Posts Tagged ‘art’

04
Jan

The ATC Challenge: Day 4

Posted under Fine Art 1 Comment

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Day 4 of the ATC Challenge’s theme is: SPACE EXPLORATION ROVERS

If it has wheels and it explores other-worldly landscapes, it’s fair game! Today’s theme is in honor of NASA’s Spirit rover landing on Mars on January 4, 2004. I’ll be wearing my NASA t-shirt all day and may have to watch some doctor who since The Martian, which I’m still itching to see, won’t be released until the 12th. Or maybe Guy Pal and I will finally get to go see Star Wars in IMAX! However you want to celebrate humanity’s baby steps out into our solar system today, get drawing, painting, or sketching a rover!

Here’s what I came up with:

IMG_4130

no. 2 0.5mm lead mechanical pencil on sketchpad paper

IMG_4129

PRANG watercolor on hot press watercolor paper

I’m tremendously pleased with both of these. They’re my favorite to date for the #dailyATC challenge. I ran out of space to get the rover’s wheels just right, but it’s still a very detailed yet fast and simple sketch of Spirit. While I’m not fond of the lettering which was inspired by the numbers on the clockface yesterday, the “T” at the end of “Spirit” did come out well and I’ll certainly draw capital T’s like that in the future. It’s a little thing, but it’s a step toward finding my style and becoming an all around better artist.

As for the painting? I love that one so much. I suspect I’ll end up doing a larger painting like it at some point. I love the cool sky contrasting the warm red planet. I enjoyed the watercolor washes to create the soft feeling backdrop for the little rover. While I wasn’t able to get the cracked dry landscape I wanted in this one, the rover tire treads give a great Opportunity (Spirit’s sibling, see what I did there?) to try adding more texture, some shadows and highlights really, to the martian dirt in the foreground. The rover in this painting almost feels like an afterthought when adding it in, particularly compared to the pencil sketch of Spirit, but I love it. Sure, it’s not the best tiny rover painting, but the effect it has on the overall composition just tickles me. Any beginner photography class or portrait sketching or painting class would point out that for a good composition the subject should be positioned so there is more space in front of them than behind. Although we likely cannot see what the subject is looking toward, having more space on their front feels more balanced and comfortable to the person viewing the image. I deliberately placed my rover against the edge of the composition so that we cannot see where he’s headed, only where he’s been. It’s getting pretty deep for a little doodle of an ATC, but I wanted to leave the viewer with the impression that there is so, so much more waiting for us as we explore our universe which we can only imagine.

I did not sign the painting as I feel that it would detract from the overall composition to add my mark. Sometimes on these little ATCs that’s just the way it is. If I were to leave it loose, I’d sign the back. Since it will be mounted in a book with my other dailyATCs, I’m not particularly worried!

 

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02
Jan

The ATC Challenge: Day 2

Posted under Fine Art No Comments

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Day 2’s theme for the ATC challenge is: TREES

Today is Ancestry Day in Haiti, so let’s create some trees, family trees or coconut trees. Autumn trees or blossoming cherry trees, just draw, sketch, paint or even work up a collage tree on your ATC for today! Here’s what I came up with.

dailyATC 2 palm tree

A palm tree near the ocean drawn with a standard no.2 mechanical pencil on smooth sketch paper.

dailyATC day 2 blossoming tree

 

A blossoming tree done with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a smidge of some red-orange PRANG watercolor on the same sketch paper. I also did one on some watercolor paper, but I didn’t like the result nearly as much as my branches were a bit wonky.

 

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01
Jan

The ATC Challenge: Day 1

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Here it is! Let’s get creating and start our journey toward being better artists with the daily ATC (artist trading card) challenge. Here’s the rules:

  1. Make art every day. No excuses. Even if it’s a sketch on a napkin at a restaurant with a terrible quality crayon. Do SOMETHING. Those few moments a day are sure to improve your skills over the course of the year.
  2. Sharing is encouraged! Please use #dailyATCs I’ll post and link as many folk’s ATCs here as I can.
  3. An ATC measures 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. If you do your work this size, you can find wonderful display cases and it makes actually trading your work easier.
  4. Any media. Use what speaks to you for the day.
  5. Prompts will be posted here daily.
  6. Start anytime.

