Sketchbook Sunday

In my last post I shared with you one of my art goals for 2020 is to fill a sketchbook. Here are my updates for this week.

You’ll recognize this page from my last post.
I continued my theme of practicing some basic anatomy
On this page I realized how trash this sketchbook paper is. Really not worth the two bucks. Just one round of blending and the paper was pilling. 🙄

In addition to my daily sketchbook habit in the making, I’ve also been working on Rusty’s portrait. Here’s my update:

Im really struggling with letting my whites be white without going back in with all my texture and details. I need to let the fur speak for itself instead of forcing all of the tiny details. So basically this piece is taking forever because I keep having to undo a lot of mistakes I make and also, hello Christmas. So maybe I’ll get it done before we travel for the holidays but I’m not going to push myself to finish. I will, however, take my cruddy sketchbook whom I’ve named Tiny Tim with me and try to keep up the daily sketchbook habit.

Do any of y’all have a daily sketchbook habit?

Happy arting!

Art Goals for 2020

Have any of you ever kept a New Years resolution? I don’t think I have. But this year I have resolved to do a few things art wise, that I haven’t done before. One of those goals is to fill up a sketchbook.

I’ve been drawing since forever. No really. I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t drawing. But I’ve always drawn on loose leaf paper. My family didn’t have much money while I was growing up, so my parents let me raid the paper bins for any scraps I could draw on. For a time, my mom found out that the local newspaper would throw away huge spools of the paper they print on when it got low, which still left around 50 yards or so of large white paper for me to go crazy on. I still remember my mom down inside the dumpster getting those spools of paper and guys, I’ve never felt more loved in my life than I did right then.

All that to say, I never really formed a sketchbook habit. I’ve always admired these amazing artists with these beautiful sketchbooks filled with their doodles and masterpiece ideas and practices, but it’s not something that I’ve ever done myself. So this next year, I want to change that!

However, I’m also doing a low buy/no buy challenge that actually started a few weeks ago and so instead of going out and purchasing the most beautiful sketchbook I can find, I dug through my art supply hoard and found this little beauty.

It’s tiny y’all. Maybe 3×5”, and less than an inch thick. I think I paid $2 for it from Jerry’s months ago.

Anyways, the plan is to fill this puppy up! And maybe if I can stick to this and form a daily sketchbook habit (which is actually the end goal I’m shooting for), THEN I will buy myself the most beautiful sketchbook I can find. Until then, I’m stuck with Tiny Tim here.

Alrighty so here’s my practice for today. I just did some hands and feet and I used my arch nemesis- charcoal. I really do hate charcoal. Charcoal seems to have a mind of its own and is like the unruly child compared to good mannered graphite which does exactly what I tell it to. As I was sketching with it today I was reminded on just why I do hate charcoal but I am determined to try to master it anyways.

Wish me luck.

I thought I’d share my sketchbook journey with you guys and also ask if you have any art themed resolutions/goals/habits you are wanting to achieve this next year?

Happy arting!

Work in Progress

As all of my commissions have been completed for the year and I’ve also miraculously finished all of my secret Christmas presents well before the 25Th, I’ve decided to work on a piece for myself. This is my baby, Rusty Roo, who will turn one year old January 18th.

This is graphite on 9×12” Crescent Marker Board.

He’s great at posing for pictures, so I’m sure that this won’t be the last portrait I do of him 😁

Yes, those are boxer shorts around his neck. No, we didn’t put them there.

Have any of you made any artwork based on your pets? What are you working on now? Or are you taking some time off for the holidays? I’d love to chat with you down below!

Happy Arting!

Five Drawing Supplies I can’t "live without"

Alright, so life will obviously still go on if I don’t have these supplies. But, I would be very grumpy about it.

That being said, as the BIG DAY approaches, most of us artists usually put a few art supply items on our Christmas lists (or in my case, that’s ALL that makes up my list). I’ve been making my “art supplies that I want” list, and checking it twice. There are supplies that I want to have just to experiment with, and then there are supplies that I consider my “staples”, which are supplies I feel that I must have in order to make the best artwork possible.

So that leads me into my bare necessities of drawing supplies I. Must. Have. Most are your typical supplies, and some are not so conventional. I thought I would share my list with you here, just in case you might be wanting to try a few out for yourself.

Before we get started, I have a few disclaimers:

1. All links I leave below are affiliate links, which mean that if you purchase through my link I will get a small (think REALLY SMALL) commission of your purchase at no extra cost to you- so I thank you greatly if you do decide to order through my links!

2. I’m not saying that you need these to make great artwork. I’m just sharing my favorites that I use on every single one of my graphite drawings.

So, lets jump right on into my list of five drawing supplies I can’t live without!

First and probably most important, is my PAPER. Except, and here’s the kicker, I don’t actually draw on paper at all. Well, not your typical paper. I draw on board, and I’ve tried many different boards- but the one I keep going back to again and again is Crescent Marker Board. This stuff is the bomb if you are looking for a smooth surface but one that can handle multiple layers as well as the occasional OMS wash. The other thing that I love about board is that it offers a durability that I love (no worries on it getting wrinkled or ripped) and since I sell most of my drawings that’s very important to me. You can get these boards on amazon in packs of 3.

