Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's in My Sketchbook?

After the skull sketch of last week, I branched out to include some "animal work". ;)

20110417 Antlers

This sketch is based on my tiny collection of antler points which I got from ETSY two years ago.  The seller promised that they're naturally shed antlers and no deer or other animals were harmed in the process.

20110417 Antlers CU

Other than my love of natural bones, I'm using the sketch to deal with my mental block of the color brown.  I don't know why, but out of all the colors, I have lots of problem with browns.  (I could deal with beige as I see it as a form of white.  Khaki and similar is o.k., but not the typical brown!)

20110417 Antlers CU 2

However I know I need to deal with this blockage since one of the subjects I love to paint is Nature.  And with nature scene, you just can't get away from the browns.  (When I'm writing this, I feel like I'm talking about a person ... weird!)

This is my first try.  And let me tell you this - after I laid down the first brown on one of the antlers, I felt like I had ruined the entire sketch.  I panic and went blank.

I have to remind myself the reasons whey I started the sketchbook.
  • To develop sketching habit
  • Take off the pressure of being a "perfectionist"
  • More realistic time management - I'm working on A5 size sketchbook which doesn't need days to finish one painitng
  • "Subject" study for future painting purposes
  • Learn to become "looser" in my approach to drawing and painting
So I clenched my teeth (no exaggeration here) and soldiered on.

An important thing I observe from this forced way to paint is that I lost my sense of color.  I hesitated to pull new colors from my palette to paint.  It also affect my creative flow.  I had a hard time to put the finishing touch of the work.

Anyway, it's done for round 1 ... I'll be working on many rounds to overcome my color demon. ;)

I'm very interested to know if any fellow creatives and bloggers have similar experience and how do you tackle it.

Before finishing off this post, I'd like to share with you photos of some of my antler points and a DIY Antler Necklace which I wear most of the time.

Antlers 2

Antlers Necklace 2

Also I want to thank my fellow PPFers' lovely comments about my sketch photos.  I enjoy styling them for blogging and treating it as another outlet for creative expression.  But I never imagine it would trigger such wonderful respond from fellow creatives and bloggers.  THANK YOU!

Cheers and have a fantastic weekend!

The sketch is also for Paint Party Friday (hosted by Eva and Kristin).  All are welcomed!  Do join in to share and support each other!


Jaime Haney aka ArtsyFartsy.Me said...

Your sketches or paintings rather are lovely. I love the weathered look they have. All thanks to the brown!! ;) sorry, couldn't resist. Maybe if you painted chocolate you wouldn't have such an aversion to brown? :)

Happy PPF!

Cameron said...

Hi Jamie Love!

Your sketchbook is going to be something to marvel at when all its pages are're doing wonderfully....much better than me...I bought a journal, finally....and only have 1 page of 3 eyes pencil, no less :)

I don't know if it will help, but the 1 thing I remember from the 1 painting class I took in college, was never to use black out of the tube...always mix it with something else you are using in your piece.....this could definately apply to brown, too.....maybe try "making" brown by mixing complimentary colors together (blue and orange, for ex.) to give it more depth?

Just a suggestion....I love natural elements too, gotta embrace the brown :)

My color I have trouble with, is pink....never been drawn to use it, though I like it when others do....trying to incorporate it a bit more :)

Keep up the great sketches!!

Netty said...

Terrific sketches and loving your necklace. Annette x

Heather said...

great sketches! I like your style.

BahamaDawn said...

great paintings!! that is not an easy subject to paint and you did a great job!

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

As usual, I enjoyed your photography styling as much as your drawings. Isn't it funny how we can set up a mental block against certain colors? I have the same troubles with yellow....I love yellow but really don't do wel with it in my art:)
Happy PPF (a day late ;))

carlarey said...

Your browns look perfect to me. I love setting myself a limited palette and then seeing what comes from it.

Your sketchbook is just beautiful.

Denni said...

I really enjoy your sketchbook so think of us when you don't feel like sketching! ;D
I get that way with colors too. What I started doing is mentally making a list of things that I love in that color. I used to hate I thought of a freshly cut orange, it's smell and the juicy color inside it. Then I thought of sunsets and how orange reflect on clouds. My final thought was that Buddist's see the color orange as spiritual. Viola! Now I absolutely love orange and use it a lot.
Doodles usually get me out of a drawing slump. I let myself doodle in colors and materials that I like and before I know it I can't stop.
Have a great weekend!

