Monthly Archives: January 2016

My Blue Period

Late last week. I decided my living room needed a makeover. We have cream sofas with brown/cream cushions and I was bored with it. So I decided to make some new cushion covers and spruce things up a bit. It’s cold and dark out in the evenings, so why not keep myself busy? ¬†I decided to go blue.

On Friday, I went to the local fabric shop and bought some fabric remnants, needles and thread (I don’t have the first clue about sewing, but I found a video on Youtube). Then, being me, I worked all weekend on the cushions like a woman possessed. (Why can’t I be like a normal person and take my time?!)

Anyway, it’s Sunday night, they’re done and I am exhausted but happy. Here I am laying on one of them.

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And, if you’re interested, here are some of them in the flesh ūüôā

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No more mirror!

I tried again with the mirror and I just think drawing from real life is not for me.

I understand why others feel it’s important, but for me,¬†it really doesn’t work. I am so busy trying to stay still that I capture nothing of my real self.

Today I played with an 8 year-old who chooses to come and see me whenever he can.¬†We joked¬†around and had fun, and his dad had to come and fetch him, otherwise he’d still be here.

You’d never guess that was my day¬†from this self portrait, done while trying to look in the mirror and draw at the same time.

Nope. Not buying that there’s anything intrinsically better about pictures drawn from life.

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Honest

Tonight, I watched¬†a documentary about British landscape painting and at one point, a modern artist whose name I can’t remember, described a Rubens painting as ‘dishonest.’ St the time, Rubens was a part-time artist but a full-time diplomat and he had come to England to negotiate an agreement with the King of the time. While here, he painted a picture of the King in his English landscape, and this was the dishonest picture.

“It reeks of flattery,” said this modern artist, “it’s not what he really thought.”

Whatever else I can be accused of with these selfies, I don’t think flattery is among them!

This one is biro and I gave myself only 5 minutes.

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Marker Pen

If I’m going to draw myself¬†every day for a year, I am going to have to find some ways to make it interesting.¬†Today, I tried marker pen and watercolour, a new combination for me.

I do like the way the marker pen simplifies drawing – I can’t fret over¬†shading or line quality. I can’t render details. I just have to focus on the bigger picture.

Maybe that would be a good approach to life?

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The Seventh Deadly Sin

According to many ‘people in the know’ it’s bad to draw from photographs. You can’t possibly capture emotion and personality when drawing from something two dimensional, say these great knowers-of-everything.

Well, I beg to differ.

This and this and this, were drawing/painted from photographs. The photos captured a moment, and then I interpreted based on my mood, and out came an emotive self-portrait. Each of these pictures captures something real about me, something of the essence of who I am.

Then there’s today’s portrait, where I drew myself from life, in the mirror.

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This captures absolutely nothing except what I look like when I’m looking down on myself from an angle and concentrating really, really hard.

Useful only if what I was going for was ‘How I Might Look if I Took an Exam.”

I think the real problem with drawing from photos lies with the artist, not the process. If you can fully immerse yourself in both the subject and your mood, you can convey strong emotion working from a 2D image – and, in the case of selfies, you won’t be distracted by the limitations of staring at yourself from a funny angle and trying not to move!

Charcoal

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I use charcoal every week during my life drawing sessions and I always enjoy how free it makes my drawing.

So I tried it on a selfie and I really like the results.

This drawing may be simplistic, but it really does look like me. Or at least, it looks like the me I see when I look in the mirror.