Thursday, January 10, 2013

Daily 5 Minute Sketches 1/9/2013

I finished my 5 minute sketches last night while catching up on NCIS.  I'm enjoying the randomness of the chart from yesterday.  I used colored pencils this time.  After a week of getting into the habit of doing these I will use them as a warm up for a larger creation as time allows.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Daily 5 Minute Sketches 1/8/13

Today I am starting Sketch Sprints or 5 minute drawings.  The rules I have are:

- I use a random generator to determine the theme of each drawing.
- I have to do at least 5 sketches.
- Any media is allowed.
- Drawings may be combined as long as 5 minutes is given to each.

Today I pulled 5 themes from the list.  I kept the nude family friendly.  These were drawn in pencil and then drawn over the top of that with charcoal pencil when I realized the pencil wasn't dark enough to scan.  Lesson learned.

Daily Sketches by Michael S. Dyer January 8, 2013

Feel free to use my 100 themes and share what you have drawn.
1. Favorite Food
2. Sci Fi
3. Time
4. Magic Teacher
5. Harry Potter
6. Dog
7. Comfort
8. Weather
9. Donkey
10. Sickness
11. Accord
12. Pirate
13. Pandora
14. Rock and Roll
15. Salmon
16. Portrait
17. Snow
18. Planet
19. Chicken
20. Daredevil
21. Hockey
22. Gourmet
23. Star Wars
24. Pregnant
25. Mermaid
26. Eagle
27. Scouts
28. Victory
29. Survival
30. Submarine
31. Unicorn
32. Orange Tree
33. Fire
34. Still Life
35. Rosebush
36. Nude Female
37. Royalty
38. Star Trek
39. Rainy Day
40. Drunk
41. Broken
42. Sex
43. Baseball
44. Still Life
45. Nude Male
46. Feast
47. Runner
48. Church
49. Camping,
50. Picasso
51. Tall Ship
52. Motorcycle
53. Helicopter
54. Still Life
55. Nude
56. Portrait
57. Landscape
58. Game
59. Portrait
60. Landscape
61. Skull
62. Clown
63. Underwear
64. Still Life
65. Nude
66. Christmas
67. Christmas Sweater
68. Miraculous
69. Storm
70. Feet
71. Hands
72. Imitate the style of an artist
73. Shark
74. Hawaii
75. Tattoo
76. Spaceship
77. Zebra
78. Superhero
79. Super villain
80. Library
81. Teddy Bear
82. Cowboy
83. MC Escher
84. Easter Island
85. Pharoah
86. Mardi Gras
87. Water
88. Dragon
89. Build
90. Ring
91. Chocolate
92. Cash
93. Music
94. Growth
95. Fruit
96. Veggies
97. Death
98. Mythical Beast
99. Fan Art
100. Self Portrait

Why I stay with Boy Scouts with their anti-gay Policy

I am an adult member of the Boy Scouts of America, a Scouter.  My son is in the Wolf Den of the Cub Scouts and I am his Den Leader.  The BSA has drawn a hard line in the sand opposing the participation of homosexuals and atheists.  It is a policy that I strongly disagree with.

So why do I not only remain with the BSA but allow my son to participate?  I believe that the BSA is extremely valuable and a fantastic addition to the lives of many boys.  Also, because change will only come from within.  All the outside pressure in the world will not change BSA policy.  The voices of its members, rising up will eventually enact that change.  Take for example Ryan Andreson.  He was denied his Eagle Scout and had his membership revoked when it was discovered he is gay.  This made national news.  Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions to give him the award.  This outside pressure is fantastic and necessary.

But then came the internal pressure.  The review board of the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council violated BSA policy and advanced his application.  Scouters from within the organization, in an act of civil disobedience, challenged the policy from within.  Where will it go?  Who knows.  But many Scouters and Scouts (including me) continue to send letters to the BSA office and express their opinions in BSA surveys and eventually our voices will be heard.  Without those internal voices they would not change.  And that is why I stay in spite of the policy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Drawing Sprint

A friend of mine is going to be self publishing a novel in April (if he knows what's good for him!) and I've been looking at a lot of writing resources to help him get the book done and into print.  Something I stumbled over is called a Writing Sprint.  The idea is that you set the timer for 10 minutes (or whatever) and just start writing.  Don't let up until the timer goes off.  It shakes the cobwebs loose and gets the creative juices flowing.

I'm the barest amateur of a writer, usually only finishing the occasional NANOWRIMO book I'm too embarrassed to let anyone read, or comic book scripts.  But I am looking for techniques to force me to draw a bit more without the thinking part of my brain getting in the way.

I think tomorrow I'm going to set myself a  Drawing Sprint.  I will give myself a blank piece of paper and 30 minutes to fill it up.  I have a list of 100 drawing topics and I'll use percentile dice to pick the next sketch after the first one and then the next etc. until time is up.  Hopefully the page will be filled up.  I'll scan and post the results.

Have you done an exercise like this for writing or drawing?  How did it work for you?

Art, Nudes, Landscapes, The Secret Circle

I have been using my art journal a bunch this week and I'm overall pretty happy with it.  In addition to getting my thoughts down about art and my own abilities I've been practicing with watercolor pencils, which are a lot of fun.  I bought a small set of 12 but I may pick up more.  I also need to inventory how much watercolor paint I have as I am thinking of some projects.

