Project complete! - Fighting the fear and doing it anyway

Back at the beginning of this year I started this class, and for a while things went pretty well. It was awesome. Then I had I pretty bad flare of both my mental and physical illnesses and everything sort of fell apart. I really want to finish this project, to get this habit up and running, but it seems wrong to just pick up where I left over 6 months ago. So I am starting over!

I'm going to keep everything I did last time on here, because I feel like it's still a part of my artistic journey, so if you want to check it out it's at the bottom. But for now, let's start again!

Day 1: I have everything I need

Today I just grabbed the nearest art supplies to me: a set of dual tip brush/fineliner pens.

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A message I need and messing around with some swirly patterns, which actually came out better than I expected on the whole.

Day 2: the welcome return of the Magic Prompt Bowl

I've missed my Magic Prompt Bowl. There's something very freeing about having to draw what it tells me; not only does it give me an idea, but the opportunity to be strict with myself. Often, even when I have an idea I'll find myself saying, 'I can't draw that', I'm not good enough', or 'I don't know how to turn that into art' so with my magic bowl I've implemented a 'no buts' rule.

Today I drew the prompt 'houses'. I didn't have much time so I did a basic line drawing, but I have lots of ideas of how I could build on this, so I have it as a great starting point for another day's art.

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Day 3: I have time

Today's prompt was 'sea creatures' and my dice roll gave me 5 minutes.

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These are a little doodle I do a lot, and I really enjoy, so I thought it'd be a good, quick solution for my time pressured sea creatures prompt. I was actually surprised how much time left I had after finishing the first one, so I drew two more. They do all look a little slapdash to me though. Maybe another day I'll take another 5 minutes, but this time work on getting just one right during the time rather than feeling I have to rush to get it finished. It will be interesting to see whether I can actually do something I think is really good in such little time.

Day 4: make art anywhere

I needed to go out today, get some shopping done and I ended up having a very late lunch out, so today I made my art whilst waiting for my meal to come. It was really nice actually, a great way to make use of that otherwise dead time when you're eating alone. I think I'll always make sure to bring my sketchbook with me in future!

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My prompt was 'hobbies' and for me right now that's knitting. A pencil sketch which I'll try and finish off another day.

My 28 Day Project: Day 1

So I drew 28 days this time. I'll admit, my first reaction was panic. That's a long time! There are other artistic projects I want to work on, other Skillshare classes I want to do, what if I don't have the energy to do both? But then I reminded myself, the whole point of this class is to find a way to do something every day. Even if it only takes a minute.

I want to create that habit. To have at least one minute every day where I do art for me, and me only. Day 5 almost feels like taking the stabilisers off when you're learning to ride a bike, and I guess this is me wobbling. But I know I have the skills now, so I guess I've just got to keep peddling. Metaphorically speaking.

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My prompt was 'the sea' and I didn't have much energy left by the time I got a minute to do art. So, brush pens and spirals, easy and quick. I actually really like how it turned out, much more than I was expecting to!

My 28 Day Project: Day 2

Prompt: fruit. I think it might try and add some colour to these another day.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 3

My prompt today was geometric shapes. I drew triangles again, I seem to really like drawing triangles. I'm quite happy with how this turned out. To me it almost looks like a fox looking back over its shoulder.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 4

I drew 'sea creatures' as my prompt again, so I thought I'd take 5 minutes to do another octopus doodle, but take more care over just one this time, rather than rushing.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 5

Prompt: birds. Almost forgot today, so this is a few quick doodle variations on the prompt. I might elaborate on them another day.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 6

Today I had a little more time, so I decided to go back and add some colour to the fruit I drew the other day. I thought I'd try out a set of watercolours I bought a little while ago but haven't got around to using yet. This is pretty much my first time using watercolours and I found I really enjoyed it, and I think it came out pretty good too! I'll probably go back and add some outlines with a fineliner another day.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 7

Prompt today was patterns. I chose zig zags. I hated the first attempt, so I tried again with more restraint with colour and method and I like it much better.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 8

Practice for the lettering on my gift tags for xmas! I think I need to remember that pages like this are often my favourites when I look through my sketchbook.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 9

A quick sketch of some baubles. I might do something else with it another day.

