Nicolaides’ The Natural Way to Draw is really pushing me outside of my comfort zone with the blind contours. The results are always interesting to me, though. Looking at where the lines end up can be surprising in both good and bad ways.

But…creating art is a never-ending experiment. And the finished drawing is always a new result that you can learn from. For instance — I’m not incredibly good at blind contours, so I see a weakness I can start attacking.

I followed up my contour drawing by cracking open FORCE by Mike Mattesi again, and this time…I’m trying something that I haven’t done in a while. I’m reading the book, and copying the drawings in the book as I go. I usually try to read the book and apply the principles with original sketches, but I used to copy instructional work a LOT.

And you know what? Approaching it like this has been really useful. Not because I’m copying — because I’m still trying to think about everything I’ve learned from other sources as I draw. This has been useful because I’m looking at the art and trying to think about WHY he drew things a certain way, based on the reading.

After I think about the big why I start to try drawing with the same intention as the instructor. Not copying what he did exactly, but copying why he did it.

Duration: 45m

Medium: Cretacolor on Newsprint

What went well?
I feel like I took a small step forward in my studies today by looking at the intention of another artist. Not just the intention of the art, but the intention behind the art. If that makes any sense.

What didn’t go so well and what can I learn from that?
I had another “off” morning because my kids had to go to the dentist, so nothing has been “regularly scheduled” for me today. I was up too late last night, up just as early as usual this morning, but I didn’t get to go through my AM routines. I didn’t get to “work” until after lunch, and I’m dead tired.

BUT — sitting down to draw actually GAVE me energy today, so that’s good! I won’t be able to get to the rest of my to-do list today at this rate, but I hit my fundamentals even after a pretty major wrench got thrown into my gears. Adapt, adjust, persist.

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