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Sketch Fest

Ellen Million is hosting a Sketch Feat. http://ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

People are leaving prompts and artists are sketching. In whatever media they want to practice. If you go to the site and go to the prompts page, you can see the prompts, and click to see who claimed the prompts, and/or click to see the sketches.

When I asked what I should talk about in this journal, several of you asked about my creative process. So, what is it like to do a challenge like this?

Today wasn't ideal. It's hot enough that I had to keep putting water on the dollops of acrylic paint on my makeshift pallette. But the "not ideal" part started earlier--at lunchtime, when the computer crashed. The clever software in it recovered, leaving me with an alarming message. So, when I got home, I scanned prompts and started the computer to do the waiting update. Which took forever. No way to Google images; go check the junk mail for some kind of ad or magazine with pictures, since one of my goals has been to get better at faces.

The prompt that stuck in my brain was "butterfly tears".  That's a good choice for my goal of painting at least one face during the sketch fest, since tears come from eyes, which are in the face.  The photos I found were tiny, which is doubtless part of why it took me so long to get the face to the point where I didn't hate it.

So, I started with sky.  Butterflies need sky.  And acrylics cover each other pretty well, for the most part, which means you paint the background first.  Or at least I do.  

And then I started sketching in the face, all in paint.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but the shape was wrong, and I ended up spending a bunch of time on that.  These two pictures are about a half-hour apart.  Doesn't look like it does it?

Next, I started to really fill in the face, adding eyes.  And shifting them--this one's too big, that one's too low, and so on.

One of these days, I'll get to the point where I don't have to draw or paint the parts of faces a dozen times before they get close to right.  It's just one of those things where you need to practice to build skills.  

Which means, of course, it's time to pretend I'm a patient woman.  Paint, snap a pic, look at what is effectively a thumbnail, paint some more, look at the photo I'm using for reference, and so on.  Slow, picky--stuff that my sister Dragon would have had finished by doing it right the first time.  But then, there's other things that I can do right the first time that she fumbles at.  It's all in where we put in our hours of practice.

Then the hair.  I like doing hair, I understand hair.  Though the more I look at this sketch, the more I think I'll need to add more hair; the head looks short.  So I'll have to put a bit more paint on this later.  

Then, finally, the inspiration from the prompt.  I'd like to add a few more butterflies flying off into the distance, but this is good enough for tonight:

I'm willing to send a real scan of the picture (as opposed to a cell-phone photo) to anyone who tips, and the original is also for sale, once I'm sure I'm done with it and less sleepy.

Oh, and comments and questions are welcome!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
That looks good and I admire you for taking this chance to get more practice in at faces. Bummer you've had some setbacks today but hopefully it gets better!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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