Tonight I gathered the art cards I created in 2012 onto a single sheet.  I left the nude cards off since they are inappropriate for my family audience.  They got their own sheet which can be viewed at but you will need an account with adult viewing ability to see them. They are not sexual.

I'm doing less ATCs this year, focusing on larger work.  I'm still going to do them and I'm still going to host swaps.  Drawing in the ATC format is good for forcing creativity but the small size is limiting.

I have 2 themes I want to grow in as an artist this year.  The first is people.  That means I need to start doing life drawing more often.  I'm planning a few people watching trips and am hoping to sketch from life a lot more.  I will also be drawing from photos and models.  At this point I'm using clothed models but eventually will move to nude models as well.  Drawing people has always been one of my goals as an artist.  I should find a local drawing group to hook up with.

The other theme I want to explore is landscape.  I'm dabbling in watercolors and they are excellent for creating landscapes.  There is so much beauty where I live I would love to start painting some of it.  Right now my work looks like it was made by a 4th grader who is bored in art class.  I want to push my talent upward.

This week I watched an interesting TV show on Netflix called The Secret Circle.  It is about a girl who discovers she is a witch, forms a magical bond with 5 other witches and fights evil and their family secrets.  I liked it because it as fast paced and the magic system was very interesting to me.  Each witch has their own magic but when they bond into the Magic Circle each loses their own power but as a group they can do greater magic.  The more members helping out the greater it is.  I like the mystery of what happened when each of them lost a parent in a fire 16 years ago.  Just when I thought I had it figured out one more wrinkle got added that was fun.

What I didn't like was the lack of a realistic world.  Yes, there is magic, but that is supposed to be happening in our world.  Yet the writers had things just for the sake of plot.  For example, the parents of the heroes died 16 years ago on a docked Washington State Ferry.  The ferry is still there even though it was burned and lists.  It is still in the water.  There is nothing but broken caution tape to keep every curious kid from sneaking in to drink booze and sex it up.  After 16 years?  The state never cleaned it up?  No one reclaimed that valuable piece of waterfront property?  There is also large church out in the woods that is large enough to fit a few hundred people but it is abandoned and overgrown.  It is so far out that the heroes who have lived in the town all their lives don't know about it even though it is several stories tall.  Really?  Their hideout is also the abandoned home of the lead witch's dad who was believed killed.  It has been vacant and overgrown for 16 years.  But his heir was still alive.  She lived out of town but the government can find anyone.  Even if they couldn't why did the city allow it to just crumble instead of doing something about it?  Yet 16 years later the Circle uses it for their base.  As anyone knows who lives on coastal Washington, if you leave a building vacant for year it will likely be so filled with black mold it will cost a ton to clean it.  After 16 years that mold will have gained intelligence.  No way that house is livable 

My last gripe is one that a lot of shows with teenagers has.  They drink so much alcohol.  If they were sneaking it and it was part of the plot I could understand.  That is part of being a teenager.  But they drink it openly in town and at fundraisers for the school.  They drink it and it isn't even mentioned other than they have wine glasses.

Enough about that.  Here are my art cards for the last year.  Here's to much more art in 2013!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Today started out as many other New Year Days.  I, along with several hundred of my crazy brothers and sisters, jumped into Lake Washington.  This annual tradition is a baptism for me, burying the old year and giving birth to the new.  The air and water were 46 degrees and it felt a great deal colder.  As tradition has it, I took the plunge with my sister-in-law Jill  who is on leave from her teaching job in China.  It is a great bonding experience that I cherish.  Pictures and video coming eventually.

The down side of the day is that my wife Jill has the coughing crud that is going around.  Jill happily snapped up her ticket to see the King Tutankhamen exhibit and she took Caleb along with her.  It seems Caleb knows more than you would expect from a 2nd grader about Egyptology and was happy to share his knowledge with the adults (which I find awesome).  They also went to the butterfly center.  That is a great treat because Caleb's class is learning about butterflies in school.

My day (post plunge) was spent either in front of the TV (watched Radio Rebel) or listening to music.  I did a lot of drawing.  I bought a nice sketchbook and watercolor pencils and I'm trying to do an artistic journal entry every few days.  After some deep looks within my own motivations I discovered that part of the reason I don't draw as much as I want is because I fear what others will say about it.  Once people say something good the natural high from the praise makes me less likely to get to work since I have to face that fear of criticism again.  So the journal is just for me.  I can experiment, draw poorly, or do whatever I want.  It is also a good place to work out my thoughts and feelings.

I started work on a comic idea that has been tooling around in my head for a while.  It is a Harry Potter fan-fic that starts the day after the Battle of Hogwarts when the expert on the physical castle and its built in magical properties arrives to assess the damage.  One page is drawn and inked. It might get colored.  It might go nowhere.  Like the art studio comic I mentioned previously, these are projects that are designed to get me drawing again and not really meant for public consumption.  If I get super excited about one I will likely wait until I have 50 or more pages before I start publishing them.

As for ATCs I'm taking the next month off and will consider starting them again after that.  I want to get a few larger projects completed first.

As for New Year resolutions I'm keeping those private.  When I announce I'm going to do something I tend not to follow through.