21 Days – day 1

I’m finally in a position to take on Noah Bradley’s 21 Days to be a Better Artist, so that’s a positive start to the new year.

So what’s the plan? Well, you’re going to practice art.

No, really, you’re going to practice.

But (of course) there’s more to it. First of all, you’re going to do it for an hour a day for 21 days straight (no, you do not get weekends off, slacker). Every day. No breaks. No days off. No sick days. No cheat days. Nope. Also no sorta-kinda-practicing. This hour is for art and art only. This is not an hour for you to doodle on a piece of paper and call it practicing. Because that’s not practicing.

If you try to do this, you’re going to fail. You’d probably make it a few days if you’re disciplined. A week if you’re nuts. But if you want to do it the whole three weeks, you’re going to need to trick yourself.

So, having failed again to get to lifedrawing  (last week was the new bus timetable, this week was utter exhaustion after a two-hour driving lesson), I figured I don’t really have any excuse not to get stuck in. With the instructions half-remembered, I picked a master to study, put some ambient music on and got on with it.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that I honed in on the bears pretty much straight away. It wouldn’t be news to anyone who knows me, but I was surprised by quite how much  I worked them up before starting on the human figure.
I spent just over half my time on the under-drawing, which I’m more comfortable with but still clearly needs refinement, but when it came to the drawing, my values aren’t what they could be and I seem to have decided that the picture contains more purple than none, so I need to focus on colours and values.
I picked up on some of Frazetta’s scaffolding and chords as I worked, and I’m sure that the longer I do this the more I’ll see and understand.

The last thing of note is that Bradley’s original article includes instructions to set up a cue/reward trigger that I completely forgot. I’ll have to think on that for tomorrow.

Finished piece, compared with the original