Thinking out of the box – week 12

This week I really wanted to challenge myself to work outside of my comfort zone.  We all become comfortable with what we have done over and over again.

Deciding to paint in a different style was at first very scary.  I felt unsure of myself and of my creativity.

My self imposed challenge entailed using all the colours in my paint box, applying every colour at least once on the canvas.  I didn’t want to mix colours on the palette, but use them straight out of the tubes.

Here are the colours I had to work with:




Step 1 – Drawing the portrait on the board.


Step 2 – The under-painting


Step 3 – Working with brushes and fingers to get the “look” right.


Step 4 – The finished work.

Finishing the work was really rewarding – I felt very happy with the outcome.

This week I participated in the One-word-challenge again; you can have a look at my entry here: The art of being carefree .

I also painted a “pop art” inspired piece called “eclipse”.



Stay posted for more art learning next week!


The art of being carefree

Life is busy.  We all know this, we all want to find more quiet time, more time to “smell the roses”.  This reminds me of a wonderful technique I read about to calm your busy mind.  Robin Sharma describes it like this:

How to control/discipline your mind – HEART OF THE ROSE TECHNIQUE

  1. find a quiet place to meditate. preferably in nature
  2. hold a rose and focus all of your attention on its center, its heart. Notice its colour, texture, design, fragrance. Only focus on the rose

Why a rose? A rose is like life:  you will meet thorns along the way, but if you have faith and believe in your dreams you eventually move beyond the thorns into the glory of the flower.  (excerpt from “The Monk who Sold His Ferrari” – Robin Sharma)

This technique helps one feel more carefree.  I went through a wonderful “flower stage” with my painting.  Looking back on that time I can remember feeling calmer and more carefree while painting nature’s beauty.



Nightmare on Art Street

Nightmares are not only the things that keep you awake at night. They are the worry at the back of your mind, they little foxes that burn down your vineyard or even the last fearful thought that popped into your  mind.

As an artist those nightmares are very common, but sometimes they make me obstinate!  My neck feels stiffer with anger at those nightmares, they make me paint over a crap painting, they make me try again when I thought I had no more power left in me.  So, after my nightmare has passed, I look back on my journey and see that I have become a better artist because of it.



Tranquility after the nightmare.


False Art

Talking to a friend today about what art really is, I got this overwhelming feeling.  FALSE.  He told me this story of a well known art marketing couple team that is very well known in the art world.  They took a canvas and placed their baby daughter on it while she was eating.  The baby proceeded to mess tomato sauce, food and whatever on the canvas.  This couple then took the canvas and wrote an amazing write up about this new modern artist that was the “art of the moment to buy”.  They pushed all their marketing know-how into this “project” and within a few days the “painting” sold for hundreds  of thousands.  They did this as a experiment to prove that art can be very false.

This got me seriously thinking about my own art.  The questions are haunting me tonight.  What is art.  Am I a true artist?  What does my art mean in a world of false art?  Why do I do art, and how do I do art that I can be proud of?


who am I





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


Proportions of the face – week 7

This week has been an exciting combination of learning the basics and putting an idea on to canvas.

For my drawing practice I studied the proportions of the face and learned the scale of each element by heart.  Some of my practice attempts were strange indeed! Both the following portraits were done from imagination without any reference photos (It was challenging) – I am so used to working from reference photos.

imagination portrait imagination portrait2

The tutorial that helped me understand the proportions of the face the best:

I also had great fun this week doing a one word prompt from WordPress – you can have a look at my entry here: One word prompt

By the middle of the week I wanted to do more real life works and so I drew these:

pepper grinder protea

But, the most exciting part of my week was definitely the painting I did towards the end of the week.  I lay awake on Wednesday night thinking about a painting that I could see in my head.  This rarely happens to me.  Usually I see a wonderful photo and think – “That would look great as a painting”.

This painting was different – is was birthed out of me, out of my soul.  I was super excited!!  As soon as I woke the next morning I was at my easel working.  And so “In the storm” was born.


In the storm

I am truly proud of this piece of work as it is so close to what I lay awake thinking about.

Next week I will be learning about drawing hands.  Stay posted for more of my journey!




Drawing every day

Daily challenge taken – Naturally

Today I wanted to stretch myself in my drawing practice. Lately I have been feeling stale in my daily drawings with sticking to my routine of art training I have set out for myself (see week two of my journey ).

Up popped today’s daily one word prompt and just there and then I decided to do something different.

This is my interpretation of Natural.

Drawing every day

Drawing a rose – drawing every day

Strangely enough I did a flower sketch yesterday as well.

Drawing daily

Drawing every day – Protea

Staying true to your goals is very important, but staying motivated is sometimes difficult.  I did my drawing practice today.  Maybe not as I had planned to, but I came out more motivated to grab hold of tomorrow’s planned scheduled drawing (which is about the proportions of the face, by the way).