Friday, December 21, 2018

Life Lessons from Seven Weeks of Daily Sketching

We are coming to the end of my online journaling class.  What a great 7 weeks we've had together.  Let me take a minute to think about what I've learned.

--I've been doing some initial sketching with a very thin, black, felt tip pen before adding color.  I wouldn't have thought of doing that before this class.

--I also added black marks after my initial sketching.  That's been an interesting element too.

--I've experimented with the back of the page, but I tend not to do that because I don't want to mess up the front of the page.

--I tend to fall in love with my sketches, even if they're not what I envisioned.  I'm so happy to be playing with color.  It's not the painting of my younger years, but I like the portability of the sketching.

--I sketch more if I take my sketchbook and a selection of markers with me.  I still feel odd about sketching in the office, but I do feel refreshed after doing it.

--Although it's occasionally frustrating, I like having only 4 colors to use.  I'm still not great at blending them.

--We've worked our way through Joyce Rupp's Open the Door, which gives us a chapter a day for each day of six weeks.  Sketching has led to much deeper reading than I usually do.  I want to continue carrying a book, a sketchbook, and my smaller marker bag with me.

--Have I had earth shattering insights about the last half of my life?  No, not exactly.  But it's good to be doing some deep thinking about my life's direction.  This week, I had a discussion about vision boards, and I said that the visions that I create are not new to me.  I'm not so out of touch with my inner life that the vision boards offer surprises.  And yet, if I'm not intentional, it's easy to get out of touch.

--I've liked having a community where I can share my work.  It's motivated me to sketch each day so that I can have something to share.

--I had thought that I might learn some new techniques, and I did, but more important was the daily practice, which made me do more exploring of what the markers can do.

--Some of my images were abstract and some were somewhat representative.  I even started experimenting some with the human form, which I almost never do, because my humans come out looking so warped.  But I'm liking the woman who has been visiting my pages in the past few weeks:

In fact, I liked this figure so much that I drew her face a few days later:

--I started taking pictures as I moved through some of the process.  Once, I would have stopped a sketch at this point:

But then I decided to see what happened if I added color.   Unlike some mediums, if I liked the earlier image, I'd be out of luck.  But I liked the finished sketch just fine:

--I also discovered that there are Instagram filters that make some sketches look much better.  I haven't experimented with any filters.  I suspect that many people are using these types of filters in pictures and photos that they post on social media.  It's an important message for us all.

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