February challenge Digging deeper

I really enjoyed my first class with Ria, Sketchbook Magic.  The class and teacher really encouraged me to get active making art again.  For this class, I'm going to concentrate on pencils.  I'm doing several other classes of watercolor projects and I really need to get into the sketching habit.  I purchased an inexpensive set of watercolor pencils and we'll see if I can incorporate those into this classes projects.  

So, for my first sketch, out of the magic bowl came egg.  Actually, it was the second, first was "north", it went south into the round file.  Too much of a challenge for me to visualize "north".  

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and, with a bit of that watercolor pencil.  Just need to keep at it.   

My second dip into the magic bowl fished out "Bells"...so, ring in the new year!  Hopefully it will bring plenty of inspiration for me to continue my art habit.  

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Many years ago at an estate sale, there were boxes and boxes and boxes of pencils, never sharpened.  Like a dummy, I only bought a few.  I do so wish I had bought every single one.  These have fast become my favorites for sketching.  Almost like charcoal, but not quite.  I'm sure there are probably contemporary pencils similar on the market, but I am really fond of these.  I will cry when I use the last one.

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I do favor the one on the bottom of the photo.  It's an Eagle Thoro Black 312.  

Practice 2.  Ria wants us to sketch something we like to sketch.  Well, don't laugh, but near the top of my list is chickens.  I took a blue ribbon at the local county fair years ago with  my watercolor rendering of a chicken.  Shown in my project photo.  So, today, I tried to capture the wrath of this barnyard king.

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Next to chickens, I love to draw barns.  I have a terrible time with perspective.  So..onward and upwards.

The next practice has caused me some problems.  Challenge yourself.  Draw something that is not in your usual place.  So..I did.  This is a sketch of a photo of a good friends barn.  The photo was taken in winter and the barn and silo are covered with snow.  I could not capture that with my sketching.  Practice, practice, practice.  

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When I sketch outdoor scenes or structures, I have a very difficult time with perspective.  It certainly assures me that I need to keep challenging myself and work with subjects and scenes I'm not used to working with.

Lesson 4.  Hmmm...Did you notice that very little of the prompts actually had you sketch?  I did.  And, I think I can see some benefit from this.  I cleaned my painting area, (well, rearranged).  I organized my spice cabinet.  I lined up all my completed sketches and art from recent skillshare classes.  (photo below)  I'll now put them in folders.  I baked something from scratch.  (photo below).  

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And..wild mushroom bacon tart (it was delish)

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I'm feeling more organized, more focused and hopefully that will pay off with my sketching.  I do have time for art.  I don't have to make it.  It's already there.

Lesson 5:..For me, this lesson is  a prompt for me to re-visit this class often.  Ria's words are inspiring.  Thank you again.  

February Challenge

February 1st Root - The beginning

Fond memories of my Grandmothers kitchen window.  We lived in the Midwest and the geraniums would die back every winter.  Before that happened, my Grandmother would carefully go out and clip and pinch from the geraniums.  Then, they would all be carefully put into mason jars that had a piece of waxed paper stretched over the top.  A tiny slit would be cut to hold the geranium clipping upright.  All winter long I would watch the tiny little roots sprout from the cuttings.  And yes, my window sill is holding two mason jars with waxed paper tops and geranium cuttings.  All of us looking forward to spring.

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Ria has instructed us to put some restraints on ourselves for this challenge.  I'm going to use  pencils only.  I want to be able to learn to use my water color pencils a bit.  I get frustrated with them and this will be a good challenge for me.

Day 2     "Place"  I was asked to think of a "place" I felt safe and secure.  Not finding any.  Won't get into a tumultuous childhood and tons of bad memories.  I want my art to be pleasant, rewarding and comforting.  So.   After much looking around my immediate abode, I decided on my chair.  I'm comfortable, reasonably secure and safe there.  I love to knit and that is what all those balls of stuff are. 

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Day 3  "Music"  When I do my art, I try not to visit my past.  It wasn't a great childhood and as I grow older, I realize just how tragic it was.  That being said, there were some bright spots.  I had a spinster aunt that thought I needed some culture so she agreed to pay for piano lessons.  I took the lessons from a Franciscan Sister at the Catholic School I attended.  I loved the lessons, I loved the piano.  It didn't end well, because I froze at the last recital I performed at.  Auntie decided she had wasted her money.  But, it was great fun and I've always loved piano music.

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I'm enjoying playing with the watercolor pencils.  I've decided to probably invest in a better set down the road.

Day 4   "Light"  I think one of the hardest things for me to grasp as a fledgling artist is light source.  I've taken a few classes and have learned that "light source" is obviously very important.  I did not enjoy this.  

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To capture the true light source, you need to use an animate object.  Something sitting there looking at you.  sigh...will keep on..

February 5, 'Shadow"  

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Forgive me.  Couldn't resist.

Day 6, "Comfort"  I do not think there is anything more comforting than a bowl of homemade soup.  I make soup often.

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My favorite soup bowl just happens to be blue glass.  One of the hardest things for me to draw or paint, glass.  Enjoying the challenge.

Day 7  "Composition.   Felt good to think about the basics.  

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My Model

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My composition.  

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