Well it is only 6 days into the month and the daily challenge of Every Day in May is already becoming a challenge. It seems strange that I should find it a bit of a burden since I sketch nearly every day anyway… but to be honest it is.
When I feel like I ‘have’ to do something there is a danger it becomes a chore. EDiM is far from a chore, and I do really enjoy the discipline of making time to sketch a specific thing… but I am just flagging with you all that it is not a walk in the park for me. I rarely make time to sit down and ‘do art’, instead my sketching is all about responding to the moment and it happens spontaneously. I see something, I think of something and then I go for it with pen or paint. It is incorporated into my daily life rather than a special event. EDiM is a special event…. and special events are good but require effort!
How are you going?
As for today’s sketch, I piked out of being original and went back to a favourite topic (art materials), but drawing objects that I haven’t drawn before. Bristle brushes that my dad gave me in response to a request of mine. I had been watching John Lovett in action (thanks to the great recommendations of Wendy Shortland) and wanted to try to achieve something like his wonderful expressive marks. I think a new (ie. clean) bristle brush that I mess up would be better than one from ‘the shed’.
Another aspect of daily challenges is that they can possibly interfere with my sketching of daily life…
But I did manage a sketch for me today – this one of my desk.
This sketchi was easier to fit into my day… but I can tell you that crosshatching is dangerous!!! It is very hard to stop! I do prefer using a thicker nib (like my sailor fude nib) but it was fun to use my normal lamy pen for this. It started life as an EF nib but is equivalent to a medium nib these days – it has loosened and lets more ink out through ‘over’ use!
This is part of a daily sketching challenge during the month of May… it is not too late to join (just start with the challenge for today and then catch up if you can)
Join the facebook group
or the flickr group
A summary of previous years that I have been part of is here (plus this year’s list)
A few thoughts about the ups and downs in taking part in daily challenges is here
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The brushes are so spontaneous! Fabulous look to them and I do so adore the sketch of your desk. I'm beginning to like hatched sketches so much. Funny that they used to be my least favorite art form.
I agree Liz and like you, I'm finding the EDiM challenge to be a bit of a chore. I'm more intuitive about my drawings and subject matter so when a subject is given to me, I tend to over think the entire thing instead of feeling my way through it.
I have a question if you don't mind answering. In my sketching infancy, I'm already discovering that I'm over working my sketches / drawings. Is there a trick or tip that you use or have that can curb my compulsion to over do it?
Love the brushes! Thats the simplicity I'm wanting in my work.
thanks Sherry… I am still surprised how much I am loving them! I always thought that I likes coloured sketches more!
HI Michael.. some how the biggest challenge of the challenge is to find something meaningful to you to draw that fits!
Sure, happy to answer your question. Over working your work is something that remains a threat always as an artist but it is especially so when you begin. I always stop whenever I first think 'when should I stop?'. I can always come back to it, but I hate over working.
I think simplicity takes a long time to develop – you have to really build up your observation skills before you can pare down without it looking naive. Unfortunately there is no easy trick, or magic tool… if there was I would buy it!!!
What has been keeping me motivated for the EDiM's has been taking the prompt and then making it my own. The last one was an envelope and I didnt want to be like everyone else and do a generic envelope and then personalising it with decorations. I chose one of the first ever envelopes which were made of clay. I think it turned out ok and tried not to overwork it…
(How's that for a seguay into your answer? Lol)
Thanks for the tip/advice. I kind of already knew the answer internally but wanted some insight from someone who's been at this a long time. I've always been fond of simplicity in drawings/ sketches. There's an elegance to them that still conveys the basic message.
I think my overworking is a combination of getting caught up in the challenge and trying to keep up with everyone else. (A self confidence thing of trying to impress rather than doing what I like) My gut tells me to K.I.S.S ( keep it simple stupid) but my ego takes over. From this point on, I'm dropping the ego…
Ha ha! When you find the secret elixer, please let me know where I can get it too!
I will let you know if I find it!!!
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