Thursday, January 22, 2015

#Sketchbookskool #Bootkamp: The Challenges Continue

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More really great challenges from SBS Bootkamp. I think it was pure genius to offer a bootkamp class after the first three semesters. Revisiting ideas and techniques is a great refresher and all my work the second time around is better as I've had time now to integrate what I've learned.

This challenge was about applying a watercolor wash, letting it dry and then using colored pencils over it for deep, rich colors. 

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  In this challenge we were to choose an artist who influences us and then "steal" their style by copying one of their works. Some of my classmates decided to simply do their own sketch in the style of another artists, and I think I'm going to expand this challenge for myself by doing that with Van Gogh's style.

Van Gogh has been a huge influence on me, not stylistically in my paintings (except for very early on in college),but rather philosophically. I find Van Gogh to be the most unique artist that has ever lived. His authenticity, humility, sensibilities, and sufferings show forth an intensely human, extraordinary mind, heart, soul and life.  I have a more natural affinity for his drawings and find his influence sometimes creeping into my own work. So, an original sketch of my own more deliberately in his style is probably in order.

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Rembrandt's works on paper, including his etchings in various stages and his ink and wash drawings have also long held me in rapt fascination. So a small copy of a Rembrandt self portrait was also in order for this challenge.

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The second part of the Influences challenge was to sketch from your personal history. This was a difficult assignment for many of us. Looking back at old family photos, photos of our selves, and of our childhood homes brought up a lot of emotions, and not all of them good.  So rather than get bogged down in all that, especially in the depths of winter when I already have a difficult time with dark moods I decided to sketch all of my beloved dogs past and present.  While bittersweet because I miss them so much, I am still filled with joy when I remember them. They all had happy long lives, even Maggie who was with us ten years before the cancer took her.

Sketching has so many ways that it enriches your life and helps you work things out.  You live with presence and get to know your true inner self through drawing. It's always so amazing to me what  paper and pen can do. 

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