Life Drawing Live

Did anyone catch BBC 4’s Life Drawing Live last week? It was good timing for me, because I had two days of working on getting back to sketching people a couple of weeks ago, then stopped again. Hopefully it’s put me back in the grove.

Although I didn’t watch it live, I recorded it and followed along in a couple of bursts over the weekend.

We started with warm up; drawing two 30 second poses then a one minute one…

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Very pleased with the proportions given even each was drawn in 30 seconds and the one on the right less time, because they forgot to engage the pose cam.

We then moved to drawing models in iconic artistic poses:

6 minutes – Diego Velazquez’s only surviving nude…

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Not sure what’s going on in the bum area.

10 minutes – Bacchus the god of wine…

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We were supposed to use sanguine chalk, but I didn’t have any, so used red and white watercolour pencil – although the white is impossible to see here.

12 minutes – Augustus John’s Madame Suggia….

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This was the first one I drew on the second day and I think the lack of a warm up didn’t help, but I’m very happy with the bottom half. 

15 minutes? – Carvaggio’s Narcissus…

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I enjoyed doing this one most. Supposed to be in charcoal, but I have none, so used my 8B progresso  pencil and fell back in love with progresso pencils. 

18 mins – Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People…

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Progresso pencil again here.

Even though I’m not very experienced at drawing people and not very good at it, I really enjoyed this and thoroughly recommend having a go if you missed it – even if you don’t draw. The pose cam cast is available on BBC IPlayer for the next three weeks.

Until next time,

Bekki x

All Ears – and maybe a nose

I’d like to start by saying when I posted about the picture I drew of Harry last week, I think gave some people the impression I wasn’t pleased with what I’d done. I was actually completely chuffed with my picture, I just knew there was room for improvement.

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Don’t know why my camera turned this photo blue.

So this week I’ve been attempting to draw more realistic fur. I started by trying to copy the ears on someone else’s graphite goldie portrait…

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I think they look more like fur, but also as if they belong to a Merle collie rather than a goldie…

I then tried to draw one of Harry’s ears from a different photo, but got part way through  and thought of a different way I could do it. So I abandoned it  looking like this…

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Here’s the ear drawn with the new method I thought of…

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I think this there a definite improvement. Here’s the first and final ears side by side – although they are from different photos and therefore different angles…

I also made a start on a nose, but it’s nowhere near finished yet. I also bought a tool for doing those tricky under-nose blond hairs and had a play with it – not completely convinced it’s good enough for the job…

 

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And that’s been my drawing week.

Until next time,

Bekki x

Drawing Harry

It was always only going to be a matter of time, once I started this sketching malarkey, before I drew Harry. I confess I was a little scared. It seemed a big challenge. There were, of course, the eyes to get right, which I tackled first, figuring that if I got them wrong I wouldn’t have wasted time on the other bits.DSCN340100

But the eyes were the least of my troubles. Even harder to get to grips with was the nose and the blond hairs around it. And harder than that was drawing the fur.

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Don’t know why my camera turned this photo blue.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with my first attempt – given I only started drawing 4 months ago, but there’s certainly things I need to work on:

  1. The nose needs better texture.
  2. The hairs underneath the nose are way too thick –  although this was down to not having the right equipment.
  3.  The fur on Harry’s ear is just wrong.
  4.  The position of Harry’s left ear (the one on our right) is plain wrong too.

So the plan is to work firstly on ears – I think the challenge is that the fur on his ears is actually more hair than fur. From there I’ll tackle the nose and the white hairs under it.

As always any constructive advice from you guys will be greatly appreciated.

Until next time,

Bekki x

Learning to Draw 2019 – 3 months in

It’s been three months since I decided to learn to draw in order to be able to do more with free motion embroidery. As many of you spotted, once I started learning to draw the embroidery got rather left to the side. I haven’t forgotten it, but for now I’m happy to work on learning about and improving my drawing and, as it’s the close of the year, I’ve had a look back at  my progress.

I started by simply working on drawing what I saw rather than what I thought I saw. I drew this Fuschia in the first couple of weeks and it’s still one of my favourites.

