Thursday, January 26, 2017

Erasers: Your Friend or Enemy? Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Erasers: Your Friend or Enemy?!
Many of you know I like to golf. And now that the snow is melted, the weather is warming up and the daylight hours are increasing, my thoughts are turning to the course. All golfers have lots of clubs in their bag. To the non-golfer it looks like a lot to just 'whack' the ball down the fairway.  But to us, they all have a place. 

Take for example the chipper.  As you get within 100 yards of the green, a satisfying whack with all you got is no longer possible.  Time for the chipper.  You need to think about the distance. Is it 90 yards or 25? But more important, you need to think about how you want the ball to land. To drop and stop or to roll?  How much roll? Forward or backwards? Not a simple thing. Lots of things to consider. But to make that decision you need to know what your club can do.

Erasers and Drawing have the same story.

Seems simple. You make a mistake, you erase it.  But just like your chip shot, you need to consider other things.  You want to erase the mark but more importantly you need to consider what happens after that. 

First think of your paper. All paper has a tooth, a series of bumps. The graphite is deposited in between the bumps.  When this happens you will see white flecks in the shaded area which gives texture.  When you press really hard you flatten the tooth and get a very shiny, sleek look. 
Different papers have a different size tooth
Now look at your erasers.

There are two main types out there.  The plastic erasure which is white and solid and the kneaded eraser which is soft and malleable. They both erase but in different ways.  With the plastic eraser you apply pressure and rub.  Kind of like that satisfying whack with driver.  You give it all you got and that nasty mess disappears. 

But wait a minute.

What is happening after? What have you done to the tooth of your paper?  If you use smooth paper with little tooth and want a smooth look, you're fine.  I use Rising Museum Board, that has a nice tooth.  I like to contrast the soft fur and feathers of my birds and animals with rough textures in their habitat.  I want my tooth intact after I erase. 
WISHFUL THINKING - Graphite - Notice the soft texture of the cat and bird and the rough texture of the branch

I rely on my kneaded eraser.  This eraser acts more like a low tack tape.  It picks things up.  To use it you shape it into a comfortable ball to hold in your hands and dab at the marks.  The graphite is 'picked up' by the eraser. To get the spot cleaner, you knead the eraser, to clean it. Then reshape and dab again.  Repeat again as needed.  No, you will never get back to the white of the paper again however, you will get close.  This lifting process results in getting rid of the nasty marks but still preserving most of the tooth of the paper.

Shape it to match the area you want to clear. Dab and lift. Notice the graphite on it. Knead it around so you have a clean spot, reshape and dab and lift. Do this several times to get it lighter. 

Erasers are more than just a Mess Buster.

Erasers can help in your drawing.  You want a sharp, clean white edge.  Use an eraser guard with the shape you want, take that plastic eraser and rub away.  You need a soft edge to blend your shadow line, take that kneaded eraser and gentle rub it over the area. Don't clean it, just gently rub it. Need a little highlight spot, shape you kneaded eraser into a point and 'lift out' your highlight. Like to work in the negative space. Lay down your mid value and then use your kneaded eraser to lift out the lights.  Brighten them up with your plastic eraser. 

The Crowning Touch in Erasing
Yes, there is a crowning touch to erasing.  Not like golf, when you have that magic moment of chipping your ball into the hole, but just as up-lifting.  It comes with 'The Brush'.  


The Great Encourager - whisking away debris on your picture with a brush!
Have a soft brush, approximately 1-1.5 inches wide, dedicated to your drawing.  After you erase, and there are particles on your surface, don't blow or whisk them away with your hand.  Pick up your brush and gently brush them away.  In that moment of brushing you will feel sooooo professional. That is a 'professional moment'.  When you are feeling despair at the mess, brushing it way with a brush gives you that professional feel.  Wonderful encouragement. You're ready to carry on.  (See my last post on dealing with Drawing Despair here.) 

Have you found some erasing secrets to share?  Add them to the comments below.

Take the Plunge and start drawing!  If you want some help I have several ways to help:

1. Zentangle Doodle Card Classes: Thursday, Feb 16, 1:30 - 3:30pm & 6-8pm Expressions Art Gallery, Maple Ridge.  Saturday, Feb. 18, 10:30-12:30 (FULL) & 2-4pm. , Art by Wendy Studio, N. Surrey   $30 Supplies Included. We will be working with mice and owls on our Zentangle Doodle Cards  (you knew I would have animals somewhere) Contact Wendy to REGISTER

2. Buy a few of my Zentangle Doodle Cards and start  Colouring. See my collection here.   They are fabulous fun, just imagine how special your cards will be when you personalize them like that.  Those special people in your life will cherish your cards.

