Day 31: One month down, 11 to go

A quick sketch of my mother

A quick sketch of my motherJanuary 31st already!  Wow, I made it a whole month.  I might actually be able to succeed at this resolution!  I probably shouldn’t sound so surprised about that.  Still, I’m happy that I’ve built a routine that seems to be working at least so far.  Hopefully I make some progress over the course of the year but either way it will be a fun experiment.  I’m already enjoying flipping through my (almost full) sketchbook.  Building some good and fun habits is the whole point anyway, right?  At least I think that should be the point of new years resolutions.  You set goals for yourself.  Things that you think you’ll be able to enjoy and that will help you learn and grow as a person.  Then you struggle with meeting those goals.  I set about 15 goals for myself this year so I may have gone a bit overboard.  So far I’ve only been succeeding at this one really but some of the others are quite loose so I can hopefully still make progress on them.  The important thing is not to give up, even (r maybe especially) when you fail.

Today’s sketch is pretty basic.  It’s a quick sketch of my mum that I did while she was talking to my brother over Skype.  I’m afraid that I didn’t get much expression across in this one.  My mum wasn’t being a very obliging model.  She was just staring down at her phone and moved to a seat next to me instead of across from me so I couldn’t see her very well and ended up doing most of it from memory or occasional glimpses I got of her face when she moved her head.  I guess that’s the problem with blocking out a pose ahead of time for a live (and moving) subject.  I didn’t shade this one either because I wanted to see how well I could get her features across without shading.  Basically just some more practice on faces.

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Day 30: Some More Emotional Instability

Some Sketchy Faces

After yesterday’s fiasco with that poor girl’s face I decided that I definitely need some more practice with faces.  I need more practice with everything really but today I decided to focus more on faces again.  It helps that I actually like drawing faces.  My husband always gets a kick out of me drawing faces too, mostly because I start making strange faces as I’m drawing.  I’m always contorting my face and then either poking it or looking in the mirror to see where everything is.  He tends to look at me like I’ve gone nuts and he’s contemplating whether he should have me committed.  “What are you doing?” he asks in that I think you’re crazy tone of voice.  “Oh, I’m just drawing some faces” I say.

Today was a rough day so I needed something to cheer me up.  These drawings actually helped :).  Sometimes I really stress out about some of my sketches, just trying to get them right.  It may not seem like it based on some of the stuff I’ve posted but I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  When I’m trying to get something right and it’s just not working or like yesterday my drawing just looks really bad and I can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, I tend to get quite stressed out.  For some reason I never really stress out when I’m just drawing basic faces though.  Some of them come out looking really dopey but it just doesn’t really bother me.  I just enjoy trying to figure out where everything goes and trying to rearrange things so that every face comes out looking a bit different than the last one.

Day 29: Tales of a zombie artist and her horrifying offspring

If at first you don't succeed...
If at first you don’t succeed…

I think I may have managed about 9 hours of sleep in the past two days combined.  This while my body is still trying to heal from a shingles infection.  I swear I was saying just a few posts ago how I really needed to get more sleep.  Gee I wish I’d take my own advice sometimes.  I feel like a total zombie right now.  On the plus side … ummm, I’m still standing, sort of.  I am aiming for an early night tonight, hoping I actually fall asleep and double hoping that I don’t wake up in the early hours of the morning with my mind racing unable to get back to sleep.  That last one is really important.  So if I don’t make much sense today … it’s only because I may actually be asleep right now.

I wanted to try to draw a little girl today.  This is vaguely related to one of the thoughts I had first thing in the morning that wouldn’t let me go back to sleep but I don’t really remember how that train of thought went.  The problem with this is that I am really really bad at drawing small children.  I mean really bad.  The amount of time I spent on today’s sketch is pathetic really, I just couldn’t get it right.  I was also so tired that I almost gave up and posted something horrific… twice.

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Day 28: Time for a proper figure I think

Stephen CurryAfter the fiasco of yesterday’s sketch I decided it was high time I tried to draw an actual person again.  I would have done a life drawing but no one in my family was volunteering to be a model for me so I had to make do with a photo.  I’m so uncomfortable drawing actual human figures.  I’m never quite sure how to get all of the proportions right or how to make it realistic.  Usually when I draw a person it just looks off unless I’m really trying hard and have a good reference picture to go off of.  I’m hoping if I practice enough I’ll get the hang of it and improve.  That way maybe I’ll actually be able to do quick sketches of people without them looking really demented like my walk cycle figures yesterday.

So today I set off to draw an actual person.  I also wanted to draw something for my husband though because he wasn’t feeling well today and I wanted to cheer him up.  Clearly a Fire Emblem character wasn’t going to be good enough this time since that doesn’t really qualify as an actual person for me to draw, more anime style.  So I wracked my brain for a bit and then came up with Stephen Curry.  Basketball!  Of course!  That’s my husband’s other obsession.  I don’t know how I could forget about that.  I’ve seen video footage of him at the tender age of 2 going on and on about how much he loves “bahball” and how superior it is to all of the other sports.  He’s been a big fan of Stephen Curry’s for years now and is really excited about all of the hype he’s been getting lately.  So this sketch is for him.  He seemed fairly happy with it so I must not have screwed it up too badly.

