14 House Objects - Creative Challenge Workshop June 2021

14 House Objects - Creative Challenge Workshop June 2021 - student project

 Day 1: A fork

14 House Objects - Creative Challenge Workshop June 2021 - image 1 - student project

This was unintentionally harder than I thought it would be. I forgot to set an alarm, and can't even tell how long it took me because things were busy, and I interrupted myself several times, but I reckon I needed about 10-20 minutes for this fork, including a different first attempt.

I do struggle with the critique bit, I must say. I think there's a critique culture that differs from here to there to somewhere else. I am still practising that and might share my thought another day. For now, I am just recording my first drawing here which I very much enjoyed.


Day 2: Don't know how to call this thing

14 House Objects - Creative Challenge Workshop June 2021 - image 2 - student projectThis is a puzzle toy of my doughter's that can be manipulated in all kinds of shapes. I set the clock this time to 6 minutes (and only went few seconds overtime at the end - you can probably see how I drew from the left to right. I challenged myself by working with a biro (feel much more comfortable with a pencil or better still a set of pencils).


Day 3: Magic Marker

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I am beginning to get better at understanding what I find easy and what I find hard to sketch. And I am beginning to wrap my mind around the critique bit. Actually added critique according to the given questions for the first two sketches just this morning (waiting still a bit with today's). I find what I really enjoy is the time limit - which is a surprise to me. I am a quick sketcher, but before, I always felt bad for not doing better, spending more time to get it right, that kind of thing. I imagined the time restrained would make me frustrated even more, that I can't even try to pay proper attention to things. But I find that now I can always shrug off all that didn't go to plan with the idea of having done best I could in the given time without agonizing about whether I should have been more patient.

Started with the backside of the marker on top very quickly, realized I have more time, and started the second one on the left with more attention to detail, then tried a foreshortened one which I didn't quite get right and also ran out of time.

medium: sanguine oil pencil from cretacolor


Day 4: Water bottle

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Biggest takeaway for me: I need to think more carefully ahead of what is going to be difficult, and what not. Also: maybe need to practise outlines more - can't really do without the shading... (maybe move to a different medium).

Enjoyment wasn't that great as once again I realised I may have chosen something that was too difficult for me. I found the form and lines tricky but especially that it is semi-transparent, and I struggled to show that.

That said, I worked from an intial 3 minute sketch (where the bottle was far away from me), to a top view and an improved sketch for which I gave myself 3 extra minutes (thus having worked on it about 5.5min) for which I held the bottle in my hand to take a closer look. The shape of the bottle in the last sketch is much better.

I also feel I overall progressed, as I used my eyes and really the object, not a photo of it to work from.


Day 5: Ink Bottle

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This is my first time drawing with a brush (synthetic no. 4 watercolour) and calligraphy ink. I chose ink to rid myself of the ability to introduce shading - only to find out that it was very much available to me. I must say, I feel like I cheated a little bit by making this one the main image, because this one is neither the first nor the last that I sketched this morning. (So I'll include a full view below) - I was just surprised about how enjoyable using that ink was.

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Because I felt I challenged myself too much with the water bottle yesterday, I went for a tip-ex bottle today which has much straighter lines and, maybe because it is smaller, felt more achievable. I started out with the brush and ink as described, and did the first sketch on the right hand page on the top left in 3 minutes, getting used to the ink and brush. The two other views, which are actually much weaker, were done in another 3 minutes, so that I could and maybe should have called it a day then and there. But I felt I wanted to investigate this new medium more, and did the ink bottle that I decided to make my main entry for today.

And I just couldn't stop there. I found a pencil lying around from my daughter's school work and thought: well, let's see what difference it would make if I took a pencil (which is my favourite medium).

And in the end I felt confident enough to try a bottle with the cap sitting on tilted in less than 2 minutes, first pencil and then ink on top. And I am actually very happy with that last one.

In all sketches my circles are really off. Need much more work. But all in all, I really enjoyed this morning. I got to know a new medium and very much enjoyed the process.

(And now, in view of the gentle critique, I'll leave it at that and not talk about how wonky everything is. No I won't. Shut up brain!)


Day 6: Switch Controller

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Fountain pen. Finally I managed to just do outline. I feel that's the biggest progress for today: I found a tool with which I can work to the task I am given. I think I fell back behind what I could do when it comes to rendering the shapes (then again considering yesterday's off-ovals...) and it could be part of not having touched that pen for probably 10 years.

Although I feel I fell behind what I could do, I enjoyed drawing with a pen, and would have liked to go on. Ran out of time for the last one. So:

enjoyment: 8/10

confident: 3/10

progess: 5/10

My favourite try is the last (foreshortened with the backside showing) where I felt I was getting a better grasp of what I was doing. But I guess, my favourite part is the knob that comes out on the front side of the fore shortened version.


Day 7: cup

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ovals are difficult for me, I never seem to get the shape right, and so I knew it would be hard. But I figured, with fairly straight lines otherwise, it would be o.k. - Nut this was so much harder than it thought it would be.

