What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'drawing')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<May 2015>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: drawing, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,485
1. White Hearts

White Hearts is part of my Daily Something series, meaning to do "something artful" daily. These little drawings help me think while I'm working on larger pieces, usually watercolor.

0 Comments on White Hearts as of 5/21/2015 4:49:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. i'm going to clear out my head, i'm going to get myself straight

I've been cleaning up my house recently. And cleaning up my act. I've always kept stuff 'for drawing'. For that day when I finally sit down and draw my stamp, matchbox, buttons, receipts, doll's heads (really), cork collections. Amongst many others.
But, this isn't fitting in with my quest for minimalist living. So there's going to be a cull. Things are getting serious. But how can I get rid of these corks? They are thing of beauty. I've drawn them before (above and below) and I may want to draw them again. They all have their own characters and personalities. They're all slightly different. You can make rubber stamps out of them. They have sentimental.....

0 Comments on i'm going to clear out my head, i'm going to get myself straight as of 5/18/2015 11:39:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. Iconic BB King Illustration by Mark Hammermeister

bb-king-painting_final-low-res

RIP BB

Mark Hammermeister Website >>

0 Comments on Iconic BB King Illustration by Mark Hammermeister as of 5/15/2015 3:35:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. Sketch-Day No 2: a Visitor from Manchester



Sheffield's Crucible Theatre is home to the World Snooker Championships. Now, the partner of one of my sketch-buddies, who lives across the Pennines in Manchester, is potty about snooker. He had a ticket to come and watch it, so my friend decided to take the train to Sheffield with him, but to spend the day sketching instead.

Which is how come I ended up taking the day off work (don't tell...)


We met up with 3 other sketchers, who'd also escaped for the day, and had a lovely time, pootling about the city centre, sketching whatever took our fancy. We had fun and games with the weather again though: I left the house in a hail storm! Then we had a couple of hours of alternate brilliant sunshine and heavy showers. 


We sheltered under an overhang for the sketch above, but we were freezing by the time we were done. There was quite a lot of interest from passers-by. I know some people find it annoying when people stop to talk, but I rather like it. It's the random connections with complete strangers that I enjoy.

We needed to warm up, so spotted a wine bar with really big windows upstairs and, because it was on a corner, it afforded great views. Unfortunately, we discovered the upstairs area of the bar was closed. When we looked all forlorn and explained what we'd wanted to do, the waiters let us in anyway. They even brought us up coffee and muffins while we worked - how nice is that? 


Because we had the place to ourselves, I got down onto the floor, sitting virtually under a table to get the best view of the building above. It's been turned into another wine bar / restaurant now, but I fell for the typography craved into the stone, from the days when it belonged to Sheffield Water Works.

After lunch, we decided to stay indoors and keep warm, so went into the Winter Gardens and bought yet more coffee, so we could sit at the cafe's tables: 


My friend from Manchester drew the greenery...


...but I fancied having a go at the view out of the windows again. I seem to be rather into architecture at the moment. Also, given the snooker was on, I thought I ought to take the opportunity to sketch the Crucible Theatre, where it all happens:


We still had over an hour left before the snooker turned out, so we girded our loins and braved the outdoors. We found a sunny spot, sitting on a grassy mound (just to the left of the view above), opposite where a big screen was streaming the snooker from inside the theatre. I drew this man who was watching the play. The view behind him was rather boring, but at least the cast shadow added a bit of interest:


And then it was time for my friend's train home to Manchester, so we all said our goodbyes.

What a lovely chilled and very sociable day. It was still only day number two of my three sketching days last week though. I'll tell you about my visitor from Paris next time.

0 Comments on Sketch-Day No 2: a Visitor from Manchester as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. Things are coming along on this private comission! #watercolor...


0 Comments on Things are coming along on this private comission! #watercolor... as of 5/2/2015 12:41:00 PM
Add a Comment
6. A Bumper Urban Sketching Week

It was a funny old week, last week. Despite having lots on, I ended up doing almost as much sketching as working. 

