01 March 2015

The Road To Better Drawing

A Little Mouse Illustration
In life, when you travel down a new road you never know where you may end up, or what twists and turns lay ahead. And so it goes when I started my drawing adventure at the beginning of the year.

My goal this year is to improve my drawing abilities. This lead me to Sketchbook Skool where I thought I'd take one of their six week classes just for fun to help get me into the habit of drawing daily. I quickly became hooked, and signed up for another class with them. Participating in the supportive sketchbook community lead me to Craftsy with their wealth of online classes for everything from knitting to painting.

I signed up for a free drawing class with Gary Fagin - Draw Better Portraits: Capturing Likeness.

The same time as I discovered Craftsy, a sketchbook classmate alerted me to an iPhone app for artists name Sktchy.  The basic premise is people upload photos (mostly portraits - though there are quite a few pets and a few other images) for other artists to use as inspiration. I have dabbled with figurative painting and have done a few portraits but never thought this would be a genre I would really get into because of a lack of opportunities to work with models; and a lack of source images. I've long been envious of artists living in the city with their many art classes and figurative drop in sessions. Problem solved. Though working from photos is not the same as working with a live model, it is better than nothing!

Sktchy App Portrait of CJ in graphite.

Between the Gary Fagin class and the Sktchy app I've now been drawing a lot of people, as well as doing my sketchbook homework. I've got one week left of Sketchbook Skool for now. There are 3 classes (so far), and when you've done all 3 you are gifted with Sketchbook Skool Bootcamp - another six weeks of intense exercises that form a review of the other three classes (so 18 weeks of lessons crammed into six!).

I will take a bit of break until signing up for the next sketchbook class, because I have already signed up for Sketching People in Motion (w/Marc Taro Holmes) on Craftsy. There are a whole host of other classes there I would love to explore for fun. And while it appears I'm just being frivolous with my time and energy with all these online classes, I know they are leading me to better work in the studio. Better drawing leads to better painting.

Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good. -Cennino Cennini

Beguiling - 12x12" - Oil on canvas (inspired by Sktchy app)