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While reflecting on my progress for 2009, and setting art goals for 2010, I re-energized and finally worked through my block in the Dodson Keys to Drawing book.  More specifically, I was stuck at Exercises 2D and 2F - making a tonal value strip and then using it to reproduce a black and white photo from the book.  I know that I should make quick value sketches, but never do.  And almost everything I draw or paint could be improved to increasing the darks and lightening the lights.  I also really don't enjoy working with pencils (except watercolor pencils) for a finished drawing.

But I was motivated to get over my block and move on, because I really, really do want to work on the other chapters of this book.  I did all of the other Dodson exercises in my daily sketchbook, but probably should have done this exercise on smooth drawing paper.  Oh well!  It's done, as is Exercise 2F and more experimentation with all of my pens and inks doing the same head over and over, and all of my pencils using the same figure over and over.  These changes didn't change my preferences - and I discovered that I CAN'T draw with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and I still hate charcoal and Conte pencils because of the scratchiness!!






THANK YOU. You might have helped me get past a similar Dobson block. The lessons are great. There are just a few ... blocks. And I heartily hate pencil work as well.

It's lovely. I like the effect the watercolor paper gives. And I think it's cool that you can stay within your sketchbook and create a sequential history of your work.

Since pencil smudges easily, you might want to spray fixative or put waxed paper between the pages where you have graphite floating around.

I love adore can't believe how wonderful my Koh-i-nor woodless graphite pencils are. I don't use them nearly often enough, but they are so wonderful that you should run out this minute and add them to your collection of toys!

While you're at the art store, buy yourself a dry eraser... I think that's what it's called. It looks like a little pillow and when you twist or shake it, particles fall out... onto your paper. You can put some on the paper before you start to draw and they will gather up graphite dust. You can also shake out some particles and use the pillow to remove excess graphite dust from a work in progress or a completed sketch.

I found a book last night that I think will form one of the foci of my early 2010 efforts. Oddly enough, it's a book about painting flowers using acrylic. BUT it has great directions for making brush strokes and careful instructions for painting flowers and leaves... I will have to interpret it all into watercolor, but it might be just the level of brain-involvement that I CAN give. :-)

Well done at getting past that block - and it's a lovely drawing too.

Shirley, I have been lurking on your blog for some time! I enjoy both reading what you write and seeing what you draw and paint. The warmth of your appreciation for family is as lovely as many of your drawings - thank you for that! This year, I have more time and am inspired to at least do an EDM challenge each day and, if time allows, to do other drawing/painting as well. I'm writing, though, because recently I came across your blog on different houses and am amazed at a couple of coincidences: I was born in Clifton and lived on Valley Road, and then we moved to Wayne, where we lived until I was 13 in the Wedgewood neighborhood ... so after a couple years of feeling a connection due to the drawing/painting, I thought it was interesting to read another similarity!

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