100 Day Project: Days 21-25

I fell off the bandwagon with this set. I didn’t do a single one on the day of – I blame the kitty drama and extra hours at the office! I know that the whole philosophical point of the 100 Day Project is to simply Do ___ each day, but the way I look at it is that there’ll of course be a habit-forming learning curve and, also, as long as I catch up, the practice is getting done. Not ideal, but no harm, no foul!

21.  About monthly, Boy runs an RPG campaign, designed by him and two others and the rest of us act as play-testers and generally just have a good time together with yummy food.

22. I was quite happy to get the quilt top put together! I had begun fearing I may become so behind I wouldn’t finish it in time. I have it scheduled to quilt this week and then all I’ll have left to do is binding. I think I’m good!

23. I don’t really care about the iPhone brand specifically and I hardly use it to its full capacity (I don’t even check email on it and have most of its notifications turned off). But, this day found me chatting with my friend from Peru, and I was just happy I have that possibility. It’s pretty neat to have knowledge of the world pre-cell phones and then seeing how they’ve evolved (and pretty scary to see addicts and usage by young children).

24. I’m no photographer and never will be, but since I inherited Boy’s old one, I know my blog has gained an advantage. I do need to work on taking photographs of drawings though. My house is  as bright as a candle-lit cave in the winter so that’s part of the problem, I know. The other part? I just don’t like taking photos!!

25. This is the day we took Maya down to Purdue to fix her breathing woes. While they did not return her as good as new like we hoped, she is better and at least now has a diagnosis: nasopharyngeal stenosis (that was complicated by a snot rocket). It means her airway between the nose and throat is shrinking in size and that’s gotta get fixed! I’m super glad Purdue is within driving distance and knows what they are doing.

100 Day Project: Days 16-20

I’m noticing that I revert to quick sketches more often than careful studies. That’s not ideally what I wanted with this project when I started it (I wanted to see a development in realistic drawings), but logically it makes sense. I was over ambitious, I think, to believe I could do it all, and all at once – proportions, shading, blending, and so on. It is fatiguing. So, working on sketches actually is fine – once it takes less energy to sketch something proportionally, then I can spend more energy with the other components rather than getting bored and rushing through – which is what most of my criticisms are!

16. One of my new year changes is to write more letters. I shipped the first off on day 16!

17. I struggled with having no routine after my “early and temporary retirement” so I decided to spend the money and buy a planner. I’ve used planners off and on with varying success – mostly when I was a student to try to balance everything with homework requirements. I think it is something that you need practice with; I know for me I’ve gotten better using planners with more use (I use to think I wasted my money when I hardly used them!). This planner is great – it lets you set annual, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. I especially like the “This Week’s Top Three” and the “To-Do” column with boxes for each day (I always drew in my own boxes before so this was a fabulous change!). I’m not perfect at sticking to it, but it does help me stay intentional with my time. And, since it often feels like every day is a Saturday, it helps remind me that that simply isn’t true in the world of event scheduling!

18. I was on a reading hiatus for a bit, then I trudged through Glen Cook’s Black Company (I didn’t care for it). Then I tried Brian Jacques’s Red Wall (I think I missed the age time for that), and put it down to try Robert Jordan’s Conan the Magnificent (I was curious about a 1980’s fantasy book and it definitely shows its cultural age!). That wasn’t good either, but it was a believable world, at least. Order of events (mostly) made sense. The quality of writing was there, even if the story was pretty dumb in parts. So, I decided to finally try Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I began Eye of the World many moons ago, I believe right after grad school when my mind was still mush. I got to page 47 (found a sticky note bookmark) before I gave up. But, so far, I am finally excited to read again, yay!

19. As I earlier stated, Boy makes me food all the time. He use to hate mushrooms. And now its something he sautés all the time! YUM.

20. Lately, I’ve been working at Boy’s office quite a bit to help him catch up with some extra work. I do a lot of random things around there – getting mail or making a bank run, Quickbooks, simple hardware things, basic webpage builds, and still learning FreeBSD. (My favorite thing to do there is make a food run;) But I chose to draw it because I am super proud of him to have built a company that pays for our lifestyle – especially with me not working currently. Running a company isn’t a piece of cake, and his stress levels sometimes show the work it takes, but he loves what he does and you can’t ask for anything more.

Colored Pencil Techniques 1

Earlier, I had mentioned that I signed up for a free colored pencil class at the local library with someone who can make pencil drawings look like photographs. The class got delayed a week due to a big dump of snow (10″ that day) so tonight was Class 1. There are only 8 students so its pretty great with the teacher-student interaction.

We learned about blending. I always thought blending was what you do between two colors. Not in today’s example! Proper color pencil technique is all about building layers. We began with boxes. First an even layer of yellow, covered by an even layer of blue. Then, yellow again but with changing pressure from hard to light. Same with the blue. We could keep going back and forth to blend it nicely, or use other blending techniques if we had them available. For instance, you could use a white pencil, but I had a colorless blending pencil. I only had that because I bought a blending kit. I had never heard of one before but its pretty nifty! On the far side, I did experiment with white as a blending tool for comparison, which is why that section looks different.

After making green, we made orange the same way. First yellow, then red. I was helping a kid next to me understand what was meant by changing pressure so distractedly I picked up  my blue pencil when I started. Oops. Ignore the left! And then again, I put white on the righthand side. Which taught me to clean off the lead, as it still had some other colors mixed on it that smeared into my orange. Grr.

And then purple, with red followed by blue. This was the most difficult for me, and I think partly because my color set did not include a true red nor a true blue. White was also added on the right.

After that exercise, we drew an apple and used yellow and blue to make a green variety. I spent a lot of time working on blending the colors. I got a bit streaky with my blue. That is what I need to work on before next class. I got done a little early so I tossed on a stem and leaf.

While my blocks looked spotty, I worked a long time blending the apple to try to get those white dots outta there. It did nothing, though, for those pesky streaks! I also think I should have carried the stem down a little further since I added a little darkened spot up top. Lessons are being learned, I love it!

Next week will teach us different styles of filling, like hashing. After we learn some basic techniques, the rest of the course will be learning how to make an image from start to finish, learning crucial things along the way.

I’m excited – this is going so much better than stupid water color paints!