Next are my pencils. I believe I’ve tried all. the. pencils. And yes, there IS a difference between brands. That being said, I really love Faber Castell’s 9000 series graphite pencil sets. They are fairly inexpensive, and the graphite is very smooth. A lot of times you’ll get a hard chunk in your pencil that feels like a small sharp rock or piece of glass. That can really ruin a piece for me if that hard chunk cuts into my board by accident. (this is why I stopped using my Prismacolor turquoise pencils) I’ve gone through a few sets of the 9000 series pencils and have never encountered a forbidden crystal hidden inside just waiting to ruin my drawing.

Now on to erasers. I do consider my erasers to be just as important of a tool as the pencil itself. So, I’ve tried tons and consider these two to be irreplaceable. First, your standard kneaded eraser. Pretty much all kneaded erasers are created equal, but I do like Faber Castell’s Kneaded erasers because they come in these nifty little boxes that I find very handy.

My other must have eraser is the Tuff Stuff eraser by Paper Mate. WORTH ALL THE MONEY. I can’t tell you how many eraser sticks I tested and they all were too flimsy. This one truly is “tuff”. I like it better than the Tombow Mono eraser. Seriously. I use an Exacto Knife to get a fine point and away I go.

Now with blending, I always have the ever versatile blending stumps-but in recent years I have discovered a new blending tool that I have found to be invaluable, which is the makeup brush. I LOVE LOVE LOVE blending with a makeup brush. I use a smudge brush for my finer details, all the way up to a face powder brush for even skin tones and smooth backgrounds. I’ve had better luck with using makeup brushes for blending rather than paint brushes, and I think it just boils down to the fact that makeup brushes were made for powdery substances, so they hold it better. I don’t know all the science behind it, I just know that they work for my techniques. Also, they are ccccchhhheeeeaaapppp! E.L.F. and Wet-n-Wild have extremely affordable makeup brushes in all sizes that I’ve used. Pictured is the one I use the most often. You can also get really cheap makeup brush sets on amazon if you’d like to try multiple brushes.

Alright so that’s the list folks! Like I said, these are the supplies that I cannot live without. Like, if I were to be stuck on a deserted island and could only bring 5 art supplies, these would be it.

What are your must have supplies? I’d love to know! Leave your comments down below.

Happy Arting!

Should I enter?

So I’m fairly new to the art world. I’ve been drawing all my life, yes- but have only started selling my work regularly (pet portrait commissions) for the last two years. Outside of the local fairs my mom would encourage me to enter my artwork when I was a kid, I haven’t ever shown my work publicly or submitted my work into any contests. Thus, I feel very overwhelmed by the whole process.

However, these past few weeks I’ve been trying to push myself to venture outside of my cozy artistic introvert’s hobbit hole and do a few things I’m generally uncomfortable doing (hello blogging). Enter, the juried art show. I have found a juried art show (competition?) local to me and I thought it sounded like fun- and by “fun” I mean completely terrifying and just by thinking about it my feet mysteriously start to feel numb.

Yet- I push myself into taking small steps forward with encouraging nods and quiet “atta girl”s……

Ok ok enough with the poetic digression. Here’s the deal: the theme for the show is the human form. And I happen to have a piece that I’m a little proud of, which is consequently of a human. Here it is-

“Eminence” graphite and polychromos on illustration board. Reference picture from Pixabay.com

Alright so what do you think- and just so you know my little artistic ego is very weak and is prone to looooooong bouts of depression and it takes a ton of coaxing with vanilla chai lattes and chocolate to even remotely get it to peak out of its hole again SO IN OTHER WORDS FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THATS HOLY don’t crush my spirit.

Here’s what I’m wanting to know: #1. Is this considered to be in the broad category of “human form”? I mean, it’s a human face, which is a part of the overall human form but…. let’s just be honest here, there are no breasts included in my drawing so I’m wondering if that disqualifies it or……*clears throat * never mind.

Question #2- is it even worth it? A juried show I mean. Worth the time, money, extreme social exhaustion that will take me days to recuperate from? Don’t get me wrong here, I really do want to push myself, I just don’t want to push myself in the wrong direction. And I know that none of y’all can give me a direct yes/no answer on this because “everyone’s situation is unique, yadayadayada” I would like to know your own experiences with this sort of thing. IMPART ME WITH YOUR WISDOM. Please 🙂

Introductions

Hey I’m Megan, the artist behind MM Fine Art Studio.

I work primarily in graphite but love reaching out into other media such as colored pencils, watercolors and acrylics. I live in a small town in sunny (HUMID) Florida and don’t interact with many other artists. Thus, the blog.

I want to start this blog as a means to interact with other artists and also share my artistic endeavors with others. I hope that you will join me, wherever this leads!