Monday, March 5, 2012

Draw A Sheep - Part One

Most of you probably already know Lori Skoog of The Skoog Farm Journal, but if not, you are in for a treat. I've enjoyed reading her blog for a few years now and thoroughly enjoy watching the weekly art classes she teaches at her farm. I wish I could join in.

Two winters ago I was completely snafued by trying to paint the Wool House window on the 2010 Christmas card. I decided I'd email Lori and see if she'd be willing to give me some advice. I'm not super great at approaching people, so really had to work up my nerve. No worries. She was every bit as nice and helpful in real life as she came across via her blog. I have valued her friendship ever since.

When I told her I was thinking about doing a drawing challenge this month, she immediately jumped on board. I figured we all needed a basic place to start and knew Lori would be that and more. I was right :-).



Recently I was approached by "thecrazysheeplady" at Punkin's Patch. She is doing something very exciting on her blog, encouraging people to take on a task that they might not have made time for. We all have things we would like to do, but just don't make it part of our day.

This month Sara is challenging us to draw a sheep. If you think you can't draw, I would like to get you started. I'm a retired art teacher and have been teaching at our farm for the past 10 years. Most of my students had little or no experience, and have found out that they are all very capable of producing beautiful pieces. We meet on Tuesdays and I post their work after each class. Here are a few examples.

Back in the day when I was teaching at the High School, all students were required to take 1 course of art or music. This usually happened in the 9th grade. Those who selected art were all started out in the same way and I continue to do that today. If you have never heard of it, there is a book out there by Betty Edwards that is called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." It offers the best foundation for beginning artists that I have ever found and IT WORKS.

The key to drawing is being able to see, so the first thing I would have you do is contour line drawing. I want you to get into the right side of your brain (the creative side).

CONTOUR - the outline of a figure or body; the edge or line that defines or bounds a shape or object.

Use a black marker if you have one. There are two methods...

Blind - one continuous line (you may not take your pen off the paper). Look at what you are drawing and DO NOT LOOK DOWN AT YOUR PAPER. This is very frustrating at first, but will make you look very carefully at what you are drawing. I usually start with a hand.

Take your time.

The second option is a modified contour line drawing. This time, one continuous line, look at your hand and now, YOU CAN ALSO LOOK DOWN AT YOUR PAPER. Do not lift your pen. If you forgot something, trace back over the lines that are already there, and add it.

You can apply these two methods to other things.
Like a simple still life.

Once that is done you can turn it into a mixed media project if you want to.

She added colored pencil (in progress)

Have someone model for you.

You will find that drawing from a photograph or real life is much easier than doing something from your head. So how are you going to get a sheep to model for you? Go to Punkin's Patch or google some sheep pictures and see if you can do a contour line drawing.

This was done by one of my students. Can you turn it into a contour drawing?

If you have never drawn before, using a grid can be a confidence builder. Just remember, only look at one square at a time.

(in progress)

I could go on and on, but this should be enough to get you started.
Please hook up with Punkin's Patch and participate in this challenge.
What I have shown you is just the beginning...get creative, all of you can do this.
Great idea Sara!


To kick off a month of fun drawing, let's have a different kind of drawing. I just ordered two copies of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - one for me and one for a lucky participant in the Draw a Sheep Challenge :-D.

If you are going to give this a try (and you should!), leave a comment here and we'll draw a winner - say Wednesday evening? Eh, let's make it Thursday. I used Amazon's free Super Saver shipping, so it might take an extra day or so ;-).

Thanks Lori for helping us all get started on the right foot!


csndyrn said...

I think this would be a good challenge for me. Way out of my comfort zone but I like a good challenge. Sounds like a book I would like to have in my craft room.

Spinners End Farm said...

This is a must needs read I daughter would love it too! We always need more pictures of sheep.


Nancy K. said...

I think I'll pick up a sketch book!

Lori Skoog said...

Ha! Ha! Ha Sara. And it's only 10am. You are going to be seeing a LOT of sheep pictures.

Carolyn said...

This is going to be fun! We could definitely use a lesson in drawing, and of course we'd love to draw some sheep!

katieb said...

Yes, maybe just for fun. You can sure come up with good ways for us to stretch our imaginations. My mother was quite talented artistically though I have, apparently, only inherited her love of carbohydrates and good bourbon! I could call my style "avant garde" but y'all know I would be lying!

Mimi Foxmorton said...

I am sooo excited about this!

I engage in Bedlam Art.....(I have no idea what I'm doing....I just do it.....) and love to twirl my crayon across the paper!

I linked all this to The Goat Borrower because I'm so excited!
Hope that was ok. I'm hoping EVERYONE will draw a sheep!

(can you tell I'm excited?) ;)

Have a creative day!

Sheepmom said...

I'm in! I want to draw, but never did more than doodle and things always ended up looking deformed, like they came from Chernobyl. I know art is supposed to be 'interpreted' but really, it's been just so sad.

Teach me!

Michelle said...

How interesting! I've never heard of this book, but Lori talks about exercises from it that my drawing professor in college had us do - and I have made my homeschool co-op drawing students do!

Sue said...

I'm in! With new lambies on the way soon, what better excuse to go out and sit in the barn?

Alice said...

I feel like a first grader getting ready for school. I have my paper, pencils and eraser all ready to go. Now if I can just make myself open the box and begin....
Oh yes.... and count me in ;-)

Terry said...

I will tr, but no laughing!

Mimi Foxmorton said...

My sheep is up! My sheep is up!

What fun I had!

(Did I tell you my sheep is up?)

Peacecat said...

Please count me in! I love drawing...and am not skilled yet. This will be a fun thing!

Michelle said...

Back to say, "I'm in," since there aren't very many good drawings of Shetlands around. And thanks to you, Lori visited MY blog!

Anonymous said...

John C is in. He has his sheep done.

Ann W. said...

I'm in. I painted a lamb two years ago but I'd like to practice drawing sheep. Lori's students have amazing artwork.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Today's sheep at:

Anne- That is a fabulous Widdle Wamb! Definitely snuzzle worthy! And oh, so perfect! :)

Anonymous said...

WOW! I can't wait to give this a try. I've had painters block for awhile now, and Ed called and told me I should give it a try. Count me in. :)

Sandy said...

Fun to see the art here!


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