Explore and Discover | Skillshare Projects

Sylvia S

Girl Geek, Coder, Doodler



Explore and Discover


FINAL UPDATE: This project covers the first 30 days of me taking on Ria's challenge to start and feed a daily art practice. I am far from 'proudly showing my attempts' or even 'considering it art' (yes Ria I heared what you said about that, but that inner voice aye?) ...BUT... I AM drawing every day.

I am trying new things every day. My sketchbook is filling one page a day (and sometimes more). I got a new one already, as I am sure I will fill this one in the next couple of weeks. And I love this little bit of time every day, set aside to let my mind go off on its own and simply 'create'. I feel much better doing so and this class contributed much to that. Thank you Ria for the class, thank you students for sharing all your work. Love it!

Looking forward to part 2 that will start in a little over a week!


Day 1

I am so glad I found this class - Ria, you are so right! Procrastination, finding excuses to simply not start is what kept me back. Always too busy, never in 'the zone' and the lack of 'training', and of course 'materials', 'inspiration' and what not have held me ransom. I have not been feeling too happy about all that and this week after doing nothing inspirational for a long time - close to 5 years - I have started to doodle again.

It is rough, with a smudgy mechanical pencil and I don't know why I started out with an almost monstruous page filling one. But it is a start. I usually vector digitally but am wanting so much to improve working with natural media, improve line art, work with water paints and I hope this place to be the start of that journey. Thank you for this wonderful project and let's see where it takes me.


Day 2

I just decided to 'go with the flow' - like you said - it is about creating every day. I feel I am redoing kindergarten. I got 'Geometrical Shapes' out of the magic jar. That was what I did yesterday a bit.. fillers, but I can see as easily how networks, cubes, cilinders etc would fit all that. It is a bit early to think about perspective and proper shading, but I will get to that soon. I decided to draw whatever came out of the jar, but also to put the phrase back and review the same thing from a different view if it comes up once more.

So.. geometrical shapes.. doodle style..


Day 3

Got 'Sea Creatures' out of the jar, and rolled a 5 minutes for that with the dice. As someone else said in the AMA yesterday - compared to all the other projects out there I am such an amateur. But as you said.. we all got to start somewhere. So today another kinda simplistic sketch with my mechanical pencil and some hesitant use of coloured pencils. I love digital doodling, which makes crisp and dark lines - where my lines with a natural medium leave lots to wish for. I am doing a lot of practising now to improve that hopefully fast.


Day 4

Interesting.. 'the jar' delivered 'CHARACTERS' as inspirational word and this probably what I would like to do most. I made the best of it by doing a quick sidestep and taking the Skillshare class 'Building Character 1' by Jesse LeDoux and that was heaps of fun. So the result of that class is actually todays contribution too. I aimed for an OUTSPOKEN, SCIENTIFIC, SERIOUS cute girl type character for a younger audience. Hope you like her.


Day 5: Flowers...

I seldomly draw realistic looking flowers. Think I like to learn to do it decent anyways .. Today I took another skillshare class by Brit + Co: Introduction to Sketching: Illustrate A Beautiful Garden. This class uses copic markers for the colours, but for lack thereof I used a few aquarel coloured pencils and a dash of water. It is all still very hesitant, but I am quite happy with how it turned out. So the practise rounds for that class is todays contribution.


Day 6
And it is so much fun. I am currently practising handlettering and picked a Dutch children's story to copy from. The story is about a King and Queen desperately wanting a child. The Queen sits on a small speckled egg for 30 days in an old tree. The King has placed a fence and she is heaving some goose downs with her to keep warm. After 30 days the egg hatches and a little princess is born. She has 3 speckles on her belly and as fairy tales go ... in fall she goes on trek with the birds.. Hope you like her.


Day 7
And now for something completely different... Ria thank you for sharing the classes by Jon Burgerman and Shantelle Martin with us. Those are really great to switch over to your inner voice and just discover what is 'out there'. Where my sketchbook show childrenbook type drawings at the moment, my digital pad is providing a way to wild illusions of ink everywhere. I love doodling!! So today I share a drawing I made after Shantelle's skillshare class 'Draw on Everything'. Hope you like it. It has been influenced by Jon's class as well and I may even go so far to vectorize and colour it :)


Day 8

Today I did the Character Illustration: From Feelings to Faces by Christine Fleming, also here on Skillshare. I just completed the core, draw 5 emotions / fellings, each in 15 seconds. I will explore more shapes and forms, but it was heaps of fun!.