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I also went back and inked lines on the fruit from the other day. I think the strawberry and the raspberry look better, but the banana looks worse now, so I decided to leave the others.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 10

I wasn't so happy with the composition of the baubles I drew yesterday so I drew some more, this time horizontal.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 11

More work on my baubles today. I still don't really know what I'm doing with watercolours, but it was fun messing around with them. I quite like how it turned out.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 12

Some stars, practice at drawing a few different styles.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 13

It was very late by the time I remembered to do my art today, and I was exhausted so I just started filling a page with circles. I might do something more with it another day.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 14

Today I went back and finished off my baubles, adding in the strings with fineliner.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 15

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My 28 Day Project: Day 16

I've been re-watching Star Wars, and this was a little idea that popped into my head, so I thought I'd give it a doodle. I might add colour and ink another day.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 17

An attempt at using spirals to draw butterflies.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 18

The beginning of a sketch of BB8 from Star Wars, hopefully to be finished another day. I'm finding that I think I prefer to work small.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 19 & 20

I'll confess, I missed a couple of days here. I've been beginning to lose confidence. A lot of what I've done the past few days hasn't really felt like art to me, or at least not anything that's any good. I started thinking, 'maybe I'm not an artist after all'. A part of me wanted to give up.

But I'd made a promise to myself that I'd complete this class this time around. And I know that I do want to be someone who draws. And you've gotta make bad art before you can make good art, right? So I've got to keep drawing and keep practising.

(The -- very large -- perfectionist part of my brain is not good at this. As far as it's concerned if I can't to something good right away there's no point in me trying at all. The perfectionist part of my brain is not very reasonable.)

I'm glad I've got a good week left of my 28 days. I'm going to try and put more thought into what I draw now, and do better and making time to draw, rather than just leaving it to the last minute. Turns out I don't do my best work at 02:30am just before I drag myself to bed -- who'd've thought it?

These owls were inspired by the xmas wrapping paper I bought this year, and I love zentangle style art so I thought I'd give it a go. I liked the one I drew yesterday, so I thought I'd give it another go today. I'm going to do some skillshare classes on the zentangle style doodle patterns to get some more ideas on how to fill my owls.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 21

More work on my owls.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 22

Practicing swirls and flourishes for another skillshare class.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 23

An attempt at drawing feathers. I need to remember to use reference materials!

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My 28 Day Project: Day 24

One of my favourite things to draw: trees. I did a similar style for another skillshare class a while ago and thought I'd give it another go. Drew the basic tree and started fleshing it out.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 25

More work on my tree, fully fleshed out in pencil now.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 26

Inked the outside line today.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 27

Missed a couple of days over christmas, but back at it now I'm back home. I got a beautiful scarf with a feather print so I decided to use that as a reference and add to my feathers page. Much happier with the results.

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My 28 Day Project: Day 28

The last day of my project! I finished off inking my tree, and I'm really happy with it.

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In conclusion

I've really enjoyed this class, and I'm really pleased to have finished it this time! I think my daily art habit still needs some work, but it is there -- which is a great start! I think I need to make more effort to make time for my art and to think more about what I'm doing, and use more reference materials where I need to.

I really want to continue this, so I've made a new year's resolution to make art every day (or at least most of them). I've decided to widen my parameters a bit, so any arty thing I do will count, not just art done in my sketchbook. That gives me a little more flexibility for days when my health isn't so good. Posting my art online I've found has really helped motivate me too, although I'm not so good at it when I have to upload photos from my camera to the computer (as evidenced by the fact I'm only just writing this up now, nearly two weeks after I finished my 28 days!) So I've decided to join instagram and post my daily art there. If you want to continue to follow my journey you can do so here! So far it's going pretty well, and I'm really grateful to this class that started it all.

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The First Time Around:

Although I love making art and being creative, I've come to realise that (like so many others I'm sure) I only end up actually making anything when I have a deadline. Creating a daily art practice seems the best way to combat this, especially as I'm hoping to start an online degree in illustration later this year. Watching the first video it really hit home to me how much fear is the main thing stopping me so I'm hoping this class will teach me some good skills to fight that fear and make art every day anyway.

