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Art Journal Every Day: In Pursuit of a Drawing Style

ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, there is a short introduction here.  All of the previous posts can be found archived here.  There is a flickr group for sharing right here.  Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day!  No need to finish anything or even like it.  If you've done some art journaling this week and you've blogged about it, or put it on flickr, please leave a link in the linky list at the end of this post.  Thanks!

Today we have a guest post from Michelle Mathey.  As soon as I spotted her beautiful faces in the linky list, I knew I wanted to hear all about how they evolved.

In Pursuit of a Drawing Style

Pic 1
My journey into artsy play is a recent one – I started to learn to draw two years ago and have discovered that my absolute favorite things to sketch are faces!   It must be partly because of the fact that our eyes are drawn to anything that looks like a face.  What is the first thing that you drew as a child?  Chances are it was a face.  

Pic 2
Two eyes, a nose and a mouth constitute a face and we see them everywhere – even when we aren’t looking for them – in clouds, the pattern on the shower curtain, rain on a window, etc. 

Pic 3
A bad drawing of a face is still recognizable as a face so you really can’t mess up, right? 

Pic 4
But then the ugly little voice starts up, the one that lives in your head and says, “Your faces aren’t that good” or “Why can’t you draw like ___________ (insert favorite artists’ names here)?” or “Why don’t you have a recognizable drawing style of your own?”

Pic 5
It is a long journey to drawing pics that reflect “you” and there are lots of different avenues you can take to get there.  My chosen route has mostly involved using the computer.  Learning to draw is easier than ever before now that we have access to the Internet.

Pic 6
Do you have a favorite artist that has a blog?  If she/he offers an online drawing class, hop on board and take it (if you can attend classes in real life, even better).  If you’re a fan of their style of drawing/sketching than the chances are great that you will enjoy the class too. 

Pic 7
What often happens while taking a class is that you try to emulate what you are learning and your drawings will often be in the style of your teacher.  That’s okay!   

Pic 8
Remember when you learned to cook?  Did you start with your very own improvised recipe?  Of course not,  you didn’t have the experience for that.  You start cooking with someone demonstrating a simple, tested recipe for you and then you copy it yourself.  How pleased you are if the recipe turns out just like how your teacher’s did, right?  With time and experience you can begin to tweak recipes to make ones that are “you” and those are the tastiest ones of all!  

Pic 9
In the beginning while learning to draw, I would actively try to copy the teacher and would be quite disappointed when my drawing wasn’t the same.  Slowly I became more comfortable with the ingredients (paints, markers, pens, etc.) and my “recipes” started to turn out correctly.  Then one day I drew a face that was more “me” and it was good – go figure!  

Pic 10
With time I’ve discovered recurring themes with my girls that include:  long necks, big eyes, white dots, quirky book quotes and lots of India ink.  I’m attracted to clean and simple backgrounds with minimal journaling and I love to try different techniques and play with lots of different mediums.

Pic 11
Participating in challenges is another great way to develop your style too.  I link to Julie’s Art Journal Every Day post every single Friday.  It gives me something to look forward to and a bit of responsibility toward my blog to post at least once a week.

Pic 12
After linking your work to Art Journal Every Day start clicking on the links of the other artsy folks who post there to get inspired to try something new.  The AJED community is full of supportive people that will encourage you on your artsy journey.

Pic 13
What about when you get stuck and can’t figure out what to draw – There are a few things that I do to jumpstart my creativity. 

Pic 14
Visiting a museum and getting up close and personal with art is a great way to inspire yourself to try new things.  Modigliani is a favorite of a lot of people when choosing an artist’s style to imitate.  Even a small art museum may surprise you with its permanent collection of truly great art. 

Pic 15
Have you visited Pinterest yet?  A quick word of caution - one can easily get sucked into that world and not resurface until you are late picking up your kids from school (not that I’d ever do that – yikes!)  My Pinterest board called All About the Face is chock full of gorgeous visages that might revitalize your desire to draw. 

Pic 16
Finally, the best way of all to develop your personal style is to draw, draw and draw some more!  Nothing will ever replace the time spent drawing – some will be great, lots more won’t but you will never get any better if you don’t put in the work!!  THANKS so much Julie for this opportunity to be part of your blog and for your endless inspiration to all of us who visit daily!!

Here is this week's linky list:

Thanks for stopping by!


About Michelle:

Michelle lives in Owensboro, Kentucky with her husband of 22+ years and their two sons.  She loves doing artsy/crafty things and spent years teaching rubberstamping and papercrafting at local stores.  Several of her card designs have been featured in magazines, including Paper Crafts and Stampington publications, and the a•muse|studio 2011 Catalog and Inspiration Guide.  Her blog is Pigment of My Imagination.  Find her etsy shop here.