The purpose of a sketch a day is just to do it - sketch! It doesn't matter if it is an involved sketch or if it is a simple contour or gesture drawing. There are no rules except to sketch each day.

Life parameters can dictate the time investment, but a sketch a day commitment is designed to elevate the personal priority of sketching ... to enforce sketching. Making it into a "resolution" validates the activity (invests it with a bit of a challenge even!) and defends against competing demands. The sketch a day is designed for practice - to reinforce basic skills, and to provide daily contemplation on the issues of two dimensional representation.

Several of us are doing a sketch a day, and I would enjoy hearing from anyone else who decides to join in. We share our efforts, support each other, keep each other honest and... hopefully we'll have some fun doing this!

Click on any of the sketches to enlarge...
and don't forget to check out older posts!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011 NEW YEAR'S DAY

    Happy New Year! For my last drawing of 2011 I've done a lucky chicken bone. It's the "wish bone" - for those of you who aren't familiar with the children's game of pulling the wish bone - you make a wish, grab one of the sides of the dried Y shaped bone, and pull until it cracks. If you get the long end, then you get your wish! 
    It's been a long haul, but with this drawing I've managed to do a sketch or drawing a day for every day in 2011. Not that I managed to draw every day; no... some days I just didn't make it, but I drew a drawing for every day. 
    I got lots of practice, tried a few different techniques, did some experimenting, turned out some serious efforts, some playful sketches, and turned out some stinkers I posted anyway just to keep the numbers up! I am, as of this moment, heartily sick of drawing... but I know that will pass. 
    I won't be posting (or even trying to) every day for the next year. I'll probably take a little break just at first (!) though I will no doubt still draw and still post throughout the year. I expect I may well reorganize this blog or transfer some of my drawings to one that's organized more by subject matter. I am going to paint more, too - and post those. 
    Thanks for looking!  I do check my stats sometimes (thus the frog walking a dog), and although you don't comment I can tell there's folks who check in with me from all over the world. That keeps it exciting, and lets me imagine there's someone in India, someone in Australia, someone in Japan and so on who is an unknown friend. Happy New Year to each of you, and may you always get at least the best, wisest and luckiest part of your wishes!

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011

    Okay - one day away from having posted all year, and I'm running low on ideas... besides, the television, magazines, papers etc. are all about rehashing the year. So why not? I decided I'd take a look at the things people who visited this sketch blog were searching for when they ran across it, and choose one of the strangest (and some search terms are pretty strange...). 
    The search term I thought was oddest and also drawable ("dog dog gold" not being very drawable, for example) was "dog walking a frog". Okay, here's a frog out walking his pup.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011

    This is a pile of eggplant. Although you probably can't tell by looking at the finished drawing, I approached this one differently. I put in the outlines, then circled the highlights then filled in the next lightest values, then the medium ones, then just shaded in the rest and darkened the darkest value areas. In other words, whereas I usually work across the page, this time I began more as though I were going to do a poster style drawing, with the value areas outlined fairly crisply.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011

    Flipping through an earlier sketch book, checking for missed pages, I found this camellia sketch I had intended to color in with water colors as an experiment. I'd tried this earlier after spraying the graphite with fixative and the whole thing resisted the water color, so I had intended to try it without fixative, but never got around to it. I don't often use water colors, and when I do it's without a graphite sketch or with only a light outline so I was surprised to discover they were so opaque... covering all the graphite shading. On the other hand, they didn't seem to pick up the graphite and become muddied by it. Of course, since this isn't water color paper, it is buckled and you can see the shadows that causes. I could press most of these out if I were to need to do so... 

December 25, 2011

    Here's a drawing of a bow topping a present. Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2011

    Here's a simple straight-on side view of a cork. Appropriately, someone seems to have splashed something on the scanner bed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 23, 2011

    Not the clearest, least confusing drawing I've ever done... mainly because of the near left corner, which is supposed to be a  glossy, goldened portion of this leg of lamb roast which we had for Christmas Eve dinner... the tin foil at the end of the pan and above and to the back is confusing also. I think I'll give up and do a simple Christmas line drawing next! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 22, 2011

    These are small white scrubby pads one uses for face washing. I thought the stack of three would be amusing to draw, with the texture and subtle differences, but it not only did not prove amusing (boring!), but it also reminded me how annoying it can be to draw white things with a gray color (graphite) on white paper. Of course, one could fill in the whole background, but leaving white filaments simply isn't adequate. To extend the usefulness of the exercise I did two small texture studies - one very small with a tiny bit of black background.

December 21, 2011

    We ended up watching a movie on television tonight, and I can't draw from an object during amovie or I miss most of the movie, so I just made quick rough sketches from parts that stayed up long enough, or that kept coming up relatively the same several times.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 20, 2011

     Spider webs... just having fun... I should have added a fly somewhere, don't you think?

December 19, 2011

    For today's drawing, I finished the drawing of a basket of yarn and the unfinished scarf start that has been parked in this basket for an unbelievable amount of time... I wouldn't be surprised to discover the two have melded!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 18, 2011

    This is a close up view of the bottom tip of the bombilla.