It started last Saturday, with an Urban Sketchers Yorkshire outing, because it was the 47th Worldwide SketchCrawl Day. We spent the morning in one of my favourite places: the old General Cemetery. It's stuffed with the massive, crumbling tombs of the steel magnates and other wealthy types from the last 200 years, but it's also a veritable nature reserve and very beautiful, with lots of mature trees and wild flowers.



Luckily I had just about finished the painting above when it started to rain. We sheltered for a bit in the porch of the old church, then someone suggested a cup of coffee. We took a vote for what to do...

The local Wetherspoons proved the perfect venue for an early lunch, as there was space for about 20 of us to pull tables together. Irritatingly, the sunshine poured through the windows all the time we were in there and promptly dipped behind a cloud as soon as we left. Undeterred, we headed for venue no 2: the old Picture Palace on London Road, now a Sainsbury's:



We managed about 45 minutes I think, before it started spitting. We hovered, but it got worse. In the end we abandoned ship and walked to a local pub, the Cremorne. I put the colour into my sketch from memory...


...and then drew out of the pub window. I was fascinated by the density of the signage on the shop-fronts opposite. As I was working in the concertina book I made, I ran my 3 sketches from the day together, letting the view of the shops help join the other two together:


I think I'd better tell you about my other two sketch-outings next time as, after all that time off, I really do have to get on with some work!

0 Comments on A Bumper Urban Sketching Week as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. Jungle Jaguars at Scribble Kids!

We had the fiercest artists around today at Peninsula Art Academy!

IMG_5564

By Marymaking

I got my jungle jaguar inspiration from Mary Making.  She created her own jungle jaguar using paper collage and colored pencils. I love the mixed media approach, but we didn’t have time for watercolors to dry today.
I decided to go a step further and teach the kids how to create a foreground, middle and background using collage elements. But first, we created our jaguar close-ups with a guided drawing that explored blending and shading. So proud of how much the kids absorbed!

 

jaguar sketch

Maura’s jaguar drawing

Next the kids cut out their jaguars, and I gave them big construction paper to create their ‘background’ rain forest.

We used oil pastels and colored pencils to draw our jungle scene. Then we added the ‘middle ground’ or the middle of our scene, by collaging paper leaves and water. Finally we added the ‘foreground’ of our pictures, and glued our super-big jaguars and leaves in front.

The kids used their imaginations with the rain forest scenery, but we also had reference images for inspiration!

sk4

Dexter’s jungle jaguars are fighting!

Thatcher's Jungle Jaguar

By Thatcher, age 7

Jungle Jaguar

By Maura, age 6

Jungle Jaguars

By Dexter, age 10

The post Jungle Jaguars at Scribble Kids! appeared first on Scribble Kids.

Add a Comment
8. Observational Sketches

Here are some of the sketches I've recently been doing.
I do a lot of observational drawing using a fountain pen and a portable watercolour set.
I tend to draw people as cats.


Icons of Elegance performing at Jamboree

Audience
Supporting act

Audience






Hot Dogs in Shoreditch

Posh birthday party at the World's End Pub

Piccadilly Line from Heathrow


Wapping, a cold Spring day
Board game testing

0 Comments on Observational Sketches as of 4/21/2015 2:27:00 PM
Add a Comment
9. She's ALIVE!

So let me see... what has happened since Easter?

Hmmmm


Well, first of all, we made fabulous ravioli for Easter.  Like, handmade, beautiful ravioli.  Like, check out Treskie's blog to see HOW beautiful this ravioli really was. (And you can enjoy the overall post, anyhoozle.  If you want.  Don't feel pressured or anything.)
Intense Glare


Then....

                              Theeeeeennnn.....

Thhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.............
Source


I apparently have a boring life, because I can't recall much of what has happened between then and now.

Well, I take that back.  I had a jury summons, for which I HAD to appear (which, by the way, is one of the few things that can put me into a state of hysterical panic), and then, for 1-1/2 days, I got to sit in court while the judge and attorneys made up their minds who they really wanted as their jurors and alternates.

