Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sketching class in November

My latest postcard sent for the International Postcard Exchange

Hi everyone, we sure missed those of you who were unable to make class. I didn't have anything from class to post so I decided to post my latest postcard I did for the exchange group, don't panic, we didn't paint animals.  We did have two new students that did some wonderful sketching. I want to welcome Christa and Laura to the group and hope they enjoyed the class. We worked on some artist journaling basics and talked about why we are journaling and what the benefits are etc. I recommended Cathy Johnsons new book,Artist's Journal Workshop, creating your life in words and pictures. It is available on Amazon and it will motivate and inspire you to do more! Since I am often asked what should I paint and what should I journal I decided to help show how everyday items can become important enough to paint and journal about. We took some sewing items and quickly sketched them, not getting caught up in details. After a few minutes we passed the item to the right and you had to sketch that item. After sketching several items I reminded everyone that we often don't have our perfect sketching tools with us so we need to adapt and learn to draw with anything. We used mechanical pencils, pen, watercolor pencils, inktense pencils and watercolor. Then they had to journal about sewing. We also had to write down 7 simple items around the house, one per piece of paper and dropped then into a bowl. At the end of class we took turns picking 7 items out of the bowl. The homework assignment is to divide up your journal pages into a grid, or boxes. I would suggest not going too small, maybe two per page. Then during the month draw each of the items, one per box and journal about it. Also glue the piece of paper to the bottom of the drawing. We will share these at our class on January 14, 2012! We are not meeting in December in person, but we can visit here! If you want me to send you 7 items let me know, its nice when you don't pick your own, you might be too easy on yourself!

The exercise of daily journaling and drawing is a private, intimate time between you and the subject matter. You will start to see things more clearly, see more colors, more details. You will really start to view things with an artist's eye. Don't worry if it isn't perfect, its not about that, its about training yourself to see and record. I can't seem to stress it enough, it takes practice. Anything you want to be good at takes practice like music, singing, sports etc. Why do we think art should just happen to us! I have often thought or wished the artist fairy could just sprinkle me with her artist pixie dust and then I would be able to pick up a brush or pencil and create something wonderful. It just doesn't happen like that so you have to do the time. You should learn to enjoy the process or it isn't something you will stick with. Its a journey of self discovery as well as rediscovering the beauty in some of life's most simple things.

I hope everyone will post their work during the month and please comment when others post. Its important to get some feedback when you post. Being an artist is a solitary occupation, not a team sport where you get lots of interaction with fellow team mates.We tend to beat ourselves up when things don't go well, so encouragement from others is always appreciated. Learn to leave comments,  even I like to read comments, we all do.

One last note, I added a new page, you can see the tab at the top of the page on the lefthand side of the page. It is called Videos, I have posted the link to the free video I did on negative painting, I previously emailed you. Let me know if there is a problem viewing it. Happy Journaling


  1. I really did enjoy this class - getting back to drawing is really a must for me to re-learn. I went and got the book you recommended on Amazon as well as the one "Essence of Watercolor" you showed us last class in October. Looking forward to our challenges.

  2. Nothing intimidating about being "the new gal" in the midst of amazing artists! WOW! Great way to open up your brain and heart and just plain have fun. PUB Mix brought the only negative feelings of the day (brain.. stick to your food plan... taste buds.. it's only a few crunchy, salty taste sensations... go ahead enjoy.. brain rationalizing.. you can walk it off win)
    Thank you Desiree and the other 5150 veterans for welcoming me into the fold. Enjoyed the experience and will look forward to more.

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  4. Desiree - your are an INSPIRATION to me - when I can do such beautiful watercolor sketches while visiting the animals at the San Diego Zoo, my soul will Sing!!!

  5. So glad you and Christa are joining us. Marilyn, let me know how you like the books. Penny, we will have to have a zoo painting/sketch day!

  6. OOOH! What a great idea! After the holidays?!