Friday, 16 September 2011

Any improvement in my drawing skills?

I am still beaving away doing an hour's drawing practice every day. I don't honestly think it is getting any easier. The tremor in my hand (brought about by the drugs I have to take daily) is certainly more under control and I am not quite as scared of putting pencil to paper. I am learning to look more and am less afraid of putting in a wrong line. Anyway - these are today's drawings.

Friday, 9 September 2011


I have been working at my drawing and my stripes each day for an hour and possibly getting slightly better. However, I have decided to take a month to concentrate on my drawing technique before I go any further with the course as I just seem to be skating across the top rather than doing it in any depth. I will therefore keep the blog going but for the time being the work will be drawing exercises. Just off now to do the first one.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I am still beavering away.

I am still working every day but on the whole my efforts are not good enough to show you. I just have to keep going. I found a little bit of Kaffe Fassett material in the drawer left from a wall hanging I made last year. I folded it over and drew and painted it (stripes), now I am intending to move on. I shall not move forward until I have mastered those stripes.

I have had a few goes at painting a nectarine. Not easy but again I shall keep going. Thanks for the encouragement you keep giving me.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Using colour.

After a shaky start I began to get the hang of this. It is a long time since I used a paint brush and my early attempts were pretty awful, but after a while it improved slightly. One of the problems is that Koh i noor (which I love for its clarity of colour) does not dry anything like the colour on the palette - the final result is much brighter and clearer.

For the first exercise I picked some things in reds and purples from the garden and then made a wash on the page, trying to replicate the colours. I have not done this very successfully, but I did like the image I got from pressing the wet page on the opposite page and wished I had done this sooner to get a clearer image.

Next I got some bits of material and 'matched' them to colours from the paint box. I painted the stripes and then stuck on the bits of material and I am quite pleased with the result there.

It is quite a relief to finish my hour on a high point rather than the point of despair I have reached over the last few days!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A Brick wall.

I have hit a bit of a brick wall. This is probably due to having three days out when it was impossible to do my hour's drawing. The exercise is to drape a piece of striped material and draw it. I have to admit that I can't do it.

I find my failure most frustrating. Three attempts and it is still no better. So I have decided to miss that exercise out and move on to colour. Whether or not I come back to it depends upon how I get on. But I have to tell myself that I am doing this for enjoyment, otherwise what is the point?

So I feel quite down about the course today. Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Day 8

I must say that I am finding it hard going and I am not at all satisfied with the results, but I am persevering, feeling that doing an hour's drawing every day and really looking at things has got to make some improvement sometime.

Today's task of looking at the 'inside' of things and drawing them without the outline has proved quite a challenge but I have enjoyed doing it.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Day 7

Today I chose a vase. I love this old stone vase and have tried to draw it many times. The difficulty is in getting the sides the same. I am sure you will think I have not done that but I can assure you it is my best attempt yet!

We were then encouraged to try using charcoal to draw,so that we could vary the thickness and intensity of the line. Also we were told to draw and use a whole page. When I look at the two drawings I can see the they are slightly different. I think the smaller one is slightly more accurate. The larger one has more lines going round - this is because by the time I drew that version there was more sunlight and some very faint lines showed up.

The shading is not very accurate - I found that as the sun kept going in and coming out it was hard to capture. But I shall keep trying. Slowly I do feel slightly more confident. Let's face it, it's not a matter of life and death, I am supposed to be doing this for enjoyment! Have I managed to convey the 'roundness' of the vessel? If not, how can I achieve this?

##Looking at the drawings here on the page I can see quite clearly that I have not got the two sides the same at all - but I am not taking the pictures off - I shall try again tomorrow and see if I can get it any better. That way, if there is an improvement I shall be able to see it clearly!

Day 6

Today the task was to establish a background before drawing - preferably a background which had some bearing on the subject matter. I found choosing something very hard and finally photocopied some seed heads, stained them with a tea bag, tore them into pieces and glued them in a collage with pritstick.

This is where things began to go wrong. Sian had warned that drawing on a background was more difficult and I immediately slipped into my old, 'lazy' habit of drawing without really looking so that the result, as you will see above, is very bad. But I am posting it - I have to face up to my mistakes.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Day 5

Today I have to create a background related to whatever I am intending to draw. I have given it a lot of thought and tried out one or two things but have not hit on the right combination yet.

However, Sian does suggest that if I try a new object to draw then I might spend today drawing it several times to try to get the feel of the line, so I have done just that.
Tomorrow I am going out for the day with a friend so I shall give it some thought on the journey and hope to complete the task later in the day. I do know that it is not vital to work on this project every day but I also know how easy it is to opt out - there is a happy medium.

Today's ash 'key' which I picked up somewhere abroad on my travels (can't remember where) made me think that the background should be seeds or trees related. I feel that my line drawing is getting better in that today I did at least draw these free hand with no points of reference (previously I have put the odd dot here and there to give myself help) but once I leave line drawing and try to add shading of any kind it becomes a disaster. Maybe I am jumping the gun. Time will tell.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Today's task.

Believe it or not, I felt slightly less trepidation today. Sitting up in bed drinking my tea this morning I found myself looking carefully at the shape of the dressing table mirror - I thought that was a good sign.

I chose the egg shell as Sian suggested. They are not very good but at least I approached them with more confidence. I have no idea how to proceed other than doing an outline drawing, but I used the technique Sian suggested. So far so good.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Today's efforts.

After staining the sheets of the sketch book yesterday with a damp teabag (which I thought was a splendid idea for giving just a bit of subtle colour to the background) I went out into the garden and picked a couple of leaves. I just was not confident enough to try to sketch them by hand, so I laid them on the page and made a dot at each 'point' and then worked on from there. As for the shells, I tried them freehand. The razor clam shell is very poor and gives no suggestion of being shaped at all. The other shell is maybe a little big better.

Still, I have made a start and shall continue.

I begin the steep climb!

Yesterday I stained the pages with a fairly dry tea bag - I reasoned that too much 'tea' would make the sketch book pages too wet so just a smear here and there seemed the best. I quite like the finish and later today I shall try to draw some of the bits and pieces I have collected -so far two leaves and two shells, which will probably do for a start. Pencil today but I intend to look for various drawing implements to buy, so that I can vary what I use. I will add to this later, when I have done the drawings.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Beginning a new project

This blog is specially created so that I can work on project material with Distant Stitch. The work starts tomorrow, when I will post my first efforts - my aim is in the first instance to improve my drawing skills, which I am afraid are pathetic. So watch this space, and if you are doing a similar project then please feel free to leave a comment (polite or otherwise) about how you think I am doing. I need the feedback.