Sunday, September 30, 2012

True: Practice and you will improve. False: Sketching is easy.

Since my class, last Wednesday, I have been sketching, and drawing, for an hour and a half each day.

Sketching is not easy.

I have chosen to work on the same still life setup; a draped window; a small cabinet with one drawer, on wheels; two boxes and a set of hand weights.

My daily goal is to map out those things by placing them on my paper with loose, light pencil strokes using my full arm, not just my hand, to create the lines.

It seems I am captivated by the little cabinet so that is where I have been focusing much of my attention.

I need to spend more time in the mapping stage and really focus on light lines and not get carried away with trying to add details until the lines show the true perspective of the subject.

Here are a few examples of my progress…

This is a black and white shot of the still life setup mentioned above, for comparison.

I have done dozens of sketches/drawings over the last few days; this is a small sample to let you see what all your wonderful words of encouragement, in my last post, have inspired me to do.

As you can see I am still having perspective issues as well as a slant problem; my skewed view on the world is to blame, I'm sure. 

I’ve had a pep talk from Miss CP about how to correct this deficiency of mine (or at least "try" to correct it) and will put her advice into play on Monday.

I took Sunday off - even God needed a day of rest! 

How about you...are you practicing something daily in hopes of getting better at it? 
If so, how much time do you devote to this passion of yours? 



  1. Seems someone has given me a mantra to practice daily so I guess that will be something I need to get into the habit of.
    I can really see your improvement and admire your patience at redrawing the same subject matter each day.
    The last one is really looking great

    1. See...we all have something to practice! Mantra's are great, I have a few up my sleeve that get me through the day. Enjoy using yours!

      I like the last drawing too - now, this week, I will be at it again, this time really focusing on balance and perspective while trying to lose the slant thingy that I seem to do with my little cabinet.

      Big sigh...I can, I can, if I want to...and I want to get it right! (said the little pencil)

  2. The coolest thing about this post Jenny is that while I scroll through these sketches they're constantly looking better and better each time until they look next to perfect. It's obvious that your practice is definitely working out for you, you're right about sketching being difficult too, I think there's sometimes a misconception that it's an easy, lazy way out, but it most certainly isn't.

    1. I'm glad you can see the improvement - slow but steadily forward. One of these times I'll actually focus on the curtain with all its folds.

      Practice is really the key - the more I sketch, the better I feel about my progress. So, I guess the old saying, "practice makes perfect" has some merit after all.

      Thanks for stopping by, Matthew; what's really cool is you following this adventure and cheering me on! That's cool!

  3. I need to follow your lead and practice my writing more. i should try to crave out at least 30 minutes a day to practice it but like all great procrastinator I can find tons of excuses why i can't

    1. Do it! Thirty minutes a day is a great start - find it and book it off.
      I do that now with this sketching commitment - every morning, with my two cups of coffee, I am sitting sketching madly along while the house is quite and my wee dog saws her little logs on her favourite green chair. That in itself would make a pretty picture - can't wait till I am able to draw my dog.

      So...get those thirty minutes and run with them! You'll love it and might even add another thirty to the lot.

  4. I don't see the problem with perspective so mine is off too. We must live in a perspective free world, Jenny. I barely see the issue with a slant either but then again, I'm the person in the house who hangs a picture and then people straighten it as soon as I leave the room, so, I may not be the best person to judge.

    I need to practice writing everyday...every single day!

    1. I think I actually walk and sit on an angle - but then, life just looks better that way, according to me! (and, according to me - that is how it should be, right!) :)

      I'd like to think my eye (the one good one) sees the "straightness" in objects and with practice I hope this can be found to be true, otherwise I'm doomed. (like I'm not already doomed!)

      Ah...I'm on my first coffee - this comment would read a bit different if this was coffee number two. (hehehehe)

      Back to the drawing board for me - it's practice time.

  5. I've done many sketches - it takes A LOT of practice, especially to get the perspective correct.
    When I'm writing, it's for several hours a day.
    And I now practice my guitar play one to two hours a day.

    1. I'm not surprised, Alex, that you put in the hours to perfect your craft(s) - it's why I admire you so and why I am thrilled to have met you, out here in this blogging world.