Just CHOOSE someone! Not me, but SOMEONE!


They didn't even choose jurors the first day.  The first day, all of us potential jurors got to complete a hardship form if we wanted to (Like, if you miss three out of five days of work for five weeks, can you survive on what little pittance of money you WILL be making?).  Then we got to fill out a 30+ page questionnaire of random questions, like WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW?  HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HEALTHCARE?
Source

The second day, by 10:30 a.m., eighteen people were chose for jurors plus six alternates, and I WASN'T ONE OF THEM! Praise God.   But then none of the rest of us could leave, and we had to sit in the courtroom while the attorneys took turns asking jurors "pertinent questions" from their questionnaires, and the judge told us to make sure and pay attention because they would be "winnowing" their jurors and choosing new people to take their place.

Joy.
Source

We had to adjourn for lunch, and we came back to the courtroom at 1:30, at which point eight people were excused from the jury box and eight more people from the audience were chosen to take their place.  Again, I was not one of them.  Praise God.

After endless questioning, three people were excused and three more chosen (none of them me).

Then SEVEN people were excused and seven more chosen! (Thankfully, again not me.)

Then three more people were excused and three more chosen.  (At this point, I'm still safe.)

Then two were excused and two more chosen. (I'm still not a juror.)

Then two more people were excused, and THIS time my name was called.  At this point, it was 4:00 in the afternoon and I had been in a state of constant panic that my name WOULD be called.
Source


But God had not abandoned me, because over the course of the loooooong day and the questions, questions, questions, I had realized my job as a medical transcriptionist would conflict with some of the rules regarding the case, and when I pointed this out to the attorneys they seemed to agree with me and I was excused from jury duty.

PRAISE GOD.

So THAT wasn't the most fun I've ever had, but I survived.

On a happy note, prom for the high school was last night, so this week at the flower shop was busy making corsages and boutonnieres, so I had tons of fun doing those.
I was just about this giddy, too.

Also, I signed up for singing class.  Hollah! I haven't gone to singing class in something like 2-1/2 years, so I'm super excited.  I've missed it so much!
Da Da Da Da DAAAAAA!

Speaking of the Phantom of the opera, we've also been binging quite a lot on musicals - Phantom of the Opera, Pirates of Penzance,  H.M.S. Pinafore, and sometime in the near future we are going to watch Oklahoma!  We are also listening to a lot of musicals - the best parts of Jekyll and Hyde... the Anthony Warlow version; Phantom (Duh); and we will be listening to Jane Eyre (tolerated because of Mr. Rochester. Amazing voice!); Secret Garden, and Tale of Two Cities.


A lady I know, the Amazing Jan Fields (better known as the Ghost in the Machine and Administrator of the Institute of Children's Literature chat boards, the Writer's Retreat) is having a drawing to win an autographed copy of her two books, The Wellspring of Magic and The Emerald Dragon.  Plus, you can also win a super cute doll who represents a character in the book, and she is holding a bear.  Check it out here.  Isn't that fantastic?
Source

I haz also been drawing a little.

First, I did dis dragon for my brother, who requested it:

Then I did these two character sketches for the two characters in a book I'm actively/passively working on:

Aliry Thyme

Dragon

And I KNOW there has been other stuff happening, but for the life of me I cannot think of them.  So, until la'ers, I shall leave you with this thought:
There is that.

Bye!
 
Gigglygigglygiggly


~Cat

Add a Comment
10. I’m enjoying working on this #PetPortrait #Commission of a...

0 Comments on I’m enjoying working on this #PetPortrait #Commission of a... as of 4/17/2015 8:05:00 PM
Add a Comment
11. I AM HENRY FINCH - The Making Of (well, my bit)

"I am Henry Finch" seems to be doing well since it was published earlier this year, it's getting good reviews and I keep meeting it in bookshops. - People have asked me about illustrating Alexis' texts, how we work together seeing that he is also an illustrator and I am also a writer. So I thought it would be good to write this MAKING OF.

