Art Journal: How I got started...
I was just going through an old sketch book I had when I was in highschool and thought it would be fun to start a thread showing how my art has evolved (and at times unevolved...lol) through the years. With several young budding artists in this group, I thought it would be fun to show how I went from drawing for fun to doing this as a small business perhaps as a little inspiration that no matter how old or young you might be and what training you may or may not have, just keep plugging away and discover your own style.
I will start a new page for each era in which my art skills changed (for the better or worse).
Here is the earliest drawing I have in my archives. I actually remember drawing this picture and giving it to my dad. He kept the picture, framed it and always had it with him either at work or tucked away in the glove compartment of his truck. He showed it to me several years ago and I was so touched he still had it after all these years. He told me I was about 3 or 4 years old when I drew this little purple unicorn with crayons. Purple is still my favorite color.
Also, if anyone else has old artwork of their own, feel free to share it and describe how you refined your skills to get to the next level.
I don't have any samples of my artwork from the time I was a toddler up until the time I entered highschool. Those drawings are tucked away somewhere at my parents' house, but I just drew A LOT of horses during that time, mostly with standard pencils, crayons and markers. Nothing fancy.
When I entered highschool, my aunt who is an accomplished human portrait artist (I did not get that gene from her...lol) bought me a sketch pad and my first set of prismacolor pencils. This is where I discovered the wonderful world of colored pencils. I had a friend who took highschool art classes and gave me pointers about highlightinng and shading and using unconventional colors such as blue and purple to add more depth. Here are samples of the drawings I did from about the time I was 14-18.
Here is another drawing I did in highschool. It took me about 3 years to complete this between studying, riding and sports. You can see where I got a little too carried away with the yellow in the bay dressage horse near the upper right hand corner...oops.
I pretty much stopped drawing all together after I graduated highschool. I was too busy with school, work and riding. In early 2007, I fell off a horse and dislocated/fractured my kneecap and was laid up for a while. I happened to be on winter break and had more time on my hands than I needed. So I hit up a horse group in myspace and offered to sketch people's horses to pass time. All I had at the time was a #2 pencil. I actually think my art skills had regressed at that point. After a while people started asking me if they could buy the originals. I started charging about $10-15 for these. After that, people started "ordering" drawings from me. These were my very "first" commissions using just a #2 pencil on printer paper. As I have mentioned in other threads, they were not very good at all, but I kept my prices super low at first.
Actually, I think that last drawing of the horse's head with the jumping/trotting shot was done with a 4B or 6B pencil. I think this was around the time I bought a basic set of graphite pencils and maybe started drawing on cheap sketch pads I could get at staples.
After I recovered from my injury, I slowed down with my art again as grad school got to be very time consuming, but I did occasional commissions as I had time. I was using 4B and 6B graphite pencils and then discovered the use of a q-tip for blending. I gradually started increasing my prices as I gained experience. I did only graphite drawings for a long time, then did my first colored pencil commission for someone here in horseforum. These are drawings I did in 2009.
Since 2009, I have just dabbled in a variety of different media including acrylic paint, watercolor, pastels and woodburning. I also started branching out into other animals such as dogs, cats and even did a guinea pig. 2009 to present is where I have done the most experimenting and deciding what works and doesn't work for my individual style. I was brand new to horseforum and started posting in this very forum. So many people have given me advice in here (Kayty, Tinyliny and Toadflax to name a few) and I have discovered different types of paper, pencils and paint. It was Toadflax (who I haven't seen in a while...where are you?) who got me hooked on mechanical pencils. I bought a fancy set of graphite pencils, but eventually went back to my good old mechanical pencils that I bought at staples and that's all I use now. I still use prismacolor pencils for colored pencil work. Here are some of my most recent drawings, most of which are already in my Art Update thread. I hope you have enjoyed the tour. There are so many brilliant artists in this group and artists with untapped potential. I really owe a great deal of where I am now to this group of people. Even though I have no formal training I do my best to pay it forward when I can.
how fun to see your progression! one can see that some is inborn talent, but most is work, work , work!
Yes Tinyliny, work and "patience". I have never been much of a patient artist (hence why I prefer smaller scale drawings...lol) and I had to train myself to take my time and even step away from a drawing when it was getting to be too exhausting. My earlier commissions I whipped out in one sitting in easily under an hour. Sometimes I wish I could go back and touch some of them up with what I know now.
This is great! I love seeing the progression. I can see from early on that you had an understanding of muscles and definition. I love going back through old stuff and looking at what I did before. It gives me some confidence for what I'm doing now.
Just noticed that you're from Napa btw. I was born in Santa Rosa and my father lives in Lake county. Its really my heart home up there, its where I learned to ride and where my horse currently is. Beautiful country and atmosphere. I'm currently in LA and I rarely get to visit my father up there.
Amazing to see your progress!! It is really encouraging (ESPECIALLY to me!) to see your progress and how your drawings looked when you started out compared to now. Thankyou for posting :)
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