My to-do list has been growing every day for the past couple of weeks, as things keep getting pushed back, so I spent the first huge chunk of my morning prioritizing, clearing my work-log of anything that didn’t need to be there, knocking out the small tasks as efficiently as possible (to collect quick wins), then focusing on the bigger projects, one at a time, until they were done.

And I managed to get to my drawing only an hour late. Yes, it took a lot of hyper-focus and some sacrifices, but I blazed through my work much faster than expected.

Once I finally got to draw, I knocked out a warmup page (something that I haven’t done in 4 days) and exposed a weakness:

Vertical lines were giving me a TON of trouble today, and I’m not sure why. It could be lack of practice, or it could be the knots in my shoulders (likely a combination of tattooing pain and stress). It’s worth figuring out, though.

Going back to some of the exercises in The Natural Way to Draw, I really wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone of FORM and MOVEMENT gestures to FEELING gestures, or scribble gestures as Nicolaides calls them. I wanted to feel the pose, so I actually struck many of these poses quickly as I was drawing to see where the tension was. They aren’t pretty, but they were interesting and challenging. And they made me THINK in different ways.

The next exercise REALLY made me FEEL the poses and imagine — potential gestures. I upped the timer on these images to 1 minute so I could have time to analyze the pose, take the pose if necessary, and imagine what the model would do NEXT. Talk about a workout for the brain.

And, after a long day of artsyness — I drew up the simple, traditional flowers for an appointment later this week:

And then I taught a one-on-one art class at the end of my work day before going home to spend time with my family!

What went well?

  • Working through more of The Natural Way to Draw.
  • Chatting with other fellow artists before lunch. The weekly meetups are awesome. I don’t know how I didn’t find myself immersed in community earlier.
  • Having a day off from the tattoo studio (sort-of unexpectedly).
  • Getting to teach!

What needs work?

  • I started the day overwhelmed.
  • Vertical lines.
  • My understanding of motive and gesture as described by Robert Henri and Nicolaides.

What did I learn?

Motive and gesture is difficult to grasp intellectually. It has more to do with the emotion and kinesthetics than an understanding of the form. It’s hard to put into words.

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