Day 27: Some Experiments with Animation

A very rough walk cycle

A very rough walk cycleI know I know, I’m supposed to be practicing drawing, not animating.  Today’s sketch it the worst one yet by far.  It’s a super rough walk cycle and all of the figures are brutal because I was focusing on the cycle and positioning of limbs rather than any kind of sensible anatomy or figure proportions.  This is what happens when my one track mind gets one-tracked.  It was after midnight and I hadn’t sketched anything yet and all that I could think of was walk cycles.  Tomorrow I’ll try to actually draw something and get some practice with … well, not sucking at art.  Today was an animation day, which I’m obviously bad at due to the whole sucking at art thing.

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Day 26: ‘Twas a dark and dreary night… or something like that

Generic dreary nighttime scene

Generic dreary nighttime sceneToday was mostly another rest day, much to my frustration.  I felt so crappy yesterday that I ended up sleeping in ridiculously late today and still feeling completely drained.  So I forced myself to take it easy even though I’m starting to feel like a slug.  If I don’t get better soon and start actually getting on with my ever mounting to do list I’m going to go crazy.  Unfortunately pushing myself just seems to set me back so resting it is.

That frustrating feeling along with the stormy, rainy and generally dreary weather we’ve been having here for the past week or two are probably what’s responsible for today’s sketch.  I know I was trying to get some sort of feeling across here, I’m just not entirely sure which one.  It was just an image that popped into my head that I wanted to try to see if I could draw.  I couldn’t get the figure quite right and the scene is a bit empty but that kind it’s somewhere in the direction I wanted to go anyway.

I just hope I actually get better soon so that I can start making some actual progress.  I’m all caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The 100 now and really not keen on picking up any more TV shows.  I just want to do things!  Preferably without feeling like crap afterwards and keeling over though.  *sigh* I suppose I can read some books at least.  And sleep.  Apparently my body wants A LOT of that these days.  Maybe if I let it sleep it will let me do things.  Quid pro quo, that’s how that works, right?

Day 25: I really really hate being sick

Hand holding pencil

Hand holding pencilOkay so back to headaches and nausea and nonexistent energy level.  Awesome!  Just what I needed.  I guess I need to rest and take care of myself better for a while longer.  Seems my body is sending me some pretty clear signals not to push myself while it’s trying to recover.  I suppose part of that should involve going to bed at a reasonable time *sigh*.

Anyway, here’s the usual Sunday hand sketch.  I’d like to use the excuse that it’s hard to draw the hand that you’re using to hold the pencil but … I’m not convinced that was the problem.  I think I might actually be getting worse at drawing.  I heard that’s not possible, that you won’t get worse by drawing, just better … but I remain unconvinced.  Oh well, just keep at it I guess.

Day 24: I really think I need more rest … and less internet

Action Poses

Action PosesAlright, so all I’ve got for you today is a random collection of stick figures.  I’m trying to learn how to draw people and have them not just look flat and boring and inanimate.  To that end I’m working on motion sketches and trying to figure out this whole line of action concept which I really don’t get at all yet but I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually.  It’s a little easier to test these things on stick figures especially since I don’t have a solid grasp on anatomy and proportions yet.  That and I left this way too late again and am utterly exhausted.

I didn’t get to bed until the early hours of the morning yesterday and my sick body was very very disapproving.  I’ve been feeling tired and run down all day long which is probably not so good for my recovery.  So today I need to not stay up working on things.  I had a feeling when I set this whole “must post a sketch every day” rule that occasionally I’d be posting nothing but stick men.  These figures are not quite there yet and I definitely need to work on those concepts some more but I’m afraid I’ll just have to leave that for another day.  Right now: it’s just sleep and hope I actually feel awake tomorrow.

Day 23: Oh crap! Is the day really over already?

Pathetic Cat Begging for Food
Pathetic Cat Begging for Food
Food Please!

I have a confession to make: today was not my most productive day ever.  No, I don’t have any good excuses to offer this time, no mystery illnesses to lame it on, just my easily distracted self.  Although, ironically I woke up feeling extremely stiff and sore from all the stretching I did yesterday.  It’s possible that the fact that it’s been raining steadily all day long has something to do with that too though.  I’m really not quite sure how those things work.

Anyway, here’s how it my day went.  My husband happened to notice a Hunger Games tab open on my browser and commented on it.  “Oh yeah!” sad I, “I had that open because I wanted to show you something, sometime when we were both free and it wasn’t bedtime.”  That’s great, I figured, now I can close that tab and clean up my browser, maybe actually turn my computer off today instead of just letting it sleep.  Wait, what was this other tab for again? That question never leads anywhere good in my experience.  The answer always seems to be something along the lines of: Oh right, I left that open so that I could look something up.  And inevitably down the rabbit hole I go.

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