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July 15, 2016

Summer Camp Mail Art

Three of my Grandchildren are in Summer Camp for 7 weeks, and even if they never manage to send notes to us, I still write to them weekly.  Last summer, as part of a Sketchbook Skool homework assignment, I sketched an imaginary character that I named Axel.  Several of my grandchildren played a role filling in the back story and deciding on a name.  Last summer I added a drawing of Axel to my letters.  This summer I'm adding drawings on the envelopes.  This was the first drawing added to the envelope.

 

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This is the drawing I made for the second set of letters, and a photo of one of the envelopes.

 

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Envelope

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May 29, 2016

Painting My Dinner for Sketchbook Skool Homework

Matthew Midgley, a British teacher and illustrator, was the Artist for week 5 in Sketchbook Skool 6.  He is a master at painting his meals, even if it means that he doesn't eat it until cold.  I knew that I couldn't draw and paint, postponing my enjoyment of dinner, so I took photos at our pre-theater dinner last weekend and painted it this weekend.

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Italian bread with olive oil, Caesar salad, a Super Tuscan red wine, sausage pizza, and a cappuccino.  Yum!  

May 24, 2016

Sketchbook Skool 6 Homework

Vin Ganapathy, a teacher in Sketchbook Skool 6, demonstrated portrait drawing and then assigned us homework using his technique.  He likes to do a quick drawing live, then take lots of photos, and use them to finish the drawing later.  He did two people sitting on a couch, but my first opportunity to draw and take photos was when I was sitting next to a grandchild - in profile.

I find it very difficult to capture a likeness of family members, and these 3 are a little better than usual.  Henry was sitting next to me at a concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Sydney was presenting a project to us at school.  And Zachary was sitting next to me at a Young People's concert at Lincoln Center.

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The drawings were done with pencil on watercolor postcards that I carried with me.   The technique was helpful, and the photos helped me better draw nose shapes and lips.

 

The very next week in Sketchbook Skool, Dutch artist Nelleke Verhoef imtroduced "Faces" from photo inspirations.  She maintains envelopes containing eyes, noses, mouths, and hair clipped from magazines - and mixes and matches them to inspire random face drawings.  One of her special additions is red cheeks - which is also the name of her illustration studio.

I got a Vogue magazine from my daughter, clipped apart face components, and made my own reference envelopes for the project.   I quickly sketched this face in ink and painted it with watercolor, and may use this technique for my imaginary drawing project.

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May 2, 2016

"Continuous Line Contour" and "Negative Space" Drawings

Continuous Line Contour Drawings and the Sketchbook Skool Seeing Online Class (2014)- Brenda Swensen's Class Demo was a Continuous Line Contour Drawing with a Tombow pen and a watercolor wash.  Even though I did these exercises, I spent much more time trying to keep my pen on the paper and felt as if this was a more laborious process than my usual drawing technique.  These are my homework drawings, and after doing a comparison, I rejected the technique for me.

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These are comparison drawings - the continuous line contour drawing in black and white and my usual method with a watercolor wash.  I got lost in the drawing and my usual method was also faster.

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Fast Forward 2 years to the Sketchbook Skool Polishing online class and Koosje Koene's demo of negative space drawing.  This is another technique that didn't work well for me in the past, but of course I wanted to try it again.  I put a complex kitchen stool in the middle of my kitchen and looked at all of the negative spaces.  I began the drawing with expectations that I could draw the stool more easily by drawing the open, i.e. negative spaces.  But I got lost in the process and had another failure.  So I'm again returning to my own drawing methods and that is OK with me.

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April 29, 2016

Comics: Out of My Art Comfort Zone

Danny Gregory taught me about comics in his opening week of Sketchbook School 6 - Polishing.  As a child I read about Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead.  In college I read whole books of Peanut comics by Charles Shultz.  In my adult years I read random strips of Cathy and Dilbert.  Our first homework assignment was to draw a conversation as a comic.  I thought about this assignment for a week while all of my ideas were almost instantly rejected.  Then, as a second week began, I realized that the most important conversation was going on continually in my brain - between my Inner Critic and Me.

My Inner Critic is not a Monkey - like Danny's new book tells us (Shut Your Monkey).  Mine has always been an old lady - a very hypercritical old lady and many of the things she tells me definitely are based in comments from my Mother Marge and Mother-in-law Miriam.   My college roommate had a similar Mother named Mildred - so I usually call my Inner Critic Mildred, so my name for her is not so obviously from my own Family. 

I painted my Inner Critic Mildred for an Everyday Matters Challenge in 2009.  It is an old lady, and I called her a bag lady, with a bag full of scripts:  "Not Creative,"  "Not Perfect,"  "No Skills," and "Why Bother?"

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Fast forward to 2014 and another painting of Mildred, who says:

"Why do you want to make that?  What are you going to do with it?

You will mess it up, and the whole thing will be ruined.

It will never be perfect, so why try?

You need to look for more information before starting.

Besides, it isn't even an original idea."  

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So here is my recent conversation with Mildred in a comic format! 

 

Panels 1-4

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Panels 5-8 

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Conversation if it can't be read from my comic

Critic: You still haven't done Danny's Homework.

Me: I know.

Critic: What do you know about comics?

Me: Enough.

Critic: You don't have any ideas.  You are not original.

Me: I just need time to think.

Critic: You don't draw well from your imagination.

Me: Well enough to draw you!

Critic: Other Sketchbook Skool (SBS) students are drawing great comics.

Me: Mine will have meaning to me.

Critic:  Will they know who I am?

Me:  Inner Critic.  I call you Mildred for hypercritical Marge and Miriam.

Critic:  I think you are wasting your time.

Me:  I'm playing now.  Thanks for your concern. 

 

Our second homework assignment was to draw "a day in our life" as a comic. 

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I love the Sketchbook School homework assignments and after fighting my Inner Critic when I'm out of my comfort zone, I do them.  All except the original poster assignment from Jean-Christophe Defline.  I'm still  battlling Mildred about that one. 

All of the illustrations in this blog post are now the beginning of a book I hadn't used.  It should be fun to record my inner conversations and get them drawn on paper as a comic.  

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