Holidays in Ink Week 1 Sketches

I have had a great time sketching in ink this week! I’ve been enjoying familiar subjects and methods, as well as experimenting with new-to-me subjects and approaches. I’ve especially appreciated the motivation and momentum I’ve gained from doing this project with others and having the detailed prompt lists. My friend Jamie Grossman, who came up with the Holidays in Ink challenge, is always inspiring with her abundance of creative ideas and her willingness to step outside the box and try things that are beyond her comfort zone, That has inspired me to also step outside my comfort zone and, as Jamie said in her recent post, Holidays in Ink Week 2, that can be uncomfortable, but it has also been exciting as I am learning new approaches and tackling subject matter I never thought I’d try drawing.

Below are some of my sketches from this first week. I am still trying to develop more of a rhythm in how I approach my sketching (as I am in much of my daily life), and I have all sorts of things I want to try in the coming weeks. Mostly, though, I am enjoying the calming effect of sketching along with the invigorating effect of stretching myself as I try new approaches.

The first day I had big plans and had been bursting with eagerness to get started with something challenging, but I felt like I hit a wall and couldn’t get enthusiastic about drawing anything. I finally decided to start with something I knew and loved sketching– a tree. It was a somewhat warm, sunny day, so I took a chair out into the yard and sat quietly and meditatively sketching for over an hour, until my fingers were getting stiff from the dropping temperature. I came inside chilled but feeling peaceful and with my spirits lifted, and I did some calligraphy of a verse that corresponded to my sketch.

On Wednesday and Friday I again drew trees (I skipped sketching on Thanksgiving Day).

On Saturday Stephen and Ramble and I went for a hike, so I did some quick sketches on location and then did a more careful sketch at home based on one of my sketches and a photo I took.

I had a great time sketching on Sunday! First, we had a Sharp-shinned Hawk visit in one of our shrubs for long enough for me to do a fairly detailed sketch from life. That was a treat! Then our pastor showed a picture of an angel painted by Raphael (he’s talking about angels in the Bible during Advent and showed some images of how people erroneously picture angels). I have been reading Raphael, Painter in Rome: A Novel, by Stephanie Storey, so I decided to try the “Copy a Master” prompt. That was way outside my comfort zone, but turned out to be fun and was a lot more successful than I expected. And then in the evening I did some portrait sketches while Stephen read The Two Towers by J.R. R. Tolkien to me (the book was at a very scary part, so sketching helped me not get too tense).

On Monday I read about Notan design or Notan sketches (one of the process prompts), which was completely new to me. It’s the idea of only sketching in two or three values, capturing light and shadow, in order to increase the impact. I decided to do it with just two values, and I really enjoyed doing that! The two sketches on one page are based on photos, and the one of Stephen is from life, again while he was reading to me (now we’re starting The Return of the King by Tolkien).

I am looking forward to week 2!


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