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Thing 3a - complete!

3a. Take an online course

Date Completed: 16 August 2014

Today I finished Sketchbook Skool: Beginnings, a six-week course about starting to draw your life. It was marvelous and I hope its lessons will stick with me - or at least the habit of drawing regularly, which is why I took it in the first place.

(As always, click to embiggen.)

Danny Gregory was the name I primarily recognized, famous for Everyday Matters. He explained how he started art journaling, and probably had the most influence on me of any of the teachers. His technique of drawing the entire outline of an object (or objects) before filling in any of the interior details was not something I'd tried before. I also particularly liked his purpose in drawing: not so much to capture the image, but to connect with the subject of his drawing. His example was of drawing his son's shoes, and how while he was drawing them he was thinking about his son.
A stained glass shorebird my grandfather made

Koosje Koene branched us out into urban sketching, of drawing on location and in public. I was familiar with this, but she offered some great encouragement. I wasn't so happy with her colored pencil assignment, but that wasn't her fault - my drawing just turned out terrible and it was very frustrating.
The Boneyard Creek

Prashant Miranda struck me as fantastically cheerful. He taught watercolor skylines, but what I mostly took away was his deep affection for his surroundings, and how that showed through in his drawings.
Watercolor practice at Bull Run Regional Park

Jane LaFazio has a passion for drawing plants, and I learned from her about composition and color. Having been unable to find a decent place to draw outdoors, for her assignment I purchased a bouquet of flowers. Life promptly got in the way, so for my assignment I drew dying flowers. But they turned out okay.

Roz Stendahl is a rather kooky lady who focused on drawing animals. She suggested starting with taxidermy or lifelike toys before moving on to our pets. I had a lot of trouble with it, but it was a good exercise, even if my pets are jerks who kept walking away. One day, if I ever find the stamina to endure the Natural History Museum, I'll have to give sketching taxidermy a try. My model drawings were, um, less than stellar. I think the toys I purchased were too small.
Echo kept walking away. Crush buried himself under the rocks. Jerks.

Tommy Kane taught me patience and persistence. He believes in capturing every detail, taking ages to finish a sketch, and finishing every drawing he starts. I drew my kitchen, which took me 90 minutes and far longer than I'd ever taken for any other drawing of that size.
My kitchen

All in all, a really great class. It gave me a lot more confidence when drawing with pen or in public. All drawing is drawing practice, after all, and you'll never get any good at anything if you don't do it a lot.

Now I just need to get my hands on a water brush.

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