So, first of all Alexis wrote the text - I had asked him to write something about finches because I like them. Then he showed it to me.

I could see the book straight away. It made me laugh a lot. It was pretty much perfect.
At the first few presentations, people weren’t sure about the philosophical aspect, whether it would get across to small children. I was sure that it would, and kept crudely fingerpainting rough illustrations on my ipad. “Look, look, this will be awesome!” I insisted, drawing more and more beady-eyed lumps with stick legs. The monster was just a wild scribble, and the night paint-bucketed in. I drew a picture of a finch thinking of himself, and Ben Norland, the art director, laughed and said: “Oh, I think I see…” so we started working on it. After that it seemed like every week there was someone else who saw the latest version, went “Oh I see…” and started laughing.


I think that moment is heart of the whole story. A finch, hardly more than an anonymous scribble, sees himself and realises that he is somebody. His thought is identical to himself in that very moment. Truth, but no meaning, no future, no past… he could stop there. It’s a perfect moment. But he goes on, and that, I think is the greatest thing he does: he keeps thinking when he doesn’t need to, that’s what leads to all the rest.


I wanted the finches to be all the same but every one unique, that’s why I used fingerprints. Henry is always printed with the same finger, actually, and no one else has that particular print. While working on the book I started to recognise my friends’ fingerprints. I fingerprinted everyone who came to the house or the studio for a few weeks to get a good collection - I needed big thumbs for finches in the foreground and daintier ones for the background, also different shapes for different moods. Finches change shape a lot. I used to keep finches myself, so I know. I love finches more keenly than any other kind of animal, I think, they are amazing little creatures, brave, resilient and funny.



The linework is drawn with my favourite fountain pen. I always carry that one.



The beast is painted in watercolour because that’s how I instantly imagined it. I have a fear of marine invertebrates which I know most people don’t share. I figured that referencing them, I will be able to feel scared enough myself to draw a convincing monster without making it so frightening that small children will hide from the book. - Its internal organs are a mixture of drawings of sea creatures and cross sections of the human inner ear. It’s just a particularly odd-looking organ, the inner ear, and it amused me that the beast has one in its guts.
The actual design of the beast is a collaboration with Alexis - we spent an afternoon playing a drawing game with watercolour blobs, and I assembled the parts that seemed right.





I put a lot of little interactions in between the finches so that the book would be fun to look at even if you don’t follow the text, and tried to make the more conceptual philosophical pictures accessible enough that each one could be discussed separately, in simple terms, without the text. The page where Henry understands the circle of life pertaining to his part of the world is supposed to be like a little story in itself, but one that you can grasp in one moment, like a thought. Comics are great for that, showing any amount of time presented as one moment, and not even linear but as we experience it - everything interrelating. The rest of the book is paced in a linear manner, mostly by page turns, but on that spread you can spend a moment or an hour, see all at once or follow the threads, say “It is!” or speak about everything you see.

click to make bigger!

I am very glad about the way this book came together. If I hadn’t been so excited that I fingerpainted those hurried digital scribbles on the spot and made someone laugh with them, I wouldn’t have known to keep the art this simple. If Alexis hadn’t been doing workshops turning blobs of watercolour into creatures, I wouldn’t have thought of making the design of the beast into a drawing game. - Working with Alexis makes these accidents easy because he really knows how to improvise.

I hope that people will like Henry Finch as much as I do. I had him tattooed on my arm, to remember what I learned. Keep thinking, keep listening, speak, because You Are, and It Is.




0 Comments on I AM HENRY FINCH - The Making Of (well, my bit) as of 4/15/2015 12:05:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. the fear of a people sketcher


Yesterday I went back to Gallery Oldham where I'd previously done research for the Museum job that I've talked about in my last posts. This time though I returned for a little mini sketch meet up with some friends.
When I was there last time I made this sketch, below, of the guy who worked in the gallery's lovely Naked Bean cafe. It was a sneaky sketch, I didn't show him but I did post the sketch on Twitter and the cafe saw it. They said that he loved it - even though i'd made him look pretty grumpy in it. Which he wasn't. He was the opposite to grumpy. 
Anyway, yesterday, when I returned and with the knowledge he was happy with the sketch I took the opportunity to get a photo of him with it. He said "I've never been drawn before. It made my day. I put it on Facebook and everything".
think the fear for all of us that sketch people is their response to it. Will they be offended? Will they hate it? I know it's my fear which is why I don't often show them. But his response made my day. This time it paid off.