3. Private Drawing Lessons -  2.5 hr sessions in my studio, flexible scheduling to fit your schedule. 3 lesson package $225. Beginners to Adanced are welcome.  Adults, Teens and Younger Students. ( $35 for 1 hour sessions for younger students.) more info here

Special Note to Artists: 
February is Marketing Month for Artists, time to really work on your Business Plan. Join me for a full day of getting ready to make 2017 your Best Sales Year ever.  

All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 10-3pm.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners  & Skytrainers give me a call and we can set something up.

Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)

 Have a great artful day, Wendy





Thursday, January 19, 2017

3 Ways to turn Drawing Despair into Action - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

It's January, time to start new things. Your new sketchbook and pencils are ready; you want to draw. Flush with excitement you start.

Oh no. That line is wrong, you erase, you start again.  Erase.  Draw a bit more, not quite happy but  keep going.  “I am not going to erase, just draw’” You say to yourself.  But then, it's not right.  Erase some more.  Slowly but surely your confidence wanes and you become discouraged. 

Simple but nice study of a flower
We have all been there.

I did not go to art school.  I did not take art classes in high school. But I did have that passion to create. My journey took me first to fiber and fabric and then to drawing. Learning to draw was a hard journey with many emotional ups and downs. You wonder, how did I keep going.  I learned from my students at school.  I taught in a high school Learning Center helping students with Learning Disabilities cope with school and its demands.  They wanted to be successfully but learning was a frustrating experience for them.

They taught me a lot.

1.    Give yourself little encouragers to keep going: 
No I don’t mean a piece of chocolate when you finish a page, but if that helps try it.  With drawing, it’s the little things that make you feel good.  Materials you like, a sketchbook that is right for your medium. This is not the time to ‘make do’.  Big Books can bog you down – 9 x 12 is nice in the studio 5.5 x 8 for field work.

Working with light and shadows
Start on page 2.  That first blank page has way too much power, flip the page and start working.  You can always glue a special picture on the first page, make it a title page or leave it as a cover. 

Large repetitious areas are discouraging and bog you down. If you are bored, move around the picture.  Mix it up.  Detail work then back to boring fill type areas.  Also, Don’t feel you have to finish every picture.  This is a sketchbook.  Have a focus skill you want to work on, once its done, move on if you like. 

2.    Make that inner critic work for you not against you
Developing a good inner critic is important.  Being able to critic your own work really helps your work improve. But you need to make it work with you.  When you work, stop, look at what is happening on the page.  (If you are sitting, put your book on an easel and step back).

 I know this is when that destructive voice takes over. Beat it to the punch. Ask yourself: What do I like about this picture? What is my favourite spot? What makes it so good?  How can I use that in other parts of the drawing?  See, you have him busy giving you good feedback that is productive. 
Ink & Coloured Pencil - I find this intriguing, it seems to show the stages of development.
3.    Celebrate your successes
I think this is something that is so easy to take for granted.  The drawing is done, you turn the page and move on.  I work in graphite which smudges after a while in a sketchbook.  When I finish a drawing that has lots of shading, I give it a light spray with fixative so it will stay nice. I put my book on an easel at the end of my drawing session. I enjoy my drawings. When I come back into my studio, it gives me a lift to see what I have done. Looking through my book feels good, I have nice, clean pictures to look back on. I can see where I came from, I can see my improvement, and I celebrate that. 
I love these little pigs - To me being unfinished adds to the interest,
Learning to draw can be a challenging and rewarding experience.  But it also is an emotional rollercoaster.  Keeping yourself moving forward will definitely lead to success. 

Do you have tricks and treats to keep yourself on track?  I’d love to hear what works for you.

Getting your drawing skills going is my focus right now.  Next up: Eraser. Your Friend or Enemy?!

 Take the Plunge and start drawing!  If you want some help I have several ways to help:

1. Zentangle Doodle Card Classes: Thursday, Feb 16, 1:30 - 3:30pm & 6-8pm Expressions Art Gallery, Maple Ridge.  Saturday, Feb. 18, 10:30-12:30 (FULL) & 2-4pm. , Art by Wendy Studio, N. Surrey   $30 Supplies Included. We will be working with mice and owls on our Zentangle Doodle Cards  (you knew I would have animals somewhere) Contact Wendy to REGISTER

2. Buy a few of my Zentangle Doodle Cards and start  Colouring. See my collection here.   They are fabulous fun, just imagine how special your cards will be when you personalize them like that.  Those special people in your life will cherish your cards.

3. Private Drawing Lessons -  2.5 hr sessions in my studio, flexible scheduling to fit your schedule. 3 lesson package $225. Beginners to Adanced are welcome.  Adults, Teens and Younger Students. ( $35 for 1 hour sessions for younger students.) more info here

Special Note to Artists: 
February is Marketing Month for Artists, time to really work on your Business Plan. Join me for a full day of getting ready to make 2017 your Best Sales Year ever.  