Somehow I got my days mixed up.. it really is day 9, but as I did that one sketch digitally I somehow forgot to upgrade the numbers in the sketchbook itself.. Today I received my dip pen and sumi ink. I had a bit of a play with it, doing again fillers. I used the Jon Burgerman / Shantelle Martin techniques to create the 'DNA' (just close your eyes, put on some music and let the pencil make beautiful marks). I then blocked out a nice area, traced the lines so I got nice sections and then spend heaps of time creating fillers. It was nice and relaxing and I like the outcome. Of course with some spills, and my sketch book doesnt have the best paper to play nice with loads of ink.. but it was a great experience.


Day 10

Today I played a little bit with type. I took Bryn Chernoff's class on calligraphy and I am enjoying hand lettering a lot. I practised pages full of curly letters and then kicked off my project. First a nice sketch and then an attempt on inking. You know what? My cheap sketchbook paper is really unforgiving.. the ink bled in all directions and the work didn't come out so great. I redid it on a card stock and that worked better. But I need a lot more practise.. a lot more..




Day 11

Busy day today - and I didnt feel that inspired. I did grab the sketchbook and ended up with a child like drawing of a busy city and a single individual that had taken time off to go fishing. Only 3 more weeks till the xmas break and it is summer here!



Today I wrapped myself in 'zuttoism'. I came across the Russian illustrator Zutto a few years back and I love her work. It is almost fairy tale like, but with a very specific colour palette. I kept my layout quite simple but it clearly has a  'zutto' feel. It is loosly based on a tutorial she provided a few years back. Hope you like it.


Day 13

I started the class 'Introductions to Caricature' by Jon Casey. Not that far into it, but he shows how Andrew Loomis did construction of the head. I think I will find myself drawing a lot of heads and funny faces in the next couple of days.

From my sketchbook.. a quick construction of a head using Loomi' method. Lots of room for improvement..


I use Project Dogwaffle / Howler 10 for my digital sketches. It is an awsome program with heaps of built in natural media.


Day 14

Today I played a little bit more with Loomis' constructions. In his book 'Fun with a Pencil' this method is very clearly explained, and the basis is drawing a realistic looking sphere, and creating volume by adding planes. An attempt:


The last one is really hard, and there is something wrong with it. I will be drawing heaps of basic shapes in the days to come. Also having a look at the Mark Kistler You Can Draw in 30 Days book. Practise practise practise.. 

Day 15

So today I started also with this 'you can draw in 30 days' series and I will share some stuff from that. I figured as long as I am 'creating' things I am sticking to the rule 'create art every day' (hey I still think it is not 'art' but I am having a great time!)


So a sphere and an apple.. more to follow for sure...

Day 16

Weekend.. finally.. and it is really summer here so heading for the beach today. Yes I will bring my sketchbook!

I looked back at the drawings and you know what - I think I am afraid of permanently committing something to paper. I love digital doodling.. you just hit ctrl-z and whatever did offend you is gone from the digital paper. I don't mind pencil too much, a good eraser does the trick too.. but PEN omygosh it scares me a lot. So today I also started with the 'Sketch Your Life: Create Expressive Sketches in Pen and Watercolor' by Elisa Choi Ang also here on Skillshare. You probably never guess what I made for a first sketch so let me whisper that to you.. it is a cashew - a cashew is a fruit.. not a nut.. very interesting little bugga sadly quite dangerous to harvest and process and done mostly manual in the poorer countries of the world.. love them tho and having a bag laying around made them a good subject for sketching..


Day 17

What more to say - I coloured my little nerd girl for Jesse LeDoux series on Character Creation, she's kinda blue now..


And I also made more spheres.. Lesson 2 from the Mark Kistler 'you can draw in 30 days' book..


We got a new scanner today too - I think I post most of my stuff just from the camera snapshot as it is faster, but this looks great - it picked up the paper structure very nicely.

Day 18

Lesson 3 in the MK book - a set of marbles. I think I lost them all ... drawn this sketch about 4 times to get the hang of it. Pretty hard to get a decent perspective but it was a great excercise. 


Day 19

Today I did try something new, but when I am done with my work and chores there may be some more variations coming... I started the class 'Inky Illustrations' by Tom Froese and it is a quick class - it can be done in about an hour (so he says). So I made my initial sketch for that illustration, and of course it doubles as a sketchbook excercise. The theme is "Tools of the Trade" and my one is "The Quilter". Hope you like it:


Day 20

I really cannot count.. As yesterday I was working on the illustration for Tom Froese's class (FUN!!) I somehow labled todays sketch 'day 19' again. But it really is 20 days and counting!! Yay!