And that’s it! Here goes day one. Create an ATC around: FIREWORKS

I made two for today. One took under 5 minutes and is a sketch done on some scrap paper using a 0.5mm no.2 lead mechanical pencil, the exact kind I’d use on math homework or sketching woodworking plans. It may not be anything fancy, but it was a good chance to practice sketching and shading some relatively simple geometric shapes. It might not be something I want to hang on the wall, but it served the purpose, I learned from it, I got good practice in, and instead of making excuses, I made some art!

pencil sketch of small firework rocket

The second one took probably about 30 minutes not including the dog walk I went on with Kaizie while waiting for it to dry between watercolor and ink applications. I used some terrible watercolor paper which I assume is hot press. I’ve had the paper pad since my age was in the single digits and I believe it came in one of those 100 piece art boxes for kids. I used some cheap PRANG watercolors I’ve had since I was a kid as well. I despise Crayola watercolors, but the PRANG semi-moist watercolors are pretty decent for the price. After the very wet sky with fireworks had dried, I used a Faber-Castell Multimark M ink marker to add the silhouettes of the couple watching the fireworks show. I’m incredibly happy with how this ATC came out. I’ve never done anything like it before and I’m definitely feeling inspired to try some more night sky and galaxy sorts of watercolor paintings.

Inked silhouettes watching watercolor firework show

Neither ATC is anything too fancy, but I sat down and I made them. I already feel like I’ve made improvements given how far outside my box I stepped to do the watercolor and ink picture of a couple watching a fireworks show. It’s time to go get on with the rest of the day here, errands, cleaning, and probably a bit of work on a crochet pattern I’m typing up, but after spending a few moments creating art this morning, I feel much more ready to take on the day and tremendously satisfied that I made something beautiful! I think I may need to pick up a scrapbook to hold the year’s ATCs so I can flip through the progress this time next year.

 

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31
Dec

Daily Art Challenge!

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For Christmas I received a sketchbook with 500 drawing prompts. I love it and am working my way through it. As cool of an idea as this book is, it falls a bit short of what I want for daily artistic practice and inspiration.

  • I feel constrained by the variable size spaces given to each prompt.
  • I struggle working effectively with the spine in the way. I’ve only done two drawings in the book and already I’ve torn the first two pages away from the binding along the top of the spine.
  • The prompts are on both sides of the pages too so the graphite transfers between drawings. Since the paper is thin, you can also see the drawings through one another a bit. I can only imagine how much worse it would be if I were using ink!
  • The paper is not suitable for any wet media. I definitely need to work on my pencil drawings, but there really isn’t much in the way of media options for this book.

So that got me thinking, why can’t I do something better? And couldn’t it be free for everyone instead of requiring a specific sketchbook? Of course! For Inktober 2015, I used artist trading card size sheets of paper cut from some leftover cardstock I had. I loved working with that size sheet. It’s not too intimidating, and if I wrecked a page, oh well! It’s not like I’m throwing away good art supplies nor spending too much of my day laboring over a picture I’m just not really feeling, you know?

So that’s what I’ll do. Instead of just a month of ink sketches as for Inktober, I’m going to do a whole year of prompts. I’ll use ATC size sheets of whatever sort of paper or board is most appropriate to the media I want to use that day. There’s super heavy oil & acrylic canva-paper or just plain printer paper. There’s textured papers for charcoal and pastels and glossy smooth papers for markers.

Sketchbooks

Any paper, any media in an ATC-sized piece of artwork. The goal will be just to make a little bit of art every day for a year. To step outside our comfort zones. To practice our skills. To learn new ones. To stop hiding behind excuses and let loose the artist we all have inside, even if just for as little as 5 minutes a day. Stay tuned for the details tomorrow morning as we start a year of art! Each day will include a prompt to get you started thinking about what to do and a sample or two from Maple Wool Farm.

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