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Thread: Cricket's Sketchbook and WIPs

  1. #1
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    Default Cricket's Sketchbook and WIPs

    Hi Everyone!

    I finally decided to push myself to open a sketchbook thread.

    My reasons... hmmm... well, I have been admiring the wonderful art in the sketchbook thread as much as those finished works posted in the Galleries. I enjoy seeing the processes artists go through to reach their final work as much as I enjoy the art itself.

    Secondly, reading this thread has helped me a lot in getting over those occasional spells of "artist block", and have helped me improve as an artist myself.

    Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy my crazy corner of the Member Sketchbook thread!

    ~ Cricket
    "Art washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday Life" - Pablo Picasso

    My Instagram: Cricket Hollow

  2. #2
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    OK, so my 2nd post isn't exactly a sketch, but it is art related!

    I am a serious art hobbyist, and as such, I often wait for the perfect time to create art, with my favorite excuse being "I don't have enough time!"....at least it was until I came across these "Words of Wisdom" by one of my favorite artists, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, which I wanted to share...it's a bit long, but well worth the read.
    Enjoy!
    ------------------

    Abandoning Preciousness

    The most important thing about creating art is to create. If you want to be at ease with creativity, you have to immerse yourself in it, and do a little bit every day. Even if that little bit is only to take five minutes while waiting for the bus to come and do a gesture drawing of a man reading his book across the street from you. Or to take the moment to scribble down a thumbnail rough sketch of a concept that occurs to you. Do a little bit each day. Train your brain to think visually.

    It can be difficult at first, accustoming yourself to make this small bit of time, because you’ll think:
    “I don’t have enough time for it.”
    “Art is hard!”
    “I’m not good enough yet for that piece I’ve always wanted to do.”
    or
    “I’m stuck. Artist’ block.”

    These are all excuses. Yes art IS hard. Yes, you might not be good enough yet to do that masterwork that you’ve been dreaming of, but let me let you in on a secret: No artist ever is. Sure, there is satisfaction that comes when the last detail is polished, and your signature scrawled across the bottom corner with its flourishing declaration of “Finis!” Every new painting is a milestone of achievement, hopefully with lessons learned and skills advanced. But if you let yourself rest too long on that satisfaction, then you’re not challenging and pushing yourself onward enough. I like to think that if I still feel a piece I did three years ago is among my best work, then I’m doing something wrong. The best is always going to be among the most recent few, with better ones on the horizon.

    That masterwork that you just don’t think you have the skills for yet to tackle? You won’t gain those skills unless you try for it. Take it head on. Make the best attempt you can. Or tackle a small portion or element of it. Maybe it’s dramatic lighting. Maybe it’s multiple figures interacting. Maybe it’s something small like facial expression, or even just how to paint a tree. When you think you have mastered that, move onto the next item on the list, and the next, until you can face the behemoth. It might be you’ll like the result. If you don’t, then figure out what parts didn’t work for you. Don’t just condemn the entirety. Learn to isolate the individual aspects that could be worked on, and then make that your goal of improvement in the next piece.

    Preciousness is the enemy of an artist who wants to grow.
    1) Precious Time
    2) Precious Artwork

    To let the Muse work her magic, you have to let go of attachments to those two concepts. Even as a professional who has been drawing and painting every day for almost two decades, I had to learn this lesson recently. I'm not immune to these pitfalls any more than a beginning artist is. I had long ago gotten past the hump of just getting myself to do art every day. That part I took for granted. In fact, after so long, it becomes a necessity — you train yourself to have an artistic outlet, and then it becomes a part of you, as much as breathing and sleeping.

    But due to the vagaries of the grand adventure of life, I found my art-time throttled back, and then I fell into the trap that (1) Time was precious.

    Because I had little of it to dedicate to creating, it became a commodity, and every moment of it had to matter. Every second sitting at my desk with a pencil or paintbrush in hand had to be momentous because (2) Artwork was precious, and I couldn’t waste my time with non-essentials. There was only enough time for masterpieces.

    When you fall into that mode of thinking, your brain and your creativity does the only thing it can: It shuts up completely. That kind of pressure is just too much to expect of yourself.

    Every work can’t be a masterpiece. Sometimes, you have to just let your subconscious have its way, and let the creativity flow from whatever small outlet it feels inclined to at the moment. Great art doesn’t happen on a time line. And I’m not talking about an individual painting that you finish for a client’s deadline. I’m talking more about the overarching body of artwork, and self-imposed expectations and time limits.

    Make time for the little stuff. For the gesture drawings at the bus stop. For the scribbled thumbnails in your pocket sketchbook when random inspiration strikes at inopportune moments. For the doodles on napkins at a cafe, or in the margins of meeting notes at your day job or class.

    Sleep researchers speculate that REM sleep and dreams are necessary for the brain to process the events of a day, work out problems, and experiment. That’s what all the non-masterpiece artworks that you create are. They’re never a waste of time, no matter how small. They are the myriad visual dreams made of paint and ink and paper that make a safe space for your creativity to reach for greater heights.

    (C) Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
    Last edited by Cricket; 02-27-2017 at 12:54 PM.
    "Art washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday Life" - Pablo Picasso

    My Instagram: Cricket Hollow

  3. #3
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    Default Red Riding Hood WIP

    Ok, some art! Finally!

    This is the WIP of my Red Riding Hood ATC for my Feb 2017 1-1 Match Partner, CindyJob.

