Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Letting Loose with Expression

The fourth and final week of “Drawn to Expression” started this week. I’m still playing catch-up. I’m so inspired by Gillian’s work and challenged by several of her lessons. Which is a good thing. If it were all easy-peasy, I don’t think I’d grow much as an artist.

Expressive Animals

We spend a fair amount of time working with portraits in class. We’ve also been challenged to sketch animals. I can’t quite figure out why sketching an animal seems easier and quicker (in some cases) than human faces. Do you find it easier to sketch an animal versus a human face?

In this first sketch, we were challenged to create the bee without outlining his body. That is, use tone to create the shape. And to imply a sense of movement.

Day4.BeeSketch

Bumblebee (Charcoal, charcoal pencil, graphite powder, Conte crayon, graphite pencil)

The next animal we sketched was an owl. Here the challenge was to create the image of the owl without putting in every.little.detail. Quite a challenge when you’re used to being told to put all the attributes of the model into your drawing.

Day4.OwlSketch

Owl (Charcoal, charcoal pencil, graphite, white gesso, Conte crayon)

Then, just for an extra challenge, we were asked to draw pairs of beetles (or butterflies, or flowers) using both hands. At the same time.

Yep, a piece of charcoal in one hand. And a charcoal pencil in the other hand. Drawing at the same time. Drawing with both sides of your brain.

Talk about a brain cramp.

Keep in mind the idea here is to challenge oneself. These are not meant to be pretty pictures that end up in a gilded frame. These are exercises meant to stretch our creative brains. To loosen us up. And to make us giggle. Which is what happened here.

Day3.TwoatOnce_Beetles

Two At One Time

The pair at the top in the center look like they’re waltzing. Personally, I think they look more like smooshed frogs than beetles.

And Bold Flowers

One of my favorite exercises thus far has been sketching flowers. Some of Gillian’s approaches in helping us become more expressive is to draw fast and then slow. To create and then obliterate. It moves one away from detail and from becoming too precious with the outcome. The hard part is noticing when you are getting “too detailed” or “too precious” with your piece.

We set a timer for this assignment and turned the paper 90 degrees every few minutes. I’ve taken the same approach (turning the paper or canvas 90 degrees) when painting. It really does force you to look at your piece differently. Perhaps finding a spark that you didn’t notice before.

Landscape pose:

Day3.FlowersinVase_Landscape

Flowers (Charcoal pencil, graphite pencil, Conte crayon, soft pastel)

And portrait pose:

Day3.FlowersinVase_Portrait

Oh, not only did I turn the paper 90 degrees every few minutes. I also turned the vase of flowers each time I changed the direction of the paper. So the visual perspective was changing all the time.

I have much more to share but will end here for now. Till next time…

 

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Graduate Owl Ornimal Ornaments: Now Available + How to Sculpt Owl Feet

My Graduate Owl Ornimal Ornaments are now available for purchase. Five of the Graduate Owls are nesting at Five Crows in Natick & waiting for their new forever homes. The remainder are available from me directly. The Graduate Owls are $28.00 (+ MA sales tax if you’re a resident.) If you’re out of state, I ship via USPS Priority mail. Shipping costs will be added to your order. The Graduate Owls come with a story card and are placed in a clear gift box .

Graduate Owl Ornimals

Doesn’t it look like they’re going to break out in a round of hooting?

If you’re interested in buying a Graduate Owl Ornimal for your 2012 graduate, leave a comment on this post. Let me know if you’d like a custom color tassel to match your graduate’s class colors. Tassels are included for free. I’m already working on a second batch of Graduate Owls as I only have one left in stock. (Yep, four have already been claimed for some special 2012 graduates.)

How To Sculpt Owl Feet

In the midst of producing the Graduate Owls, I decided to make a series of videos on how they were created. The first one in the series shows how I sculpt their feet. Enjoy!


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A New Ornimal Revealed: The Graduate Owl Ornimal

Over the last couple of days, I shared with you two pictures of a new Ornimal that I created this week. I asked you to guess what you thought the critter would become.

You were on the right track when you guessed something in the bird family: a chicken, a duck, a goose, or an ostrich.

Today, I reveal the finished piece.

Here are the two earlier pictures that helped you with your guesses:

And here is the finished piece, the Graduate Owl Ornimal

Graduate Owl Ornimal 2012

I had fun creating this new Ornimal, especially adding his graduation cap and feet. The addition of the feet make him mult-functional; you can display him on a shelf or table or you can hang him from a hook. I’m contemplating the addition of a small tassel, perhaps making them individual to the graduate’s school colors.

The Graduate Owl Ornimal is available for purchase for $28.00. Orders happily accepted for delivery in time for May or June graduations. The Graduate Owl Ornimal is approximately 3″ tall.

Thanks to everyone who sent in their guesses and congratulations to Jean W who correctly guessed that this was an owl based on the part 2 image post.