Who is this grumpy woman? It’s me! Only I’m really not grumpy. I’m just looking a little to intensely at my mirror. It doesn’t really look like the beginning of a celebration, does it? But it is.
During my birthday month, I’m making a conscious effort to focus on the things I like about myself instead of finding more things to improve. Why not take a stab at celebrating who I am. Drawing, as always, is a great way to start.
IWhat kinds of things do yo do for yourself on your birthday. Do you ever celebrate for the whole month or the whole week?
5.5″ x 8″ pen and markers
In the past I’ve occasionally posted some drawings for Black History Month. Since it’s that time again, I thought it might be fun to revisit some old subjects.
Back in 2010 I did a sketch of a young Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993), the first African American on the Supreme Court and the lawyer who argued the famous Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court. This current sketch was drawn from a photo taken in 1967, around the time he became the court’s 96th justice.
I’ve always been fascinated by his story: the grandson of a slave, who initially went to college to study medicine and become a dentist, eventually becomes an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Check out his biography on Wikipedia.
pen and paper, 5 x7 inches
Instead of filling requests for portraits, I’ve been filling up my sketchbook with ballpoint pen drawings. Here’s one I thought came out quite well. As always, Michael is my ever-patient model. He looks like he’s thinking about something pretty serious, but I think he’s just asleep.
© 2011 Mellanie Collins
graphite on paper, 5 x 8 inches
On the first sunny and warm day this spring, Michael and I went to the park. Michael basked, and I sketched. At first I was frustrated. I had chosen an impossible angle and as it was such a glorious, lazy, summery afternoon I just couldn’t bear to get technical and try to do a “proper drawing.”
I had to mentally thumb my nose at my inner critic as she badgered me to consider the proportions or to “slow down and try do some proper hatching for god’s sake!” I just kept marking, smudging and scribbling on pages. I had such a great time.
Looks like I’m finally learning to just give myself a break and enjoy myself.
It’s about time.
Here’s a sketch I did for my pal Kati. It’s been a while since I’ve done a graphite piece.
Yesterday I got out my neglected watercolor moleskine book and set out to do a project just for myself. Back in February I was looking through photos on Flickr and came across this self-portrait by Dominic Perry . He gave me permission to use the photo as a reference. I told him that I was primarily interested in the hair and eyes and that I would most likely change the pose.
I finally got around to working on the drawing yesterday. I’m not sure if I want to do this as a painting, or just an ink and wash drawing. I’m pleased with this initial rough sketch. In the photograph the subject has, in my opinion, a rather defiant and cocky expression. As I sketched and kind of searched about for what I would do, I decided to try to make my character a bit world-weary and defeated. Michael says he looks like someone who’s been waiting at the airport too long. I suppose that I could call it Stand-by.
I’ll see how this goes. I’ll post my progress. I just hope it doesn’t end up a disaster.
I had been neglecting my sketchbook so I got out my dip pen and did a bunch of sketches. The best of the bunch is this cartoon of my husband. I found a picture that I had taken of him more than ten years ago and took a few liberties with it. I applied an indigo watercolor wash because coolness of the color seemed to match his expression.
It felt so good to just let go and not worry about the outcome or even finishing the thing. Coming back to my sketchbook is a lot like coming home after a long trip spent in too many hotel rooms.
5" x 5.5" graphite
Words fail. What a day!
Pencil sketch - Emma Watson as Hermione Granger
I just realized how close we are to the end of the year. I was looking back at the drawings I made this year and came across this sketch I did back in January. I posted it on Flickr but never posted it here. I wonder why, since I like this sketch quite a bit.
When I first finished it, I was just pleased that I had managed to make the hand look plausible. But over time, I really came to enjoy the expression that emerged here. I think it’s a little more wistful than the reference I used.
This is 8″x8″ and sketched with an Ebony pencil. I think these are the best overall sketch pencils if you want to draw loose and let yourself go. It’s a nice fat pencil that feels good in your hand. You can get a good range of tone with just the one pencil. I used to buy them by the handfuls.
pitt artist pen sketch
It’s been a while since I’ve worked on my Everyday Matters challenges, but on one of our walks I saw an opportunity to do one. I saw this 1954 GMC flatbed truck. I remembered that drawing a truck was on the list and this was a lovely truck to draw. It’s not really very rusty and appears to be in good condition. I’m definitely going back soon to do a more detail drawing and then try applying color.
It was so nice to have a chance to recharge a little. My husband had himself a little “staycation” and we hung out and had fun around town. What he liked best was sitting in the sun and taking walks around town with me. He claimed he was practicing for his retirement. It’s nice that he knows how to relax because I can get pretty wound up about things sometimes.