Learn to do balloon animals.
  35. Learn to work with a graphic tablet.
  36. Create an Artist's Birthday calendar.
  37. Draw dogs and puppies.
  38. Learn about and illustrate facial mimics (aka emotions). (added 08.02.14)
  39. Draw as many sheep as possible for 2015,the year of a Green Wood Sheep. (added 12.02.14)
  40. Learn to draw/work with my left hand. (added 13.02.14)
  41. Learn to draw hair and hairdo's. (added 16.02.14)
  42. Get back to Stock Illustration. (added 25.02.14)
  43. Draw various fruits with a lightened with a lamp. (09.03.14)
  44. Draw from live flowers. (added 20.03.14)
  45. Learn to draw with colored pencils. (added 25.03.14) - done. Still in progress.
  46. Learn to draw with Pastel chalks. (added 25.03.14)
  47. Learn to draw with water color. (added 25.03.14)
  48. Draw musical instruments. (added 17.04.14)
  49. Learn to use as less eraser as possible. (added 24.04.14)
  50. Learn how to work with my Inkling Wacom pen. (added 27.05.14)
  51. Learn to draw on ceramic products. (added 31.05.14)
As I went through my list I realized that there are way more red fields than I expected. 12 out of 53. I know that it's not much but it's a huge improvement from my previous years of making these lists. And I'm happy, because it means that I didn't waste these six months for nothing. I do hope that I'll have more of these red fields by the end of the year.

And how is your Yearly list doing? What have you achieved in the last six months?