After my Elvis pixelated portrait of Week 10 and Week 11 (yes, I like to think of him as Elvis, even if it’s someone else!), I wanted to try my hand at a second one. This time the subject of the drawing would be the German poet Matthias Claudius. The idea was to get started in the Fotorealismus technique, which would be further developed in the final part of the book. Unfortunately, I didn’t make to that part in this project. Maybe I will in a second part 😊.
Something I thought almost since the beginning of this skill building project: should I make drafts of the works? Is it okay to erase or to redo certain parts of the drawings? I’m not sure how most pen artists go about it. My decision for this project was to go straight at them, to just start drawing and try to be precise from the beginning. Maybe there’s a better way! I guess if I were to do a bigger project I would divide it in smaller sections and practice the big shapes beforehand.
On Days 86 and 87 I completed the kids’ drawings intervention (drawings originally made by children, with details added on top). I thought this could be something to try with almost any kind of art work. Probably it would be better to do it with simple forms and characters. Also, it was fun to work both with blue ink and with red ink. There were other occasions throughout the past weeks where I’ve done that. But most of the times sit was just blue ink. That’s one thing I would experiment more with.
On Days 88 to 90 I worked on an historical character using an electricity bill as canvas. Even though the perspective could have been better (especially with the eye I drew more to the right, which should have probably been smaller), I’m quite satisfied with the result. This was also sort of a realistic-art try. Using a printed sheet of paper was fun, and added a lot to the experience. I would definitely do that again many more times in the future! The last drawing -Days 91 to 93- were two monsters on paper napkins. That was a tricky surface to work on (very easy to tear), and I enjoyed the challenge. The last image of the gallery are the papers I used during the past three months to clean the ballpoint pens 🙃.
Week 13 Drawings
Below you can find the daily drawings. Each day, I’m practicing for an hour. Sometimes, I fill one or two pages. But there are days when I work on more detailed stuff, and maybe it’s just half a page . As soon as I reach the one-hour mark, I put the pen down and take the photo of the day. Click on the thumbs to see the larger pictures:
Diary in German + Drawings (Week 13)
Looking back on the drawings I made during the past three months, I have to say I’m quite happy. First of all, because I was able to keep the daily practice (one hour a day) throughout the whole project. I didn’t skip days and I always practiced for around an hour (plus/minus three minutes 😋). There’s something I love about tracking time like this. After a week or two, it gets into a nice routine. And after seeing the results of your practice, it just makes you want to keep it like that. Keep the chain going!
The practice resource I got for this project (Kuli Kunst: Kreativ mit Kunstschreiber, by Gecko Keck) was simply great. I was very inspired and motivated to practice right from the first week, and I think this good book was in part responsible for that. Seen from a pedagogical perspective, it seems like a wonderful work. It takes you by the hand, step by step. The projects increase gradually in difficulty, just how I like it to be! I enjoyed especially the micro-figures and the abstract work of the third week. My absolute favorite of the first six weeks was the comic artbook picture (the four characters). Love that one! 😍 The Hollywood icons work made it also to my Top 3.
After finishing the first month of the project I started feeling I might not be getting as much of the German part as I liked. Using an e-book in German to learn the techniques was a good start, but it didn’t provide as much language practice as I wanted. Creating Anki cards out of the book content turned out not to be so great as I had hoped. The vocabulary was very specific to the drawing domain. That’s why I eventually stopped doing that and decided to try something new: supplementing the regular drawings I would make from the book with journal entries in German + small drawings. I think this was a very good idea. After writing the content I got all those texts corrected by German native speakers. During the last month of the project, I also amped up the German part during my practice by re-watching Neon Genesis Evangelion in German on my cell phone as I drew. Another good idea! 🤓
Overall, this project had a calming effect. The drawing time was always soothing. Maybe it was just the fact that it took multiple hours to complete some of the pictures. I’ve found that helped me build more patience and don’t rush to get more drawings done at the end of the project. If I have to choose between speed or quality, I prefer the latter. Of course, we would like to have both: speed and quality. But most of the time, that’s just not realistic. If a picture takes five hours of work, so be it. If a project takes five months, so be it. Constancy, consistency, and perseverance beat speed any time 🐢.
In the future, I would like to continue drawing realistic portraits. That’s one of the things that inspired me to tackle pen drawing, to begin with. At the moment I don’t have plans of going forward with the daily practice of one hour a day, but I might take that up again sometime in the future (especially if I find something I really want to draw). It’s good to know that, if I put in the time, eventually I could be able to do nice things. And that’s a big part of these projects: building self-confidence, expanding our current knowledge and skills, and exploring what’s possible for us 😊.