Goodbye 2009! Happy New Year Everyone!

Ian 5x7_web
5"x7" walnut ink and colored pencil

This year has really flown by for me.  I’ve been busy drawing and painting artist trading cards and I haven’t come up for air very often.  I counted up my scans for the year and found that I had made 204 ATCs  for swaps and personal trades–and that doesn’t include a few 5×7  and 4×6 pieces that I had done on request.  All finished art, not sketches.   I’ve never made so much art in my life.   I’m pretty pleased about that.

So what about 2010?  What goal do I have?   I want to relax and enjoy myself.   Instead of working on a list of things to improve, I’m going to work on a list of things it would be fun to explore.   I’ve learned that when  I’m having fun and getting enthused my work tends to improve on it’s own.  When I struggle and strive,  my work gets tight and strained.  I may learn some new techniques but the drawing seems flat and lacking.

Well, that’s my theory.

Thanks everyone for visiting during the year and leaving me such wonderful comments.   I love sharing my work with you.  I wish you all the best for 2010 and hope you have a safe and Happy New Year!

Every Day in May – Day 4 – Another Pug Sketch

graphite pencil
graphite pencil

I’m still doing sketches for an artist trading card for a friend of mine.   I’m working on getting just the right expression.   I’m not really a dog person, but the more I study the reference photos I was given, the more I appreciate this dog.  He’s awfully cute.  Perhaps that’s why I always spend a lot of time making sketches for cards before I do final drawings and coloring or paint.  I feel like I get some sort of connection with the subject before I let it go.  It could just be something like really loving a line under a nose, or the way a curve indents when you think it shouldn’t.

Drawing is ultimately about paying attention and being present.  When I am walking around throughout the day, I have a tendancy to rush about and only take a cursory look at things.  I notice just what I need to notice and move on.  Maybe that’s why I can be so compulsive about drawing.  It’s practically the only time I pay real attention to things and ultimately find so much appreciation for them.   Drawing grounds me like nothing else.