    I wanted to show Red Riding Hood in the dark forest just as she hears a wolf howl in the distance, or perhaps she is beginning to realize that all may not be well on her trip to Grandma's house. I also wanted to do a border with the opening lines of the fairytale. It has progressed a ways from this point, with most of the inking and coloring done.

    UPDATE: The finished ATC is in my gallery here:
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Cricket; 02-28-2017 at 05:39 AM.
    "Art washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday Life" - Pablo Picasso

    My Instagram: Cricket Hollow

  4. #4
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    Love your "Abandoning Preciousness" info!! I had heard of "Precious Pot Syndrome" along those same lines. I also find myself reminding myself of things like "Housework can wait. It will still be there if I don't do it. No so with art. Seize the moment!"

    You may have just inspired me to open a WIP thread...

  5. #5
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    I am very happy to hear you liked the info And I hope you open that WIP thread!
    "Art washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday Life" - Pablo Picasso

    My Instagram: Cricket Hollow

  6. #6

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    Thank you so much for posting Stephanie's words - she is also one of my favorite artists ever. Long before I ever even considered picking up a paintbrush I adored her art omg almost for the 20 years she's mentioned! How lovely is that!?

    I have since Oct 2015 created in some small way every single day. I even created "speed" exercises and games for myself to better utilize that very limited time I have. I would use my lunch hour and have a goal or theme prompts and just mad dash through it freely without overthinking and just enjoying the process of getting lines down and color splashed around and those are still some of my favorite little pieces.

    I hear that SO often from people when they ask me "how can you create so much" "how do you have the time" "I have no time" - which is all excuses to me. How can I have a full time job, two very little kids, a husband and home to care for and still make so much!? (I blame some sleep deprivations...) but I was once deployed when I was in the army and during those months of tent living and almost every hour of your day accounted for and taken by uncle sam I came to learn EVERY single minute yes is precious but there is SO much you can accomplish. When I returned home I felt I had so much time that I didn't know what do to with myself. Years later now I've lost that and I'm back to the OMG I HAVE NO TIME - but I use every waking minute that isn't full of work, kids, family, cleaning, errands with art! I fall asleep sitting at my art bench with markers and paintbrushes in hand. I'm more then a little sleep deprived and zaney the past year or two because of it. But I can't let a day go past without creating not always a finished piece but usually at least an ATC. I think that's why I moved to making ATC because they are usually something I can accomplish in a day or two.

    I hope you start finding the time and little ways you can create. I can guarantee you that when you take those stolen five minutes to do even anything that the next five minutes you will be faster, it will come quicker.

    I even doodle when I'm sitting in work meetings (luckily no one can see me doing that anymore haha)

    I love your new thread and can't wait to see more! Lets get on the road together to great art. Big hugs dear

    Let us not let a day slip by us without creating. Pinky swear!!!

  7. #7

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    And I just realized my comment might have sounded a bit crazy. I know we all have different levels of what we can fit in and different personal zones and mindsets we need in order to create. So I wasn't trying to say that everyone has to forfeit sleep to get some art in!! Sorry just realized I probably sounded rude or offensive maybe? My big mouth gets me in trouble sometimes. So I didn't mean it that way! I really should sleep more...and art less LOL...and fold the darn laundry OMG ARGGHHHHHH

  8. #8
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    lol...Pabkins, you didn't sound rude or offensive or anything of that sort! I appreciate your input; I have come to greatly admire the amount of wonderful art you are able to create and I wish you would teach me your secret. Your imagination is just brilliant and takes my breath away!

    As for that pinky swear, it's a deal!

    To be perfectly honest, I think the biggest enemy of my creative process and art, is me, myself and I! My friends and family have repeatedly told me I am too critical of my own work. For instance, I will make an ATC of which I am proud when I have finished it...then I will scan it to upload to the site...and then I start seeing things I don't like...and mind you, the things I end up not liking where the same ones I was proud of after I had finished the card! Next thing you know, I tear up the card and start all over again! It sounds insane, doesn't it? And it is insane! I have been this way since I was a little girl and I used to drive my late mom crazy: I'd show her something I had drawn or painted, and she would genuinely like it; then I would find something wrong with it, and throw it away! If I can get beyond this insane behavior, maybe I'll get somewhere as an artist.

    Okay, enough confessing for one day!
    "Art washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday Life" - Pablo Picasso

    My Instagram: Cricket Hollow

  9. #9
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    Thought I would share this too. I have been seriously bitten by the curiosity cabinet bug, and I asked emmadreamstar for a trade. We're doing a 3-3 and I sketched this card out a while ago to go with one of her themes: Steampunk...I think I may have invented a steampunk teapot in the process!

    PS: does anyone have any advise one how to scan pencil art so that it doesn't look so black/dark? I'd be very grateful
    Attached Images
    "Art washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday Life" - Pablo Picasso

    My Instagram: Cricket Hollow

  10. #10

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    Wow!! I am so jealous of her for this steam punk cabinet. I got your message I'll answer tomorrow after I get to back from the passport office.

    And omg I can't believe how many works of art you might jabber thrown away. Such treasures lost. You had just beget stop that wild behavior this second young lady!! *shakes finger at you*

    I personally take a picture on my phone and send it to a friend whenever i think I'm done and the photo helps me catch little mistakes that usually I'm able to adjust. I think mistakes are often what give the piece character.

    Oh and I think each scanner has different setting adjustments.

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