Thursday, January 31, 2019

SketchKon Sketches #9 Learning Life Drawing

Veronica Lawlor did a terrific session basically designed to teach us new ways to approach life drawing.  You can see from the sketches I made during the workshop that it included things like blind contours, non-dominant hand sketches, one-line drawings, and so on.

She emphasized that getting rid of "normal" habits of seeing and drawing would open up our drawing skills.

After some warm-up lessons, we sketched poses.  The models from Dr. Sketchy's were great!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

SketchKon Sketches #8 Jill Badonsky Workshops

Jill Badonsky, an artist and author whom I've admired for many years now (I love her book entitled The Awe-manac) did several workshops at SketchKon 2018.  Sketchnotes of one of the sessions and some of the sketches I drew from her instruction are below.

Next up, a one-line drawing of five different kinds of flowers in a base.  I think, in fact, we drew this with our eyes closed...  I added colors and the box around it later.

Then she had us draw all sorts of things with our eyes closed, from memory, from our imaginations.  This is just one page of dogs, technology, purses, and birds on a wire. 

The big-eyed puppy at the bottom was drawn upside down without looking at the paper.

Fun fun stuff.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

SketchKon Sketches #7 Some More Sketchnotes

Some more sketchnotes from SketchKon 2018!  Really a great conference.  And there's one in the works for 2019!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

RIP Mary Oliver

"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."

~ Mary Oliver

One of my most favorite poets, spiritual inspirations, reminders of how to life well.

So much to read by and about her, to learn from.  I recommend it all.

But in particular, these are great places to start.

An essay from Brain Pickings about the commitment to creativity.

An episode of On Being about  listening to the world.

And, of course, her poetry...

Thursday, January 17, 2019

SketchKon Sketches #6 Some Sketchnotes

While at SketchKon 2018, I sketchnoted every session I attended.

Here are a few.

Sketchnoting is a great way to help yourself pay attention, stay focused, and capture elements of a presentation or workshop that have the most meaning for you!

Check out the next few posts for more sketchnotes!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sketchkon Sketches #5--Lawlor and Reim Workshop #3

Continuing with sketches from the Urban Sketching Boot Camp workshop I did at Sketchkon last November...

We sat in a garden and produced multiple sketches, focusing entirely on mark-making and texture.

This was fascinating and hard work for me.  I am not someone who enjoys making tons of tiny marks.  I know loads of people find it meditative and relaxing, but I always catch myself wanting to get on with the next thing.  There just seems always to be so much more to capture.

One of the last things we did in this workshop was go to the entry of the hotel and draw people.  We were assigned to do five people, full body, in motion, in fifteen minutes.  Thanks to all the practice I've had in Roz Stendahl's classes and in drawing at soccer games, I was able to sketch many more.  Plus, they move so fast.... I don't know how anyone could spend three minutes drawing someone in motion!

What a great day!  We were all exhausted and exhilarated at the end. 

If I ever had a chance to do a workshop with either of these teachers again, I would!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Let's Meet By Making Comics!

On Saturday, November 10, 2018 I had the privilege of working with several dozen folks of all ages from the local community on ideas of visual literacy, making comics, storytelling, and living a life brightened by art-making.

In the front row sat a five-year-old and an eighty-five-year-old!  And the rest of the room held everything in between.  It was terrific.

For 90 minutes we explored how much they already knew about communicating through comics, and how effective they could be in this medium, even if they didn't know how to draw.

As someone who couldn't draw for most of her life, I love to emphasize with people that they can do effective work in comics, even if they "can't draw," if they just learn some principles of visual literacy and storytelling.

This was all part of the NEA Big Read Lakeshore program.

This year's book was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which takes its title from a graphic novel which features prominently in the book.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share my love of comics with the community!  Thanks, Big Read Team!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sketchkon Sketches #4 -- Lawlor and Reim Workshop Part 2

Continuing with sketches from my full day Urban Sketching Boot Camp workshop with Veronica Lawlor and Melanie Reim...

After drawing 20 thumbnails in 20 minutes, we chose three of those thumbnails to explore further.  In each thumbnail we had to identify three specific objects.  Then we had to do a variation on each thumbnail moving each object through foreground, middleground, and background.  

I sort of screwed it up in the first example, but in the last one you can see I finally got the hang of it, with the person, the tree and the wall occupying different picture planes. 

This was, for me, a mind-bending exercise.  I LOVED IT.

A bit later we walked to a church and our assignment was to draw it in several ways, thinking about depicting emotional content.  How does this building--and all it signifies for you in your life--make you feel?

That was fun and really tapped into my storytelling impulses.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Sketchkon Sketches #3-- Lawlor and Reim Workshop Part 1

As part of Sketchkon, I signed up for a full day workshop with two of my sketching heroes, Veronica Lawlor and Melanie Reim.  We drew for hours in this Urban Sketching Boot Camp.

We started by learning about and practicing quick thumbnails.  We had to sketch twenty in twenty minutes.

What a great exercise for exploring ideas and space.  Twenty in twenty minutes meant you had to keep looking always for the next idea.  I'd be in the middle of drawing one and thinking about what would be next!  And you couldn't stop to criticize.  And you couldn't even attempt to draw more than just basic basic shapes because you didn't have time.  

Bonus:  what a great exercise to help you BE IN A MOMENT and in a space.  You pay such close attention to where you are when doing this.  It imprints the whole scene deeply into memory.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

SketchKon Sketches #2

Travel from Detroit to Los Angeles.  

I confess I did not sketch on the plane.  I watched movies instead.  And napped.  Big days coming up!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Celebrating Goodness from 2017

On this happy New Year's Day, I want to start a series of posts sharing my sketches from one of the many great goodnesses of 2017:  SketchKon!!

SketchKon was a sketching "konvention" held by the folks who run Sketchbook Skool.  I've posted many times about what an amazing impact that program has had on my life!

I got to attend the workshops in Pasadena, California last November and I learned and experienced more than these will show.  

Packing art supplies was, of course, the hardest part!