      You are very generous with your comments - I always try a little harder when I know the great Ninja Captain is looking over my shoulders!

      Thank you, Alex, for taking time to weigh in on this art adventure of mine.

  6. You're doing great! Man, I wish I were even half as good at sketching as you are.

    1. Thanks Linda - but then looks who's DONE great - that would be YOU! Getting your book published, now that is "doing great"...I'm still in the "doing better" department, but hey, I'll take the "doing great" it will surely keep me motivated.

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out my sketching! :)

  7. There's definite improvement from the first sketch to the last. Great work. I used to enjoy sketching, but haven't done any in a bunch of years.

    1. Ah...but you should have see the "thousands of bad sketchings" that gave way so these few pieces could be shown publicly!

      If you enjoyed sketching then I encourage you to jump back in the fray...I need a sketch buddy out here in cyberspace - could start a whole new blogging event, like a weekly sketch thing!

      Thanks for taking a look and adding to the wonderful feedback! :)

  8. Anonymous8:45 pm

    Oh wow! Practice makes great!! That last sketch is wonderful!
    Persistence and determination will get you everywhere and you are heading toward being a fabulous sketch artist! I'm impressed by your passion for this.

    Last month I took up a 365 project- the goal being to create something every day for a year. My goal is a bit more lenient- I can't commit to every day but I'm in it for 365 creative projects (mine is creating or discovering mandalas- there's a link on my blog). I have found that I really enjoy doing zentangles and zendalas- I have been hauling my drawing notepad around every day practicing/experimenting. It keeps me sane and I agree 100%-- practice and you will improve (and sketching is hard!- I still suck at it, haha).

    Thanks for sharing your determination and journey!
    It's very cool :)

    1. Hey Daisy - thanks for stopping in! Stay for tea (or in my case a neat Gin with 3 olives!
      So...I am going to head over to your place and check out the 365 project of yours - I like the sound of it. And it makes sense having a project that can be worked into those (or some of those days) rather than one separate creation per day.

      With my sketching I'm sort of doing that - today, I only did one sketch/drawing, mind you I'm still not finished it and I spent over two hours on it. First sketching, then erasing, then more sketching, more erasing, sketching, erasing...then finally some drawing, bit more erasing, more get it! hahahaha Exhausting just thinking about it!

      I tickled that your are following along on this journey of own personal holy grail!
      Thanks... :)

  9. It's starting to look like practice is paying off! I never could get the whole "perspective" thing down right. All of my stuff always slanted the wrong way. So I stuck to 2-d cartoony style instead.

    Keep it up~!

    1. Glad to know I've got company in the slanting department. I think mine is the result of years of holding the phone with my left ear and shoulder while multi-tasking; now I can't straighten my head.

      2-d rules...perspective drools!

      And, I'll try to "keep it up" so long as it doesn't get me down! :)

  10. I think you are doing good.
    Practice is important. Use it or you lose it!

    1. Hi Ruth - how's the cooking, the house renos and life in general?

      As with anything important - practice is key.

      And, sorry to say, I lost "it" while using "it" - now I don't know what "it" is any more! :P

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  11. Perspective is hard! Keep at it, you are doing great. Keep in mind that the set up you created was a challenging one. I think the best thing I ever did for myself as an artist, was to allow myself to move on to something else if I was struggling. Put it away and begin something new. You've already learned a bunch from this piece so it wasn't a waste. Not feeling like you have to conquer something will give you more creative freedom. I love what you are doing.

    1. I can't believe I didn't reply to this comment - shame on me...
      Should you ever come back, dear Jotter Girl, and check to see if I replied...well forgive me for somehow missing this wonderful comment.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave it! With smiles and appreciation, Jenny.

  12. Hey Jenny, hope you didn't mind me including you in my most recent Top Three Thursdays post, if it's not okay just give me the word!

  13. Hi Jenny .. great that you're following through and have the courage to show us your drawings - they really are coming along ... cheers Hilary

    1. You said it "courage to show" is not always easy, but I'm proud of myself for making the effort and being open to learning how to sketch/draw.

      Thanks for stopping in - I always light up when I see you've left me a comment. :)


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Cheers, Jenny

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