I don't remember a time when I didn't love to draw. There were plenty of rainy afternoons in my childhood spent sketching animals, flowers, and people. In middle school, our art teacher hung a draped sheet on the wall and asked us to sketch it. I remember being particularly struck by that lesson because it taught me depth can be created by shading. My flat images grew a bit more realistic and every time we learned something new, it felt like a tool used to build a more believable image. In high school all my courses were geared toward getting into a good college and my 'art toolbox' sat mostly unused until many, many years later when my daughter went off to college. I was at a loss what to do with my free time, so I tried Zentangling. That led to a little doodling and drawing which accidentally led to a self-published, self-illustrated children's alphabet book. I got so much joy in doing that, I started spending more time painting and drawing, and have been keeping at it ever since!
Hmm, this is a hard one to articulate. I think my preference will always be pencil because it's comfortable and forgiving. It's true that I do own and enjoy using art pens, colored pencils, acrylic, and oil paints. The one medium I keep returning to, however, is watercolor. My best friend introduced watercolor paints to me years ago and I have been obsessed ever since. I don't find watercolor an easy medium, but their luminous quality is so alluring, I keep trying to capture it.
? Thank you for the lovely compliment! Faces were one of my favorite things to draw as a child. When I'm in public, I have to be mindful not to stare because I find people and their expressions fascinating. So that will be my first piece of advice. Start there - really look at a face and all its angles. Are the eyes exactly the same or is one smaller? Does the person's nose have a bump or does it 'list' to one side? When they smile, do their lips quirk to one side? I'm self-taught and still struggling to find a tried-and-true formula to capture a face, but the one thing that helps me is to break the whole of it into shapes. It's very easy to try to draw what you think is there, but if you stop and look at lines and shadows, you'll see a wealth of guidelines between the features. I also find snapping and looking at photos of my drawing or painting as I go can help reveal issues I don't see with the naked eye. Last tip: turn your drawing upside down from time to time. This, too, will reveal unwanted slanting or other mistakes in perspective that aren't always evident while working on it.
I would like to eventually try to capture all sorts of subject matter (even landscapes which make me anxious - LOL), but I tend to lean toward the animal kingdom. I have a deep regard and respect for animals, so my gaze will always wander that way.
I do! I absolutely love the Conifer and Winter's Night watercolors. I think I got samples when ordering something else and immediately ordered a full pan of both! Oddly enough, I'm not usually drawn to pigments with glitter to them, but in Conifer and Winter's Night it's subtle and adds a certain glow that I haven't found in other, similar paints. I also love the beeswax crayon that came in the three-pack with white and black. It's great for creating waterproof areas. I can get a little too enthusiastic and blunder into those negative spaces with my paint when I'm not being careful, so that crayon is a lifesaver!