Sunday, 12 May 2013

[Creative Warriors] March Project

I've only just had the inspiration to start on the Creative Warriors March project last week. What can I say? Inspiration comes when it comes. I've done just the first half of the project so far, which is to do a self-portrait on a loose piece of paper, incorporating something from the month of March that's personal to you. I ended up drawing myself with a crochet hook. Even though I didn't actually do much, I was thinking about craft quite a bit, since the weather had finally started to get cooler and I was in the mood to start handling fibre again.

This was a big step out of my Comfort Zone! In the last few years I've done barely any figurative drawing. I've stuck mainly to abstract doodles, swirlies and mandalas. The last time I drew a large, realistic face was over 3 years ago. This was hard! I can't tell you how many times I rubbed out various features and tried again. Showed it to Husband and said, "how does this look?" I couldn't picture how a nose would look straight-on, so I took a photo of myself on my ipod and propped it up next to my sketch book for reference. I did the nose, lips and chin that way. The hand I drew from looking at my own hand. Then I did the colouring with watercolour pencils.

Overall I'm happy with the drawing, as long as I keep reminding myself it's just a first attempt! I like the eyes and nose, but I think I need more practice doing lips, and my chin is longer in real life. I also have just a blank space under my chin instead of a proper neck and shoulders. (Not to mention clothes!) But I can fix that in stage 2 of the project. I think the hand is quite good, though. I haven't been very good at hands so far, but perhaps some more detailed studies like this one will help.

As for the colours, I really liked the shading of the face - just a very pale pink around the edges - and the eyes. The hair could have done with a few highlights: it just looks like a flat plane. I tried to draw purple mascara eyelashes with the watercolour pencil, but they turned out all blobby so I made them into eyeshadow instead. And the hand! I was trying to make it a slightly different colour to the skin of my neck to differentiate it. I didn't meant to make it bright orange! It's so unnatural! But remembering Journal Girl's lesson about playing with colour, I let go and realised I kinda like it.

Part 2 of the project involves incorporating the drawing into an art journal page. Hopefully I'll be able to work on that next weekend. I've already learned a lot from Part 1. I'm better at drawing than I thought I was! I feel more comfortable to study my own face and use it as a source than I might have been in the past. I've also realised that I really like using watercolour pencils. I think I even prefer them to watercolours in a pan for most things. I'd like to get some nicer ones in a larger range of colours.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and other arty/crafty goodness!

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