Good-Bye 2017 : Review

Books I read in 2017. If I had to pick one book you should read, it would be Beartown.   Great way to start a conversation about a certain topic we have seen on the news.  Especially if you have kids/teenagers and not sure how to talk to them about this certain topic.  This might be a way to break the ice.

1. The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim

2. Devil’s Cold Dish by Eleanor Kuhns

3. What so proudly we hailed by Marc Leepson

4. Death on the Sappire by R.J.Koreto

5. Death among Rubies by R.J. Koreto

6. The German Girl by Lucas Correa

7. Alice & the Assassin by R.J. Koreto

8. Swimming Lesson by Claire Fuller

9. The Stairs are Fire by Anita Shreve

10. Beartown by Fredrik Backman

11.The Dirty Book Club by Lisa Harrison

Health, I started 2017 weighing 281 lbs and now am down to about 270 lbs.  Am always unsure whether to trust the weight scale.  It kind of like the media, should you trust them on what they are reporting.  My digital scales at home says I weight 276 lbs, but then the gym weight scales say some different.  It one of those old school weight scale. For now I go with what the old school weight scale says. My goal for 2017 was just to maintain my weight and not gain weight.  I figure why make it a goal to lose weight and then not lose weight and be disappointment.  It would just be better keep working out and just watch what I eat and hopefully I’ll will loose it.

My finding employment situation, well we can just skip that.  Why focus on the negative side?

Still keeping up my hobbies.  Drawing, watercoloring, journaling, film photography.  Only thing I wish I had a table in my room where I could do all my artistic stuff.  My room is to small so I have on so I have to sit down on the floor and do all my art stuff.

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Inktober 2017

Inktober came and went.  With so much on my mind, I was only able to get half way.  This year I decide to challenge myself a little bit more.  Instead of using your regular ink pen/markers, I decided to use a dip pen and the Higgin black magic ink. I also used a old sketchbook I had laying around my room.  Haven’t used it since high school and I didn’t have money to buy a sketchbook that didn’t bleed when using ink.  The paper did hold up except when there was to much ink on the nib and drip on the paper.

Drawing in ink is intimidating because you have to know what you are going to do.  Are you going to draw a straight line, a circle or maybe a curve?  If you aren’t certain you can’t afford to miss up cause can’t erase it, you can keep going or start over on another page.

Drawing 2014 vs Drawing 2017

Three years ago I decided to re-learn how to draw. Just needed another hobby to keep me busy.  It had been a long time since I’ve done anything art related. High school art class was the last time I actually drew something. So I went Michaels and brought a sketch pad along with some pencils. I had decided I would just start drawing portraits since it what I still remember from high school art class.

I began drawing some popular people, first by drawing a egg like shape, then dividing it. One for the eyes, then where the nose would be and where the mouth would be. Of course my drawing were not perfect at all nor did they resemble the person I was trying to draw. At the end I just kept drawing, having done one or two good portraits drawings.

Then I started to branch out into watercolor and drawing other thing then portrait. Left my sketch pad sitting there, as I tried other sketchbooks that were smaller and I could take with me where ever I go.  I didn’t give up on drawing portraits. Still drew them, but now added some color to them. Just last month with money was getting tighter and couldn’t go buy another sketchbook so I return to that unfinished sketchpad I left sitting in my room. I thought to myself what to draw. I look through some of my first portrait drawings and decided to re-draw them.  I wanted to see how much have I improve in 3 years or haven’t improved at all.

*NOTE* Left 2014 drawing   Right 2017 drawing /// Sorry for the poor images.

Russel Crowe Gladiator: Left 2014 Right 2017
Jennifer Lawrence: left 2014. Right 2017

Urban sketching:San Antonio, Texas

I’ve decided to explore the world of urban sketching. Urban Sketching is drawing from direct observation whether it be outdoors or indoors. You can do this at your current location where you live or if you are traveling. Seeing Peoples sketches on instagram it looks very interesting to try. I haven’t done that many sketches, but so far I’ve like what I have done with some of the challenges am facing. One of those challenges is being able to fit what am sketching on a small piece of paper.  Should I sketch it horizontal or vertical on the paper? Also trying to get as much detail into the sketch, and then painting it with watercolors.  My other challenge is quickly drawing people who may be in the area and are constantly in motion. Hopefully something I can semi-master quickly, but in the mean time I just take a photo and use that as a reference to sketch people in.

World Watercolor Month 2017

World Watercolor Month has come to an end.  This year I completed 19 painting out of 31 which is less then what I did last year.  It always fun and a challenge to participate in World Watercolor month. The challenge to paint something each day and to use that creativity side of our brain that most of us don’t use.  The fun part is just having fun doing it.  No need to stress whether your watercolor painting sucks.  Just enjoy what you are doing and maybe laugh that your art work looks like a 6 years old art work or that you may have some hidden talent.

My 3rd Journal Full

I’ve recently filled up my 3rd journal. Its filled with written journal entries along with watercolor portrait paintings and other things. For this journal I used the portrait travel journal that I brought at Hobby Lobby. Its a perfect size journal that you can take with you every where you go.  Compared to my second journal a strathmore mixed media which is about the same size, this portrait travel journal was much easier to keep open as I work in it. I was hoping to to use my dip ink fountain pen, but it bleed through the paper. Using regular pen was okay. The paper did hold up when I use watercolor.  Sometimes after watercolor dried the colors would sometime stain the paper next to it.  The same thing would happen when I drew something using the Faber castell artist pen.