Drawing and painting girls

Shae and I have talked about how we aren’t very good students. We’re the ones that sit in the back and read ahead and figure stuff out on our own and get a little impatient with everyone else.

Apparently, I’m such a bad student that I can’t even follow the plan I’ve set for myself!

Which is not to say I’m not making any art and seeing any growth — it just means this Make Your Own MFA plan I made isn’t quite going the way I expected. I need to examine that a little bit. In the meantime, I am going to actually post on one of my “scheduled” days (please note that we made a schedule that we both have blithely ignored for most of the month….whoops… and show you some of the drawing I have been doing.

I decided to take Mindy Lacefield’s Acrylic Girl class and learned a ton.

Here’s my first girl:

Don’t miss out on something great just because it could also be difficult. (Most of the time the quotes I use in my journals are there to call myself out….)

I then decided to try the steps in Procreate and created this young lady:

Painted in Procreate using Bardot Brush’s Magic Paper and an acrylic brush

One of the most interesting parts of Mindy’s class was the limited palette: we used a peachy colored paint for the skin (I used a Jane Davenport skin tone, but Mindy uses Folk Art Warm Bisque), Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Payne’s Grey, White, Red, and a Blue. Mindy also explained how to use these same colors to create a darker skin tone, but I haven’t tried it yet.

I’ve also spent some time just drawing faces with a pencil or with a pencil brush in Procreate:

I don’t know if this girl is finished or not:

But needless to say, I’m having fun and feeling pretty good about what I’ve been creating lately.

Even if it isn’t exactly the plan I had originally started with a few months ago….

Drawing lessons? What drawing lessons…

OK. I have not been keeping up with any of my planned lessons for drawing, history, or anything else. Instead, I’ve been making a LOT OF ART. Which…I cannot regret.

I’m currently holding myself to three daily challenges. (THREE??) I’m doing Feathruary — bird art every day. I’m doing Making Art Every Day — drawing in procreate based on prompts. And, I decided to do a 100 Day project — 100 Days of Rainbow Joy.

It’s a lot. Oh, plus I’m taking Wanderlust 2021, which involves a weekly lesson and I am bound and determined to keep up with it this year (after I did about 3 lessons last year and then never got back to it….)

And I work full time, although, last week, we only had 3 days of school, thank you snow storm. Actually, no thank you, it is C.O.L.D. now in Iowa. We’re talking the temperature on the thermometer is negative 17, not just the windchill.

That’s a lot of words to say: I haven’t done any more work in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain since the post I wrote two weeks ago.

But again: I’m not sorry, because I have been drawing. A LOT. I have made a TON of art in Procreate and some of that has been drawing animals. Starting with tracing them, but then moving to drawing them on my own.

I also made my first (but not my last) repeat pattern and I LOVED IT. I have already planned (in my head) an entire collection of fabric that goes with it. Now…to execute those plans…

I am supposed to be writing about my history studies again next Monday, so hopefully by then I will have done some more work on that. I have also looked at my stack of books I have been planning to read and think I’d better at least open one of them soon.

100 Day Project

This will be my third year doing a 100 day project, woohoo! The short of it is: pick a creative project, do it for 100 days. Anyone can join and any project you want to take on is fair game. Any number of days you actually get done is just fine. The point of it all is to show up for yourself, devote time to your creative passion and , for me, find some joy in creating. You can explore further here: https://the100dayproject.org/

The FOMO is Real

I hate to admit this about myself, but here it is: I am susceptible to the fear of missing out. That’s right, I get the FOMO. I see all the things everyone is doing and want to do them too. Hell, that’s how I ended up here ;). Luckily, I don’t think I’m alone in this. It is strange though, because in real life, I am decidedly not a joiner. I am an introvert by nature, a hermit if you will (if you know what Human Design is about, then I am literally a Hermit). But, I love a good artistic challenge, and I love doing them remotely with other people. What a strange world we live in.

It’s been a long week for me, so I’ll keep this pretty short. I almost passed the 100 day project up this year. I had a TON of ideas, but wasn’t really super excited about any of them. Also, some were quite complicated and I knew I would burn out (which happened last year). Also, I am cohosting Feathruary, a another art challenge this month, so I wanted something a bit simpler. I had given up trying to decide and that’s when inspiration struck! There was a box of anatomy cards on my desk that I had recently been gifted. ‘Shae’s anatomy’ popped into my head and….the rest is history! My project is altering 100 anatomy flash cards with collage.

