10 Ways To Tackle Your New Sketchbook

So you come home with a new sketchbook!

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It’s such a wonderful feeling. The crisp, new, unspoiled paper. You may even be a book sniffer and be able to smell how fresh it is.
Then the ‘new sketchbook’ block happens, you want the first drawing to be perfect and set the stage and standard for every other drawing to come

I am deeply sorry to inform you that it’s a sketchbook and that’s just not the way it usually happens. Sketchbooks are for practice and experiment, but here are 10 ideas to help you on your way

1 Start with what you are good at!

There may be things your are better at than others such as cartoons or observational drawing. Start with one or two things that you have confidence with and let it flow on from there. Just don’t forget to try new things once the ball is rolling!

2 Do a front title page

It might sound like I’m telling you to go back to primary school but title pages can be a really helpful way to just get into your sketchbook! Start with words from a quote, your name or even just “Sketchbook 2016” then doodle design  and colour like a champ!

3 Do some swatches and colour wheels

These can be so handy at the start or back of your book where you can flick to easily. Swatches allow you to plan ahead and know the colours and textured marks that are in your arsenal.

4 Try a new medium

Get excited and out of your normal art routines and pick up a new medium to work with. new paints, pens, chalk, coloured card, pastels, inks, coloured pencil, collage, resist techniques (water based over oil) the choices are endless! Pick something new to do, maybe something you have always wanted to try!

5 Do a senseless scribble with the pen in your mouth!

Scribble senselessly and try the ‘loose association‘ technique I showed you guys! Take breath and just dive into your sketchbook Rambo style!

6 Do a collage

I want to bring special attention to something already vaguely mentioned. Collage is a good way to just get images into that first page. It’s easy to cut stuff out and creatively arrange them with some glue and tape. maybe adding stickers and some marker here and there.

7 Start in the middle

You don’t have to start on the first page. If its just the first page holding you back, dive into the middle. You can always stick something over it later if it turns out that offensive. Though I do recommend keeping all your drawings, even the crappy ones because you can use them to get better and observe your improvement over time.

8 Scroll through Pinterest or Tumblr for inspiration

Find stuff that inspires you! mash your favorite features together or try an recreate a work of art you like. Studies on other peoples work will help you understand their techniques and clarify what it actually is that you like about their work and how it was made.

9 Doodling, mandala’s or zentangles

These styles of work are great when you don’t know what to draw because you don’t have to have a clear direction. Play around with texture shapes and patterns in a simple meditation like style.

10 Draw a self portrait

Don’t forget, you always have yourself to draw! Use a mirror and practice the age old art of the self portrait. It’s a great way your sketchbook can introduce the viewer to the piece of yourself that is your sketchbook!

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance Of Mess: An Art Tip

When I was around 13, I by chance decided to turn up to class one day. It was one of few days I actually walked away with something useful from school. It was art class.
Our art teacher had banned rulers and erasers from the classroom and anyone caught using them, had the items taken of them and thrown out the classroom window. He told us story of his daughters, both who love to draw, One stayed inside the lines and meticulously tried for perfection while the other scribbled and played and never worried about the lines. Guess who went on to become a successful person in the creative field? The second girl.
Mess can in some places be very useful. You use it to experiment with texture and media, to loosen up your hand for greater skill, you notice things you may wish to transfer over to a final piece or even experiment more with: Mess builds your art vocabulary.
Art isn’t just about drawing in a way to make something look as close to something else as you possibly can. It’s about expression and telling truths and invoking thought, questions or emotions in the world and about the world.
I think it’s important to practice art at a slightly more raw level. To scribble for the feeling of movement in your hand with out any thought to the end result, just the action of drawing. To throw the media on with no planning and build up a page of absolute nonsense and color and lines and scribbles and maybe even tongue prints 😉
Sketchbooks should mean it’s time to play not just time to work 😉

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Neon Buddha Series

So I started working on a series of illustrations to sell, and although I probably have too many projects on the go at the moment, I was too keen to get these underway because they glow under black light! I actually really love how these are turning out, the one in progress being my favorite so far.

The first one is symbolically traditional. It has the wheel of life, the wheel of darma, lotus flowers an elephant etc…; but the second is a Buddha caught in the world of pop culture, consumerism and bad habits.

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I’m selling the originals all pretty cheep locally but I’m thinking I might take the best ones and make them available as prints, especially if I can have the black light effects carry through on the prints… I have a feeling i’m going to want a print of the second one myself 😉

I will be trying to post more often on Twitter/Facebook and may start posting on Tumblr or Instagram to let you guys know how progress is going. It seems I have a hundred million things to do for the next wee while and although the articles on here may slow down a little, I’ll still be up to some exciting things which I really want to share.

Feel free to let me know what you think, critique away or if you have any ideas you’d like me to consider go ahead and let me know in the comments 🙂

Scrabble Day Painting: A is for Asshole!

Invented in 1938, Scrabble has been a pass time for so many that it has found it’s own triple word score winning it’s own day on our calender (April 13th: the inventors birthday). That’s right… SCRABBLE DAY!

Originally created by an unemployed architect living in New York; Alfred Mosher Butts called this game ‘Criss-Crosswords’. About a decade later the rights were sold to James Brunot who re-named it, you guessed it!, Scrabble.

So I decided to take our beloved scrabble and use it to play my own game on canvas. I am using one of each letter stuck to the canvas to create an alphabet of swear words 😀 This is going to be a load of fun.

