Friday, January 15, 2016

Practice Practice Practice!

animals in pencil
A lot of people seem to believe that in order to create art you must be born with some sort of special talent. I have always disagreed with this idea. Really think about this. If you were just born with a talent for drawing and painting then there would be no improvement with practice. You would just be able to create masterpieces from the get go.

This is soooo not the way it works.  I have been drawing and painting for as long as I remember. But there have been long stretches of my life where I did not make any art or I made other sorts of art like quilting or embroidery. When I take up my drawing pencils again after such a dry spell I must practice practice practice to re-train my eye and my hand.

One thing I am not so good at is drawing people, yet that is something I want to be really good at, so I am practicing! I work at it every day, doing at least one page in my sketchbook each evening.

fine point sharpie marker
And it does pay off. I have no attachment to my sketches, It's ok if the people look funny or even monstrous. It's ok if their eyes are too close together, or their foreheads are too short. It's ok if the perspective if off. Because each one teaches me what not to do next time. And since I"m not attached to the outcome I don't get frustrated with them like I sometimes do when I'm working on a canvas.

faces in pencil

Many of these faces are from random magazine photos and some from my facebook feed. They really don't look much like the photographs I worked from. But the point is to keep going and keep working and keep trying. Like they say, don't give up before the miracle happens.
wings, sharpie marker

random facebook pics in pencil

flowers in pencil

I did the flowers while I waited from mom at an appointment.  Some I sketched outright, others I laid down some graphite and smudged it, then "drew" with my eraser. I like working like that, very similar to drawing with white chalk on a black paper.

mom in pencil

random pics from my facebook

I drew mom while she watched TV, out of the corner of my eye so she wouldn't know what I was doing. She doesn't sit still much, seems like her mind is racing and she thinks of a 100 things to do all at once so she gets up and down a lot. It's really hard to draw a moving target!

Now for the fun part. Some of these actually have at least a slight resemblance to the pictures I used. Proportions are still a bit off but at least there is beginning to be a spark of reality within them. So never believe you must be born with some talent for drawing, you are perhaps born with a propensity towards it, something that draws you to the doing of it, but you must practice, practice practice!

I'm joining this to the great blog hop, Paint Party Friday.  I've also joined the Colour Me Positive challenge and if you missed my week 2 page for that, you can see it


  1. Beautiful drawings, very well done. Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  2. I am a great believer in practice too and I like your sketches

  3. these are super practice pages! I love how you fill each page with a variety of imagery of the themes-wonderful impact! Happy PPF!

  4. Love this. You are spot on with whole idea of practicing!

  5. Wonderful drawings... I do think practice make perfect however it's the style that defines us...You have a gorgeous style!! If you go to Tommy Kanes blog and look on his side bar he has a challenge where everyone draws will be amazed at how different everyone interprets his's a huge eye opener!! Thanks for sharing!

    Hugs Giggles

  6. Mary, what do you mean by: One thing I am not so good at is drawing people, ? I'm looking at those wonderful sketches and thinking I sure wish I could draw that well. I do realize that we can get out of practice. Your work is delightful. I'm wondering if you showed your mom her image.

    1. I mean that the drawings do not look like the real person. But that is the point of the practice, to get to where I can make them look right. Also so that when I have an idea for a painting that would have a figure in it, I can get it right and the figure will look like a real person and not some disproportionate monster.

  7. Your drawings are all wonderful!!!
    Practice is certainly working for you.
    This is my first time joining in with PPF

  8. I'm with you! I think you can be born with it or work and shape it and make it happen. I've seen it done. This was a cool post. Thanks. I liked looking at your studies too. xo

  9. Great sketch pages. It takes discipline to dedicate so much time to the necessities.