Category Archives: Fine Art

Gouache Study

February 21, 2015

GuacheStudy_Apple_web

I needed a little break from knitting today. I also wanted to just try something new. I have some really old tubes of gouache hanging around (from college – so, yes, old) so I tried painting a simple still life with them today. I like the textures. I’m not a great realistic painter – but I’m trying to get better. I also like how this turned out even if it isn’t realistic. I think the trick to finding “my style” is to just keep making things until it shows itself.

Happy Making!

Cheers,

M

A Portrait of Jasmin

February 12, 2015

Jasmin_drawing_web I’ve been working on this portrait of Jasmin for a while – but couldn’t get it quite right. The eyes were easy, but the nose and mouth gave me some problems. I think part of this is because teeth are so hard to get right, and I considered drawing him without the smile – but that was even harder to get right because he’s always smiling.  JasminDetail_web I’ve mentioned before how I’ve started keeping frames around the house. In some ways this is a real motivator to get things finished. I love being able to say something is done and immediately hang it on the wall. And because I’ve decided I want more of my own art around on the walls, I’ve started planning accordingly. I’ve also gotten smarter about drawing things to a particular size (that fits in a standard frame) instead of crushing my budget to get everything professionally framed. Sometimes, that just isn’t necessary.  jasmin_framed_web   Happy Making!

Cheers,

M

The Letter M | Graphite & Digital Illustration

February 1, 2015

M_draw_web

I did a little drawing today. Just a fun little sketch that I worked out further with some details. Then I decided to scan it in and play around with some colors and textures. Nothing too serious – just some experimenting.  M_1_web

I liked this dark one too. Also, we went to the Atlanta History Museum and saw a ton of inspiring things there. I realized that I’ve only been posting my Daily Makes here – but not really spending a whole lot of time composing my blog posts or inserting stories from my daily life. I’m not sure if anyone would want to hear these things… Or should I just keep it a daily inspiration blog with pictures of my work? Thoughts? M_2_web

 

Happy Making!

Cheers,

M

Sketches

January 29, 2015

I didn’t have much time to work on projects today, but in an effort to keep my resolution I decided a little was better than nothing. I did a few sketches of eyes out of one of my drawing books. eyessketch_web

 

Happy Making!

Cheers,

M

Charcoal Study 3 | Hands

January 24, 2015

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I finished another hand study today. I realized I like charcoal because I can get a really dark shade very quickly. My charcoal studies tend to be heavy blacks and brighter whites – it ends up being very high contrast. I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily the nature of charcoal, just the nature of how I personally work with charcoal. The downfall is the mess…

Happy Making!

Cheers,

M

Charcoal Hand Study

January 22, 2015

thumbsdown_web

I wanted to do a little bit of drawing practice today. I did a hand study in charcoal and thought I was awfully clever because I can turn the drawing to make it a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

thumbsup_web Happy Making!

Cheers,

M

 

Self Portrait in Graphite

January 18, 2015

mary_selfport_framed_web1 This was more drawing practice I’ve been working on. I framed it in the same frame I put my last one into. I’ve got one more of these frames, so I think I’m going to do a portrait of Jasmin and hang all three up together.

mary_selfport_detail_web3 This was the original pencil drawing. One of the reasons I picked myself to draw was because I really wanted to practice drawing hair – and I have a ton of it.  mary_selfport_detail_web2 I really like how the eyes and eyebrows turned out. Noses and hair are my least favorite areas, but I actually think this nose looks like mine.  mary_selfport_detail_web1 Happy Making!

Cheers,

M

 

Portrait Practice

January 12, 2015

PortraitPractice_main_web I spend so much time on the computer during the week (40+ just for work, then a few more for personal projects) that I occasionally feel like my eyes are going to burn right out of my skull. Jasmin thinks this is a little dramatic sounding, but I’m still not convinced it won’t happen, so as a precautionary measure I take periodic technology breaks to do something totally hands-on without any computers. One way I really enforce this on myself is by taking structured fine art classes (like ceramics or painting) that I have to pay for in advance.

PortraitePractice_1_web

About two years ago I took a drawing class that I really enjoyed. I mean, I sketch out ideas and concepts all of the time, but this was the first time since college I’d really sat down and drawn something to completion. It was great. And I was happy to find that I hadn’t “lost all of my talent” like I’d feared.

Last year, I took another class on Skillshare that taught me a few more drawing techniques, and I really enjoyed that. Then, when we moved last month something really inspirational happened. I went through all of the stacks of drawings I’ve accumulated from college and those drawing classes and realized that I have, in fact, been getting better. A lot better.

PortraitPractice_2_web

I guess this shouldn’t be shocking, since that’s what happens. The more you do something the better you get. But for some reason I’d always thought college was the period of time where I’d been most talented and most creative. Like those were my creative Glory Days or something. Going through my work really made me laugh at myself for thinking that way. College was just the time of my life that I was forced to sit in a studio for 6 hours a day and make really random projects. There’s nothing about my 20-year-old self that is better than my (almost) 30-year-old self. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m healthier than I was then, more motivated, more experienced, I’ve seen more, heard more, read more, learned more… I mean, by all accounts I’m at my prime.

There’s a point to this, I swear…

The thing, I realized, that keeps me from starting certain projects is the fear of not being good enough at them. I follow a lot of amazing artists on instagram and see beautiful things on pinterest every day. Not to mention the hundreds of inspirational art books I keep in my apartment. It’s easy to look at all of these things and start feeling insignificant and talentless before I’ve even started. But, if I enjoy it, isn’t that enough? And is it possible that the artists who are so much better than me have just logged more practice hours? Who knows. So it might have been that “ah-ha!” moment with my drawing pile, or it might just be the fact that I’m getting older and don’t care as much, but either way I’ve decided that my art is for me. Honestly though, pushing past that fear of “good enough” is something that has required just as much practice as my craft itself. And its something I think all artists face, no matter how talented they are.

So, I drew this. 🙂 It’s based off a photo by photographer Lee Jeffries. I used his photo as reference for this practice piece. Next up, I’m going to try to draw portraits of actual people I know.

Happy Making!

Cheers,

M