Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sketchbook Beginnings to Draw & Feel

I started a new venture this week... Sketchbook Skool! It's my goal to complete all three courses (kourses) this year. I started out with "Beginnings." The artist teacher for this week is Danny Gregory. Oh. My. It is so inspiring to watch him draw, peek inside his art journals, and just plain listen to him talk about art. I am so happy I decided to add this to the things I want to accomplish this year. (I definitely have an art filled year planned between Zentangle®, Sketchbook Skool, and continuing work on my calligraphy!) 

One of the assignments this week was called "Draw & Feel." You were to find something that had meaning for you and sketch it. You were encouraged to try the technique that Danny shared. This was to begin with a watercolor wash, then "eyeball" the shape of your item and use gouache to create the shape of it (basically painting it before drawing it), and THEN you would use pen to outline draw over the shape you painted and add in the details. The rule for this exercise was no pencil sketching allowed! Just start drawing with the pen. There was a time when this would have paralyzed me... What?! NO PENCIL??? But that was before I started creating Zentangle art. It's made me comfortable to just pick up a pen and draw. I knew any "mistake" would just be an opportunity to be creative.

It took me a couple of days (okay... I did have other things going on!) to figure out what I would draw... I was stuck, I wanted to choose something that had meaning to me. Then one day I was speaking to Cami in her room, I looked at her walls, and I knew! Worn out pointe shoes line the top of her walls... It was perfect! I borrowed a pair. I was set... and then... I had to get over that freezing of putting the first mark in my new Sketchbook Skool sketchbook. Why is this so hard?! I took a deep breath and went for it! 

One of Cami's MANY pairs of worn out pointe shoes!
I decided to try the technique that Danny demonstrated. I began with the watercolor wash, realized I didn't have any gouache so I subbed acrylic paint. A couple of coats gave me the opaqueness I was looking for. I really like this technique! It was fascinating! After giving my page plenty of time to dry I picked up my trusty micron and began drawing the outline of the pointe shoe. I was very surprised by how closely my "eyeballed" shape ended up matching the drawn shape. I filled in the details of the shoes and then used watercolor to shade. 

Beginnings... Watercolor wash and a quick acrylic paint shape study.

Working on watercolor shading...

I decided I wanted to have my journaling "dance" across the page. I used a piece of scratch paper to test out what I wanted to write and how I could make it flow to fit all the prose and the sketch. 

Sketchbook : Week 1 : Draw & Feel : Pointe Shoes
Complete! Cami's Pointe Shoes : Determination
I am so excited about keeping an ongoing sketchbook for the very first time (one that actually documents my life, the important and not-so-important things, an art journal sketchbook)! Danny... thank you for taking me on this journey. The whole process, as well as the finished art stirred up lots of emotions. I am so grateful.

Although it took me a long time to finish this assignment... I enjoyed every. single. moment. 

I so appreciate all who stop by and visit... I LOVE when you leave me a comment! Thanks so much!


  1. You've caught the "feeling"t ballet shoes perfectly.A dainty work!

    1. Thank you so much!

      I sure enjoyed visiting your blog and admiring all your lovely art and creations! Amazing!

  2. I only just discovered your blog, i am very impressed with your talent, and creativity. Keep up the good work, and "Thank You".

    1. Ellen...

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I appreciate it immensely!

      Have a wonderful day!

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