0 Comments on the fear of a people sketcher as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
13. “Considering” #pencil #Sketch #studio #watercolor...

0 Comments on “Considering” #pencil #Sketch #studio #watercolor... as of 4/7/2015 8:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
14. getting with the programme

So, I'll be honest, this is basically a test post. For a long time my blog has just been chugging along. There was a time, way back when, when I would blog, religiously, a few times a week. Then social media happened.
Like many people, I suppose, I started 'blogging' there. It seemed easier. I'm not really interested in sharing the ins and outs of my life online, or social media, but sharing my artwork through those platforms seemed to make sense. Blogging suddenly seemed like much more of an effort. I mean you had to switch in the laptop and all that palaver. 
I blamed blogging, and blogs, for that - for being behind the times. Not catching up with social media. But it was me that was behind the times and not keeping up with the technology. It hadn't even dawned in me to download the Blogger app. But now I have. 
I took these photos on Friday. My friend and I, Kate of Emily Pickle design (haven't worked out if it's possible to add a link when blogging on your phone. Anyone?) took her 'pencil case' out to the pub to draw. Her pencil case/make up bag is filled with all sorts of goodies I'd never have dreamtof using to draw with. The drawing above is made with glitter mascara, liquid eyeliner and Christmas wrapping tapes amongst other things. I loved experimenting with all this stuff. I'll never look at an old eyeliner in the same way again.

Right, I'm going to put the laptop on to see how this worked out....

0 Comments on getting with the programme as of 4/5/2015 2:13:00 PM
Add a Comment
15. One of my forgotten books - 'The Easter Surprise'



Here's one of my forgotten books - the Easter Surprise! It was painted in real paints on gessoed paper (for all you hard-line real media folks). And it featured idyllic scenes of baby farm animals frolicking in pastoral locales. I think it does have a nice painterly aspect to it. And now I'm much more forgiving of it's innocence, all these years later.  I think it's sweet... loving kindness.

0 Comments on One of my forgotten books - 'The Easter Surprise' as of 4/4/2015 10:25:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. My Personal Sketching Kit: What I Carry and Why


I have been writing a section from the beginning of my book, discussing different art materials and looking in detail at the kit which I carry and why. Getting your personal kit-bag sorted is important, because you don't want to be fussing about what to take or leave behind, each time you go out. It's difficult, because we all know what it's like to want the very thing you left at home.


Nevertheless, you need to make decisions and pare things down. It's good to travel light, otherwise you aren't able to carry your kit with you 'just in case'. I have 3 versions of my kit. The slim-line version is just my trusty Sailor pen and an A5 - A6 book, which you don't even notice you're carrying. I tend to have these in a pocket most of the time, because you never know. 


The next step up is to add my watercolour pencils, a waterbrush, a sweat-wristband (for cleaning the brush) and a knife. That's my medium kit and a good on-the-train kind of size: enough to see me though the odd hour here and there.


My full kit, for sketching day's out, is still pretty compact as I hate being loaded down. All the art equipment packs up into a zipper bag, the size of the average toiletries bag, which slips easily into a large handbag, along with a sketchbook or two. 



If it's an urban day, I usually pop my mini-stool in my bag too, so I don't have to look for benches or doorsteps. It weighs nothing and fits in a large handbag:



If I'm going rural, this foldaway sitting-mat from a camping shop is way better, because of uneven ground:


I have had to unpack my full kit this week and photograph every individual element for the book. This is because I want to dedicate a spread to peering inside my kit-bag, with pictures of everything and annotations, telling people exactly what each item is and why I have chosen it. I photographed 28 different items like this:


My snaps are not the photos we will end up using, but the designers need to know what everything looks like, so they can design suitable graphics for the page. Once that's done, the publisher will commission a proper photographer to take the pictures they need. In the meantime, I have been writing all the text.