Once I had that silliness in my head it was quite easy to start, and I’m glad I did. So far, it’s super fun, which I totally needed.

You can follow along on my IG page here https://www.instagram.com/scrappyshae/ orwith the hashtag #100daysofshaesanatomy.

You can read more about Feathruary here: https://studioss.art/feathruary-2021/

Art Skills

abstract in procreate

I have two things pinned to the top of my art practice/art skills list: drawing and learning procreate, which is also drawing. I am going to make a confession- I don’t enjoy drawing. There I said it!

However, this does not mean I am going to give up, like in previous years. I am going to acknowledge the fact that I do not derive much enjoyment from drawing and push through it. Why? Because in the end it will get me where I want to be and at some point I think that I actually will enjoy it.

To be quite honest, the end of January/beginning of February was very full and my drawing practice got pushed to the sidelines. Was a ready and willing to do that? Absolutely. I told Suzanne this very morning that I have been avoiding it like the plague. I need to dig into this a little bit more, but ultimately I feel it simply comes back to the aforementioned issue: I don’t enjoy it.

Abstract Is My Happy Place

What I do really love is abstract work, and anything that can be abstracted. So, that’s mostly what I have been doing, especially in Procreate. Even though that feels like play, I AM gaining functional understanding of the way Procreate works, experimenting with the tools available and appreciating how very fast you can create work. Also, I don’t have to feel guilty about ‘waste’- I just hit delete!

This piece ended up being turned into cover art for the new album ‘Immediacy’ by B. Aubrey Freeman (aka my husband)

One Last Thing

Before I wrap this up, I do have a minor complaint about the drawing workbook I’m working in. The method to start making ‘real’ drawings utilizes a viewfinder or picture plane:

There is a corresponding page in the workbook with a grid. After several (literally five) attempts at drawing to scale by transferring the image on the picture plane, I gave up. It just wasn’t right. I walked away, as I usually do and when I returned saw the problem instantly. The scale of the frame and the scale of my practice space are not the same! Aha! You can see where I drew the correct border on the practice sheet on the right. I’ll give it another go.

*here’s the link to the above album: https://b-aubreyfreeman.bandcamp.com/releases

Photos of above workbook are from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

Global prehistory – what has Suzanne learned so far

My draft title for this post was “Modern Humans are Assholes.” I finished the Global Prehistory unit and I swear that every single article included something about the original artwork being lost (or nearly lost) because modern humans messed it up. Unfortunately, that was my biggest takeaway from this unit. I’m also not really feeling too kindly towards my contemporary humans during this pandemic, so you’ll have to excuse my pessism.

I do think it’s funny to say “prehistory” because….if something is before “history”…..isn’t it also history??? But as you probably know, prehistory simply means the time before written records. This particular overview looks at art made between 30,000 and 500 BCE.

(As a reminder, I’m following the AP Art History track on Khan Academy. The content comes originally from smARThistory.org and I find it easier to link to the information on their site.)

Not only are modern humans are destructive, we can be tricked by fakes and fall victim to confirmation bias. And of course, racism rears its ugly head in the stories about what historians have decided must be true. I was glad that this section took a global view of prehistory, as opposed to focusing on ancient western art.

While people can (and will) speculate about what certain paintings or sculptures signify, it is impossible to know for sure what anything means. I find it fascinating what historians and archeologists CAN discern, based on what they know from other objects they have found.

While I enjoyed all of this unit, my favorite artwork was the Tlatilco Figurines from Central Mexico. These small ceramic figurines date from around 1200-400 B.C.E. Most of them depict women in everyday activities and include a lot of humor. They are small and quite intricate. My favorite is this one of a woman kissing a dog:

Tlatilco figurine of a woman kissing a dog
Original photo can be found here: https://flic.kr/p/rkqJqE

I highly recommend doing an image search for Tlatilco figurines to see more figurines. It has occurred to me that I should be making an art journal page with some of these figurines as inspiration. If I do, I will come back and add it!

The next unit in this course is titled Ancient Mediterranean: 3500 B.C.E.-300 C.E. I’ll be back in two weeks with another update on what I’m learning from the past. I have a suspicion I still won’t be feeling too kindly towards modern humans.

Reference: Dr. Rex Koontz, “Tlatilco Figurines,” in Smarthistory, August 9, 2015, accessed February 1, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/tlatilco-figurines/.