Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Practicing with Brush Pen and Volume

On this day, I wanted to work with the dye brush pen and the water brush pen, focusing on values and people, but to mimic some work I've done with colored pencils in a way:  I wanted to capture what I could, to practice and practice, using three minute sketches.  No fussing.  Scribbles.  Just main features, shadow shapes, volume.

I planned to draw the students in one of my classes, because they would be doing a series of quick free writing--so I just made their exercises three minutes long and explained to them what I would be doing at the same time!  Actually, this led to a terrific conversation about learning "art"--them as novice creative writers and me, their professor, as a novice visual artist.  It was really a good conversation.

Anyhow, below you'll see three pages.

First, two brush sketches I did of my dog Nora just as I left the house.  I did both of these in a total of three minutes.  Just warming up, practicing catching shapes.  The negative space stood out for me here.  These actually look like her.  I really like the quick, scribbly, but effective nature of these!

Second, repetitions of three students I saw in an atrium at school.  I don't know these students.  You can see I made a celebratory mess.  I tried wet on wet for fun.  I started and restarted.  I totally screwed some stuff up.  I like the light on the man at the top of page 2.  
And I like the shading/volume work on all four in the right column on page 3.  

Third, ten of my students done each in three minutes in one sitting as they did writing exercises.   
I rather enjoy these quick three-minute sketches.  For me, it completely shuts the internal critic down and frees me up to experiment because I can get ten tries in within a half hour.  Try.  It failed.  Do it again, and again.... so at the end of my thirty-minute session I really feel like I have experimented and learned.  I'm glad to have discovered this for future work.

What messy, fast and loose fun!  And I feel like I'm learning, getting braver, and advancing toward my goals!  YAY!

This post comes from work I did in a class with Roz Stendahl, Drawing Practice:  Drawing Live Subjects in Public.  I recommend it!

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