If you are interested in getting some of the specific items like the Sailor or the stool, I have put together some links to where I got them. It's on Facebook here, as part of the Usk Yorkshire website.

0 Comments on My Personal Sketching Kit: What I Carry and Why as of 4/1/2015 6:20:00 AM
Add a Comment
17. Black and White Ink

cait chock jeans black and white drawing
Black and White Ink

Shadows speaking louder than words.
Night and day lose meaning.
Whispers in the grey.
Hinting a secret.

White. Arresting.
A look.
A crease. A fold.

Casting sweet envelope
for emotion.


Black and white drawing first shared on my Instagram page HERE.

To order a print of this piece, or inquire for other commissions, send an email to: cait@caitchock.com

Add a Comment
18. 3 reasons why making art is good for you!

ccbdc28afdcd32390b2b8abf6bd870bb

“Art washes away from the soul the dusts of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso

 

Believe it or not making art for your own enjoyment actually has its benefits to both your mind and body. We often spend our weeks rushing around focusing on our everyday commitments whether its your job, looking after kids, school or ticking off daily errands, that we never really get the chance to relax.

When you’re overwhelmed with the stresses of a busy lifestyle, actually embracing your creativity can actually reduce anxieties and stresses to clear your mind making you feel better. So art itself is extremely theraputic and to fill you in abit more as to why doodling, colouring or painting should become apart of your weekly schedule here’s 3 reasons why art is good for you!

1. Helps you to slow down - During the week we’re all on the go and so being a little creative whether it’s drawing, colouring, painting or snapping a photo with your camera actually helps you to physically and mentally slow down. Rushing around doesn’t do our bodies internally any good and so making time to do something artistic that you enjoy is healthy to both your body and mind.

2. You embrace a side of yourself you might not usually - Not all of us work a creative job but this doesn’t mean if you’re an accountant for example you can get inky and doodle away! You may even surprise yourself with the things you create and through that feel a sense of achievement in the things you make which builds up your positivity in mind.

3. Self expression and letting out your emotions – Much like music and drama making art in whichever form, helps you to express a side of yourself you might find hard to do otherwise. Like musicians who infuse emotion into the music they write, you can place emotions into the art pieces you make. In turn this helps you to acknowledge your inner feelings and let out things you might not find the words to say which you are can through a brush or ink for example.

Featured illustration is by Oana Befort and you can find out more about her work here.

0 Comments on 3 reasons why making art is good for you! as of 3/29/2015 4:21:00 PM
Add a Comment
19. Jet skis on pencil lines...

Drawing, drawing, drawing... all day long! But when I get out my magic pens it's like putting jet skis on my pencil line... carving big sloshy inky curves and spraying splatters over the deliciously textured watercolor paper. What can I say - it's fun!

0 Comments on Jet skis on pencil lines... as of 3/11/2015 11:48:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. “…wake to the wonder of this grass”

christmascactus0315

Ours is in bloom this very day, as it happens

“Our Christmas cactus has predictably bloomed each December for three decades and some years when it has been colder for longer, as is the case this year, it often blooms more than once a year. Our Christmas cactus is alive and growing 365 days of the year, most of which it is rarely seen by me but only looked at.”

That’s Owen Swain in his post “Blooming Cactus / blooming an illustrated life / and, what I learned in Sketchbook Skool.”

In his drawing of the cactus, he includes a quote which sent me immediately dashing for my commonplace book (which is to say, this blog).

“While drawing grasses I learn nothing ‘about’ grass, but wake to the wonder of this grass and its growing, to the wonder that there is grass at all.”

