Drawing Ballerinas

February 21, 2018

I've decided to start this blog to share my thoughts and feelings about my journey to making more of my art. In the last couple of years I have decided I really want to take my art more seriously and try to make something of it - now that I'm over 30 have two kids, a mortgage and can't feasibly go back to Uni to get an art/ illustration degree! (Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it!!)


Annnywaaaay... mostly this blog will be updates about my work- what I am currently working on and why and what I've learned (this is all a working progress!)


Currently on the easel (I have no easel, I just like the way that sounds) is a huge, for me, A2 canvas of a dancer. Dancers are one of my favourite subjects to draw. After researching Degas for a high school project and marvelling at the beauty and grace I fell in love with trying to portray that same feeling. Figure drawing is hard though!


We are so familiar with the human form that it is very easy for our left brain to trick us and draw what we think an arm should look like. If we let it take over it will often revert to the simplest form or mark making, of how we first learned to draw an arm and create a childlike drawing that is cringe worthy! (If this interests you I highly recommend reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards- its a game changer!)


Learning to switch off that left brain and letting your right take over is incredibly helpful in creating something that doesn't look like a 5 year old did it. You go into a semi hypnotic state and lose all sense of time when you surrender to your right brain and you are able to really draw what you see (not what you think you see!)


The other thing that is absolutely essential in any drawing is PRACTICE. Daily practice if at all possible. The more you draw something, the better you will become, it is probably the single most important lesson in improving your drawing. Draw from life, draw from photos, draw from your imagination (super hard to do!) and just practice. You will hate more than half of it and despair that you will never improve but you will!! There are hundreds of comparison photos on Instagram, people posting drawings years or even months apart and the improvement is often dramatic. There is a link to a great practice resource at the bottom of the page. 


So I have practised, and practised, produced things I liked (until looking back at it a few years later and cringing) and things I hated and screwed up and threw away but I kept practising. Now there are more things I like, less things I hate and I feel like I can share my art with people and be proud. 



I am currently trying something newish! I recently drew a sepia toned portrait of Audrey Hepburn (check out my gallery) and I really loved the classic, nostalgic effect an wanted to do more. Deciding on a dancer I sought out a reference photo (kindly provided by Steve Haddon) and bought the huge A2 canvas. Sepia tones are relatively new to me, coloured pencils are also something I've only really been using for the last few months and working with them on Canvas is completely new. Basically lots of ways this could go wrong..... still so far I am fairly pleased :-)


You can follow me on Instagram or Facebook to keep up to date with my work (links below)





Facebook: www.facebook.com/sophielouisecreates

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sophieloupt_art


Book recommendation: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

website recommendation for figure practice: https://line-of-action.com/




















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