I can see now why we have to wait until we start our self-critique. I finished these this morning, 12 hours before writing this, and I felt very frustrated and annoyed then, but can actually like them in their wonkiness now.

I started on the upper left. It took me 3 minutes to get that off-shaped thing done. I spent the next three minutes to speed up and sketch a clean frontview of the cup (sorry for putting the pen on top, I didn't mean to hide it), and a trial (middle of page) for which I ran out of time. Looking at my results so far, I was very dissatisfied how bad it had gone. So I decided to try and give me another three minutes.

The next trial (bottom left) is much better. I was fairly happy with how the bottom of the cup is visible through the opening on the top. However, the round on the bottom needed several lines, and I messed up the saucer. So I figured: one other try with pencil first. This is a different view, and obviously, - again - I got the opening oval wrong. In frustration, I stopped there, just before the 6 minutes ran out.

Coming back now, I can still see how the ovals are all not perfect, but they look much closer to what is right than they looked to me at the time. I might actually try again now. Maybe with a brush in addition to the pen, because filling the black areas just took way to long. But I'd say:

enjoyment: 3/10

confidence: 3/10

progress: 5/10

The thing I like best is the upper part of the 4th try (bottom left). What I take away: practise ovals, and foreshortened circles (so much easier to see for me on a photo than in RL); area fill with pen is not time effective enough. Start with a non-foreshortened clearn view.


Day 8: Oral Floss Package

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I chose another round object because I struggle with rounds and ellipses, and I wanted to give myself another chance to practise it.

The take-away from yesterday was to start with a non-foreshortened version first, even if I feel I know what I am looking at. Those were the first two on top in the first three minutes. I had a first go on the left, and then took more care doing the version on the right that turns out to be my favourite of the lot today.

In the remaining three minutes, I tried some other versions of it. The view from underneath again is not perspective, and looks alright, the skewed versions are a bit off.

But overall I am rather happy. Drawing the simpler shape compared to yesterday (would never have thought that such a pill would be easier than a cup with fairly straight sides) increased enjoyment and confidence. And I do think I am making progress in this exercise at least, and hopefully also with my circles and ellipses.

I like that I managed to stay within the time limit, and do more of what I feel is expected for this class. I think it is a good exercise for me at the moment to not shade the object (extensively). Shading is what I spent time on practising before, but I think that, if done well, the shading can make up so much of a messed up shape that I can't see anymore than the overall shape is out of whack. So practising pure line first, is a good step for me now.

I allowed myself another 6 minutes for a shaded version (I used a little overtime but not much) after that. Could do with better highlights, but, well... That's it for today, kids are up.

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Day 9 Baby Monitor

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The baby monitor has few crisp sharp edges, and I know now that I struggle with round shapes. To give myself some leeway and help, I decided to use the sanguine oil pencil again. Today I am very short of time, and thus used a first three minutes on the first straight on view, and then another 3 minutes on the sideview and a view from bottom. I would have liked to include a fore-shortened version, but lack of time didn't allow for overtime.

I take away that I really like this pencil. When using pencils, I always preferred the chalks, and do have a saguine chalk. I always only ended up with the oil-based one by accident and disliked that I can't erase it. But it turns out I really like to use it, actually, so might use it more for other projects.
I overall like my sketches of today more than the days before for including shading. But I feel like I did a very half-hearted and as a consequence a bad job here; very sloppy and not completely convincing shading. I should be more sure about whether I do or don't want this, and then either pay proper attention to highlights and shadows, or concentrate on line.

Shapes, well, in the first view it is very obvious how round shapes don't want to come out right. But I do like the side view: Also after the first stumbling start (the first arc at the top on the left) my lines got fairly clear, and except in the very end, I didn't go over them again and again.

But although I am developing a new love for this pencil, you'll probably see me return to fountains pens for future days for this project.


Day 10: Elephant Figurine

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This 10th day happened to be very stressful for external reasons for me, and I found it hard to find the time to sketch. Normally I do that in the morning, before the kids stand up, but I didn't get to draw before bedtime, really. So pulled something from a shelf and did a quick 3min+3min and left the review to do on this morning of the 11th day. (So going to do another sketch right after drawing this).

I think I enjoyed drawing this very different shape for a change. I had been doing all inanimate objects, and of course this figurine still is inanimate, but still, it has certain qualities of drawing something alive. I am not entirely happy with the choice of object. The figurine wanted to be life-like but failed, the figurine's proportions are slightly off (it's earthenware). And from my drawing, it would be impossible to tell that it is a quick drawing of a (crude) clay object, rather than a crude drawing of an elephant.

The second drawing definitely caught the shape of the object better than the first, but I put in more shading, too. I don't feel too sure about ballpoint pen anyway. One take-away for me would be to either try pencil and include shading, or try fountain pen (or other ink) to concentrate on outline. I do want to study ballpoint pen more closely in the future, maybe that's a more long-term take-away. But for now, I probably should put it away.