December 17, 2011

    This is a gourd and bombilla for sipping yerba mate.

December 16, 2011

    The reason there are shadows on the lower left corner and along the right edge is because this pad is enough larger than the scanner bed to cause the lid hinge to bump it up off the glass a bit. This is the start on a basket of knitting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 15, 2011

    I rarely watch any television but there was a nature show on which I wanted to see, so to try to make the time count a bit more I held my pad on my lap... I did this quickly and loosely, and the head end was beyond my range of vision without twisting around uncomfortably. 

December 14, 2011

    What I decided to do was to use the outline for one object as if it were a "scribble drawing" challenge. Instead of drawing something out of a scribble, I would draw something within the outline, turning it in any direction. 
    After turning the outline onto the side, I chose to draw an imaginary animal since that gives complete freedom to invent. I think this creature looks like a type of dragon and like some of the images of very tiny animals blown up very large - fleas, mites and so on.  

December 13, 2011

    Again, an outline drawing. This time it is a still life, but composed of two palm plants; a tall and a short one. I lost track and started to go into the interior near the lower right, but otherwise there are no interior lines - where two fronds cross, the result is the outside edge of the combination with no opposite side to either. 
    I'm not entirely sure what I'll do next with this outline. Maybe fill it in, like I did with the guy reading to the dog, or maybe something else. Whatever I end up doing, it'll be light, quick and fun since I'm needing to catch up and needing to feel like squeezing in drawing time at all in these over-burdened days.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 12, 2011

     Three tiny dog bones. I thought they'd be a good thing to draw since they are irregular and beige and textural, but really they just turned out to be unsatisfactorily peculiarly shaped and beige... almost the same color all over even when I increased the lighting for more shadows. 
    These are the tiny bones you give many times a day for rewards, so they are probably poured into little molds with residue, air bubbles and flat backs. 
    Oh well... I'm on catch-up mode so I need to do some very quick and easy drawings. Also:  I'm out of paper and haven't been getting out due to the world's longest duration cold. Today will be art pad store visit day at last! At last I'm not coughing so much strangers shy away (which could be a Good thing)... 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 11, 2011

                                   Guy reading to a dog
    Okay, so I went all around the perimeter of this drawing first, working from a photo, and showed the result in my last post. As an exercise, it was fairly amusing and I really expected a pretty goofy result (well, a much goofier result at any rate ... maybe next time) because I thought I would probably be further off in more parts than it turned out I was. 
    When you work from one side to another or all over the page, you have multiple internal checks for things lining up, being at the same level, coming together at the right points or leaving a certain shape in negative space. Here, the only negative space was around the shape and under the guy's right arm. 
     Next time, maybe I'll try a more peculiar outline. Maybe next time I'll try doing a still life (or something else able to stay still long enough since this takes a little while). At any rate, it livened the routine up a bit for me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 10, 2011

    This is an outline of my son holding his dog on his lap. I did this from a photo (or else it would have been lots of wiggly lines and those parenthetical motion indications they use in cartoons). It is something of an exercise - related to the exercise of blind contour. It wasn't done blind at all, and not nearly as slowly and carefully as those are supposed to be done. It is, then, somewhat of a homunculous type drawing; the distortions probably reflect my perceptions of the importance of the parts. Now I'll go fill it in - if I can!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 9, 2011

    This was a branch of kelp we found on the beach in California. We bravely kept these through their stinky period and it turns out they eventually become very hard and brown, just like wood, only with wonderful wavy edges that look peculiar to find in a natural wood "branch".

December 8, 2011

    This is actually a drawing I did and posted earlier, with just the front six eggs. I took off the top of the third set of eggs back and found these little dragonlets inside, so here's tonight's drawing - a carton of eggs that have been around way, way too long!

December 7, 2011

    This is an odd little shell with garnet red spots. It's called a drupa shell.

December 6, 2011

    A simple drawing of a single money plant pod. I wanted to see if I could reproduce something of the satiny surface, and I needed a few easier, quicker drawings to do in the last couple of days since I've been feeling under the weather and gotten behind.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 5, 2011

    This time, a larger but simple sketch - of the empty pod "coins" from a money plant.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 4, 2011

    Here's the last of the tiny three - it's a paperweight made out of ammonite stone. Apparently, ammonites were so numerous in some places that the ocean floor piled up with their shells after they died. Some matrix material worked it's way in between and after everything got pressed into stone it became an elaborately detailed pale beige, peach, translucent grey and charcoal stone that takes a nice polish and ends up in museum gift shops.

December 3, 2011

    This is a very small drawing too... I am just not well enough (no voice!) to go out and buy myself a new sketch pad and I'm running out of paper so I've done the last, this and next sketches on the same page! The shadows on this metal pencil sharpener were interesting - it would have been interesting to do them in color as the lighter areas on the left had a luminous blue cast while the ones on the right glowed in an odd yellow.

December 2, 2011

    This is a small drawing of a small object - a fossil ammonite.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 1, 2011

    I finished up the long, long drawing of a folded up white quilt with one fold of a pilly pink acrylic blanket to the right.