Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kitty gestures

I've been long intrigued/intimidated by Carla Sonheim's book "Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists"

It claims to be "52 creative exercises to make drawing fun" and I eagerly checked it out of the library expecting to be transformed into a confident whimsical illustrator overnight.  But I browsed it and immediately said "I can't do this" and returned it without trying even one of the exercises.

Enter Cameron, from Paint Myself Pretty.  She has decided to tackle one exercise a week and blog about it, and has begged encouraged other bloggers to do the same.  And since I like Cam, and I want to be able to draw better, I've decided to play along.  I ordered the book and it finally arrived and I'm catching up on lessons 1-3.

Lab 1 - "Cats in Bed"
The idea was to draw lots and lots of cats from your imagination, while drawing on a soft surface (such as bed) to keep your lines loose.  Here are my bed kitties.  I tried and tried to make a different shaped cat (without going to google and looking at other people's cat drawings).  My brain seems to know ONE way to draw a cat (and not a very good one at that).

Lab 2: blind contour giraffes
Okay, so it's not a giraffe.  It's another cat.  And in fact I skipped this exercise in the interest of catching up with assignments, and pulled out a blind contour drawing I made of Jake 6 months ago.  I'll go back and do some giraffes.   I swear.

Lab 3:  Pet gesture drawings.  The mission was to make a series of quick loose gesture drawings of your pet in action.  It was challenging because one cat would't stop moving and the other sat like a lump.  But I kept at it throughout the day and captured quite a few poses.  I even like a few of them:

 Phyllis, (who has been quiet for such a long time now) has threatened to rear her ugly head over these sketches.  I have to keep reminding myself that I will not wake up one day magically knowing how to draw.  I actually have to draw and draw and draw some more if I want to learn.  I'm hoping that Cam's good example will keep me working on these exercises all year.


  1. Good job! I have that book too- I've had it for a year, and I have done nothing. I'm inspired to pull it off of the shelf today. I HAVE made 4 drawings for rubber stamp carving though.... pretty excited to dig in. Loved the stamps you made and the ones that Pamela posted on her Blog- very cool!

  2. I recently got this book too and I'm not working through them in order but in order of what catches my interest. I posted my dog drawing sketches, my one lines, my "famous artist" style, etc. I like the exercises because I CAN"T draw but these don't feel intimidating somehow. Fun to see what you accomplished.

  3. That's what I liked about this book when I bought it.....that it's not so much an emphasis on drawing well, but discovering little surprises about yourself and your ability as you play.

    I draw fairly well....but I don't play well. I wanted to focus more on that aspect....and tell my inner Phyllis to take a hike :D

    I love what you've done with the lessons so far! (...and I think you can skip the giraffe....that one of Jake is great!)

    I guess I did sorta beg, huh?! haha!
    Glad you joined in :)

  4. One of the most valuable lessons I learned in art school? You might have to draw a thing over and over for 100 times before you learn how to draw it well. Mr. K didn't lie. I can draw a pear in my sleep! Just draw a thing until you can do it without a model or reference. For real, gurl. :)

  5. Looks like you've been working hard! I'm still behind, but I'm enjoying the catching up experience. Onward and upward!