Sunday, 20 January 2013

A Drawing a Day - or Not

I thought I needed to give a progress report on my attempts to do a drawing a day following the instructions in the book I mentioned in my last posting.  I am afraid progress is incredibly slow for two reasons:
1.  It is not easy to put aside even half an hour a day every day so several days pass with nothing to show for them.
2.  Like Clare Smith I find myself doing tatty sketches that end up in the bin.  I tend to be very self-critical of my artistic efforts and the idea of showing them to the world is quite off-putting.  However, here is how I started.

These are a set of 'naive' Christmas ornaments which I drew before I put them away for another year.  The drawing made very few demands as it did not even require any perspective so I then moved on to still life, using objects that were just around the room.  The results are not publishable!

I can buy early daffodils extremely cheaply from the village shop as they are grown round here (see my recent posting with photos).  I drew last week's flowers in a vase along with various other objects but the flowers died after a week so yesterday I bought some more and found myself talking to the farmer who grew them. (He was clad in sandals without socks and a  padded sleeveless waistcoat but had bare arms and the temperature was about 3 degrees so work that one out.)  This drawing is done with a nib pen and ink as suggested in the book.  I am beginning to get the hang of daffodils although at this stage I am still on the chapter about line and mark making.  I find it very difficult to work directly in ink and not be able to rub out as I am used to sizing things up by holding my pencil at arm's length, and blocking in the main shapes in the picture.

A couple of days ago I decided that I should incorporate drawing on the iPad into this project.  I own Brushes (which I have never used) and Sketchbook Pro.  I bought this months ago and after a flurry of enthusiasm have not used it in ages.  Here are examples of my early drawings, based on photographs I took locally.  I have decided that it is not evil to work from photos provided I took them myself and made the decisions about composition etc. both when taking them and when editing them.

And here is what I have done today.  First the daffodils.

And then I drew the books piled up on the table where I was working.

There is an on-going conversation about iPads on the SAQA Yahoo group this weekend and it is interesting to learn that I am not the only one who finds getting used to the feeling of a stylus and screen a bit difficult.  I find it hard to draw straight lines of any length but it may just need more practice.

Finally, it has been extremely cold here the last couple of days.  We must be the only place in the country not to have snow which is a blessing for those of us with wobbly legs, but it is very cold indeed and the temptation to just curl up on the sofa and do a jigsaw on the iPad is very strong.  The cats like that as all three of them lie on me.  Otherwise they are spending all their time in their igloos, either in the conservatory if it is sunny or in the ones we bought before Christmas and put in front of the radiator in my bedroom.

Pania and Hinemoa are both in the black one.  Being Siamese they are very small and can both fit in one.  Nui is on the right.  He is very large for a Siamese, partly because he is on pills for the chronic kidney condition that killed his litter sister, and on steroids because they all had campobylacter three years ago and he was left with a weak digestive system.  I think he is feeling the cold this weekend but he is eleven years old whereas the girls are only three.

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