Stretch Goals and a nude man…

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I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions.  Last one I made, over a decade ago, was that I would never make another one.  And I’ve stuck to it.   But I saw someone talking about making their resolutions to be about DOING more or BEING more, instead of giving up things and I figured I could get behind that kind of idea.

I decided to look towards what I call “Stretch Goals”.  In my mind, these are the types of things where I don’t necessarily think my skill level is ready for it, but that I want to STRETCH and reach to see how far I can get.

I was encouraged by an artist to check out a particular Life Drawing class.  Now I’m not a prude, but sitting in a room where everyone is staring at a naked person seemed a little strange to me. But I promised myself as soon as I was free on one of the scheduled nights, I’d go.   That free night was this week…and just my luck, it was the first male model of the year.

I like guys, especially attractive guys, but to sit and look at a stranger in the nude for three hours was completely outside of my comfort zone.  Add in it’s the first time I’m attempting to draw from a live model AND pretty much the first time I’m attempting to draw a person as all – and I couldn’t have been much more uncomfortable.

It’s important to note here, that I’ve met the person running the event / gallery a few times before and he really did a WONDERFUL job of making sure I was comfortable or had what I needed.  So it’s not on them at all.. just my own hang-ups.  But I managed.

The first 10 poses were VERY fast, and after the first sketch was little more than a clump of shapes and lines from me..I figured out I’d focus on trying to get something, but not the whole person.  Face and hair, line of the shoulder to the back, the legs…etc.  And that was more manageable.  Then the poses got progressively longer and I found I was working faster and getting most of the pose.  Until finally the last 2 poses were 25mins each and I figured out I would do better to focus on the shapes the shadows on him were making and letting that, along with leaving the highlights undone, created the person on my paper.

No, I don’t feel totally comfortable sharing what I drew.  But it was better than I expected..and that’s part of the point.  I think I might even go back in a few weeks and try it again.

Have you done anything towards your goals for the year?  Do you have a stretch goal?  I’d love to hear about it.

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Have you met Barry?

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Barry the fruit bat 4x6 watermarked

I’m excited to introduce you to Barry the Fruit Bat.
Technically this project started some time ago, but I’m hoping it will see some major progress this year.

I challenged my daughter to write a children’s book and I promised I’d work to illustrate it.  Late last year she sent me the text and it’s adorable!  In answer I painted our first official design of what Barry would look like.   This may even end up the cover for the book.

It’s going to be quite an endeavor for me, because I’m feeling like this is a possibly a bit of a stretch on my abilities.  Also, while I’ve gotten faster in my art, it’s definitely going to be a LOT of work as I’m thinking we are looking at quite a few pages I need to draw/ paint.

But for now, say hello to Barry.  You’ll be seeing a lot more of him.