Monday, June 13, 2011

Drawing Lab June - the first results

As I've stated before, my June studio warm up will be about drawing, just like in May. But instead of using the EDM list, this month I want to draw from Carla Sonheim's book "Drawing Lab". If you don't have this book and think drawing is a drag, you really should get it, because it's full of fun exercises, and although sometimes it focuses on drawing from life, there's also some really silly (as she would call it) stuff in there. It helps you loosen up about your drawing and not take it too seriously while still working on the craft. I like that.

Without further ado let me show you what I've done so far.

I started with drawing lab 3 in which you had to do gesture drawings of your pet. Well, I have no pet anymore, so I used youtube, which was far from ideal, but hey, it's only practice right? can pause the video, so that helps. I was never able to pause my cats when I still had them, that's for sure. ;-) 

I made four pages of these, but am only showing two. They don't make great drawings, and I think you get the idea. What is amazing though is that even with such fast drawings you can make out that they're cats and what they are doing. So, it's good practice.

Next I did drawing lab number 6, wich was about drawing multiples. I love love love all these doggies. I used a picture in a book as a starting reference and then just drew the same dog over and over again. This was a really fun exercise.

It's amazing how with the same reference, when you draw a little loosely, you can still come up with 20 different images, that are connected, but not real copies of each other. I like the effect of all of them together. I guess it's true what I read in a book about home decorating with junk items:  one is junk, three is a collection. ;-)

I guess you can also tell I'm not doing all the labs. This has to do with practical reasons (I cannot create a coffee shop environment in my studio and draw the people sitting there) and preferences (I just don't like monkeys, so why should I draw one, bleh).

The next is lab 8, which was another silly one. Making up creatures from paint blobs. I came up with some very strange ones indeed, but are they cool or what?

After this came lab 9, in which I surprised myself. It was about drawing with your non dominant hand. I saw some of the examples and thought: wow, I can never do them that good, but they didn't turn out half bad.
I used some images from an ad in an old newspaper as reference.

For lab 12, which was about semi blind contour drawing (drawing the outlines without looking, but taking some peeks every now and then), I used some old vacation shots of a vacation with my family. On the left is my middle sister holding a hand puppet and on the right are my two sisters and my cousin sitting together on some steps in Berenkastel (Germany).

And finally lab 12 amazed me again. I have drawn many eyes in the faces of the girls I have drawn my entire life (like the sad girls in my give away), but I have rarely really drawn an eye up close and was a little worried I could not do that. The aim was to draw the same thing realistically four times with different materials. I didn't have all the materials Carla suggested in the book on hand, so I improvised with different ones. I like how different media can give different effects to the same thing. I think the colored pencil one is my favorite.

All in all I am learning a lot from these exercises and I am really enjoying them. Hope you liked looking at my progress and I will keep you posted on how this June project continues.

For now I'm signing off by wishing you a wonderfully creative week!


  1. Wow, you had a fun and creative week. I love the fact the subjects and labs are all so different.

  2. Wat een gave dingen heb je weer gemaakt!!! Die met die hondjes en die met de vlekkenbeesten zijn mijn favoriet (ook om zelf te doen;))

  3. Wow, you've been quite productive! :)
    I love to look at your drawings, especially because I just started working on the same book (I'm doing all of them - left out the zoo for practical reasons though) - and I totally agree, it's such a big inspiration, perfect medicine against "blocks" and perfectionism. :)
    It's fun to see other people's approaches to the exercises (I'm only at #8 yet)! Looking forward to seeing the rest! :)

  4. I really like your paint blob animals...they came out great! I think I was put off by the 'drawing from life' aspect of the labs (kinda scary to me), but seeing you draw from pictures and photos is making me think about trying the book again. And seeing you skip around and choose the labs you do and don't want to do...well, that's what this rule-follower needed to see in order to give herself permission to do the same! :-)

  5. Great drawings and great attitude of fun too! I love that book.

  6. What a wonderful journey you've undertaken. It's fun seeing what you've been doing! nancy

  7. I have that book too and love it. Now, I really need to ACTUALLY do some of the exercises in the book! You've got me inspired to do so:)

  8. You are off to a fabulous start! I loved your multiples and still go back and tenderly look at mine from when I did that exercise last summer. Love all you've done so far.

    Did you ever see the photo on my blog from our day in New York with Carla? She's wonderful! You can search on her name in the right sidebar.

  9. Thank you all for your great comments!

    @ephi, how cool you are doing ALL of them. I also would love to do the Zoo one, but there's no zoo on the island, so I passed that one up too.

    @Andria, yes you really have to just pick out what you like, but still, a little challenge is good for you too, haha.

    @Beth, get to work, right, now, ;-) LOL! and show some on your blog!

    @shirley, yes, I did see that already and I'm jealous too ;-)


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