Day 1(ish): Materials

This is the selection of tools I came up with, including a couple of brushes I made myself on an expressive drawing course I went on once. They were particularly long, so I didn't think it'd work putting them in a tin to pick them, so I laid them out on the floor instead and waved my hand above them with my eyes closed to pick.

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 I chose the dip pen and decided to pick my ink colours out at random too.

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I played about with it for a while, but I wasn't really happy with what I was coming up with. Although I liked some of the elements, to me it looked more like a page of doodles than a piece of art. That's when I noticed some craft tweezers that I had lying around on my desk and decided to give those a go too.

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I mainly used the flat ends of the tweezers and this is what I came up with. I'm much happier with this as it's much more cohesive. It's definitely not something I would've ever thought to do, but actually I quite like it.

This is where I came across another of my reasons not to do art, and unfortunately it's not so easy to work around. I suffer from several chronic illnesses which are very unpredictable, and sometimes I'm just not physically able to do art. I'm hoping to be able to adapt some of the techniques in this class to help with this. In this case I had a sudden, persistent (and medically inexplicable!) bout of woozy dizziness that lasted about three weeks followed by a bad cold and wasn't able to do any more art.

Because I was only one day in and I really want to set this up a daily habit I decided to try day one again. I'd been thinking about what I'd done with my dip pen, the marks that I liked and how I could use them to build up a piece of art. I'd also bought some beautiful pearlescent inks that I wanted to try out.

This is what I came up with this time.

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I'm pleased with how it turned out and the inks catch the light beautifully. If I was doing it again I might try and plan where the different colours were going beforehand, but I guess the point of this is just to do it without overthinking it!

Day 2: What to draw

I wasn't able to do any art yesterday as I had some errands to run, and after that, writing this up, and preparing my magic bowl of prompts for day two I just didn't have enough energy left. Today was another busy day (by my standards at least) and I was starting to make the same excuses, but today I could tell that that's what they were-- excuses. The fear was setting in again. So I grit my teeth and forced myself onwards.

The prompt that came out of my magic prompt bowl was 'birds' and immediately I wanted to put it back and choose another. No one would know, I told myself, I can't draw birds, let's just go again to get something I can draw. But that's not the point of this. The magic prompt bowl had spoken, so birds it must be.

I decided to just use a fineliner as I needed something I could use curled up in my chair as my energy is still low, and I knew if I worked in pencil I would spend hours rubbing it out and trying to get it perfect. I wanted something permanent, so I had to keep any mistakes I made. I googled birds, found an image that looked super cute and gave it a go.

Initially I hated what I came out with. It looked nothing like the picture and there was a great mess where I'd put the beak in the wrong place and tried to correct it. The eyes were wrong and it didn't look at all cute. I wanted to tear it out so no one could ever see it. But that was the fear talking again. So I decided to leave it for now and try something else instead. I found this image and decided to try and copy some of the silhouettes.

At first I hated it again, but determined to work with it I decided to fill in the outlines I'd drawn and actually I kinda liked it after that. None of the shapes are quite right, but they definitely look like birds, and I like the way the edges retain the sketchy look of my original lines.

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Having done a page I liked I decided to go back and try and make something of my first bird. I drew angry cartoon eyebrows on it and finished the bits of the bird the picture didn't show in a very rough way and decided to make a joke out of it.

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I have to say, demon bird is growing on me. I think I might make him a representation of my perfectionism: angry and trying to steal my soul!

Day 3: Time

Prompt: Geometric Shapes
Time: 6 minutes

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I was really amazed how quickly my six minutes were up and when they were I really wanted to keep going, just add a couple more triangles, but actually I think the time constraint helped. I would probably have kept going and filled the entire page with triangles if I'd had the time, but I really like the shape in the middle of the page.

It also felt good to have limited time as a reason not to make it perfect. My lines are far from straight and the triangles usually didn't turn up how I was expecting, but I don't think I would've ended up with this composition if I'd stopped to think about it more, and I do like the way it's turned out! It's nice to fight the perfectionism and force myself to accept something that isn't perfect.