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Sign Your Name In Pink Sharpie For Cancer!

Sharpie is spreeding awareness for cancer. Just by signing your name in Pink Sharpie and uploading here you will be raising $1 for cancer! Sharpie is donating a dollar for every signature up to $10.000.

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Sharpie is such a wonderful product. It really has it’s consumers in mind and creates the kind of products that we love to create with. From doodling on your shoes to full on fantastic works of art, sharpie are my favorite art supply for customizing…well..EVERYTHING!!

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I recently bought the neon sharpies that glow under black light and can’t wait to get into them! I now hope for glow in the dark sharpies one day….Imagine what sharpie could do to the night!

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These great sharpie art works I found lying around the internet, excluding my signature, so I claim no rights to them 😉
I am also not being payed by sharpie. I really just love my sharpies as I’m guessing you guys do too!
For more great sharpie stuff, their website has gallery’s where you can share your stuff, learn cool techniques and accept and submit challenges with the whole sharpie community!

                                                                                Enjoy 😉

“…The Great Artists Steal”

Pablo Picasso’s quote “The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal.” has been a topic point that keeps coming up these past few days along with a TED talk I watched about a year ago called “Steal Like An Artist”
I remember the day I watched it, I had been doing a similar thing with old newspapers and magazines, crossing out words leaving a story or poem with those left behind. I started this when I was drawing illustrations on old text books thinking I was being original. The news wasn’t to hardly taken though, that it had been done many times over, because that was exactly what this guy had thought.

Around the same time was my discovery of peter draws, and his video “Epic mandala drawing (and thoughts about stealing art)” Peter also handed me another lead after reciting the quote by the director Jim Jarmusch as I then discovered the movie “Coffee and Cigarettes” which was full of some of the most inspiring and weird conversations and quotes such “The earth is a conductor of acoustical resonance.” and “I drink a lot of coffee before I go to bed so I can dream faster.”

I remember I was on a roll this day,and I copied all this cool stuff into my sketchbooks. Notes and sketches about lucid dreaming, sleep deprivation, reviving sharpie pens, zentangling and it was even the day I found Russell Brands political videos such as the messiah complex, the interview for BBC news and MSNBC where he showed them up as complete idiots!

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I realized this was all I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I’d be a Blogger. Needless to say, one or two videos set off a snowball effect off research and now here I am. Getting off my lazy bum, not sleeping all day and working for the life I want to have 😉 Above is my old sketchbook on the exact page!

As always, Enjoy!

Art Journalist: Milliande

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Milliande has been one of my favorite mixed journalist for years. She shares many wonderful techniques and has hundreds of great videos so you’ll never run out of stuff to watch! I really wanted all you artists out there to be able to make use of all the really tools you can gain from this incredibly creative woman!

Some of videos are a little long to use as snippets and you really want to sit down with them and take notes. Here are some photo’s I pinched from her blog 😉

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(That awkward moment when you can’t find yesterdays blog and realize you made it its own a page :/)

Another Cool Place for Artists!

Behanced.net is another place where you can “showcase and discover creative work” I only found this site today and although I don’t know a whole lot about it, just searching around at the projects and art works is a jaw dropping experience. It’s free to sign up and they quote it to be “the worlds leading platform for creative professionals across all industries.”
These guys also have a curated site called “Illustration Served” which your work can be considered for but only if you are signed up to Behanced.

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here are a couple of the cool things I found on served and behance.
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Art Meets Science!

They seem unlikely companions at first thought but many Scientist-hybrid-Artists are out there bringing the two together in a spectacular show of beautiful aesthetics and curious wonder!
Here are two such finds that have grabbed my eye.

SymbioticA : the “Tissue and Culture Art Project
A group from the Western Institute of Australia has developed a program for artist and scientist to mix the two creatives and thus SymbioticA gave birth to this new project.
“With an emphasis on experiential practice, SymbioticA encourages better understanding and articulation of cultural ideas around scientific knowledge and informed critique of the ethical and cultural issues of life manipulation.”  – WIA
From semi living steak to semi living worry dolls, all sorts of questions begin to arise about possibilitys and ethics.
Once such art piece is a ‘living’ coat. Titled “Victomless Leather“, it was made of mouse stem cells though unfortunately had to be put down when it began to out grow it incubation chamber. See featured image above.

O how i want to pack my bags and move to western Australia right now… first person to guess why wins an imaginary sports car.

I also found this one from Vik Muniz in Mexico looks pretty friendly doesn’t it? like a nice wall paper or print. Nope, liver cells infected with small pox vaccine.

Vik_Muniz_1-1024x1019 A small clipping from artofsavingalife.com
 “As artist Vik Muniz writes: “The artwork is a microscopic pattern of liver cells infected with a smallpox vaccine virus. After infection, the virus turns the cells a reddish color which allows scientists to visualize infection.” The image was created in a laboratory using micro-fabrication techniques and a high-resolution microscope. Vik then digitally colors the images and makes wall-sized prints “that allow viewers to see both the individual cells, and the pattern as a whole.”

A Cool Resource For Artists

I found  fantastic site for artist although it is directed at high school art students, it has a lot to offer for any artist! It is full of inspiring and practical articles. One I used today for my daily drawing, from an article “how to draw and paint faster” And another is full of amazing photography techniques that I can have a look at for my new project about creepy photo’s

It’s so rich with goodies…Check it out!

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