Tuesday, 1 May 2018

#aprilartdiet wrap up

Ok. tis the Morning of no longer being April and I'm fuelled to write this by black coffee and an awkward feeling of hang. Time to wrap up the month and the #aprilartdiet. I know what you going to say...you flunked! you failed! you flopped! but I don't really feel like that..

The first week went pretty good and I worked super hard towards getting that daily post...

The second also not so bad but I got a commission around this time and my time balancing scales went wa...ay out of whack. It started to feel like digital was the way to get stuff done in a day.. the stress vein pulsed a bit and I started to have days where I was staring at a screen like "that is just shit..I'm not sharing that".

It's weird..sharing things I consider 'studies' on things like Instagram for example where there is a lot of cool people, trying to be cool with all their cool stuff. There's a lot of great art out there, can sure make you feel inferior if you let it..but I'm really not out for being cool, I'm trying to learn here! I mean that's ultimately my conclusion..I don't have to post or share anything! impress anyone! I've just gotta keep working at the art.. It's not like I'm going to stop drawing and painting...I'll do this until my hands fall off!.. then I'll use something else..

The schedule I outlined is actually a pretty powerful one if you can put it to some use. The way I'm doing it now..is like... for example - a master study can go over the course of a few Mondays. Maybe I do the line work one day and the next week pick it up for painting..this kind of thing.. it doesn't have to be published in a day. I try to tell myself "some of these master paintings..they could have taken years..why am I expecting to nail it in a day?'. I definitely don't nail it everyday.. but the practice and the failures are invaluable.

Feels like we are all victim to the pressures of this super accelerated society. Good to step away sometimes..get away from the tech and let life and ideas grow organically! I just wanna really slow it down this month and post whenever I feel like it. So that's what I'll do..

keep drawing

Saturday, 24 March 2018

What is my #aprilartdiet?

Ok there sure has been a lack of posts around here...without going into too much moaning I’ll just say I had a tough winter and got myself into a bit of an art funk.  My conclusion is what’s important - I need to get better, faster, more disciplined and more consistent with posting online.

I took a long walk one day and it all just started coming to me and I started getting excited. That kind of excitement that I've not felt for a while so I totally need to run with it..

I’ve come up with this little challenge to get me sketching and posting in April and I’m going to write this post as if you are going to do it with me mostly because it helps me to write it down that way..

I will be open about my influences - I’ve taken part in daily art challenges before and found them to really useful in at least getting a few nice pieces out. Jake Parker’s Inktober is probably the most well known. There’s also Every day in May, 1 Week -100 people and many other challenges with prompts and daily posting. I’m combining the influence of those with diet and training/study schedules I used to read lurking the conceptart.org and crimson daggers forums. I've developed my own daily study routine around these kind of ideas but what I really need is accountability by posting the results online at the end of the day.

The idea is to post art online ‘almost’ daily during the month of April. The challenge is about improving as an artist and the daily prompts are as follows..


Gotta post a master study. It's a nice way to start the week by looking at the masters. It’s a ‘copy’ to some people but you’ve got to realise that all throughout history artists have learned their craft by studying the work of the great masters that came before them. There’s a lot to be learned about composition, drawing, painting, light and shade and so much more simply by spending the time absorbing and trying to replicate a work that you appreciate.

So look at a piece by a long dead artist. Older and deader the better! but be respectful and clearly label your piece as a study. It could be just a small composition thumbnail. Draw a detail from a painting in your sketchbook. A full painting , colour study,  a hand from Michelangelo,  a nose from Leyendecker. Whatever you feel - just remember that the idea is to try and learn something about how it was put together and hopefully this will stick with you in making your own works. Copying becomes stealing, if you apply what you learn and do it shamelessly.


This is quite open really, It could be a figure study, a portrait, quick gestures, a body part or sketchbook page learning anatomy from a book. Maybe you are into creatures? so study the anatomy of an insect of animal. Do what you feel will benefit you the most but remember todays focus is Anatomy.


Post a painting. There’s no restrictions on media here. I'm leaning towards watercolour and gouache initially Wednes-watercolour-day but want to mix it up week by week. If you are an acrylic or digital painter so be it. Just post a painting - if this seems intimidating bear in mind it could be a tiny little thing on a post it or a sketch tinted with a wash or two.


A study from life. This could be a simple still life setup of a few cups and fruits. It could be a full blown urban sketch. Attend a life session? or do a self portrait. Drawing, painting whatever, It’s just gotta be from life!


People have mixed opinions on using photos but as an artist you will at some point be looking at photos for reference and there are many things you can learn from them whilst being aware of their shortcomings. It’s pretty open - study a photo to improve your eye and accuracy.


It’s the weekend! draw or paint whatever you want, Just post something at the end of the day.


This is where we realise this daily posting challenge is not even daily. Most diets and training regimen include a cheat day. A day of rest and recovery. Take the day off if you want! You don’t have to post anything or go online at all. I think it’d be best to spend this day trying to do something imaginative and only for yourself in your sketchbook but cheat if you want and draw ahead..Cheat day encourages such things just don't cheat yourself! Take your granny for a walk in the park, watch a movie, read a book, be free. By the way -the month of April actually starts with a Sunday..

So -That’s the diet outline. It's pretty simple but I think it covers some beneficial areas. By the end of the month we’ll have 25 posts. Some of them will suck! but don’t worry and think of the gains over a long period of time working consistently with this diet. 

I’ve written this as if you’re going to join me but honestly I’d be amazed if anyone catches on to this ‘unknown artist invents a hashtag thing’. If you do feel free to adapt it to your own needs or use the hashtag #aprilartdiet. I’m going to be doing this training regimen for myself more than anything because I really want to improve my work but can guarantee you will also see some benefits if you choose to join me. I'll be posting on all my social medias and this blog by midnight each day.

Onwards to April.