So today I did Mark Kistlers lesson 4 - a cube. Very easy and later today I will do the bonus lesson too.. which is turning the cube in some presents - could not be more appropriate in this festive period.


I also made 'my marks' for Tom's class. Using sumi ink, a dip pen and some cheap (disposable) make-up brushes / combs. I won't post them all here, but I completed the base illustration yesterday, made the marks this morning and hopefully I can assemble the illustration later today. It is a mixed media project, using natural media and photoshop - altho I think I can work this one just as easily in Inkscape (my vector tool of choice).


Day 21

Today I worked on the Inky Illustration (Tom Froese's class) and it starts to look really good. Love the project and I will post it here too once completed. I also tinkered a bit with the watercolour pencils and tried to make a colour chart for Elisa Choi Ang's class 'Sketch your life' - also about keeping your sketchbook close and draw what you see and experience. 


Day 22

Drawing fever? I think I got the bug now. I am doodling and drawing and vectoring and inking and omygosh my mind is just busy with that. Luckily the weekend is here and we have nothing big planned so I should be able to find some time to complete a few tiny works. Not everything will be in the sketchbook, and I dont think I should post everything either but wanted to let you all know that I am creating. YAY mission achieved.. I am doing something creative every single day and I feel really good about it. The results are varying, some okay some good some bad but there are results! 

Okay .. last night I finished the assignment on Tom Froese's class and it started with a humble sketch (day 19), then I made some marks with sumi-ink (day 20) and then it was completed digitally. I think it worked out just great.


I also made some more drawings from the Mark Kistler books. They are kind of cartoonish, playful and some things do not really make sense, but what in life does. So I did some boxes, some more boxes, and then I drew a monkey hiding in a tree that grows in a bucket (it could be a cat too, or a lemur, or a marsipulami - anything with a tail.. use your imagination!)


This is after one of his videos on youtube - great way to spend 15 minutes. His drawing style reminds me a bit of the early works of Mordillo - which I greatly admire. I think I love cartooning.

Day 23? 26?

I think I got my days mixed up... again.. the only thing I know for sure is that I started this class on the 18th of November (local time) and that I have made a sketch, drawing, class project every single day since - no matter how small the effort. And I am loving it! I really like doodling & cartooning - maybe because it hides a lot of things (accuracy is not really a need, exaggeration is). I love the MK book - of course my results are not overly original ( I am sure there are millions of similar drawings out there all kids and adults alike that are practising the same thing ) but I still love it. 



I also am faithfully practicing pen. I think that is still a bit in hopeless state of 'chicken scratches' - I made this one for the 'Sketch your Life' Skillshare class - it is to resemble my olive oil bottle (it looks like a lab glass and I love it). I think I tried to add too much detail to the sketch and I am not that pleased with it, but I will use this subject for further studies.. one has to push boundaries...


Day 27

I didn't post any work of this day here - but that does not mean I didn't create.. I tried a (for me) very difficult sketch of my wooden kitchen utensils. I did it with pen. And I don't know what to think of it. I feel a bit disheartened I guess. I have no idea where to put shading and how to make things less random. I did post it in the 'Sketch your Life' project and then spent all my other spare time reading up about sketching in ink, shading, seeing value and colour. I know I want too much too fast perhaps but meh...

Day 28
Today another attempt in sketching with pen. I chose a simpler object, a small paper gift bag. It is not great but I feel it is a bit more controlled. I need to practise a lot more.. a lot more. On the brighter side of things.. I told myself not to expect miracles after 3 attempts - and I did some more of the easy going MK drawings. Lesson 6 is 'stacked tables' - childsplay but fun! I said it before I think I love cartooning. They are a variation of the 'table' that I showed 3 pictures up - so I didn't feel the need to post.


Day 29

More with pen.. I tried to make a sketch of a mortar and pestle and it was 'okay' I guess. Struggling with pen, with dark/light values, consistent hatching omygosh too many new things.. but I did post it as a project  update on the 'Sketch your Life' thread.

Day 30

I do not give up easily. I had a closer look at the first attempt of the mortar and pestle, and was wondering why I was drawing contour lines that I could not 'really see'. Must be my logical part of the brain, saying 'there is an edge there.. you better draw it'. So I did some more squinting and looking at the picture I took as reference and tried the mortar and pestle again. I think it is better than the one on day 29, but far from good. Considering it is just a week since I tried 'doodling' with a pen, and only the 4th real sketch attempt I feel good about it. But I can see I have a long way to go :)



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