It seems that so many who really want to do this, who really want to pursue something creative and artistic, struggle with a head issue. Not necessarily a heart issue... the heart says things like, "Yes, you are an artist! Go make beautiful stuff!" Or at the very least it says, "Well, at least give it a whirl."
The head, not so much.
The head says things like...
You don't measure up.
You never were very good.
This is not something you can do.
You are not an artist.
So to prove to you that anyone can learn this, this art thing. And that anyone can be this, this artist thing.
(Or maybe has always been this, as that heart keeps reminding you.)
I thought I'd share my recent sketches with you.
Yep, sounds simple. Until you see them. Cause they ain't pretty. And many of them sure aren't "artistic." (Pardon my French.)
So starting with this post, barring no unplanned travel or children coming down with the stomach bug or any other emergencies of the unforeseen kind (as if there are any other kind), I thought that a couple of times a month I would share a glimpse into my Scratchmade Journal, at what I've been working on, trying to master, or at the very least, trying to figure out how to capture on paper in a semi-realistic way.
Fair warning: Many of these will be sketches that would have never made it into a blog post or onto social media— ones that are my trials and errors, my attempts and failings. Some which are nothing more than simple scratches on paper using a pen, brush, or pencil.
Because if I can do this, anyone can. So go follow that heart. And let the head tell you that you don't measure up.
And agree with it.
And then go be an artist anyway.
Watercolor Sketching Barns
Since we've moved to the rural high country, I've been trying to sketch barns. As you can see in the sketch above (and in the ones below), it's not going well.
I've tried watercolor alone and also a combo of pen and watercolor, yet I just can't seem to capture these structures. Most of what I draw looks like either a preschool coloring book illustration (and that's on a good day) or utter muck.
I really want to learn how to capture barns on paper because our area is FULL of barns. I can see seven barns just from the windows of my home. The barns in the two paintings below are all in the same field right beside my house.
And they are all beautiful! I'm totally captivated with them and can barely drive past one without admiring its view.
Barns tend to defy the laws of gravity and distort the laws of perspective. They curve odd directions, usually in various directions per wall. Oftentimes they appear to be holding themselves up somehow (because their foundations sure don't appear to be doing the job). Each one is totally unique and follows no rule, rhyme, or reason.
And as you can see from these sketches, I just can't get my mind or my brush around them.
When I'm constantly failing, I go back to the basics. I took my own advice and tried being a copycat. This seemed to work, because the best portrait I've completed yet is the one below. (You may have seen this before here.)
This beautiful scene was originally painted by artist Kolan Peterson and is pictured in the book, The Art of Watercolor. [affiliate] However, in the original painting, this wasn't really a barn. It was a small house that I sort of transformed into a barn, because well, I really like barns.
Oh well, it's a start.
And I'm not quitting. If/when I ever learn how to adequately sketch barns, I'll be sure to write a follow-up post. Until then, if you have an advice or resources for me, feel free to leave me a comment. And look for me in the local fields stalking these beautiful barns!