Highs and lows – week 10

This week has been a week of intense lows and intense highs for my art journey.  Throwing in the towel was on my mind most of the week.  Although I planned on doing blind contour drawing this week, I ended up painting most of the time.  And, I have very little to show for it!  I was inspired to send in some of my work for a very important exhibition and that was foremost on my mind.  Sitting in front of the painting I finished, I realized that I have very, very far to go!  I hit a dark, low point!  Am I an artist?  Why can’t I put on the canvas what is in my head? Not a good place to be in when stressing over an upcoming deadline!  So, I started over – and was still not happy!  Here is the painting (but, I might just start over again!!)

the wallflower

The wallflower

The high point of my entire art journey was attending an art “walk-through” at a gallery near me.  I met the artist Andre du Toit.  What an inspiring day!  I was close to tears most of the time – I absolutely love this man’s work.


andre du toit gallery visit

An inspiring morning with Andre du Toit. 

Here is an example of his work:

andre du toit


I am still not sure if I will send in any of my work for the exhibition, but I am more intent than ever to be the artist that I believe I was born to be.

So, keep posted for more of my journey!



What a kind gesture – week 9

This week I was on holiday, so not as much drawing happened as I hoped.  One would think with more time on hand, I would draw more.  Not so, but a break from routine is always good!

Learning gesture drawing this week was a new skill I had to learn.  It was challenging in the beginning, but I soon got the hang of it.

Proko’s two videos on gesture drawing were a great help.


Createarteveryday, my blogging friend, told me of a great resource for gesture drawing that I used almost every day this week – Thanks a million! Here is her newest blog post if you want to check it out.

Quickposes is a great tool – you can choose the speed you want to draw the poses and you have a choice between male or female poses.

Here are some of my (not so great) attempts:



In the one word prompt challenge the word was “cloud” – I immediately knew which of my paintings I would love to add to the challenge.  Here is one of them, but have a look at my submission – Landscape Clouds.


I also met up with a wonderful artist friend of mine this week to talk about how to promote my art. She is an amazing ceramics artist. Have a look at her site here.  There are so many conflicting ideas out there about this subject.  I really needed the input of a trusted friend in the industry to help me.  She advised me to meet up with other artists and grow my artist social circle.  This in itself is challenging as I am by nature a reserved person. But, it is good to stretch yourself!  So, go ahead, stretch yourself in the coming week – do something that scares you just a little bit!!


The birth of Venus

At least I got one or two drawings done this week – I am still enjoying the classics!


Next week I will be looking into “blind contour drawing” – it sounds like great fun!

Stay posted!


Give me a hand, please – week 8

“We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That’s our privilege. That’s the joy of a mortal body. And that’s why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


This week was full of practicing drawing hands.  Thankfully I could could make good use of my Loomis book to help me this week.  You can have a look at week 2 of my journey if you would like to download this book to use (it’s free).

Here are some of my quick sketches to practice the anatomy of the hand.

My favourite YouTube clip on drawing hands was from Wei.


Fortunately, there are wonderful resources out there to use, like this great article I stumbled across:  How to draw hands.

After gaining a better understanding of the anatomy of the hand, I felt that my toning improved in my drawings.  I paid closer attention to the placement of the bones and the muscles.



I could also use my hand drawings very well with the “daily one word challenge”. You can check out my submission here:  Empty

Later in the week I had some fun doing master drawing studies.


These studies pushed me to draw in a different way as they are shaded with crosshatching.  It is a very tedious exercise, but creates great movement in a drawing.  I am not sure if I could use it in all my drawings as it takes so long.  (The drawing on the right took at least 4 hours to do!)

I am really looking forward to my art journey next week as I will be learning to draw the body as a whole – it will be fun putting all the pieces I have learned over the past two months together in a single drawing.  Stay posted!



Empty handed

cupped hands


Sometimes it feels like life has giving you a raw deal.  You feel like you have asked the universe in so many different ways to solve your problem, but you keep on ending up empty handed.  I get it! A sick child, a broken mind, a bad marriage, an empty wallet – none of these are your fault, but let’s stop standing there with empty hands.

Let’s grab hold of life, let’s give out life, let’s share our pain with each other and just maybe, just maybe we can lift up our hands to see the answer right in front of us.



the hand


Understanding the shapes of the hair – week 6

“If my hair looks good, I can deal with anything” – Lorna Moore

This strikes a chord in portrait sketching as well.  If the hair does not take up some of your time and energy while sketching, you can loose the “realness” of the portrait.  And so my week was filled with understanding the shapes in drawing hair.

Some of the tutorials that helped on my journey were:


I also found the The Virtual Instructor site very valuable this week.

Here are some of the practices I completed.

I am reading a book on achieving my goals by Robin Sharma and it is definitely a worthwhile read.  It is helping me stay focused on my art goals and improving my self-discipline.


Link to a download of this book.

Stay posted next week for all my training in the proportions of the face!


Learning the basics – week 1

My first week of art training started with large amounts of research.  I realized that I would need a training plan, just like Jeff Watts @wattsatelier said in his video.  But how to start? How do you know what to practice? I spent hours searching the web for answers.

Straight off the bat I realized that I had bad drawing habits.  Most importantly, I did not use my pencil correctly.  I learnt how to sharpen, hold and use my pencil like a pro.

This clip is a bit long, but it was worth it to watch it!

Then I had to learn how to control my pencil correctly.

This clip by Proko is brilliant. As a matter of fact, I have come to absolutely love all the Proko clips.  I watch them over and over to learn new drawing skills @StanProkopenko.

Here is a link to their YouTube channel: Proko, worth it to subscribe!

Some of the examples of the drawing exercises I did over and over this week!


shading and pencil control


shading and drawing in perspective


learning to draw the oval with hand control

(I filled dozens of pages with this!)

I also made myself a portable drawing easel so I could draw wherever I wanted to.


made with hardboard and wrapped in paper for smooth drawing

In my next post I will be sharing the year plan I set out for myself, my new art routine, some more clips I watched to help me learn and a great book you can download to improve your drawing of portraits.

Thanks for reading and stay posted for more!