Based upon a suggestion from my previous post, I decided that my next drawing project would involve mice. I had to forewarn my dear hubby of the subject matter because when he was a child he had a bad experience with a house mouse and has been terrified of the little creatures ever since. So I had to give him the heads up to avoid any freak outs on his end since he can’t even tolerate seeing pictures of them. I don’t tease him about it though because spiders give me the hee-bee gee-bees and since we have an attic, those little buggers have a tendency to just drop down out of nowhere when I’m walking down the hall or cooking in the kitchen. So he gets rid of spiders for me and when our cat died and two months later our house was invaded by a family of mice, guess who had to set the traps and get rid of them? So we have a nice little arrangement for who does what when these creep crawly terrors invade our personal space.
What has been a little surprising to me is that while doing a bit of research on mice I learned that there are a number of different mice. I always thought there was only field mice and house mice but no, there’s more. There’s the deer mouse (also known as the field mouse) that’s called such because its fur is the same color as deer, Then there’s the cactus mouse, the cotton mouse, the wood mouse and the harvest mouse. Of these I chose the harvest mouse to be my subject simply for it’s adorableness and because it’s known to be found among cereal grains which I thought drawing one or two of these mice among some wheat would create some intricacy in the drawing. So far I’ve been working on some preliminary sketches to get familiar with drawing wheat and mice since they’re both new subject matter for my visual vocabulary. And as usual I anticipate that drawing the fur on these little creatures will be challenging because trying to draw fur realistically in pointillism is always challenging but I think this project will be fun as well as stretch my skills a bit. 🙂
It’s a chilly Saturday morning and I’m taking some time to sit down and do some sketch journaling. For an artist, a sketchbook is an invaluable asset but I can’t say that I use mine often. For the most part, the majority of my sketchbooks are filled with poorly drawn doodles from my random attempts at trying to keep a sketch journal but I really want to make a change with that in the upcoming New Year.
Another wonderful asset has been YouTube. There are a number of how-to videos on drawing by very good artists that can help to flesh out your ideas on how to draw certain subject matter especially when you don’t have access to the actual subject or reference images to draw from and you have to rely on drawing from your imagination.
As I’ve been drawing this morning it occurred to me that keeping a sketch journal would be a really good way for me to keep visual notes, artistic tips and pointers as well as quotes I find inspirational as an artist. So far I’ve been keeping all those things separately. I have a board on Pinterest for my inspirational quotes, a section on Google Keep for artistic tips, pointers and ideas and my sketchbooks strictly for drawing and sketching. For some reason I’ve developed this strange belief that I shouldn’t write in my sketchbooks. I think this belief has developed due to the fact that whenever I see the inside of other artist’s sketchbooks, I see these polished, pristine works of art in them, like this piece just posted on Twitter, by one of my favorite artist, Philip Harris.
Oddly I’ve come to develop this anxiety now when I approach my own sketchbook. I get this nagging feeling that if someone were to open it they should flip the pages and discover a collection of masterpieces, not random notes, scribbles, aimless doodles, poorly drawn ideas, unfinished sketches and experiments gone wrong. The sketchbook doesn’t feel so much as a place for working out ideas but rather for the finished piece. This might be why I don’t use my sketchbook that much. If I’m gonna be doing a finished piece I might as well go straight to my drawing board. But as I said earlier, I’m hoping to change that. Ultimately I can do whatever I want within my sketchbook. Sometimes I find it’s best not to pay too much attention to what other artists and the culture around art is doing in order to keep myself at peace.
On that note, do you keep a sketchbook and if so what do you use it for? Do you feel compelled to create finished works in your sketchbook or do you feel open to just doodle and experiment? Share your thoughts in the comments. ☺
I haven’t come up with anything specific to draw for my next piece just yet, so I’ve been spending some time just messing around in my sketchbook. This little sketch came together as I was watching this movie called “Apostle”, which isn’t the kind of movie that would inspire thoughts of flowers and birds but hey, I’m not complaining, I’m just happy to have a halfway decent idea come together. But I’ve recently noticed that I’m watching more movies and tv shows now when I draw rather than listening to music which is an interesting shift for me. For me music was always my gateway to the imagination but it is also how I always end up spending more time daydreaming rather than drawing. Movies don’t seem to do that to me. As I’m drawing I may look up and watch a couple of scenes here and there but for the most part it just serves as background noise for me. Sometimes I prefer silence but lately I like to have something going on in the background, even if it’s just the hum of a fan.
When you’re in an artistic mood and feel like creating, what do you like to have going on in the background or do you just prefer silence? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. 😊
Something a little cute from my sketchbook. The look in this little creatures eyes reminds of the time when I moved to a new neighborhood, watching other kids playing from my window, wanting to go outside but was a bit shy. Inside I felt torn, one side wanting to make new friends, the other wanting to crawl back under my blankets and daydream. Luckily the following weekend I finally got the nerve and made some new friends but ’til this day a part of my still begs “Please, don’t make me go out there.”
Some quick bunny sketches. I’m still grappling with my apprehension but I’m feeling much better about rabbits now. Thank you Val for suggesting that I take a look at baby rabbits. They’re so much more adorable and less creepy looking to me. With that said bunnies seem to be a good subject for the first day of Spring. 😊