Drawing Prompt – the last gift you received

drawing of charcoal pencilsI knew once I started bounding around the 31 Days in January  AJW Sketchbook challenge is run by Palma of A Creative Journey  I would be jumping about for the rest of the month. This grasshopper like activity  is because I am trying to draw these things from life rather than work from photos as my goal this year is to get into the routine of drawing regularly. It is only with constant practice that I will improve so I am pushing myself to try and draw daily. Anyway this is the prompt for day 12 which reads “the last gift you received”.

For Christmas I was given a box of Derwent Charcoal pencils and I had time to test them a little. In this drawing I used watercolour paints, Charcoal pencils and pitt pens in a Strathmore mixed media journal. The disks are swatch tests of each colour. I also used a fixative on the page because of course charcoal smudges. I like smudgy drawing media as you can push it about a bit but it does need to be fixed. As usual click on the image to see a larger version of the photograph.

This is also EDM drawing challenge 97 Draw a present you have received

Something Industrial page spread for sketchbook challenge

Something Industrial art journal page spread“Something Industrial” is the prompt for Day 3. This topic had me scratching my head as Canberra is not very industrial. Although I want to draw from life as much as possible, I decided use some photo sources and try to use them in a manner that pushed me a little. The photo I used were taken at Cockatoo Island when we were on a visit to Sydney. I did not want to simply draw from a photograph but use the shapes and main lines in them to create a page spread that could be “Something Industrial”. As usual click on the image for a larger view.

How I created the art journal page spread

I first lay down a layer of gesso. While the gesso was still wet I pressed a nylon net into it. When the net was lifted it left the impression of a grid that echoed the appearance of wire fencing. I then added some torn paper scraps before allowing that layer to dry. I knew the impression would create a texture that would be picked up by paint.

After going through my photos sources  I arranged 3 basic sketches on the page. I did not want to copy photographs but I used them as sources to hint and shapes. I chose them to provide strong directional elements on the page. The first was a pipe and stopcock that provided a strong vertical line. The next two drawings were of cranes that provided some strong diagonals on the page. I used watercolour paint and pitt pens to define the key lines and shapes of the industrial elements on the page. I let that layer dry.

I did not want the various elements to be illustrations as such, but to hint at mood, so painted over some parts of the drawing and then used some modelling paste and stencils to create another layer of texture. The stencils were commercial plastic stencils of a grid and a second had a pattern of V like lines. The modelling paste drys clear but it picks up textures when you paint over it. When the paste was dry I added another layer of watercolour paint using glazing to evoke mood and depth. Then as a contrast using craft dye cutters I cut some small squares and disks of printed paper. These prints had an industrial feel and the clean cut shape set a small contrast up against the hand painted shapes.

On the final layer I used colour pencil to add a little more depth. I hope you like my interpretation of this challenge.

The AJW Sketchbook challenge run by Palma of A Creative Journey  proposes a daily prompt throughout January which is shared in the Artist Journal Workshop Facebook group

New flickr group to share studio art journal page spreads

studio art journal group  screen shotI have a little news as I  have set up a new Studio art journals flickr group for people interested in studio art journals. So spread the word!

The group is for anyone who uses studio/visual/art journal sketchbook format. All the back slashes in the last sentence is because there are lots of types of visual journals and I would like to be inclusive rather than trying blocking out people because they don’t fit into some predefined idea of what a visual journal is. I figure if you work in a notebook and what is done is visual it’s ok to post to the group.

The idea is to create a supportive environment  to share page spreads. We can use the discussion area on flikr to chat about the process of journalling, art supplies, creativity etc.


Everyday matters drawing challenge 249

Drawing 249

I am swinging by to share another drawing challenge photo.  This is EDM drawing challenge 249 which prompts us to draw a coffee pot. This is an old copper pot my father had. The pot is no longer functional as the tin lining is damaged and there are a number of dents in it now. Click the image and you see a larger version.

I used Faber Castell Pitt pens, watercolour paint and Derwent watercolour pencils to do the exercise .

item on deskThese exercises to draw items on a list of prompts do prevent me wandering about the place looking for something to draw. I just find something, plonk it down on my work table and get on with it. The main thing for me is to practice draw from life.  Its’ a bit like a musician doing scales – drawing from life regularly helps keep my eye in. It does not matter what it is I draw. The drawing does not have to have any deep and meaningful message. The object can be part of my life but that is it.

Here is  the EDM challenge list . Scroll to see my efforts. The Every Day Matters drawing challenge has a flickr group and Facebook page.