Driving in Vancouver is frustrating at the best of times, if you live in Vancouver you probably feel the same about driving in Surrey. I drove past the restaurant that I was meeting my husband at and waved at him from the wrong lane. Then I nearly turned down a street that was a car lane one way and a bike lane in the other direction, narrowly missing an impatient pedestrian in the process. Thankfully I found a parking spot with less effort. Chris and I shared a really tasty pizza at the one of the cutest, most hipster little restaurant ever. Afterwards I gave him the car keys and he gave me his bus pass, I kissed him goodbye and got to the studio not too early and not too late.

I was really not feeling it today, it was another challenging one. I switched between materials and struggled with proportions. I noticed that the model was choosing poses that were so ambitious that she struggled to hold them and would take a second to stretch it out and try to return to the same position – I am pretty sure that this was only frustrating because of my own issues as I try to shake off the rust and get better at this.

I noticed today that I tend to not look at the figure as a whole, instead I move from body part to body part and try to fit everything together. As soon as I had that realization I tried to spend a little more time observing and backing up a bit to look at the broader picture, and I think it helped. Hopefully over time knowing this will improve the head scale of my drawings. Side-note:  This is a fairly common problem. Our brains perceive human faces differently than anything else in the world. Because we give faces special attention, people who are getting started with drawing will often have either oversized or shrunken heads on their figures. Maybe I am hyper-aware of this as a result of learning that factoid young.

Sometimes in that space it’s hard for me not feel self-conscious and try to position my board in a way that makes it hard for people to look at my work. But at the end of the evening I caught someone sneaking a peak at my work and it didn’t end up feeling invasive, I respect the curiosity and I was happy that I didn’t immediately feel judged.

Even though it felt difficult I did have some wins this week: I bought some large pads of paper on sale, and it was great to have the freedom to work larger. Also, this is the second week in a row that in the space it takes to get home afterwards I felt better about my drawings when I looked at them again. It seems I can be really critical with myself mid-process.

I think when I look back at my drawings this week I noticed when I got out of my own way and stopped thinking about the end result, loosened up and tried harder to observe, I was improving a bit.

Oh, and I can’t express how grateful I am that I finally noticed that the studio has butt cushions for the drawing horses!

Here are the week 3 drawings:

  I can tell it was hard to get into gestures this week but the upper right is not bad.


I don’t know what happened here – she is headless and her other foot makes the butt area look a little crazy.

Finally focusing on getting some shading going

This one is a little proportionally better


The head is a little too small

This one has a smaller head too and you can tell that the pose started to unwind in the shoulders but I am digging the charcoal.

More scribble exploration

This is graphite but it was astick instead of a pencil. There are some technical issies but I think this one is stronger. The face took so much fenagling but I am actually happy with it.

At this point I was frustrated and decided to use this 30 min pose to do a bunch or shorter smaller drawings

30 mins continued.

In the last pose I decided to just use conte and try to use more space on the paper.