I definitely want to work on this more, or maybe take the idea and use it again, spending a bit more time on it. I think this way of drawing with limited time could be a great way of coming up with ideas as it really makes me think in a different way to normal.

Day 4: Space

Space is actually something I think I've pretty much cracked already. My health conditions mean I'm often unable to leave my home so I've had to adapt my living space to suit my needs. My home is pretty much my whole world, and you'd be surprised how much I've managed to squeeze into a small one bedroom flat! I don't know where I'd be without my piece of MDF which I use as a portable desk so I can make art on my chair/sofa, on the floor, in the garden-- I've even used it in my hammock in the summer, and I've taken it away with me when I go on holiday.

As this isn't something I feel I need to work on, and my chief factors for picking space have got to be what I'm able to manage with my health on any given day I decided to just work some more on what I did yesterday.

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Day 5: I am an artist

The magic bowl gave me 14 so I have another fortnight of making art every day. This feels like a good amount of time to me as I'm going away next weekend with my family so I may be short on energy and time for making art. But now I have a commitment to make art-- even if it's only a little-- for the next 14 days, by which time I will hopefully have recovered enough from my holiday to start another Skillshare class (quite possibly Sketchbook Magic II!)

So here I go:

14 Days of Art - Day 1

Prompt: Wild Animals
Medium: Zig Clean Colour Real Brush Pens, Waterbrush pens

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I drew a hedgehog. I didn't have real hedgehog colours so I decided to go for a turquoise one instead! It's the first time I've used these materials and I think I need a lot more practice! I might go back and add detail with a fineliner another day.

14 Days of Art: Day 2

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I stuck with drawing hedgehogs again today, but quick scribble hedgehogs. originally I had a time limit of 3 minutes, but I went a little over. Quite happy with it, but I think I should've spent a little longer on the finish flag.

14 Days of Art: Day 3

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Rough pencil sketch which I'll ink another day, inspired by the video for Day 5. It actually felt really empowering to draw these words out. Just by drawing them I was proving them true. I make art, therefore I am an artist.

14 Days of Art: Day 4 & 5

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I was utterly exhausted on day 4, so I just started filling a page with little spirals. It was strangely addictive and quite nice in a way to not have enough energy to care if I made mistakes. I continued the page on day 5, and decided to leave the bottom bit blank. I think I might add an illustration to the bottom and make the spirals a brooding, cloudy sky.

14 Days of Art: Day 8

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Art today wasn't in my sketchbook. Instead I decorated a notebook as part of a birthday present for my mum using a dip pen with a pointed nib, and acrylic ink.

14 Days of Art: Day 7

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I missed a day to packing, travelling, and not having enough energy left for art. This I drew while I was away, inspired by the great British weather we had. Developing my spirals a bit-- I really love drawing them! Very pleased with how this one came out, I think it's my favourite page yet.

14 Days of Art: Day 8

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Missed another day while away, but managed to draw this on the Monday. Could see this lighthouse accross the bay out of the window of our caravan. The proportions ended up wrong and the lighthouse is way too big, but I like the general style, and dotting the paint pen to make the spray of the waves worked really well.

14 Days of Art: Day 9

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Missed another couple of days to travelling home and pure exhaustion-- I could barely move or think yesterday. A little better today, though I've still got a lot of recovering to do. Managed to write up the last few days and ink my sketch from 14 Days of Art: Day 3.

14 Days of Art: Days 10 & 11

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I sketched out the 'sea' and the bare bones of the 'side' in the evening of day 10, but forgot to take a photo before I continued working on it the next day! I'm quite pleased with it so far, altough it's not finished yet. I've got to add in the rest of the rhyme at the top and decorate the letters of the 'sea side' and ink the bits I've pencilled in.

14 Days of Art: Day 12

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Too tired to continue working on my previous page, so I went back to triangles again. I sketched them lightly in pencil this time, on the reverse of a page. I'm planning to cut them out with a scapel and decorate the next page so it shows through the holes.

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