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23 February 2014

Quick Pen Sketches

Drawing directly with a pen is a challenge for many people. I was one of those. It was so daunting knowing that the marks you put down on the paper are permanent. No erasing like with a pencil. Scary... As with most challenges the more you try and practice something the more comfortable you become with it. I now love drawing directly with a pen.

For me there is something freeing and liberating about sketching and drawing directly with a pen. I really don't know how to explain it but something in my head says "well just have a go and see what happens".

A group of friends have been working on this and other drawing challenges. So we have been drawing daily, directly with pen, and trying to be loose and quick. This is to try and steer away from labouring over every line and just going with the flow.  Sometimes it works, other times not, but it is always fun. I think doing quick sketches helps you "see" things more clearly, especially when done in pen.

These are some of my quick sketches done over the last week. As I said, some worked, some could have been better but it was all fun and helps build my skills overall.

One thing I have been noticing lately is that I have also been doing more work from imagination. This has always been very hard for me in the past. Now I am feeling more confident with my skills I am able to try things for myself and express myself more freely with my own ideas and try to tell a story. It feels great! These are just a couple of examples of things I tried...


Week 7 of Tania McCartney's 52 Week Illustration Challenge was to do watercolours. This is generally my favourite medium but as luck would have it I had a really busy week and just could not get it to play how I wanted. Don't we all have those weeks?

The only watercolour painting I was happy with was this one. Naturally when I am struggling I tend to fall back on my favourite subject cats. It makes me happy and I relax more.

There has been some amazing work being produced and the challenge has been growing with so many new members. You should go over and have a look. Tania McCartney's 52 Week Illustration Challenge

13 February 2014

Seeing progress

I try to create art most days, usually sketching or painting. I plod along and don't often see much progress but still enjoy the process. It is relaxing and a lot of fun. It has also been a way to meet a whole lot of really nice people.

I did this quick 2 min sketch yesterday morning. Just biro in cheap sketchbook. Once I had drawn it I sat it on the coffee table and went about doing other things. I came back and glanced down at it. Something hit me. "Wow my drawing is really improving." It might not be the best sketch ever but it just helped me see some progress in my work. That is a really nice feeling.

I always date my sketches and keep all my sketchbooks. I love going back and looking through them. I find forgotten treasures in there, but I really like to see how I am improving. And yes I am improving. It might be slow but it is happening. That helps me keep going. I hope you all have nice moments like that too.

Robo Kitten

The topic for the challenge last week was machinery. I struggled to come up with something appropriate that I was happy with. Then one day lying in bed I decided to try my hand at a Robot Kitten. He has taken on a life of his own.

Once I did the first sketch and painting of him I couldn't resist doing more. He was so much fun. I have never done a series like this, especially of my own character. I loved it. I am sure he will surface with more adventures shortly.

The birth of Robo Kitten...

Typical kitten play time

Time for a nap and recharge after all that playing

Oh is that a Robo Fish in there... wonder what they taste like

Puppy I wouldn't really hurt you...I just wanted to play

05 February 2014

Doodles while waiting

I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctors the other day and rather than be bored decided to do some sketching/doodling. These are all from imagination which I am still trying to come to terms with. All done with cheap biro in a cheap sketchbook.

I still had flowers in my mind with this one, so a dancing flower girl.

Playing with drawing a face. At least I got this one to look decidedly female.

 These were just playing with figures

Week 5 Flowers

This week the topic for the challenge was flowers. I had a ball and tried lots of different styles and techniques. Not all of them worked as I would have liked but it was still fun. I hope you like some of them too.

I was inspired to try some zen tangling on this one with pen. It is very time consuming.

Here are a couple of watercolour attempts in my sketchbook. Again mixed results...