It’s been a few months since I’ve delved into my Rip It, Write It, Draw It journal. Today, though, I decided to change that. It’s been too long since I’ve been involved with any artistic pursuits. Any time I have time to rest, I usually end up asleep. (I haven’t experienced any third trimester bursts of energy, so I’m basically narcoleptic.)
The prompt: Sketch something or someone in pencil. Use shading and shadow effects.
Sketching isn’t something I usually do, but I figured it would be fun to try my hand at it now that I have a better understanding of art.
The subject? My cat, of course. After all, he was sitting right next to me, so I decided to take advantage of the moment.
If you look closely, you can actually see other drawings of my cat on the other side of the page.
We shared a peaceful moment as I sketched him. (And, as you can see, he then moved so the stripes only go so far down his neck.) He’s always here to keep me company, and he’s provided much-needed companionship through hard times. I know people say pets take a back seat when kids come along, but I don’t think that’ll be the case for us. No, I foresee greeting my husband in the evenings with the baby on one hip and the cat on the other. After all, he’s my buddy.
It’s been much too long since the last painting. After several busy weekends, I finally found some time to grab my basket of supplies from the closet and choose a new lesson in the painting book.
This lesson focused on creating reflections. Looking at the final product in the book, it seemed like a difficult task, but the instructions took everything slowly enough that it wasn’t hard to grasp what to do next. That’s one thing I’ve really liked about it.
One of the most important things about the reflection is actually repeating the same colors and shapes in the water. While that wasn’t too tricky with the sails, it was when it came to the hull of the ship. I went back over it a few times before finding the right mix.
That’s one of the fun things about painting, though, and it makes me think of the way I write too. It’s part planning things out and part winging it. The winging it seems to be when the magic happens, and the work gains that je ne sais quoi that brings it to life.
What projects have you been working on over the summer? Do you use a mix of planning and winging it in your work too?
I love my cat’s sense of curiosity. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
He’s interested in everything: playing with yarn while I’m crocheting, batting at the fringe on my scarf, watching tv with us.
One of his newest interests is watching me paint. The first time was while I was working on my last painting. (Speaking of which, it’s been too long. Too many busy weekends in a row.) He perched on the arm of the chair and followed my every brush stroke for an unusually long time.
Fortunately, his curiosity hasn’t led him into the paint so far, but I guess we’ll see next time.
I wonder what he thinks of it all as he sits next to me. Does he have any idea what I’m doing? Does he see the pattern of it all? I don’t know, but there’s nothing as wonderful as listening to him purr as he sits against me and watches.
Do you have pets that like to get involved in your activities?
May the Fourth has come and gone, but this year’s will live on in a special way. Some friends, my husband, and I went to a Star Wars themed paint night and created our own Death Stars.
Looking at the sample when we arrived, I had a feeling that it would be challenging. And it was. I’m not so great with drawing straight lines with a pen or pencil. Creating them with a paintbrush? Let’s just say it’s a good thing that you can touch up.
Besides the straight lines, the other most difficult thing about this project was the size of the paintbrushes. I’m used to small brushes. My collection is almost entirely made up of them. Even when working on larger canvases at other paint nights before, all of the brushes have been on the smaller side. These were huge. Like three fingers wide huge. So adding the fine details was much more difficult than I expected. Needless to say, I’m tempted to do some touch ups now here at home.
One fun thing was the way that we added the stars. We were supposed to get the white paint heavily watered down and then flick it onto the canvas. My husband had that technique down. Unfortunately, mine wasn’t so great (which is why there are so few stars). I think I flicked more paint on my face and my husband’s painting than my own. :)
All in all, though, it was definitely fun and stretched my skills a bit. Next time, I think it’s back to the painting book to try out some new techniques.
How did you celebrate May the Fourth?
It’s been too long since the last painting. Fortunately, this afternoon has been a lazy one, so I’ve finally been able to create something I’ve been thinking about for a while.
S.B. Roberts 2017
Did you expect the “c” to be anything else?
Ever since we adopted the cat, I’ve become a fan. At first, I would have just told you, “I like this cat.” Now, I just like cats in general.
Not long after we adopted him, I took to doodling him. Whenever my mom and I are at teaching conferences and meetings, I end up doodling this little representation of my cat in my notes. Or hers. Whichever are closer at the moment. Sometimes fellow fun-loving colleagues return to find one on their paper too.
I drew these ones in my planner during a recent Skype meeting. They’re not the best. None of my doodles are. But they’re a fun way to release some creativity, especially when it’s feeling a little stifled in a meeting.
S.B. Roberts 2017
I’ve been on a major painting spree lately. At least once a week, I’ve taken over the dining room table to make it into a makeshift studio, and I’ve been loving it.
This last painting was different than anything else that I’ve done so far in two ways.
First, it’s a hybrid of things I learned in the book and experimentation. I wanted to paint a dear friend of mine looking out over the ocean for a special occasion. At this point, though, I don’t have any experience with painting people. The best way to get around that: paint just the back of her head.
I started with the same ocean techniques I used when painting “The Deep Blue Sea” and lots of paintings of hair on Pinterest. Then I just went for it.
It’s hard to see all of the different shades on the hair, but in person, there’s a lot of texture. As I finished, I felt that something was missing. It was my husband’s idea to add some black (which I then went back over with the auburn, red, and orange shades) to add some dimension.
The second thing about it is that I actually painted it over three days instead of in one sitting. The blue of the ocean had to dry before adding the red hair, so those were two separate occasions. The third was for touching up since some of the dark blue was thinner than I had hoped for and the sky didn’t look good as just one color.
So there we are. The first painting in which I did something mostly on my own and I really liked it. Now on to the next adventure.