The beginning of my morning started as planned with a warm-up drawing, sketches from Figure Drawing for Artists then turned into a day of reflection.
I’ve been beginning all my daily art sessions with a warm-up exercise with sketches from Steve Huston’s book for a few days and I’m really enjoying it.
What I had planned to do next was some work from The Natural Way to Draw exercises. The next exercise is number 20, the gestures of the features. In this exercise I’m to do one minute sketches of heads and focus on their gesture in active terms. Such as droopy, flaring, aggressive, penetrating, timid and blocky, trying to communicate these word in images of each feature, either the eyes, notes, lips, chin, etc…
But, then I remembered Jeff Watt’s and his course that I took back in June 2015, almost exactly 4 years ago. Mr Watts had an exercise of drawing 15 second, 30 second 1 minute head studies. So I decided to look up my notes on this course and watch some of the videos of his online atelier.
I was fascinated by the videos. He has a skill far above my own and a way with his craft that motivates me like no other. Plus, I was ecstatic when he began reading from Robert Henri’s book. I had totally forgotten how good this course was for me that year and this is something that I really forgot to mention in my review of his course later that year.
Through all of this, I’ve come to a conclusion along with my day of reflection. The reflection is that I didn’t give Jeff Watts and his course enough credit for changing my life in art and I’ve only realized now how valuable his online course is.
Not only will this year be one of the most influential years on my art that I’ve ever had in my life but the most productive and if I’m going to achieve anything with my art in the proceeding years I need to have a Fully Realized Vision in a Body of Work and the skill to back it up.
My ultimate soul goal for my art is to, in the terms of Jeff Watts, “Get Good!”.
Warm-up and Head Contour
I’ve written about my warm-up practice in many previous posts. A practice that also started with Jeff Watts’ influence. But I’ve been adding to it by copying drawing from Steve Huston’s book during my warmup.
At the moment, where I’m reading is his book, perfectly coincides with where I am in the exercises with Nicoloaides’ book.
One Minute Head Studies
The Natural Way to Draw from Kimon Nicolaides is quickly becoming one of the most influential writings on my art. It’s much different than any other book that teaches art technique because it focuses on exercises that teach the student how to communicate with our materials, not just the ability to draw well.
Drawing well and painting well is important but what really shakes the world is what you say with the skills you work hard to cultivate.
I ended up adjusting the exercise a bit and introducing things I’m learning from Steve Huston as well as motivation from Jeff Watts drawing one minute head sketches.
The way Jeff Watts was able to describe these tiny heads in just one minute was astonishing. I was blown away with how well he used his charcoal pencil in a very deliberate manner to get thick and thin lines quickly and easily to describe so much with so little.
At some point in the future I plan on going trough the Watts Atelier course again.
Daily Composition and Daily Sketch
For the daily sketch I drew on of my 50 clips that I have hanging and laying all over the place. These things are too useful, I don’t feel I can have enough of them.
I didn’t have much interaction with anyone but my wife in the last 24 hours so I drew my memory of Jeff Watts on one of his videos for the daily composition.
My next fandom fitness drawing is taking a turn and focusing on one of my biggest heroes from real life. Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
I spent a lot of time today researching images as this drawing is going to be super important to me and very poignant for the current climate.
I haven’t decided on an image yet, it may take many days for me to figure it out. What I what to communicate. But for now have a look at MLK’s amazing history in photos from Getty images.
What went well?
Lot of thought provoking ideas to that that may signify a huge change in my art making.
What needs work?
My skills need work, always and forever I”m going to strive daily to be the best I can be in art and all of life.
What did I learn?
Martin Luther King Jr changed the world before he died at 39 years old. I’m turning 45 years old this year… That thought is humbling.