Research and Learning

I didn’t get a lot of drawing done today but I did have a wonderful day of research and learning.

I’ve been listening to many different videos on YouTube lately from New Masters Academy, Steve Huston, Jeff Watts with the Watts Atelier and Proko.

The videos are geared around question and answer sessions or art practice in general. I’m really interested in what other students of art are asking these prominent teachers and the questions are helpful and surprising.

Lots of the questions are all about technical aspects of art such as, “What materials are you using?” and “What art books do you recommend?”.

Then there are questions that seem technical but are more psychological in nature. Such as, “How do you get better at proportion?” and “How do you keep motivated?”. What is surprising about these questions is that most of the teachers didn’t have clear answers. In fact I don’t feel that Jeff Watts, Steve Huston or Proko were able to communicate clear tools for improvement in these areas.

But, I feel that I have an advantage here. Through the Optimize program I have learned many tools for deliberate practice, motivation, time management, identity management and the fundamentals of sleep, eat, move, focus, breath and being present that allows us to excel at whatever we choose.

Here is my plan. I’m going to go through all these videos, write down all the questions that I feel I have the tools to answer and do that here on my website. It’s going to take a lot of research and learning to pull off.

List of YouTube Videos

One video that I want to highlight in particular is the second part of a multiple part series where Stan Prokopenko and Marshal Vandruff give advice on how to create your own art school at home.

I love video and series it is so full of information that I’ve started a whole google doc just for it. I’m playing with the idea of creating, not an art school her on my website but giving the tools to artists so they can create an art school in their own home. I highly recommend watching it.

Warm-Up and Steve Huston Sketches

I’ve upped my game with the sketches from Steve Huston’s book by copying the sketches he’s done in his book and then trying to apply the knowledge to the figure. I’m loving this so much that I think I will start the book over again and do it from the beginning. The book has exercises in it, but I’m going to expand that to include almost every page and each major point that he goes over.

Steve huston studies

The Natural Way to Draw

The exercise today from Nicolaides’ book is a repeat of exercise seven, modeled drawing. This is an exercise where I push harder into the paper when the form of the figure goes back into space and go light when it advances. I did most of that then I got caught up in just drawing the figure and having fun with form.

graphite figure drawing

Daily Composition and Daily Sketch

Today’s sketch is of a tape dispencer again. Such a ubiquitous object yet so hard to draw. It’s a great challenge for anyone.

The daily composition is of a little girl at the part who was left along while her mother went back to the car to pick up something. I was struck at how alone, timid and fragile she looked. One day I hope to be able to succinctly communicate emotional impulses like this in my work.

daily compositoin and daily sketch

What went well?

My passion for art is super high right now and I’m so motivated for art that I feel I could work all day.

What needs work?

I’m working on getting super clear with my huge future goals in art and dialing that down to some awesome milestones that I have control over.

What did I learn?

Through my couple days of watching informative videos and today’s focus research and learning I find it hard to pull out just one thing that I’ve learned.

Session Details