Focused practice sketchbook recap

I wrapped up my most recent Focused Practice project earlier this month, and thought I’d post a recap of what that experience was like. The project began on November 10, 2017 with the decision to focus on making better sketches, faster. I wanted to get better at accurately drawing proportions as well as developing a more consistent sketching style while drawing from life.

The original goal was to do 100 sketches for this project. After sketch 97 I noticed that the lessons for my online atelier were intersecting nicely with where my sketches were going, so I decided to call the project good enough and switch over to the atelier lessons.

I really feel like I met my original goals (despite falling a few short)! The key turning point for me was when I discovered classical drawing techniques. This set me on a path that helped me learn a good system for accurate proportions, block-ins, and more consistent (i.e. simpler) line and value language.

I also came across the work of Yim Mau-Kun (Mau-Kun Yim? I’ve seen it written different ways so I’m not sure which is more correct) during this time. His shading techniques fascinate me, which I started exploring in this sketch. I love the hatching marks combined with larger, softer tones — with the combination of crisp and soft. In exploring his work, I became even more certain that classical drawing techniques were a good direction for me to head.

Here are some of my favorite sketches from the project:

sketch practice progress collage

Top row: SKETCH PRACTICE #15-16: CLASSICAL BANANASSKETCH PRACTICE #17-19SKETCH PRACTICE #30-35
Middle row: SKETCH PRACTICE #46-49SKETCH PRACTICE #85SKETCH PRACTICE #87
Bottom row: SKETCH PRACTICE #90SKETCH PRACTICE #94SKETCH PRACTICE #97

Drawing my dogs’ toys was a surprising amount of fun! I could see doing a series on that theme at some point.

Almost all of the sketches from this project can be seen in my “Sketchbook focused practice” Flickr album.

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