Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February's Sketchbook Theme


Laura C-W here, Welcome to February, the short month, for many of us a turning point in the season, and sometimes, here in the frozen North, a month of opposites. Winter Winter weather can be broken up by warm Chinook winds that melt away the ice and snow and bring us hope that Spring will arrive, eventually.

The theme for February is:
OPPOSITES

"Opposites" is my theme for you this month. This is wide open. You will make your choices as you go along. Consider this: the best way to enhance something in an image is with its contrast, its opposite. A warm color will be set off with just the right touch of a very cool color. Rough texture is emphasized by smooth surface. Agitated lines have a stronger voice when contrasted with gentle areas.
In the photo above, opposites include those of color, temperature, orientation in space, kinds of marks... and more.




This sketch is one of the follow ups to my "highly prized" drawing shared earlier: The birds, the feeder dominated that one. In this follow up sketch, I kept the feeder ( a house form) and juxtaposed it with a spiralling shell form.
Opposites: organic/geometric, open forms/closed forms, then there are the conceptual opposites (e.g. ideas of the elements).

I suggest you spend some time collecting visual opposites and tucking them into your sketchbook. You might brainstorm with words, or tear bits from magazines, flyers and newspapers, you could use your regular tools and materials to intentionally explore opposites you find interesting. If, instead, you choose to work directly with your pages, my challenge to you is this: Be aware of the opposites that might make your sketches or pages come alive.






These two sketches were made with graphite. A 4B woodless pencil made some very dark areas possible and a Derwent HB Sketching, light wash pencil allowed for blurring areas.




















The top sketch was made from a shell, the bottom from a piece of wood. Observing closely when I draw helps me focus, keeps my eye/hand trained and has a way of stimulating ideas.


Opposites include light and dark areas, textured and smooth, thick and thin lines, aggressive marks and gentle ones. Neither of these sketches took more than about 15 minutes. Both have prompted some ideas for me to follow up on.
What will your sketches bring you? How will you use the process of paying to attention opposites?
(In a follow up I will give you a mark making tutorial. Short and sweet. stay tuned.)


The theme for February is:
OPPOSITES



Create as many pages in your sketchbook related to this months theme as you like and post photos of them in the Sketchbook Challenge flickr group here or on your own blog if you have one.


How to be eligible for prize drawings:
In order to be eligible for one of this months prizes you must post at least one photo of a sketchbook page related to this months theme to the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group and you MUST tag one of your photos with the code "FEB487".

IMPORTANT: PLEASE ONLY TAG ONE OF YOUR PHOTOS with this special code! It is not necessary to tag more than one and it will not increase your chances of winning prizes.

Photos of this months prizes can be found here and information on how to upload photos to flickr can be found here.

Winners will be chosen based on random draw on 2/28/11 and announced on the Sketchbook Challenge blog either on that day or on 3/1/11.

Get all the details on the sketchbook challenge here.

29 comments:

  1. Oh Wonderful You!! Htank you for this wonderful start to our Month!! you ahve sucha marvelous way of getting me thinking- you verbalize your thoughts so very well- in words that I can process!!!! thank you!!

    My thoughts are flowing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, this is just going to be a wonderful month. I love this idea! Thanks Laura.

    ReplyDelete
  3. lovely theme, very thoughtful post. it got me thinking...thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post, Laura...but HARD theme...good thing it is a short month! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent! Thought provoking is what I love in a post.
    I have been sketching a lot, of late as my kids bought me a IPAD a few months ago. I had almost quit sketching except for design thoughts on new Jewelry ideas. But this tool is really helping me. I use the new sketch tool called Sketch club. Your posts has inspired me to go right over and start a fun sketch using opposites today!

    ReplyDelete
  6. this looks like so much fun, and it's great to get a prompt from another artist! Thanks for all the suggestions - I'm in! {:-Deb

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderful, Laura, I can't wait to dive into my sketchbook. :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm in for this one. Thanks Laura for your inspiration. Have a great month everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Laura that bird feeder shell drawing is stunning! I am going to be putting on that thinking cap very soon. Great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a great theme presented in an inspiring way. THANKS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have been daydreaming abou this theme all day long. Time to get out my drawing pencils and charcoal little set that I bought recently. It's new to me and I've got so much to learn. I've got plans to try out the dark smeary charcoal next to a more delicate drawing pencil's fine line. My head is swimming with Opposites theme. Thank you for the theme and inspriation.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great theme and I love the sketches. So lyrical!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lyrical is the word that comes to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A delightful challenge with so many opportunities. My head is spinning. Beautifully done!

    ReplyDelete
  15. As I sit in my warn kitchen having my morning joe to fullu waking up for the day, Look out my window to the view of icy cold snow with the sky in an early dawn mode.....already two images of opposites are in my eyes and thoughts. Can't wait to open the sketchbook and start playing many thanks for a great theme

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's an inspiring theme! Thank you!

    For Dutch participants I have tranlated the text on my blog (Sue and I discussed this earlier):

    quiltidea.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just signed up to join the challenge group on flickr. This sounds like a wonderful theme.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for the challenge Laura... I can see me doing lots of pages on this theme :D
    hugs
    Chris xx

    bling-kin-eck.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. so glad to have found this site...here's a submission for February (come let me know which opposite you would like to be):

    http://dthaase-smart.blogspot.com/2011/02/would-you-rather-be_06.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. here's a submission for this month's challenge:
    sketchbook challenge

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have had 2 attempts so far on this theme and I've posted them on my blog
    http://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com/2011/02/sketchbook-challenge.html

    ReplyDelete
  22. Substance and Shadow is at least one submission for the February theme of Opposites.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I spotted a post re this from freida's blog. I took part in the sketchbook project that will be traveling!
    I love color and thought I would join up.
    Thanks for the opportunity!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. As soon as I saw the new theme, I got so excited and almost knew immediately what I wanted to do. I've put pictures on the Flickr site but full descriptions of how I made my sketchbook page and resulting Journal Quilt (for the Contemporary Group of the Briitish Quilters' Guild can be found here:

    http://friedaquilter.blogspot.com/2011/02/opposites-attract-journal-quilt.html

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am so loving this blog... so much inspiration!

    I played along here.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I only found out about the challenge last week.
    I did an attempt on the February challenge over here:

    http://teachermotherandwife.blogspot.com/2011/03/opposites-1-sketchbook-challenge.html

    I want to thank you for this nice blog! It makes me draw again, even when I'm busy I try to find the time so thanks! See you soon in March ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm totally late in posting...but thought I'd share anyway. http://www.tortagialla.com/2011/03/01/action-in-progress/ Love the themes and getting to see everyones' work!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.