—Frederick Franck

That. Yes. Exactly. Or at least, I suppose I would say I learn something about grass when I’m drawing it, I learn something about everything I look at closely. But that kind of learning is implied in the quote. I get what he means by ‘about.’ And yes, the waking to the wonder of a thing by observing it quietly, moving your pen along its paths, or by writing a poem about it (“This grasshopper, I mean—/ the one who has flung herself out of the grass,/ the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—/ who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes…”)*; even, I daresay, by blogging about it—the combined act of observing, pondering, and then expressing, in word or line—these endeavors shift your relationship with the humble object; they awaken you to the wonder the thing actually is.

The very first revelation that struck me about drawing, way back in college during a too-brief foray into sketching, was the passage in the Betty Edwards book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain in which one of Betty’s students mentioned that after she began trying to draw faces, “every face I looked at seemed beautiful to me.” I have written before about the enormous impact that statement had on me, not just in relation to drawing but to an overall view of life.

The drawing lessons taught her to really look at people, and when she did, she saw beauty everywhere.

I know I’m going all over the place here, but in my mind these things are all connected: this way of really looking, really seeing, noticing what is interesting and important and even beautiful about things many people whisk by without noticing. And what I can do for my children is refuse to fill up their lives with things they must patiently endure until a better moment comes. I can savor the moments as they happen, and give them the time and space to find what’s interesting and beautiful in every face the world shows them.

As I was writing that last sentence, Beanie appeared in front of me with a big smile and a present: a bracelet made of safety pins linked together, each pin shining with green and blue beads. “It’s for you, Mommy,” she breathed, so proud and excited. “Jane showed me how.” How patiently (the good kind of patience) she must have worked to slide all those beads in place.

I never noticed before what a work of art a safety pin is!

I’ve written so many times on this blog about how my approach to education is to keep the focus on the process, not the product. The lesson is renewed for me every time I take pencil in hand and try to capture the lines of a thing on my page. In the end, it doesn’t matter at all how my drawing ‘turns out.’ The magic is in the doing.

*From “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

Add a Comment
21. abstract n colour

abstract n colour by dibujandoarte
abstract n colour, a photo by dibujandoarte on Flickr.
tinta y lápices de color

0 Comments on abstract n colour as of 3/16/2015 11:56:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. last, but certainly not least...

icelyn~orignal drawing
graphite on bristol
©the enchanted easel 2015
sweet, little Icelyn. 

this is the third (and final) drawing in my series of three whimsical winter girls. i know, i know....it's almost spring (ugh!) but custom work always comes first and i've had a few of those *jobs*the last couple of weeks (no complaints-love custom work) so little Icleyn here had to take a back seat. but....

she's DONE (yay me!) and FOR SALE here along with her two lovely companions...little miss Crystal and my personal favorite, little miss Glacia (love the happy little twisted pout on her...).

although i shall bid my love, mr. winter, adieu in a few days, it will eternally be winter in my heart...(hey look, someone has to show some love for that season...and well, i have MAJ love for it!)

{up next on the easel (and between other drawings)...custom nursery art...featuring an owl and some sweet little birds.}

0 Comments on last, but certainly not least... as of 3/17/2015 11:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
23. Spring Headdresses

A page in my sketchbook I'm proud of. There are many times I wished all the pages in my sketchbook were this full. I'm praying this is the light of something new. :)


0 Comments on Spring Headdresses as of 3/24/2015 12:33:00 AM
Add a Comment
24. Back to My 'Urban Sketching People' Book


Now the mural artwork is done (phew) and I have got my concertina sketchbooks sorted, I have cleared my schedule to concentrate purely on my 'sketching people' book. 

If you have been following the project, you will remember that I have a handful of spreads which are more or less finished - the ones we did as samples, to get the US edition signed up, including this painting before you draw spread:


Then, at the start of the year, I sent off a good chunk of the text, along with all the images that will go with it (just photos of my sketchbook pages for now). My publisher has been working on it while I have been doing other things. About two thirds of what I submitted has now been set into very rough spreads and sent back with some suggestions for changes. I had an long phone call with my editor, where we went through everything in fine detail and I scribbled notes all over the spreads:


It's not too bad at all actually. All the text is intact without changes, it's pretty much all suggestions for either squeezing in more images or adding step-by-step breakdowns here and there. 

