OK, so I haven't been posting a sketch per day, but I have been sketching daily! I've continued working my way through the book and doing the various exercises. Although I feel as though I've improved a bit, I wasn't sure how this would translate from the relatively safe environment of a book telling me how to draw a prescribed image with step-by-step instructions to drawing in a real-life environment.
So this weekend's meeting of The Bristol Sketch Initiative was the perfect intermediate because we went to the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery - a real-life environment that doesn't move :)
I started off in the Dead Zoo (a.k.a. the stuffed animals area) where I had a go at sketching Alfred the gorilla who used to live in Bristol Zoo. Alfred appealed to me because his profile is a very simple shape and it felt like (Darwin-haters look away now) one step closer to being able to draw people.
After Alfred, I wandered around and found the display of stuffed birds. There were a whole load of birds caught in various stages in perching and flight. The one below interested me because again I loved the shape of his outstretched wings. The bird was actually clutching a dead rabbit but I decided not to draw that part...
Part of the museum includes an art gallery and there was an exhibition by a Japanese artist (who's name I can't remember - argh! I'll try to find out and will update this post) which consisted of a series of large drawings of various insects. Now, I'm not a fan of insects as anyone who knows me will testify, but there was one butterfly drawing which really attracted me. I think it may have been because of the colours he used - mixes of purple and blue watercolours - and I wanted to try to replicate it.
I drew this one in pen rather than pencil because I quite like the cleaner, bolder lines produced by the pen and to me the pen seems to flow better than a pencil. I always feel a lot more pressure when using a pen though because you can't erase any mistakes so you've got to be a lot more careful. But I think this one turned out really well so it's given me a bit more confidence to use pen again in the future :)
Finally then I headed downstairs to the Egyptian display. After wandering around amongst the Egyptian coffins and mummified cats (of which there were a lot), I found a stone head of the god Atum, the creator, tucked away in a corner and had a go at drawing him.
All in all, I really enjoyed the day and felt like I'd made a huge improvement on last week. I felt a lot more confident about drawing this week and I definitely feel it's a direct result of using the book. Rather than trying to draw "animals" or "people" I found myself focusing on shapes and lines and gradually building up the picture from there. And I'm only about a third of the way through the book so hopefully will keep improving!