Saturday, September 20, 2008

Random inspiration

A long time ago I was given a creative exercise that I have seen done more recently on other blogs.

The task was to go to a bookshelf in your home, close your eyes, randomly touch a book and pull it out. Open the book, still not looking at the pages, and run your finger down a page stopping at any point. The paragraph at which you stop is the one that you will illustrate. Or if it is an illustration, then you would create that. If it is something such as a table of contents or index, then repeat the paging/paragraph finding motion until you find something to illustrate.

I have just done this and my hand found The Complete Book of Herbs which I opened to page 87 - a full page about elecampane - Inula Helenium. This is one of my favourite herbs and I have a huge plant of it growing in the field as I type.

I will sketch the herb and post tomorrow, but thought it could be an interesting challenge to others to try this exercise as well. Especially those who have lost a little incentive lately as I have.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Portrait start

S & S
graphite 11 x 14
copyright Jeanette Jobson

I've made a small start on the double portrait of my daughter and her fiance using the Bristol 400 paper. I'm not sure yet if I like the paper. The very smoothness that I wanted is turning out to be almost too smooth and I find I need an extremely light hand to achieve the effect that I want. I'll go further and see what it produces. In the early stages, its difficult to judge the final product as there are many layers to go yet.

I haven't tackled a serious portrait in awhile and have confined myself to smaller scale pieces and sketches. I could blame time but I know that's an excuse sometimes. I need to make time for the things that are important to me.

I'm slowly turning the corner into inspiration again but am not quite there yet. I can see some things on the horizon and I think I'll tackle some painting to get into the swing again just as a change of pace. Meanwhile I'll keep nibbling away at this portrait and hope it will start coming together.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Silver linings

Drawing Glass - Tutorial

There are always some benefits to adversity and this time others hopefully will benefit from my mistakes.

I have been producing art tutorials, but in this one I screwed up the graphics by photographing instead of scanning them. No amount of tweaking in Photoshop would undo the greyness that the background showed, so they weren't suitable for production. I didn't want to redraw this particular project again, so I let it sit for awhile and now have decided I will share it with others who want to download it for learning purposes.

The images are usable, but not as clear as they normally would be but the explanation should give enough information along with the graphics to be useful for those who want some guidelines about drawing glass.

I would love to hear from those who download this piece and create a glass drawing. Your comments are always welcome and if you have questions I can be reached by email and am happy to help.

I will share the silver lining and will make this file available as soon as I figure out how to link a PDF file into Blogger!

Update:   The file is available on my website as  free tutorial 

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I seem to be going through a very lean period when it comes to producing art.

I can't seem to wrap my mind around any significant projects or settle down to really get at anything. I have lots of sketches which keeps my hand in practice, but inspiration for something more significant just doesn't seem to be there for the last couple of weeks.

This also flows over into my blog as well. Its as if I have run out of words and meaninful ideas. I know that everyone reaches this 'wall' now and then and it can be frustrating. I've accepted the fact that I'm on a 'go slow' until inspiration hits me again.

But I want to be past this. I want to become absorbed in a drawing or painting, but the more I try, the more fleeting it becomes.

I've tried browsing the blogs I enjoy and new ones to help inspire me.
I've flipped through art magazines
I've looked at videos about art techniques
I've sketched with less used mediums to see if the newness of them will help

I know I will get past this, its just painfully slow. So I will ignore it. I'll work on other creative projects such as my jewelry and perhaps some knitting. Then hope that inspiration will return.