Monday, 21 October 2013

a drawing a day . . . some pencil sketches

a drawing a day - the kit!
© Teresa Newham 

 A new project, now that I have - in theory at least - more time on my hands, is to make a drawing a day -  or most days, to be completely accurate.  It's something which every artist is recommended to do, and I've been meaning to get round to it for ages - even putting aside a special sketchbook for it (a gift from last Christmas, with a lovely felt cover by local textile artist Barbara Weeks).  I've begun in pencil - not my favourite medium - and as it's my own drawing  project, I'm playing by my own rules . . . .

scribbled pots at the bottom of a larger, less successful sketch!
© Teresa Newham

Rule 1:  it doesn't have to be good.  Absolutely no point trying to make a 'work of art' every time!  Far better to put pencil to paper regularly without worrying about the outcome.  Pick a subject - any old subject, something knocking about the house or garden - and just get on with it.   Some part of the drawing will work!  The little pots in the sketch above were dashed off as an afterthought to the main subject (an indifferent rendering of my bird feeders).

money tree - incomplete in all senses of the word . . .
© Teresa Newham

Rule 2: it doesn't have to be finished.  So easy to spend ages on a drawing and thoroughly overwork it!  Fifteen minutes into the money tree, above, I got bored and decided to stop right there and then.   The money tree sketch is also a good example of Rule 3: it doesn't have to fit on the paper - although of course, it's better if it does . . . . !

a very quick impression of stuff on my windowsill!
© Teresa Newham

Rule 4: the quicker the better!  I'm trying to get to the stage where I can dash something off effectively in a few minutes - I imagine myself sitting at a cafe table in glorious sunshine, sketching passers by.  And to do that I'll have to become much quicker than I am at present!!  the little sketch above took five minutes and is a reasonable rendition of the subject, with very little detail.

a solid rendition of my solid dresser!
© Teresa Newham

Rule 5: it's good to have an object in mind.  The purpose of the drawing above was to produce something solid, in proportion,with proper perspective.  So I drafted it out on the paper first and worked it up from there.  I bought this dresser at an auction twenty-five years ago and I'm very fond of it, which brings me to Rule 6: if you have an emotional connection with the subject, it will make a better drawing.

brushes in a pot - fond memories of my Mum
© Teresa Newham

Rule 6 is demonstrated nicely in this sketch of some brushes in a pot.  The pot - and some of the brushes - belonged to my late Mum, who painted in watercolours later in life, having started out in oils.  So it was lovely to spend some time sketching something I use a lot which reminds me of her!

I'm hoping to carry on doing a drawing a day (well, most days).  Who knows?  I might graduate eventually to colour pencil, or pastels, or pen and wash.  But it's pencil for now . . .

1 comment:

  1. Some really sound advice here! I'm always amazed at what can be achieved in just a few minutes with a pencil in skilled hands!