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Sketchbook Magic II: February Challenge

Hi there.  I'm Jan and for this class I am hoping to learn to use, and get comfortable with using markers.  I took the Sketchbook challenge in November and loved seeing what all of the artists could do with marker.  So I asked for a set for Christmas and now I'm learning how to use them.  It's definitely a challenge, but I'm watching some YouTube videos, which has helped.  Any suggestions for instruction on using marker?

For Practice 1, I simply made a chart of all of my marker colors, which is very helpful, since I can now see, on paper, what colors I have to work with.  Then I experimented a bit with overlapping the colors. 

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For Practice 2, I decided to do a picture of a flower and really try to blend the colors together, like I'd seen others do in previous classes.I discovered that by putting the color down heavier, it is easier to blend.  

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Here is a few more sketches, focused on flowers, which are one of my favorite things to draw.  I am experimenting with how to use these markers.  I want them to end up looking like watercolor, which is a challenge.  It's a lot of trial and error for me.  :-)

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I am starting the February Challenge here!  

I've decided that my limitation is that I will only use my new markers.  I am still struggling with how to use them so this challenge will be really good for me!  I will be forced to use them every day and in a variety of ways.  So...here goes!

DAY 1:  ROOT

I am going to start growing my confidence with markers here, with root veggies.  

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DAY 2:  PLACE

This is my place setting, a setting where I felt that I could easily use my medium without too much stress.  Sometimes, you just need to go the easy way, especially in the beginning.

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DAY 3:  MUSIC

I like so many different kinds of music, it is impossible to try and represent one.  Instead, I tried to represent how it feels to listen to different kinds of music.  This was a fun way to use my markers in a way that was relaxed and easy.

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DAY 4:  LIGHT

I knew immediately after reading Ria's post that I would try to draw a sunset.  Not easy with markers, but I really love how they blend together...almost like watercolor, but with more effort.

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DAY 5: SHADOW

I am fastinated with drawing snow, and the way negative space works in art.  So I tried to draw a stand of trees and their shadows in the snow.

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DAY 6:  COMFORT

I am getting a little more comfortable with markers, but still struggling to make them look the way I want.  This was another fun way to represent the things in my life that bring me comfort.  Unfortunately, I didn't try too hard to go beyond my comfort zone with the markers.  I'll try tomorrow.

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DAY 7: COMPOSITION

My husband and I have been renovating our home, so I am obsessed with the HGTV channel and all the home renovation shows.  This picture caught my eye - it is so important in designing a home and renovating to make sure the composition of the home is right, all the colors work together and the space is laid out so that it works well.  I thought this would be a good use of my markers, as often you'll see architects and designers use markers to highlight their drawings.

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DAY 8: MEMORY

I guess I'm stuck on buildings, but I have so many good memories of my grandparent's farm.  I love barns and often stop along the road to take pictures of old barns.  

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DAY 9: TEXTURE

Without too much time today, I sketched a part of my cat's scratching post, trying to get the texture of the carpet and the rope that is wound around the post itself.  

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Day 10: TIME

I am divorced, so my son goes back and forth between his dad and I.  That means I live by the calendar.  When will he be back with me?  When will he be gone?  Which holidays is he supposed to be with me?  It's hard sometimes, because there is never enough time with him, especially now that he's a teenager.

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Day 11: Perspective

Life is all about perspective and how we look at things.  I often wish there was a book that we could reference that would give us some answers.

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Day 12: SPACE

When I was a kid, I used to hang out at my grandparent's place on holidays.  They lived out in the country, with so much space all around them.  To this day, I feel comfort in having a lot of space around me, and love the long, lazy summer days when all you can hear is the wind in the big old tree and the swish of the wheat fields.

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Day 13: OPEN

It's the middle of winter here, so I'm dreaming of spring and a time when the flowers open to reveal their beauty.  Every spring is like a present being opened. Especially after a hard, long winter.

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DAY 14: GIFT

Now that my son is a teenager, and doesn't really want to hang out with me, I realize what a gift it was when he was little.  

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DAY 15: BALANCE

I saw a kind of balance in the reflection of the trees in the lake.  Maybe it is the balance that exists in nature, or in the seasons.

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DAY 16: DEPTH

I love the depth that you can see in glass, the reflections and the way the light seems to hang on an object that is clear.  I tried to capture that depth here.  Not sure I succeeded, but I will keep trying.

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DAY 17: NURTURE

This word immediately brings to mind my loved ones and how a hug can make such a difference in my day - and theirs.

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DAY 18:  PAST

Much of my focus these days is on my son growing up and how I wish I could go back to when he was little.  He's a good kid, but sometime I wish I could just stop the teen years.  :-)

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DAY 19: THEME

These are the themes in my life right now:  Love.  Family.  My dear husband and looking forward to our future together.

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DAY 20: PRECIOUS

By the middle of February, I am definitely looking forward to spring and the precious things it brings.

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DAY 21: DREAM

I dream of spring, sunshine and flowers growing in my yard!

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DAY 22: FEAR

This is what fear feels like to me.

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DAY 23:  STRUCTURE

Years ago, when visiting my parents, my son and dad wanted to build a treehouse, but there were no trees in their yard.  So, the two of them (my son was about 6) built a tree-less house together.  This makes me think of the structure of the tree-less house and the solidity of the relationship between grandson and grandfather.  Sturdy, steady, stable.

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DAY 24: DETAIL

I think fur is one of the hardest things to draw, specifically because each hair is its own detail.  

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DAY 25: SAFE

In a class like this, I feel safe putting my art out there, because I know that there are lots of other artists like me, but all of us different in our own way, and all of us just wanting to make art.  

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DAY 26:  MAGIC

I have learned so much about working with markers through this challenge, that it seems almost like magic that I can pick up a marker and be comfortable working with it.  I don't claim to be great at it, but I am most definitely more comfortable working with them.

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DAY 27:  GROW

Feeling like my confidence is growing, along with my skills!  (Sorry, my picture is a little blurry on this one.)

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DAY 28: BLISS

I think that I found that I don't have to make a big deal out of my sketch.  It can be something simple.  That is bliss to me.  Freeing!

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DAY 29:  LEAP

I have learned so much from this class and this challenge and am so grateful for the opportunity to put my art out there in a safe environment like this one.  So, in the future, if I want to take a leap and do something out of the ordinary, I think I'll feel ready!

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