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Next I focused on light and shadow. At this stage I was drawing a lot of leaves.

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Next I learned about vanishing points and one point and two point perspective. Although I recognised their importance I found working on it rather tedious, this showed when I looked back; I’d finished almost none of the pictures I’d started. 20191118_12205800

Moving on I had a short flirtation with faces…

Then I worked on drawing people; getting proportions right in different posses…

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I also intermittently worked on various texture exercises, attempting to draw better trees, rocks etc

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It’s been 96 days since I started learning to draw and I set myself the goal of sketching every day. I didn’t draw on about a week’s worth of days before Christmas and I took a week off over Christmas – all occasions were because I chose to put family first, which IMO is getting my priorities right. In that 96 days I’ve drawn 101 sketches or groups of sketches, which averages at more than 1 a day – so very happy with that.

Until next year!

Bekki x

Drawing People

I’m sure if you spotted the pic of an artist’s mannequin on Sunday, you’ll have known it wouldn’t be long before I was posting my attempts to draw it.

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As usual I tracked down a few YouTube videos to help me find some tips, techniques and best approaches and scribbled along with them.

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I particularly liked the idea of drawing the top half of the body as a domed cylinder – this helped make the process of drawing the shoulders and getting the right angles on them much  easier.

Over the next few days I tried to draw at least one pose a day.

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The idea is – apparently – that if you keep drawing the mannequin in different poses, you’ll:

  1. Get better drawing the different perspectives.
  2. Get the proportions/human form imprinted on your brain and therefore people become easier to draw.

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I’ve now set myself the goal of drawing a person every day for the next year. Hopefully at some point I’ll graduate from mannequins to something that looks more human. But don’t worry, I’m not going to post every single picture.

Until next time,

Bekki x

Drawing Faces

A couple of weeks ago I decided to learn to draw faces.  First off I scribbled along with a YouTube video and learned to draw faces looking in different directions.

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After watching a few more YouTube videos, I followed their general instructions to draw a larger face. The result was okay, but not realistic.

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I was particularly unimpressed with the nose, so decided that was the part of the face to start learning to draw better first. Watching more videos, and reading a few tutorials too, I attempted to draw some noses.

The key to drawing a nose is that most of it’s shading. However, despite the nose videos and tutorials, and also having watched a few shading videos, I still was very unhappy with my noses.

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Recognising that I never intended to be a portrait artist anyway, I gave up, thinking I’d just wasted a couple of hours.

A few of days later I had a go at drawing some fairy faces with easier noses. This also involved exploring a little about drawing hair.

After that I decided to return to faces once I’d learnt to draw bodies. However a week later I decided to draw a still life of some leaves and logs.  Although it’s far from perfect, I found the shading so much easier to do. I also did it all with just a 2B pencil.

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So I guess the time spent attempting to draw a decent nose wasn’t wasted after all.   And who knows? I might yet become portrait artist anyway 😉

Until next time,

Bekki x

Learning to Draw – My Go To Project

As I’m sure you know, I like to draw in natural light, but with the shorting days of winter I’ve been struggling more and more to do so. The other morning I woke up half hour early – while it was still dark – and wanted to get half an hour’s sketching in before I had to get on with the day.  I’ve been thinking for a while that I ought to try the standard art class exercise of drawing the corner of a room.

Thinking this was something that the quality of light wouldn’t mater so much for, I decided to make a start on drawing one of the corners of our kitchen dinner.

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Obviously this photo wasn’t taken that first morning. And, no, I’m not going to draw all that junk on the table.

I quickly realised this sketch was going to take quite some time, but that was fine, because the walls, windows, curtains and table weren’t going to get moved in between. It was something I could pick up when I had some time to draw, but it didn’t matter what the light was like until I wanted to work on the shading.

This is how far I’ve got having spent a couple more half hours on it…

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So nice to have a go to project I’m happy about drawing in dimmer light and don’t feel any pressure to finish in any particular time frame.

Until next time,

Bekki x