Mary Hysong said...

love your little antler points! You did them well, even if it was a struggle, but what other color would you have used but brown?

Perhaps you need more shades of brown? I love all the earthy colors; burnt umber, raw umber, raw sienna, burnt sienna, also van dyke brown....Happy PPF!

Melisa said...

Your struggles do not show up in the work. It's a lovely sketch with a bit of vintage feel but a pop of green to give it spark. If I'd done it, I'd be very happy with it. Sometimes, brown can be beautiful. Give it a chance. ;)

Carrie Wachter~Martinez said...

Beautiful necklaces, a fabulous idea! I find antlers often near my home...I never thought about antler necklaces! Your use of green in the shadows perfectly complements the browns of the antlers...and yes, the best way to overcome the blocks is to push through them,...I think thats when our best work "breaks through".

Anne said...

I think your sketch looks great. I've never heard of antler points before, but they have such an interesting shape and tones of color. I can see why you'd want to paint them, even if you do have trouble with brown. Glad you chose to break through your block.

brendathour said...

I congratulate you on how you are facing your block head on. Your sketches and browns look great, so your block is not showing in your work, just your mind. Minds are funny things. Love your antler necklace and how no animals were hurt in acquiring them.
Keep pressing on and I know you will overcome this block.

NatashaMay said...

I love everything about your sketchbook! And I always enjoy reading the process you have to go through to achieve this beauty.

Annabelle said...

Interesting and great to see that you overcome the problem , maybe I should start a sketch book to better myself in this area. I think the antlers turned out sketch and necklace , both very lovely.

Happy Weekend
Annabelle ~^..^~

Anonymous said...

From where I am, your bones look great! Very realistic.

I have issues with green. What I've learned is not to use the color straight from the tube. Cut it with it's complimentary. So if your brown comes out of the tube looking a little red, add a tiny bit of green to it. But the green has to be in the same color family as the brown or you will make mud. For example if the brown is a red brown leaning towards yellow or orange don't cut it with blue green. Use a yellow green because yellow is the common factor. Sorry this is so long. I love your sketches! Happy PPF! :-)

Heather said...

Well you did a great job with brown. Wonderful sketches. I can say I have never had a problem with a specific color block but I have had a problem with not putting every color in a painting. Trying to keep to one color palette. I want to add every color in my pictures. I am getting better a it just takes time. Have a wonderful week.

Jenny Blair said...

I'm so glad you are sharing your wee colour block and moving forward with it...and yes..I feel you brown pain :) I have to admit to even forgetting that brown is a naughty :0/ Ok so now I have admitted my brown phobia I guess I should embrace it like you!
Such a beautiful page in your sketchbook, those little antler tips beautifully captured. Yay to embracing the brown! :)x

EVA said...

So funny you don't like brown and yet love nature. But it looks like art therapy is working for you! These are great! (And cool necklace!)

Christine said...

interesting subject matter, something different. Love the necklace.

Gloria said...

Love your sketches and very interesting antler points. That is cool! Have a great weekend.

Pointy Pix said...

your browns look great to me! i love your sketchbook and your collection of antlers (and very relieved that no deer were injured to get them!)

Catherine Denton said...

I wouldn't have imagined I'd find bones beautiful; but you've arranged and painted them in a way that are lovely. And I find the necklace intriguingly pretty too!

Thanks for your sweet comment on My Blog.

Rosie Kaplan said...

You did a great job, but if its any consolation I NEVER use brown paint of any sort or wear brown!

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

I have absolutely no experience with having to struggle with colors. Usually with themes. I like your sketches btw. Patsy from

Leovi said...

Precious those sketches with very nice tones. The photos are also beautiful, I love the light of the latter. Greetings.

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Gorgeous..your sketches/art is beautiful..i love the shading and life-like feeling they all carry..wonderful work! I totally relate to your love of nature and such a strong really shines through the pieces and the energy they hold! I loved your sketching tips..well said! I agree..just go with the flow and enjoy it!
Happy PPF..thanks for another beautiful post!

priti.lisa said...

Every time I see your header photo I gasp...I really appreciate all of the attention to detail. Your sketch book is beautiful!

Andrea C said...

Freaking awesome x

La Abela said...

Forget the brown if you like, use the yellow ochres and deep you can try the dark green and gray Payne, will provide more realism. Saludos