I decided that I wanted to do one of those self portrait thingies today. It seems to be what all the cool kids are doing these days and I’ve never actually tried drawing myself in the mirror before. I’ve done self portraits from the imagination and self portraits from photographs but never a self portrait from the mirror. So here’s the result of that experiment. The good news is: it pretty much looks like a person! The bad news: it doesn’t look even remotely like me. Not even a little bit. No one ever warned me that this could happen. Clearly there was some other person hanging out in my mirror. I have no idea who she was but she’s definitely not me. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to give it another try sometime. Hopefully she goes away.
I actually had two ideas for sketches I wanted to do today though so I did them both. The other one was inspired by the weather that we’ve been having and my husband’s request yesterday that I try to draw a swampy landscape. Today was even wetter than yesterday. The creek actually made its way into our backyard which was quite exciting. We took a bunch of photos and I pulled on my rubber boots and went splashing around in the water … like the mature grown up I am. The experience inspired this sketch:
It’s supposed to be a little girl slashing around in the water. I didn’t really put that much time and energy into it and didn’t know where to go from here. As a result, it didn’t turn out quite the way I would have liked. I still like it a lot better than yesterday’s iPhone rendition though. Probably I could have done a little more detailing or something but I kind of wanted to leave it vague looking. I think what it’s really missing is colour. I need to pick up a watercolour sketchbook at some point so I can just play around and go nuts with things like this.
Even after doing two sketches I still hadn’t drawn myself out though so I did a whole slew of practice drills as well. Today I did both the muscle training exercises and the speed gestures. I really wanted to do some gestures because I keep meaning to practice my figure drawing more. It’s the thing I most want to get down and the area that I feel I’m weakest in. I also think that the muscle training exercises will help a lot though in the long run so I want to do them regularly. They may not seem like much fun or be very pretty to look at but they’re actually quite interesting to do. I was doing them while talking to my brother on Skype which was fun.
I don’t really want to write out descriptions for each of these but if you have any questions about any of the exercises I was doing let me know. Mostly I was working on consistency and drawing from the shoulder. I read somewhere that going around more than once on a circle or ellipse actually helps you get the shape better and builds better muscle memory. It’s also a bit easier to do it that way when drawing from the shoulder. That’s why I went a bit nuts on the circles and ellipses and started making everything look really loose and sketchy. Still, I think those really did turn out much better than the ones I’ve done before where I only did one line around.
It’s hard to tell if I’m making any progress with these but it does seem like good practice. I think my lines were much worse today than they were last time but my circles and ellipses seem to be improving a bit … I think. I’ll just have to keep working on it and see.