09 February 2014

Artist State of Mind: Noonie's Artistic Journey Part 1: Drawing

My 1st conscious drawing
as an artist.

If you've ever read this blog, you would know that I am an artist. Although I have posted some of my projects and pieces, I have yet to show you the extent of my artwork. I am an artist that enjoys different mediums, and so I thought I would feature a few of my favorite pieces separated into different blogs, according to medium. Catch all that? ;)

I began my artistic journey years ago as all of us do, as a child. I've always been drawn to creating art, and I remember taking a painting class one summer as a young child. Somewhere in between childhood and about the age of about 12ish I didn't pursue art as much as I had (although I'm sure there was some art in there some where), I guess I was just busy growing up you could say. I do however clearly remember the day I stepped back onto my artistic path. It was a Summer day, I was about 13-14 or so, and being that it was a Summer day and we lived in Cow Town,USA there wasn't much to do. For some reason that day I grabbed a pencil, a piece of paper, and my favorite CD at the time "The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back)". I wanted to doodle the CD cover as I loved the band and thought the image was hilarious, and so I started. But somewhere between picking my pencil up and putting it down, my doodle became a drawing. I remember spending all afternoon on it, and being so proud of this drawing that I had actually consciously produced, spending hours perfecting each detail. That afternoon the artist in me was "awakened". As I said I was pretty damn proud of that drawing, and after it was finished I realized I had some kind of artistic talent. That's exactly when I began practicing and trying to improve my drawing skills. 

The Summer I began drawing, was the same Summer I began experimenting with acrylic paint. But we'll have to save that medium's story for another time. This blog strictly has to do with drawing as it is where I, as many artists, first began consciously creating art.

^^Couple of my first drawings from that Summer.

Initially I started out practicing drawing in the same fashion I had that afternoon, by simply drawing what was in front of me. I'd practice drawing cartoons or comics I saw in the Sunday morning comic strips and magazines, such as Mad Magazine, which I had a subscription to at the time. Practicing by way of attempting to copy these images is what helped hone my drawing skills, although I had a loonngg way to go! (And I still do for that matter!!)

^^Drawings from when I first began that summer, this was when I was in my "copying what I see" phase.

I took a couple of art classes in high school including just basic art, as well as sculpture, enjoying both of them immensely. I continued my art education when I moved on to junior college by enrolling in another clay sculpting class, a painting class and later a drawing class. For now I will only touch on the later of the three classes, the drawing class.

The drawing class I enrolled in was basic drawing 101, a class I had never taken before. Of course in my basic high school art class we touched upon the subject of basic drawing skills and techniques, but we never really went into depth about the subject. The teacher I had for my college drawing class was very thorough and was constantly pushing everyone to do their best, rarely ever giving out a perfect score on pieces, as she believed there was always something that could be improved. She was a toughie, but she did tell me often that I had improved immensely since we had first began. Although it was a challenging class it really sharpened my drawing skills as I began to understand the basics and l learned a ton of drawing techniques, all which have helped sculpt me as an artist.

^^ Couple of drawings from that first summer. I remember reading a tip from a beginners drawing book I had that said to draw inspiration from things that were around me, draw them and turn them into characters. This is where the candle, lamp, and banana subjects came from in these doodles.

^^A few more of my earlier on drawings. I was attempting to draw people, including celebrities, and a teacher that I had in middle school, as you can tell I didn't exactly like her. Ha.

^^First "proportional" sketch I attempted to draw, I was attempting to improve my people drawing skills. People have always been a favorite subject of mine to draw, and it's a skill I am still working on improving to this day.

^^ Left: One of the first sketches of a person I've ever done, I drew this from a picture I was looking at.
Right: An improvement as you can tell, this drawing was done later on down the road. I was looking at a Van Gogh painting of this boy when I drew it.

^^Another sketch that I did in beginning of my artistic journey. Love this movie! (It's a Wonderful Life)

^^Left: A sketch of Elvis I did all those years ago.
Right: A more recent sketch of Elvis I did, although it's definitely a different style of drawing.

^^This sketch was about the 2nd or 3rd drawing I had done of a person where I was seriously trying to capture their image. It was done in one of the first art classes I took in junior college.

^^This drawing (which is supposed to be Johnny Cash) was done after I had looked at an "anatomical" drawing book that went into further details about all of the muscles in the human face etc. It was then that I learned it is important to know human anatomy if you are striving for realistic like results, which is what I was attempting to do with this drawing. I often critique my own work, which explains the notes you see in the top right of this drawing. As I do have even further knowledge now about drawing faces than I did when I wrote the notes, I would include that the eyes are too wide. I firmly believe a true artist is constantly perfecting their work, and no piece is ever quite done. At least that's how I feel a lot of the time. I constantly see places where I could improve a piece, even the ones I consider "done". Especially as I look at some of my earlier pieces all I can see are the imperfections, but that's how I've learned all these years. The old saying goes "practice makes perfect", and I couldn't agree with that more.

^^Some of my more recent sketches of people including George Castanza, James Dean, my boyfriend, and a random creeper (clockwise). I drew these from looking at each of their pictures.

 ^^This is a very recent drawing I did sometime last year, it's supposed to be Johnny Cash drawn in a Chiaroscuro manner. It's pretty crazy when you compare the previous Johnny Cash drawing to this one as there is such a big difference between the two! I learned about Chiaroscuro lighting in the drawing class I took in college. I really enjoyed this dramatic lighting technique, and plan on doing more drawings in the future utilizing Chiaroscuro lighting.

^^Top: One of the first hands I ever attempted to draw.
Bottom: Hands I drew a couple of years ago, more recent than the top, but I haven't attempted to draw hands since the 2nd piece.

^^This piece was also done in charcoal in the drawing course I took at a j.c.. We were supposed to draw this still life that was in class using "extensive gesture". I was really proud of this piece because I felt like it was the first time I had ever captured fabric in a realistic manner, which was always something I had wanted to improve on.

^^This drawing was also supposed to be an "Extended gesture" drawing. I have always enjoyed drawing nature, and this is one of my favorite amateurish nature drawings that I've done.

^^Another assignment from the drawing class, this exercise obviously had to do with cross hatching. This was one of my favorite drawings I did in the class as it was really fun to draw the stamp.

Hope you enjoyed part one of my artistic journey. As I mentioned the Summer I began drawing was the same Summer I began experimenting with acrylic paint, which is where I will leave off until next time...