Drawing Challenges. It's what the cool artists do nowadays. And I don’t want to be behind the times… so I’d better jump on the bandwagon, right?
In all seriousness though, for awhile now I’ve wanted to complete a challenge of my own, but I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to work on and what I would be interested in enough to stick with. The month themes, like March of Robots, MerMay, Junicorn/June Bug etc. are cool, or ongoing ones like Color Collective or Animal Alphabets are fun. But...I’m not all that into Robots, Mermaids, Unicorns, or Bugs… or any of the others I’ve seen. And “draw everyday” is a nice goal as far as it goes, but more vague than I wanted.
Another thing that I’ve been thinking about lately is my upcoming Drawing Fundamentals class, which will be offered through the Schenectady Community College’s continuing education program. Obviously I know the material, but, well… I haven’t really done it much recently. Draw from reference, that is. I’ve focused a LOT more on drawing from imagination lately (another class I’d like to teach… anyone interested?) so my observational drawing skills, while still there, are...a bit rusty, to be honest.
Last night, I wasn’t sure what to draw. I did a quick doodle of me and my kids, but felt like something was missing. So I pulled up a photo of each of them to draw from.
It felt SO GOOD. It was what I didn’t know I had been missing.
I’ve decided I want to get back to the source. Drawing from imagination is great, but it only works well when you have a foundation of drawing from observation. So that will be my personal drawing, for myself… and anyone else who wants to join in!
I’m calling it the Draw What You See challenge, or #drawwhatyouseechallenge… maybe #dwysc if I get lazy typing with my thumbs. (Ok, so it’s not clever or catchy like the monthly themes I mentioned above. I’m over it.)
How does it work?
Well, first off, you can participate if you want! In fact, please do! I’ll definitely enjoy having company for this challenge (though I am committed to completing it alone if nobody is interested.) Drawing is a skill that comes with practice, practice, practice, and this is a great way to do it! To make it “official”, I’ll say that in order to count it for this challenge you must:
I will be doing 50 drawings before the end of September 2018.
That means I’ll want to do around three a week--I think this is a do-able goal with two kids, while still pushing me a bit, and even maybe-possibly-hopefully leaving time to work on my from-imagination illustrations as well. Though ultimately, I think that this will help me do those better as well, even if I don’t have time for them during the time I complete this challenge.
But what will I be drawing?
Well, this is where you can help.
I fully expect that MOST of these drawings will be of my kids, because they are completely darling and, really, why waste that? And there are a few cool things around my house/yard I’d love to get a closer look at, and I might be able to convince my husband to sit still for awhile…
But, as they say, variety is the spice of life. I’d love to have a few other photos to choose from.
If you want me to consider drawing your photo, post it to Instagram or Facebook and tag me in the caption. Use the hashtag #drawthissarahluann to be double-sure you’ve got my attention and make it clear that you are posting it for this challenge. Then, I’ll see it and maybe draw it.
I did say maybe.
Since this is a personal challenge and not a commission, I’m not going to guarantee that I’ll draw every photo I’m tagged in. If the photo doesn’t work for me some reason (or if I get way more submitted than I’m anticipating), I’m just going to pass.
I’ll be more likely to choose your photo if:
-Its a candid shot
-it features a person (or pet--I'm less interested in landscapes/still lifes)
-it is in indirect natural light
-it just has that “something cool” in it that’s hard to put into words.
Also, don’t tag me in photos you didn’t take--specifically, not photos of you taken by a pro photographer. They took the photos and own the copyrights to them, while you own the photos you take.
If I choose your photo--thanks! You are awesome! Your support means a lot. You aren’t obligated to do anything. If you like my drawn version, you can share it on social media if you want, but that isn't required. If you do just make sure to credit and tag me as the artist. IF you would like to purchase the drawing, we can talk about it. But no money, or drawing, is owed to anyone either way.
How does that sound? Anyone joining me? Do you have any cool photos for me to draw?
Lets do this.
After my last post showing some of my old (somewhat embarassing) work, I now want to show a new piece I've been working on. After filling up my last sketchbook with a bunch of experimental stuff (see my Instagram feed) I had a bunch of thoughts on how to change/improve my process. I decided to try it with one of the fun, simple sketches I did in the sketchbook first. Here is what happened:
I started with my original sketch, but drew over it to improve a few things--I wanted my character to be younger, I fixed some of the anatomy, and I wanted the stack of books bigger and to have a more interesting overall shape with a bit more movement. Then, I went into my normal cut-out technique... almost. This time instead of focusing on the linework and colors, I instead started with a silhouette and then whittled away at that to get some defining lines and a couple colors. Basically, I'm using the same process as before, but with more of an emphasis on value and silhouette rather than line and color. Its probably a distinction only I really see, but it feels like a much more natural and intuitive way for me to work and I'm excited to do some new work in this style.
Next up... remember the Alice in Wonderland piece in the last post? Well, I'm going to do an updated version. I've always loved seeing an artist coming back to a subject/image they did years previously and then re-interpreting it with their current style and skill level. Its my turn!
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