Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Learning to Draw I

 I've never considered myself very skilled at rendering images or drawing in any meaningful way.  I can sketch out a plan to put wood pieces together or something like that, but, especially compared to my peers in college drawing classes, I basically was very bad.  So I didn't draw for real for about sixteen years, give or take.

Then I got an idea to make big paintings of flowers and decided I needed to be able to draw to be able to paint.  Initially what I wanted to do is just really pile weird stuff onto canvas, using up some of my infinite stash of paper ephemera, and then paint something sweet and simple on top.

Anyway, drawing is hard.

I found my old newsprint pad and charcoal from school.  To save paper, I painted over the sketches with old house paint I had laying around and sketched again and again.  

Started out very rough using images from a 1970's houseplant book to work from.

oof...charcoal on newsprint

charcoal on newsprint
These were closer to the first idea flash I had when I decided to go down this road.  One thought I had was to make ceramic planters and use those in my paintings, then sell them beside the canvases.  I like tie-ins.
charcoal and pencil on painted newsprint
dried Yucca pods

first use of ink and brush on newsprint

Rattlesnake Master
 I kept working, trying to build up the very atrophied muscle in my brain that pushes my hand to make a line.  I liked the idea of being expressive, probably because then it wouldn't look as much like I didn't know what I was doing.

I had a large collection of dried pods and stuff I focused on first.
I made this one up.

Plantain and sweet clover
Started looking at pictures I took over the years for reference.
Antelope-horn Milkweed
Maybe going super zoomed-in would be a thing I wanted to do?  Worked for Georgia O'Keefe. 

This was the jumping off point of the rest of my year's art endeavors and a new series that will continue indefinitely. 

All this started in February 2020...

If you want to see more process shots of drawings, check out the archived stories under the Drawing collection on my Instagram.

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