Improving skills

Improving skills
Originally uploaded by anselm23

Via Flickr:
Ok. I admit, I’m doing quite a bit of copying of forms and lines. But I also feel like my abilities to draw out a quality face has improved quite a bit in the last few days.

The kid’s left ear (on the right of the photo) isn’t quite right. I didn’t notice it until after the photo. But the smile is believable, and the eyes are almost there. My ability to draw hair needs work, but hair is apparently quite challenging anyway. The right side of the image needs more shadow, because of the shadows on the side of the nose. These take time to see.

Is there improvement, though? Definitely.

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  1. Let’s see… my past mediums have included charcoal, ink wash painting, sculpting, oil pastels, pens, copper wire and acrylic paints 😀 I would actually say my main medium now is poetry, and silver metal goes to painting.

    If you’re interested, oils dry much slower than acrylic which can be a pro or con depending on your needs. Primed/gesso canvas and turpentine are your basic necessities but a mix of 1/2 turpentine & 1/2 equal parts linseed oil and glaze are my “alchemical” mixture for smoother painting. I suggest Jerry’s artarama during sales or your local art stores (not Michaels) for the cheapest possible art supplies.

    In fact, this sketch would make a great colored composition… he’s so solar, a perfect archetype of Sol. I’d love to see him in color!

    • To be fair, mine is a hand-drawn copy of Chris Warnock’s free image that he sent out to interested folks on his Spiritus Mundi list. So he may be Solar, but he’s not entirely mine… although the frame he’s in, is totally me.

  2. Katie,

    That’s pretty cool that you just started a blog. Awesome about the paintings. I work in Acrylic on canvas board when I paint; mostly because I don’t know anything about oils. In notebooks I work in pen, pencil and ink; as you’ve seen, I’m learning how to do figure drawing from Chris Hart; and I also work in 3D plastic a little. Not much else besides that, at the moment. What else do you work in besides paint and photography?

  3. Hi Andrew, being that I am an artist myself ive enjoyed following your blog, (found you through the RW courses) especially your drawing and kavad progress.
    This post caught my attention because you mentioned you did a lot of tracing, etc. That’s not a bad thing at all, in fact that’s one of the best ways to understand proportions, shapes and direction or perspective. So keep tracing, its a very good tool 🙂
    and when you feel like you’re to this point, may I suggest a similar exercise? If there’s a sketch you resonate with, turn it upside down so your brain will see it as shapes and lines rather than ” object XY”. Then trace or copy it, and I do this quite a bit as its fun and challenging. Good luck! Your drawings are looking marvelous and your latest definitely has a solar smile

    • Dear Katie,

      Thanks for the suggestions and the good wishes! I’ve read some of your comments on RO’s RW list, and I appreciate the challenges and concerns you have. They were mine, once upon a time; in some ways still are… I have done that upside-down trick, one I learned from Betty Edwards once upon a time. But I figured, it was time to give up on shortcuts and make some real progress across the board.

      Is there a place online where I can see YOUR artwork?

    • I created a blog about 2 days ago ( and so far it only showcases my poetry and photography but today I’ll post some paintings. Right now I’m painting an abstract, inspired by a recent dream, of all the planetary forces as an offering/dedication. Do you work/experiment in any other mediums besides those mentioned on your blog?

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