After a creative first few days in February (during which I finally completed my malingering project from this thread by rd95:), and with mk's additional encouragement, I decided my challenge for the month would be to practice drawing/draw/sketch (I consider the 3 options perfect synonyms; others might not) "on the reg." That is to say, loosely, my goal was to draw every day or at least try to; strictly, the activity I tracked was "draw a face every day" and I marked it complete 21/28 days this past month.
I thought I would share a little about the experience and my thoughts and blah blah blah and so on.
first sketch, first day, first self-portrait
Context: Art Skill I dabble in various art-and-craft activities, have my whole life, and so I already had a scattered background of sketching experience, understanding, and skill. I feel it's important to mention that -- I didn't go from 0 to 100 by drawing every day for 4 weeks.
Goal-Setting Background Six or so months ago I picked up a tracker app. It was cheap, only not-free because I wanted to track an obscene number of activities with it. (Right now I am tracking 15 behaviors.) Tracking helps me live my life and feel good about it. I know it's not for everyone, but for me, it helps. So in early Feb when I realized I'd drawn faces every day for like, 3 or 4 days in a row without even trying, I decided to make that specific behavior a new daily goal.
I've enjoyed sketching in the past and am typically drawn to faces. I like to pause TV shows and draw characters' faces, especially if I really like the character or think they have a great face; I do personally think drawing faces well is really hard, and sometimes wonder why I like them so much when - I'll be honest - I am happy with a given celebrity sketch if someone else can look at who I've drawn and guess correctly the person it's meant to be. (Within the first 3 tries, even.) What I am saying is, I draw them the most, but I certainly fall short executing, often.
I believe goal activities should be really easy or really appealing, especially daily goals - so "Draw a face a day" was the obvious choice. It is hard enough to pick up a new activity and do it every day for a month - no need to complicate things by making my goal activity less appealing/more constricted.
george clooney, first week
As of March 2nd, I filled up my sketchbook.
It took me a year to fill the sketchbook I had before that.
the bigger part is everything I drew beginning Feb 1
"Draw a face" was a great specific goal. There were days the directive, "Draw" would have been too vague and frustrating. Every time I checked my daily goals and read, "Draw a face," I thought, "Oh hey yeah. I like drawing faces." I really believe making my goal the specific activity that I did, helped me continue to achieve it.
Sometimes it was hard to come up with new people. I drew Cardi B for my sister because my sister loves her, and I couldn't come up with anyone I wanted to sketch that day.
Cardi B inspired me to try Drake and Nicki Minaj that day as well. 2nd week
Once I started sketching for a day, I found it really, really easy to keep going. That's how I filled up a whole notebook. Rarely did one face sketch stop at that...and often I branched out in content too. I drew still lives of my living room table.
I drew this guy often. This one's my favorite - 1st week?
My last day I had a weird creative idea and drew half a dozen cartoon mermaids doing boring real-life-people things. That was fun.
Not everyone has been able to identify this coen brothers christ figure
99% of the time I drew using charcoal pencils, a tip from mk given probably like 2 years ago. Sometimes I drew in pen or pencil, but rarely. The mermaids I did with all 3 of those mediums and added colored pencil to boot.
I had had a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for years but not bothered with it much - I'd taken several seasons of art classes in my teens and one of my instructors taught using exercises from the book every day as warm-ups for her classes, so a) I had a reasonable introduction to the concepts and suggested practice already -- and b) I just hadn't made myself -- and around the 3rd week I dug that out and went through it for improvement tips/tried-and-tried drawing activities worth practicing with.
I wrote 'em all down. Half of them I was kind of doing anyway. The other half, eehhh, well. There's at least one I plan on trying in an interesting variation, beginning in the next week or so.
Mostly, if you google, "How to get better at drawing," you'll find the key is practice.
Lots and lots and lots of practice.
I believe it, at least mostly I do, and at least I believe I can manage to improve with conscious effort and practice, myself; a teacher might help a little or at some points, but I don't think I'm good enough or plateau'd enough to need one, in the moment. Probably not ever at all.
I really enjoy sketching and drawing.
final self-portrait, 4th week
This whole experience made a light bulb go off. A personal epiphany.
I realized how much I enjoy arts and crafting - sketching, yeah, and you might remember some of my previous exlporations too:
I plan to buy a house in the next two years and I realized I want to have a dedicated creating space.
I realized I'm an adult and if I'm buying a house it's for me and I can require crazy things like a second sink in a wet (read: laundry or basement) room so that I can finally start making paper en mass on the reg the way I wanted to when I started exploring handmade paper for bookbinding 1+ year ago but was forced to conclude it wasn't a real viable workable executable pursuit due to lack of good usable space etc and basically hang that piece of art dream up and walk away from it.
I realized I really love being creative and it's a given I will be crafting things the rest of my foreseeable life.
I realized I could embrace that.
So guys...I am. Look at me. I'm arting.
Art begets more art, I am pretty certain. Like rabbits replicate.
mk sent me a ton of stuff, basically everything a girl could need to get started on oil painting - I have no idea what I'm doing - but learn - by doing, right? How else? :D
I am having fun.
And having Ideas.
i carved all these stamps. i love carving stamps. i encourage you all to do it if you have to pick a single artski fartski activity to start on. i find few things as satisfying
Here's to sketching daily faces, hubski.
Here's to making.