Thoughts and Lessons from Drawing August 2015

Drawing of Man in Apron

I’m coming towards the end of Drawing August and each year that I take part is a very different experience. I thought I’d share a few things from this time around.

Set Limits

First of all, setting limitations for my daily drawings still seems to be working well for me. In this case the limitation has been that every drawing throughout the month will be of a person. Knowing that I’ll be drawing the same kind of thing each day makes it easier to get started and also to plan for each drawing.

I don’t waste any time working out what to draw each day, I just sit down and get on with it and I gather photos to use for reference as the month goes along so I always have something to work from.

Share – and Find Your People

Throughout this month I’m sharing each of my drawings on Instagram, which also automatically posts to Twitter and a couple of other places. What I’ve also done though, is share every drawing with a Facebook community of sketchers that I was already a member of. Unlike posting my drawings just generally on social media, this narrows down the audience to people who are already sharing their work with one another and are interested in seeing other people’s work.

I’ve heard it said before, but if you’re doing creative work, do share it online but also find out where other people like you are hanging out online and share it directly with them too. You’ll get lots of feedback and encouragement, and knowing that there are people keen to see your drawing each day can be really motivating too.

Finish Every Drawing!

When I took the first Sketchbook Skool klass last year, Tommy Kane said in one of his videos that it’s important to always finish every drawing, even if you think it’s going wrong. That’s definitely something I agree with, even more after these past few weeks.

I’ve hated some of my drawings while I’ve been doing them but once finished I’ve seen them differently and came to like them. At other times the opposite happened, and a drawing that I thought was going OK turned into one where the head was too big or the feet were too tiny.

Either way, it’s been good to complete each one because either it turns out better than I think and gives me a boost, or I spot things that went wrong, which I can learn from when I turn the page for the next drawing. And if it goes ‘wrong’, it’s not the end of the world because there is always that next page.

Choose Your Materials

I wasn’t exactly sure what art materials I was going to use for this project but I’m consistently using multiliners and markers at the moment. Although the paper in my current sketchbook is nice and thick, the ink from the markers still bleeds through to the other side. I can live with that but the paper also has a texture to it, so if I continue using these markers I think I’ll go back to a Leuchtturm sketchbook because the paper in them is really thick but also really smooth, which I think will suit these markers better.

So these are just a few thoughts and things I’ve learned from drawing a person a day for August. I’m thinking of continuing my daily people drawings into September as well, and maybe at some point I’ll actually get out and sketch some people from real life!

What things have you figured out as a result of doing creative work daily (or at least on a regular basis)?


4 thoughts on “Thoughts and Lessons from Drawing August 2015

  1. Katrina Sophia Reply

    Sharing in some Facebook groups is such a good idea! I need to find one and join in. Regarding choosing a material – I have recently started a sketchbook and while I am loving it, I found out that the paper isn’t good for my pro markers and sharpies 🙁 I have couple of Leuchtturm notebooks so will try it out!

    Katrina Sophia

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      Hi Katrina. It’s definitely a good plan to find an online community to share with – Google+ and Yahoo Groups can also be useful for this. And yes, I know what you mean about certain types of paper not being good for markers. The Leuchtturm sketchbooks are really lovely and smooth though, let me know what you think of them.

  2. Joy @ Joyfully Green Reply

    I love (and live by) “find your people.” It really makes SUCH a difference in life to find like-minded creative people. (And I’m very happy to have found you, because we’re similar in so many ways, I’ve lost count!)

    As for “finish every drawing”…I almost agree, but I think I remember one of your architectural drawings that was left unfinished and it was beautiful just as it was. Maybe there’s a lesson somewhere in there, too? It’s late here, so I’m not sure what that lesson is, but I can feel it ticking in there somewhere! 😉

    1. Cathryn Worrell Reply

      I’m glad we found one another too Joy – it’s so helpful to have the support of others who really ‘get’ what you do, and you’re right, we do seem very similar in lots of different ways! 🙂

      Thanks for reminding me of that drawing. I suppose it would have been easy for me to give up on that particular one when I realised that I couldn’t/didn’t want to draw every last detail that would fit on the page. Adding some colour and deciding it was fine as it was maybe points towards a lesson on perfectionism. Having been awake for less than an hour I’m also finding it a bit difficult to be more specific than that!

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