All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 10-3pm.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners  & Skytrainers give me a call and we can set something up.

Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)

 Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Take the Plunge - Painting & Drawing Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

Yes, Dive in and Create.  It is something you have always wanted to do but . . . . Life gets in the way.  We have all been there.

Looking for a start.  This could be for you.

With Christmas over I have been catching up with friends and I discovered something very interesting. My journey into Zentangle Doodles has really started something.
One of Jessie's Creations

Jessie, my friend in northern Alberta, was visiting when I first got my Zentangle book in 2015.  She thought it was very interesting and bought a book and materials before going home.  Well, she loved it. She worked away, showed her friends, they loved it too. Now they want to try.
Early pages from Jessie's Sketchbook - Aren't they Awesome!!
Talking to her this week, she talks about her excitement in her drawing.  She has got other drawing books and now she is trying trees, landscapes and more. Starting with the 'Zentangles' really gave her the skills and confidence she needed to move forward. She has always wanted to draw, not sure how to start and yes, a little afraid too.  Let's face it. That blank piece of paper can really stare you down, when confidence is low.

See what I mean, Something is really happening eh?

Carol, came to one of my Christmas Card Classes in the fall.  She has arthritis and a bit of shake but always wanted to try drawing. We found some patterns that really worked with a loose line and went for it.  Her comments "Oh Wendy, that was fabulous.  I am so glad I came. I have always wanted to draw, wait till I send my granddaughter my card.  She will love it. Let me know when you have more classes."  ( I must admit she was the inspiration that got me doing Valentine cards. but more on that later)
Carol's Fabulous Christmas Cards
Bonnie was also at one of my classes.  We did the cards on watercolour paper. She was so happy with hers she painted it and posted it on Facebook!
Bonnie's Awesome Christmas Card
See what I mean, there is something about working with patterns and ink that really brings that passion to draw, to life.

But what really brought it home was my walk with Marilyn, a walking buddy.  I was so blown away by her story I asked her to share it with you.

Marilyn
 As someone who is just beginning to explore drawing I find the Zentangles such a great jumping off point. After just 15 minutes with Wendy, exploring a few of the basic patterns, I felt confident enough to try a circle shaped like the ones she had done on her cards. There was no pencil drafting, no planning! I just separated the circle into three spaces with two wavy lines using my Pigma Micron 01 pen. I was working on a small watercolour pad which wasn't the best choice as the lines were not as uniform as they could have been. Nevertheless, I filled each of the spaces with a basic design.
Marilyn's First Christmas Card - Don't you love it!  I need her to show me how to do that fabulous font.  It really goes well with her message 
After twenty minutes the ornament was complete. I took the opportunity to colour it in with some Aquarel pencil crayons and a travel brush with a water reservoir since it was on watercolour paper. The result was so nice, my friend, Christine asked if I had just done that in such a short time. I was so thrilled with my little piece of artwork that I instantly gave it to her.


Marilyn's Nine Patch - Reminds me of Quilting
The next day I poked around on Pinterest and found so many other interesting designs I could try. Within a few minutes I had roughly eyeballed my page into nine sections and drawn a square in each one. I must have been so captivated with filling my sample sheet that I didn't realize two hours had passed.

Working in these nine little squares allowed me to be consistent even though there were many inconsistencies in my patterning. I played around with a bit of shading to create a 3D effect in the basket weave, saw how depth of field could be hinted at with different pen widths, deconstructed patterns on my own to replicate them on my page and even figured out how to remove unwanted lines with an x-acto knife with my page curled over a glass. 

For the first time I wasn't stressed about producing, or rather not producing, something I was pleased with, and was worth my time. Creating these patterns was very relaxing....a mindful relaxation. I had learned that I could be "artistic" without knowing how to draw properly. I could see from looking at drawings others had done that I could choose patterns for different reasons in my next tangle based on the amount of black vs white, the severity of the angles or softness of the curves, the thickness of the lines, the amount and shape of the pattern spaces..........Oooh.......I think I'll try a dragonfly!
Definitely good things happening here.  

These conversations were 'aha' moments for me.  I have felt I had found something.  Great for everyone but especially something for those wanting to get into drawing.  As my regular Blog readers know, I have been working away on my cards because I enjoy them, they're fun to make and I wanted to share the joy. (See last post).  But of course, alone in your studio, you don't really know how others feel.  I was thrilled to hear I had sparked all this creativity.

