3 Jul 2011

Doodling ding dongs and some photographs


Life Drawing :
Not wanting to become complacent as I strive to find my own drawing style, I decided to sign up for a life drawing class. I have had no formal arty training since back in ye olde times of high school, many moons ago now. So I was rather nervous about it all, but nothing ventured, nothing gained etc

What did I learn?
Well firstly, that I am not good at life drawing, but I didn't expect to be. My main aim was to draw a recognisable human figure and not giggle at the naked person, which I was successful in achieving. Secondly,
it is surprising how quickly you get used to the model being naked. The only thing that surprised me, was that is was a naked dude, as for some reason, I thought it would be a woman. The model 'Arthur' was obviously a professional, as he disrobed with ease and had an air of being totally relaxed and comfortable, which rubbed off on everyone else. I didn't even have time to concentrate on the dangly bits, hence the reason why all the drawings are Ken Doll esque.

Measure, measure, measure and measure some more! 
Ever seen an artist, in real life, TV or movies, squinting and holding up their paintbrush in the general direction of their muse? Now I know what they are up to!
This is a good explanation of some of what I learnt 'Measuring like an artist

Tick Tock:
For measuring angles the tutor gave us a tip to tilt the pencil ( or paintbrush) and follow the angle, then visualise a clock face and think about what time the angle would be on. This makes it easier to then translate the angle onto your drawing. I have yet to put this into practice, so will see how that works out for me.

This introductory course was run by Dot-Art Check out their Website, Facebook, and Twitter (especially if you are based in the North West of England).

Hopefully time and money will allow me to attend some more classes, as I can already see how this will improve my general doodling abilities (plus they had REALLY tasty sandwiches).
It did make me feel slightly sorry that I never went to a proper doodle school, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't doodle like I do now, if I had gone. From what the other people in the class said, you don't actual learn that much anyway (so there!).
What it has shown me, is the things I need to work on, to make the doodles, that I do, even better. Working out the right angles and proportions for an Octopus, riding a bicycle, into space, that kind of thing. With my style of doodles, sometimes a lot of work goes into drawing/sketching out realistic(ish) versions of animals/people etc and then turning them into cartoon form. I am looking forward to seeing how this new knowledge impacts the next lot of doodles.

Bonus: I got to meet up with Sophie Green and see her awesome artwork up close and personal. I could have bombarded her all day with questions, but she had some amazing work to do and I didn't want to be a pest! Check out her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Gardening and stuff:
After the life drawing class I got the opportunity to meet up with someone that I have been following for the longest time on twitter @JenniferWelch . We have been trying to meet up for an age and finally managed it!

I got to go up to the secret rooftop garden living on the FACT building, what a beautiful place! I am hoping I get to sneak back there and take some photographs. The garden is called 'The Mediated Garden', more on this in a moment.
After a chat and poke around the garden, we popped downstairs for a glass of wine (well I did, it was free) and took in the rather fascinating exhibition 'Semiconductor: Worlds in the making' . It was definitely a day of indulging in cultural brain treats and meeting fascinating people.

I have seen a lot of similarities in gardening and doodling of late, for me they both hold a feeling of freedom, without having to travel anywhere at all. The Mediated Garden is not just a garden, it is a piece of artwork, asking the kind of questions about public space and what it feels like to see something beautiful that you are NOT allowed to play in.

Check out the website, facebook, twitter and flickr stream.

It was great to chat with Jenn, such a cool way to end an already arty farty day. Although not sure how I feel about the pigeon (or seagull) that decided to poop on me as I was saying goodbye, surely a sign of luck? right?

Jenn also gifted me with a Tomato plant,  Jalapeno Pepper, bean plants and a marrow (or squash), apparently my brain can't remember more than two things. These plants then accompanied on my train ride home, much to the amusement of the train conductor and my fellow train passengers.