 Day 11:

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Day 11, I am out of whack with watching the videos, because I was struggling with time (often really just had the time I needed for sketching), so probably will go longer than 14 days here...

I guess I am playing the perfectionism game myself (just on a lower skill level than Ohn Mar Win). But I do treasure that streak of mine, I do think it helps with learning.

Well, but there we go again. Again, just like when I chose the espesso cup, the clean lines combined with round shapes give me a lot of grief. I just can't get the circles right. In part it's my hand that jus doesn't seem to want to do rounds, in part it's my eyes and brain that tell me I see something different than I am actually seeing it. The above were the initial 3+3 minutes. I am happier with it now, almost an hour later than I was then. Pretty much all lines are off. - But it is a recognizable object after all...

Althogh I forced myself to take a tea-break there, I couldn't stop myself to try and get it right after all. First I gave myself another 3 minutes on the bottom of the page.

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And then I just kept going on the next page. My alarm went every 3 minutes, but I kept going. I don't know for how long exactly, but it must have been roughly six minutes no more.

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I started with adding pencil lines to help me with the shape, but then moved away from them again. In the end I got a few angled views in. Again I was very unhappy with proportions, lines and shapes, but I do think there's clear progress visible there.

After another short break, I decided to cheat, chose a different pepper mill and started over with the intention to call that my contribution for the day:

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And I plan to do a separate review of that one. The above was done in the 3+3 minutes, and in the end I was quick enough to grant myself some time with a pencil, addind some rough shading. That was in spite of what I told myself two days again: to either make a full-hearted attempt at it, or leave it out. Therefore I am rather angry with myself for having done that.

All in all, however, this mill looks much better. There were more lines to hold on to, and although there are plenty of rounds, too, somehow, they are arrange in a way that I find less intimidating. The slick appearance of the first one scared me a little bit there, I guess.

All in all, I am not sure whether I should call this sketching day a complete failure, or count in as making progress.

And I know I should be including a review for the first week at some point, or, if I think of myself as being at a mid-point today, I should look over the progress up until here, but I can't really see much.


Day 12: Toothbrushes

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A solid 6/10 in all three enjoyment, confidence, and progress for me today. I could hace done without the detail on the handles. Maybe I should have left that out and try some more angled views instead. But I found these lines rather interesting. Would like to re-do this one in colour and with shading some day.

I gave myself 3+3 minutes, and then added 3 minutes for the new(er) toothbrush at the angle. My favourite parts are the sharp angle in the middle of the handle on the very first sketch at the top, and the fluffy hairs standing in all directions on the front of the brush at the bottom.

I don't quite know what my take-away is (yet).


Day 13: Another Switch Controller

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One of the things I am taking away from this, I think, will be that 3+3minutes is just not enough for me. I find it dissatisfactory that I should walk away from something before I feel done with it.

This is definitely a switch. In the beginning I loved the idea of just walking away before it is perfect. But, I am not after perfectionism here (although that's always a trap to fall into), it's more like: I have not understood this object properly in the time I gave myself.

Or maybe I should take away I need simpler object (mhm?!).

Anyway, I feel through the process today I made real progress. I started and got the shape all wrong and started over much smaller. I like to draw small, actually, and maybe I should do that more often. I avoided it so far because when things are small, it's harder to get detail in. But if I am not going for detail but for shape anyway, then why not allow myself to draw smaller, where I find it easier to get the overall proportions right?

For the second round of 3+3minutes I completely started over with another front view of the thing, which I found quite convincing this time around. And in the end I had one foreshortened version where the foreshortening is not correct, but I think I got the overall feel of the object right. So I am rather happy with that.

enjoyment: 6/10

confidence: 6/10

progress: 8/10


Day 14: The final day - the cups again

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After having struggled with the cups to much on day 7, half way through, I thought, as my finale, I should try the cups once again.

This time, I could judge the 3+3 minutes much better. I started out with the ink pen on the right hand side. The two top sketches in the first three minutes, and then the stack again at the bottom. That time I decided to put in some of the patterns rather than drawing another cup.

Compared with day 7 I was so much more confident and just felt I knew better what I was doing. The circles are still not completely correct, of course, but so much better. But, well, me being me, I then decided to prove to myself that I can do better with pencil, and that's then the drawing on the left hand side for which I needed much longer, I guess about 30 minutes - and it's not completely finished, obviously. The cups were on a stack of plates for which I was running out of time, since I still wanted these to be a fairly quick sketch.

I rather like the pencil, I must say. It's not hyper-realistic, of course, but here the amount of wonkyness of the lines add more character than annoyance to it for me now.

One take-away from this exercise for me is maybe to try go with ink and outline first before going in with a pencil drawing.

I also learned that I am desperate for more technique. I don't struggle with finding something to draw; that's the easy part for me. If in doubt, I'd be happy to draw my hand and/or pen over and over again. But I want to learn more. I guess I am going to look for a pen technique class. Or maybe watercolour; since colour is something I struggle with greatly.

Hilke Kurzke
Book Artist, Printmaker, Writer, Bookbinder