So, it's January, time to start new things - Take the Plunge and start drawing!  If you want some help I have several ways to help:

1. Zentangle Doodle Card Classes: Thursday, Feb 16, 1:30 - 3:30pm & 6-8pm Expressions Art Gallery, Maple Ridge.  Saturday, Feb. 18, 10:30-12:30, (FULL) and 2:00-4:00pm  Art by Wendy Studio, N. Surrey   $30 Supplies Included. We will be working with mice and owls in our Zentangle Doodle Cards  (you knew I would have animals somewhere) Contact Wendy to REGISTER

2. Buy a few of my Zentangle Doodle Cards and start  Colouring. See my collection here.   They are fabulous fun, just imagine how special your cards will be when you personalize them like that.  Those special people in your life will cherish your cards.

3. Private Drawing Lessons -  2.5 hr sessions in my studio, flexible scheduling to fit your schedule. 3 lesson package $225. Beginners to Adanced are welcome.  Adults, Teens and Younger Students. ( $35 for 1 hour sessions for younger students.) more info here

Time to make a plan and kick start your Passion to Draw.  Let me know how it works out.  Were these doodles a starting point for you?  What got you started?

Special Note to Artists: 
February is Marketing Month for Artists, time to really work on your Business Plan. Join me for a full day of getting ready to make 2017 your Best Sales Year ever.  

All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 10-3pm.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners  & Skytrainers give me a call and we can set something up.

 Be sure to like and share my posts.
 You won't miss a single one if you Follow by Email or Like my Facebook Page. Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar on my blog)

 Have a great artful day, Wendy

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Turn Doodles into Awesome - Drawing & Painting Tips

NEW WORKS FROM THE STUDIO OF ART BY WENDY

OK, I admit it.  I am hooked.  I mean really hooked.  

It all started innocently enough.  My art partner asked me to plan a Christmas Card for our Christmas Card making class using my doodles.  Easy to do I thought.  I have been working on doodles with my animals and created a whole series I call Constructive Organics.  (You can see them HERE ).   I worked up a series using trees that was 'doable' for Beginners to Advanced artists and thought I was done. 

 Then I had one of those moments.  You know when you ask yourself, "What if . . .?"  Suddenly I was knee deep in ideas.  I couldn't sleep, those ideas were just tumbling around in my head.  I had to try new shapes.  I was giving classes and cards were flying off my drawing table.  Thank heavens Christmas came and everything stopped. 

But, one of my students said " This was so much fun.  I would love to do more.  Let me know if you are going to do any more classes."  
By Boxing Day, I was in trouble again.  "What if I did cats? Mice are fun? Will Owls work?"  More sleepless nights!

My Doodles entering Awesome Land
You see, hooked!!  I am really hooked on my Doodles.  

Yes, I have created cards.  Fun cards.  Great for any Occassion.  Fun for you and Fun for those Receiving your Cards.  Picture this: Snowy cold day, you want to stay home and curl up with something easy and fun.  Grab one of my cards and some felts and colour away.  In a short time you will have a Special Card.  Great for that Thoughtful Thank You, an Awesome Birthday Card, or a Special Note for Someone you care about.  Once finished, cards can be framed.  As a bonus, Cards can be given as a gift with a few coloured pens.  They will be a wonderful gift for someone of any age, they can colour away too.  Great Fun, eh?

Here are my cards:
Cards are 5 x 7, with envelope, blank inside.  Printed on 110 lb acid free Cardstock.  Cards are $6 each or 4 for $20.  Shipping $4 in Canada & $6 to United States.  Shipped within 2-3 days after payment through Paypal.  All sales final, no refund or exchange on orders. Contact Wendy to purchase. 
VALENTINES FOR THE CAT'S MEOW

THE CAT'S MEOW

SPRING TULIPS
SASSY CATS
OWLS: SPECIAL FRIENDS
MERRY MICE
Yes, I have got some classes happening as well - TURN DOODLES INTO AWESOME -  Create your own Doodle cards.  Beginners to Advanced are welcome.  Yes, even Beginners will find them fun to do.  With pens, paints, felts and more, create your own one-of-a kind cards for those Special People in your life.  

Class Dates: 
Thursday, February 16, 1:30-3:30pm, Expressions Art Gallery, Valley Fair Mall, Maple Ridge
Thursday, February 16, 6-8pm, Expressions Art Gallery, Valley Fair Mall, Maple Ridge
Saturday, February 18, 10:30-12:30pm, FULL Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, North Surrey.
Saturday, February 18, 2-4:00pm, Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, North Surrey.

Cost: $30 All supplies included.  REGISTER NOW to turn your Doodles into Awesome,  Contact Wendy

Special Note to Artists: 
February is Marketing Month for Artists, time to really work on your Business Plan. Join me for a full day of getting ready to make 2017 your best sales year ever.  

All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 2017.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners give me a call and we can set something up.

Etsy Shop now Open: WendyMouldsArt  Come on In!!

Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you FOLLOW BY EMAIL or Like my Facebook Page.  Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list (see sidebar) Have a great artful day,
Wendy