40 Minute Portrait of a Friend – Drawing Friends is FUN

I have been swamped recently with work which is great because it’s work I love.  I’ve been trying to make sure that I do other things as well because almost all of my work revolves around the computer.  If I didn’t make myself stop and physically get up I’d be staring at the screen all day and go blind.

One of the things I did was a new sketch.  I was tagged by a friend and fellow artist, Tina Terry, in a challenge to do 100 Faces in 100 Days.  I thought it was just the thing I needed to get my butt in gear with portraits.  My secret project is a portrait, but one I plan to spend 30 to 50 hours on, so doing little 30 to 60 minute portraits a day should really help with anatomy, recognizing distances, proportions and the subtleties in shading as well as in other places to getting faces right.

I grabbed a profile picture from a friend of mine on Facebook, and only after about 20 minutes in did I realize I completely failed!!  Not at the piece, but at the challenge!  It’s 100 Faces in 100 Days, and my friend’s profile picture has very little of his face!  No wonder I jumped at the opportunity to draw him (well, that and he’s an awesome guy).  Whoops.  See for yourself:

"Justen Masked" by Rebecca Galardo

“Justin Masked” by Rebecca Galardo

Still, I got my art in for the day.  40 minutes with a 2H Goldfaber (Faber Castell) pencil in the Daler-Rowney Cachet sketchbook.  So I guess I’ll start the #100facesin100days Challenge tomorrow!

Capturing a Camera in Pencil

In June of 2011 I really wanted to start focusing on drawing more realistically.  Despite my adoration for Danny Gregory and my gratitude for his books and support of the every day artist, I wanted at this point to get back to the pencil.  I wanted to strive for more accuracy in my work.

I took a book that had long been shelved down and started going through it again.  The classic that had been given to me by my mother when I was about 13 was Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.  I remember it was both incredibly fun and somewhat tedious back then.  I had so many varied interests that it didn’t take long before I’d lost interest in doing the book work – maybe a month?  I’d done a lot of the drawings and gotten through about halfway, but hadn’t finished it.  I still haven’t finished it.  Hmm…  I guess that one will go on my book bucket list.

Here is me doing one of the exercises

Me Drawing on the Bed

Me Drawing on the Bed

Just looking at this picture I cringe.  It’s not good lighting, good posture, good way to hold my pencil, etc.  But it was fun.  I have certainly learned a lot.  Sure you can do fun and great drawings from in bed.  But you’re doing yourself no favors if you can work within a better set up.

I chose a beat up old camera we’d bought at a flea market somewhere for like $5.

camera drawing 3 (2)I wanted to try a slow pace but to also not go back over and over the same lines.  My years of drawing with pen and ink had increased my confidence and I quickly turned this:

Just started...

Just started…

Into this:

"Flea Market Find in pencil" by Rebecca GalardoThe bed was just a crappy outline and there are issues with it.  But for 45 minutes and for having just that day picked up a pencil again?  I am still happy with this drawing 🙂  It makes me feel great.  I love all the wonky lines and imperfections.  Even in trying to capture something realistically you have room to play.  That sketchy quality doesn’t take away from the art or attempt or even an ability to tell what the item is.  It only adds a fun and charming aspect to the work for me.

“Ruby” Sketch

When I was 19 I was living in an apartment with my ex, a friend and his sister.  I’d never had small animals and had gotten two turtles early.  Then I got two rats, two hairless female Dumbo rats.  One was Chloe and the other, an albino, was named the oh-so-unoriginal but still pretty name, Ruby.

The other day on Facebook I was nominated by a fellow friend (and a really great artist, Amy Lehr Miller) for an Art Challenge that is going around.  I’ve seen artists like Adebanji Adeola Alade (find him on Facebook here) doing it and when she nominated me I felt special to be in the same challenge.  Not that it meant I was anywhere near that caliber!  It just felt neat.

So I sat down with a picture of my long gone friend, Ruby, and started to draw.  I thought I’d have at least an hour and a half, but unbeknownst to me my husband was making dinner plans with friends and after 25 minutes I had to give up the drawing and run out the door.

Here it is:

"Ruby" by Rebecca Galardo

“Ruby” by Rebecca Galardo

I’m pleased with it, though the lines of the cage are wobbly and I was interrupted while doing the inside of her ear.  I might try again, but honestly it was just a fun sketch to do.

I chose her for a couple of reasons: I wanted the first post of the artist challenge to be special, I wanted to push myself to draw an animal (I don’t) and didn’t want to start with one of my cats or dogs (fur intimidates me when it comes to pencil) and I love rats.

It was drawn with a very old (like at LEAST 17 years old) Faber Castell B pencil in the gray Cachet sketchbook by Daler Rowney.