Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Raising the bar

For my recent birthday I put together a list of arty-bits that I wanted, as we do. What I didn't receive as direct gifts I purchased myself using money given to me for just that purpose. Electric Eraser, electric Pencil Sharpener, pads of paper, Fountain pen, ink, Pencil Wrap, and mixing palette.

The pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance was a book by Lee Hammond on drawing realistic portraits. Her work is outstanding and, as pleased as I am with my own drawing, there is no doubt in my mind that I can do better. I'm hoping Lee's book will help me with that.

Though I haven't had time to read the book in detail yet, I have read some parts and am bursting with enthusiasm to try out a few things. I've always been too impatient to work steadily through the practice stages of anything, so I dived in and had-a-go at this eye. It hasn't turned out too badly and I'm quite pleased overall, but I notice how uneven the blending is compared to what I can see in the book.

So yesterday evening I sat down to concentrate on nothing more than blending. I've come to the conclusion that there are no short cuts to a good result. Pencil on, blend, pencil on, blend, more pencil, blend ... layer after layer ... gradually building a smooth and even graduation. This simple sketch took me over an hour. The original looks better than this scanned version and I'm very pleased with the result, but I still have a long way to go. Still, I know I can raise my game when it comes to pencil work, so I've move my personal bar up a notch. Watch this space!!!

The final gift, which I bought with birthday money, arrived in the post yesterday. My first ever Moleskine Sketchbook. It looks great and I can't wait to take it for a spin. One thing I didn't get for my birthday which would have been the best gift ever .... more hours in the day. LOL.

16 comments:

  1. Your beautiful drawings are only matched by your enthusiasm J. You know I can't draw but you are so inspiring, I might just pick up a pencil! Beautiful artwork! :)

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  2. Eye can see you're pretty good at this John!
    There is nothing as satisfying as honing up on your drawing skills, especially to this level of excellence - nice work.

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  3. Ingrid, you are always such a wonderful encouragement ... Thank you.

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  4. Oooh Frank ... what an awful pun. LOL. Thank you for the nice comment ... it's great to see you again.

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  5. Very nice drawings indeed John. Drawing is such an important skill that many (myself included) tend to neglect in the hurry to get some paint on the paper lol. You are inspiring me to get out my pencils a bit more now too !

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  6. Thank you Michael. As much as I enjoy painting I do find myself being drawn (forgive the pun) more and more towards pencil.

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  7. Happy birthday!!! And don't we all just love receiving new arty bits to try out? Your sketches are amazing! The eye could almost blink! Brilliant :0)

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  8. You have such patience and the eye looks pretty good to me. I understand your impatience and wanting to jump in. I'm the same. But if sketching is the thing you are interested in I would say you have quite a talent for it.
    Jean

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  9. Thank you Sandra. Yes, I'm like a kid with a new toy when I get something arty.

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  10. Jean, Thank you very much for your lovely comment.

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  11. Gorgeous work! The time spent was well spent. Wish you well on your continuing journey - its fascinating to watch xx

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  12. Thank you Pat. Yes, it's lovely that we can all share our journeys, encouraging and learning from each other as we go. Don't you just love this internet thingy?

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  13. John , I may be last on the comment list here, but I'm keeping my eye ( yes, pun intended) on your drawings... they are exceptionally good.. and this one is right up there. BJ

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  14. Beautiful work John, and Happy Birthday. Isn't wonderful buying supplies. Your work is truly outstanding. Enjoy.

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  15. So glad you got such wonderful treasures for your birthday John. And wow that eye is really amazing! Just beautiful. I know Lee's work and can see a bit of her influence in your pencil work here. It looks marvelous. I'll be watching this space for your next post. :)

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  16. Barbra Joan: Thank you BJ, I appreciate that very much.

    Joan: Yes, even small things leave me feeling like a kid on Xmas morning. Thank you for the nice comment.

    Crystal: How lovely to see you here. I'm never going to get close to what Lee can do but it thrills me to think her influence is getting through into my work. Thank you.

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