I usually work best without any assignments. In fact things like a given theme or a set of rules can really get me stuck. But...every now and then it is nice to do something someone else tells you to anyway. It's good to get out of the comfort zone. It's good to try something new. It's good just to see what happens when you follow someone elses lead, no matter how little leading they do. It doesn't necessarily mean any good art will get made, so be warned ;-)
This week I did two exercises from two different books.
The first one is a dutch book full of assignments on abstract painting by Rolina van Vliet (Ga abstract : de praktijk). The following is just a simple study on shapes and structures.
I did it with acrylics in a large watercolour sketchbook. The interesting thing in making this was that I used no brushes whatsoever. Just painting knives, a pointy wooden dip pen and my fingers. Making it was really digging in to the paint and that was fun. But after all that effort I think we can safely say it's one of the ugliest things I have ever made and that's a true accomplishment indeed! ;-)
The other book I worked with is one I already showed you an exercise from (remember the cats in bed?). It's "Drawing Lab" by Carla Sonheim. This time I did the second lab which is about blind contour drawing. You are encouraged to draw giraffes. Where does she come up with this stuff? ;-)
I made several pages full of giraffes in all sorts of positions. For those who don't know it: blind contour drawing means you just look at the picture you want to draw after, not at your drawing. You follow the outline of your subject and never take your eyes of it. This means you don't see what's going on on the paper and your drawing ends up a big old mess, but it's supposed to help with learning to really see.
I won't bother you with all the silly giraffe like creatures I made, but I will show you the final page, because I had some extra fun with it. It's from an A4 size simple sketchbook/scrapbook.
The photograph I tried to draw was of a young giraffe bend forward to drink. I made several blind contour drawings of it on this page. What is interesting is that even though the drawings are all warped you can still kind of see they are giraffes. I liked these four together and decided to make a little scenery with them. So I made this field with a fence in the back and a sign that says what creatures they are (I liked the idea of 'blind contour giraffes' as just another type of giraffe) and a warning not to feed them. ;-) I colored everything with gouache.This is what one might call 'silly art' and I actually do like this one.
I think I will work from both books again in the future, so be prepared, you never know what might come up here.