Onion strangled
After chatting with Jenn, I felt the need to spend some time in the garden, documenting some of the lovely plants and veg growing.
Something tasty
Also got round to editing some other photographs too, these are of my niece Arwen, from a visit a few months back.
Arwen 7

So endeth my waffle for this post, if you have any tips about Life Drawing, drawing in general etc or gardening please dump them in the comment box! Thanks muchly xx


  1. Aaaawwww Look at cute Arwen!! She is so adorable :D. Love the pictures and The 'Mediated Garden' sounds wonderful.

    Great to hear about the Art class as well! I'm really curious at how your drawing style will develop now! Just keep practicing!!
    So an important question...what tasty sandwiches?? hehe

    The bird pooped on you? Yes. Take it as a sign of luck! *nods and tries to push back the flashback of a bird pooping in her hair*


  2. I meant to say 'life drawing class' instead of art class. Don't know why I said art class, but in a is an art class as well...hehe ^_^

  3. Thanks for publishing an update. I have been wondering what you were up to. I attempted to do some figure sketching years ago in college but I was never much good at it. I have also modeled for life drawing classes too. I do a better job of stretches of animals and landscapes. Your post is awesome. I love the photos and the Flickr sketches. :)

  4. "The model 'Arthur' ... rubbed off on everyone else."

    This exemplifies why reading and scanning are not the same thing.

  5. Claire,

    Exciting that you have taken the opportunity to attend drawing classes. Having no formal training of my own, I always wing it. Hope you will continue to bring us updates on this interesting side of your artwork. I love to doodle but do not do it as much as I ought.

    The photographs are crisp and your niece is perfect!

  6. Your photos are stunning! Wow:-O very cool. I like that you wrote what you learned in figure drawing. It does teach one a lot about proportion:)

  7. Claire, I've been looking forward to seeing some new photos of yours and these are wonderful. They definitely reflect the bright side of your moon. Once again I'm delighted by this new turn your life has taken. So much openness and enthusiasm for your art and your life. Keep it up, dear!

  8. Good for you for trying something different with life drawing -- and without giggling, too! Not half-bad if you ask me. I love your photos, too. Your perspective is great. I do think you cheated by using your neice, though. She's so cute, every photo is a slam dunk!

  9. @TJ: Arwen is unbelievable cute, with a good dollop of mischief, making her awesome.

    The Mediated Garden is cool, if you come to Liverpool, I will see if you can go up there and see the view!

    The art class was way out of my comfort zone, but still definitely worth while, even for cool networking opportunities.

    The sandwiches were really yummy!

    The poop got my shoulder and I just wiped it off with out thinking, then touched my hair! But luckily nothing went in it. So it must have been lucky after all, because I had such a nice day.

    @TJ: I would have never corrected/noticed that anyways, silly moo :)

    @timethief: Even though you were not good at it, did you enjoy it? It is rather too technical/mathematical for my brain, especially when you have to learn to measure properly. That element takes the fun away from me slightly, even though I learnt a lot. Thanks for the lovely comment as always :)

    @JD: Gosh how naughty of you! :)

    @Theresa: It was an opportunity that I couldn't miss. I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerened about how my skills measured up against the other students. It is disheartening to see it come so easily to others, but on the other hand it was cool to see how much you could learn in one lesson. Thank you for being interested! :)

    @Heart: What a lovely comment! The main thing I learnt was definitely how important proportion is. I am looking at some of my recent doodles and thinking yikes! I messed up there, hehe.

  10. @NP: I was actually wondering whether you would be happy to see photographs again and whether you would notice that I hadn't gone down the B/W route and you did! :) Your comments always make me smile a lot! Even though I do blog for myself, I love having you along for the journey.

    @Janene: I think because I went to art class and didn't know anyone, that helped with the not laughing. If I was with someone I knew, I might have been naughty.

    I definitely lucked out with the photographs, weather was great, so was the niece and the flowers, almost makes it easy :) Thank you for the compliments and comment!

    @Irfan: Thanks muchly!

  11. Hi Claire,
    Cool sketches, photos, links, information.. what a nice look into your interesting day, thanks for posting it.


    Hey thanks for popping by, even though I had to spam hell bully you into it, hehe :)

  13. What a nice photo, right at the top! Flowers are somewhat commonplace, but this ordinary plant is captured very prettily.