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April 20, 2017

Quick Update: My Art Theme Progresses!

by alive

Wow time flies! And a quarter has passed!


I’ve been busy on a major personal project that I hope can eventually reach more people with the AA35 message, but here’s just an update on where am I for my theme for 2017.



My original intent to learn to draw a beautiful face by end April, hands by end August, and a horse by end December is taking a lot longer than expected, primarily because of my major project. So I’ll be off a couple months for each.


On the other hand, my colored pencils have been making some progress! First I’m really happy with the Faber Castell Polychromos which for a beginner seems like a splurge, but I’m keen to really get into this, so I prefer to buy quality if I can. The reviews I heard of the Prismacolors were just too serious to ignore, with QC issues, sharpening frustrations, repeated breakages and so on. Not to mention wax blooming.

To ensure follow-through I bought a few of Ann Kullberg’s Jumpstart Beginner series and did these projects.

I thought I was progressing well. Then I took a beginner colored pencil course at La Salle and it was humbling. It was a real struggle and here is I think the main reason.

For my own projects I’ve been using Strathmore Series 400 paper. This is a smoother paper that allow for a lot easier blending for my preferred style, which is to use minimum force and be generally gentle. Hey, I can be gentle too in some areas!


On the other hand for the art class we were using Dessin à Grain paper, which has a lot more tooth, and requires quite a lot more pressure than I’m used to. You can see I’m really struggling with smooth transitions here, and I’ll need to develop more control and competence with the pencils.  




Again, I’ve been so busy I’ve barely had time to practise but at least it’s been quite consistent. Trying for 10-20 minutes a day at least. I finally got a piano lesson to work on something specific, which is control over loud and soft. It’s pretty challenging because I use a digital piano, the Casio P-85, and again the same problem with the colored pencils. On a digital piano I can be really gentle with subtle changes and already get a differentiation of volume. On a real piano it’s a lot more pressure than I am used to. In addition, the depression of the keys feels completely different! So I’ll have to continue to work on this problem.


But here’s the only song I’ve managed to learn this year. A little fast, but that’s something else I have to work on… nervousness when I have an audience… even if that audience is a videocam!



Beauty and the Beast is one of the most significant movies I’ve ever watched. Back when I watched the original animated movie, I was blown away by the themes of inner versus outer beauty, true love, strong relationships. I had great fantasies about how my own love story might be.


Of course fast forward 20+ years, and Life doesn’t always work out the way you think it might when you’re 17. In addition to great relationships, I’ve also had bad ones, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The lessons I’ve learnt, the experiences I’ve gained made me strive to be a better person, and it’s in a way helped shape what I do now. I work with people in their 30s of more to have a fuller Life, and that includes the area of relationships. I often help those starting over after a breakup or a divorce, by coaching them on personal improvement, attraction and dating, none of which I could ever do if my relationships in Life had been beds of roses without the thorns and I didn’t learn plenty from the thorns!


So that’s a quick one, and I’m going to come back with another post soon, on something a little deeper and more thought-provoking. See you soon!



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