The publisher also sent out a call for other sketchers to submit work for possible inclusion and I have sheets and sheets of gorgeous guest work to choose from. That's going to make things easier. So far, I have been trying to collect potential guest images by trawling Flickr and saving things into Pinterest.


I have mostly addressed the changes now. I just have some captions and annotations to write, to go with the added images, but I'm waiting until my suggestions have been given the green light before I do that. 

For now, I have moved on and begun writing a new section of the book. This one looks in detail at how to draw specific parts of the body. We did sketching the eyes as one of the sample spreads. I took a couple of days to get my head back into things, after such a lengthy pause, but I am motoring nicely now and have already written 'feet', 'hair' and 'ears'. Still got mouths, hands and noses to do. Better get on...

0 Comments on Back to My 'Urban Sketching People' Book as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. A Sunny SketchCrawl in Manchester


Last weekend, we had another SketchCrawl day, but this time it was a bit different. 


Simone Ridyard (in the centre of the photo) is my counterpart in Manchester Urban Sketchers. She set up a street-sketching day with the Society of Architectural Illustration. It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, so sketchers from both the Usk Yorkshire and Birmingham Urban Sketchers groups also joined in.

The event didn't kick off until 11am, but I got a slightly early train and so managed to squeeze in an extra sketch at the beginning of the day. 


The Palace Hotel, just round the corner from Oxford Road Station, is a stunning colour, especially with the sun on its red bricks. Better still, you can get a great view of it from the warmth and comfort of the Corner House cafe, on the opposite side of the road. I passed a very relaxed 45 minutes with a sketch-buddy, then we had to hot-foot it across town to the meeting place for the official start. 

A group of 20 or so people were milling about when we got there: some familiar faces, some people I had so far only met on Facebook, some new introductions. After the hellos, we split into two groups, with half of us drawing the buildings visible from Bridge Street and the others venturing down to Chapel Wharf. The modern architecture provided an exciting interplay of shapes, especially with the sweep of this suspension bridge:


I sat myself in the sun but, unfortunately, my spot quickly got swallowed up by the shade of a tall building behind me. Once out of the sunshine, is was FREEZING but I couldn't move until I had finished my painting. Just five minutes before I stopped, the sun taunted me by working it's way back round. Typical. I was very pleased with the results though, so it was worth the pain. 


I had decided to take one of my new concertina books for a trial run. You might remember that I made a test book, to perfect the technique, so I sketched in that throughout Saturday, running my sketches together. I love that the concertina format lets me keep unfolding new pages, so I can add more space as I go along. Everything worked a treat, so that's good news after all my cutting and folding and sticking (although I had a major water-bottle leak in my bag, which was nearly a disaster).

Everyone regrouped before lunch, to share the work so far, because some people had to head off. That's when we took the photo at the top. Then it was reward-time. We were too big a group to eat as one, but I went with 10 people for lunch at a fantastic Greek self-service restaurant. We were all too busy scoffing to sketch. Gorgeous food (and cheap too!).


The afternoon's sketch-venue was the area around Albert Square. I have wanted to sketch the Town Hall for a while, but until recently it has been surrounded by builder's barriers. It's a monster of a building, so I tackled one tiny section, being very careful this time to pick a truly sunny spot.

At 4pm, we regrouped again at a pub, where we looked through each other's sketches and got the chance to chat to some of the people from other groups. It was all too short unfortunately, as I had to dash for a train home. 


It was still sunny though and there is one section of the journey across the Pennines to Sheffield, which is especially lovely in good weather. It's only visible for a very short time, so I had my sketchbook ready - this time a ready-made, mini Moleskin concertina, just A6. 

A thoroughly lovely day. Thanks so much to Simone for organising things.

0 Comments on A Sunny SketchCrawl in Manchester as of 3/29/2015 4:45:00 AM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts