Art · Find Your Flow

Day Twenty-seven: Find Your Flow

I decided to go back to character sketches for today’s sketchbook practice. This is a representation of “joy” from Nina Rycroft’s Emoji Me Skillshare class. I used Raffine Aquarelle watercolor pencils for the color.

It felt good to get back to character sketches because I really connect with my intuition when I’m drawing characters. There is this little voice or pull (it’s hard to put it into words) that will say, “There needs to be a different chin there,” or “The jaw should be rounded here and here.” The best I can describe it is like being able to see in my mind’s eye a characteristic before it exists on the page. I could have a square jaw already drawn, but the sketch will keep calling for a round jaw until I change it. This fascinates me, but also causes some irritation because what I set out to draw is never what comes out on the page. Oh well 🙂

Art · Find Your Flow

Day Twenty-six: Find Your Flow

I found myself wanting to get all serious with my sketchbook practice today. I wanted to return to the seriousness of sketching characters, get back to what I started during the first half of the #FindYourFlow challenge. But…my mind wanted play. The watercolors kept calling me. I kept telling myself, “No, get back to the character sketches.” I kept procrastinating. Then some new watercolor brushes came in the mail. I got super excited. Set up my table to do watercolor, try them out. But then my serious mind said, “No, get back to the character sketches.” I put the watercolors and brushes away. Procrastinated again. Then my son’s therapist arrived for his session, and I thought, “I will just play with the new brushes while she is here.” That worked to bypass my critical mind. And…dare I say it, I had FUN creating today’s sketchbook entry. Character sketches will have to wait for another day…or more 😉

Art · Find Your Flow

Day Eighteen: Find Your Flow

Today, I watched Karen Abend’s #FindYourFlow support video and really thought about the idea of fun. My logical mind wanted to continue with the character sketches, but my heart wanted something different, something fun to signify the change of scenery. After finishing the video, I sat for a little while and let my imagination take over. I realized that I was really limited in what supplies I could use. I only brought watercolors and pencil and pen. That led to some frustration on the perfectionist side of me. But, supplies I could use were out of my control so I had to work with what I had. Then I got scared to try something new. Maybe I should just stick with what I had been doing. What if what I came up with was a huge failure. I have such a fear of the blank page, the unknown, both in art and in writing.

Time to suck it up buttercup!

Something HAD to be created today. When I got over the initial irritation and fear, my mind started to issue challenges. Play on the page…Wouldn’t it be fun to draw the ocean? How about in one color? How about in a favorite but atypical color?

One of my favorite colors is violet. I decided to use that color in a liquid watercolor and to utilize a round brush I hadn’t used before along with my favorite dagger brush. Everything is limited here, so for a water cup, I downed the rest of my coffee and used the washed out paper coffee cup for water. I did add some white along with the violet because I followed where my intuition led me. I even listened when it told me to stop. It’s fascinating that I have a voice behind all the chaos, and through this sketchbook practice I have begun to hear it.

Art · Find Your Flow

Day Eleven: Find Your Flow

Today was the last section of Nina Rycroft’s Face Shapes Class. I really enjoyed the class. I am proud of myself for slowing down and taking my time with it. My usual way is to plow through everything at warp speed just so I can say I’ve finished it (usually in one sitting). This is especially true with these videos because each one is only a few minutes long. However, because of the goals I set forth with #FindYourFlow, I decided to just tackle one face shape a day, creating six different characters, and it was very beneficial for me.

Here’s what I learned:

  • I take on too much and try to get things done too quickly. I need to slow down, take my time, and really pay attention to and absorb what I am trying to learn.
  • I was only drawing one face shape over and over again before taking this class. This class has expanded my knowledge of face shapes, and as such, has expanded the possibilities of character development.
  • Each element of a face is important and shifting even one thing can vastly change the character that emerges. It is amazing the difference eye shape, mouth shape, nose shape, and even hair shape can make for the character.
  • I love sketching with the Caran d’Ache non-photo blue pencil. I love it more than I do graphite. When I go over it with graphite, it loses something. I need to find a graphite pencil that goes down on the page as smoothly as this pencil does.
  • I started out wanting to draw just one character over and over again for the #FindYourFlow thirty days, but realized during the practice sessions that it wasn’t going to work for me. I was flexible rather than pushing through as I usually do, and the very last character I drew for the face shapes class is a very good candidate for the character I was looking to create. So, through my flexibility, and my willingness to expand my practice to all kinds of characters, the one I was looking for emerged anyway, and I had a lot more fun.
  • I can do things slowly even though it goes against my nature.
  • I can do things slowly, and it is beneficial to my progress.
  • I can do things slowly and still finish them.
  • Everything doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. I can learn to trust myself to come back to it and finish it.
  • Small steps are still progress.
  • I am proud of myself for going through something slowly, coming back to it day after day, and completing it.
  • I followed my intuition rather than my logical mind, and it worked out very well. I am proving to myself that following my intuition is safe to do.

I don’t know what I will do for tomorrow’s #FindYourFlow session, but I am going to let my intuition guide me in the direction I need to go.

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Art · Find Your Flow

Day Nine: Find Your Flow

Today has been a better day. I wasn’t motivated to sketch this morning, so I decided to wait until this afternoon. This is oftentimes not the best way for me to get things accomplished because if I don’t get things done in the morning, I get distracted, and whatever it was doesn’t get done. But I managed to carve out some time this afternoon to complete the sketches.

I found myself thinking the following while sketching today: What am I doing here? What am I gaining from this? Am I learning anything? Am I wasting my time? I have a habit of only allowing myself to do things that have tangible results, convincing myself that I don’t have time to do anything else. But today I reminded myself that this process is just about showing up each day and following my intuition, that is all. If I learn nothing else but showing up and listening, those two things will be enough.

Today’s sketches are a continuation of Nina Rycroft’s Face Shapes class on Skillshare. They are all teardrop-shaped faces. I had fun with these. I really enjoy seeing how different characters emerge as I follow my intuition with eye shapes, mouth shapes, ear shapes, and noses. It is incredible how just shifting those around can create a vastly different character.

Here are my six new characters 🙂

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Art · Find Your Flow

Day Four: Find Your Flow

I love having the support of the other members of the Find Your Flow group. Yesterday, I was feeling incredibly frustrated, today is no different, but some of the suggestions from the group helped me work through it today. I’m not happy with my sketches…again, but when a member suggested that I do the sketches, then set them aside to revisit later, that made sense to me. I thought, how amazing would it be to have a sketchbook full of various characters to explore in July. Wouldn’t that be better than none at all, even if they weren’t the best sketches…yet?

So, for today, I continued with Nina Rycroft‘s Face Shapes Skillshare course, and set the goal of drawing six faces for each face shape. Today’s lesson was heart-shaped faces. You can see the results below. What I learned today is my perfectionist side is getting the best of me…and…I have yet to find a decent eraser. I mean, is it really too much to ask to have a decent eraser? (ha! ha!). It is probably user error, but me and erasers don’t get along. I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Members of the Find Your Flow group got our weekly video guidance from group founder and leader Karen Abend. This week is about our fear of sharing our work, and also comparing ourselves to others. She led us through an exercise in allowing our inner critic to raise her objections and then time to allow our inner love to raise her voice in rebuttal. A braid of various threads is emerging for me. The first thread is that I don’t know how to have fun. I don’t even know what “fun,” is for me anymore. Some of this has to do with my life being filled with lots of serious things that have demanded my focus for many years – a son with special needs, a chronic, sometimes debilitating dis-ease that rises up unpredictably. Some of it has to do with giving up certain vices that I thought brought me joy – the biggest one being alcohol. Fun used to be going to bars and getting drunk or even sitting on my back patio with friends and getting drunk. It helped free my social side – something that is almost non-existent without alcohol. Even though I stopped drinking heavily and socializing many years ago, I never redefined what fun was for me. I just stopped. When I completed the inner critic exercise this morning, what came out was a series of reprimands about having fun, that now is not the time for such frivolous things, that if I take the time to have fun, I will lose everything. These are serious times, and there are lots of serious things that demand my attention. How dare I take the time to have fun?

Then I gave voice to the loving side and what she said is so important I wanted to share it all with you.

You are pure magic. Look at what you’ve already created without a daily practice. Can you imagine where this could go with some focus and daily practice? The possibilities are endless. Listen to what the others in the group have to say – they are the messengers. You have created the life of your dreams already. Granted there are a few things yet to evolve, but you spent a large part of your life doing the “right” thing, you deserve this time to create, grow, and nurture yourself. This is your next step, it is why you are stuck. I needed you to see beyond the scope of full-time jobs and tangible, measurable results. It’s time to leave that world behind. It is no longer part of your journey and you’ve been carrying that much too heavy burden for much longer than was necessary. Set it down here and now. Feel the weight of it as it releases from your body and lands on the ground. This lightness of being is what freedom feels like. Set it down. Journey home without it. It no longer serves you. I cannot wait to show you what I have prepared for you. It is already yours – the journey can be light or heavy – that is your choice – but you will get there either way. Why don’t we have some fun along the way? Set your burden down. Let’s go!

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