Are you tired of searching the web for useable images? You need to take a look at The Graphics Fairy! Not only does she provide fantastic vintage paper goodness, but also gives tutorials on making things with them. Can't beat that. Here is a gorgeous example of something I found on her site.
Over some months, I have fielded a few gracious comments that suggest that the reader can't imagine themselves drawing as well as some of the things I show here. I felt a blog post coming on!
I am crazy in love with art journaling.....nothing like layering and all that. But I have developed a soft spot for capturing an image through drawing, as well. Around 2001 I was reading the book How To Make A Journal of Your Life, by Dan Price and he later inspired Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters book. They were telling me to just draw with the ability I had, and it would be great. The key was to get down bits of your life, in real time, instead of practicing to become 'good enough' and then start to work daily masterpieces years down the road. So I believed them, and thought my renderings were pretty awesome. Prepare yourselves. Here are some from my early days:
As you can see, I wasn't even aware the paper wasn't that great. It was very thin, and you could see ghosting from the next page's work. Then there were a lot of these:
The last two were pages of hodge podge subjects...whatever was happening around me. I was simply practicing sketching something to look like something! I did dozens of these (threw most away but they served a purpose!). If I was at an outdoor concert, I did pages. If I was on the beach, I did pages. Anywhere I was just sitting, I had scrap paper to practice whatever was in my line of vision. I think it was helpful, in the end. I wasn't trying to do 'finished' pages, which was rather freeing.
Eventually, (and this is the POINT of this post!) my sketches morphed into things that looked like this:
Hopefully you can see some improvement over the years. This is not meant as a brag, for anyone that sketches, can see plenty of room for improvement. I am an elementary art teacher, and I don't allow my students to say "I can't draw". I think these pages show you that it is certainly something anyone can learn, if they keep at it. Do I draw day and night? No! Sometimes months go by while I am thoroughly engrossed in my art journaling pages, and nothing gets sketched. Other times, I am on a sketching kick.
If you need inspiration, join the Everyday Matters Yahoo Group. They have a list of subjects in their files (you can see my EDM # designations in some of the pics above) that are suggested weekly. You can work at your own pace. It is a very supportive environment, from beginner to advanced.
Let me encourage you to start where you are and just accept it for what it is...even if we are talking stickmen! Come on.... did you see my cow and bird?! (refer back to second pic!)
If you are holding back "for fear of...." rethink your excuse. Get that pencil and get busy! What will you attempt to draw today?
I don't know why they attract me, but ever since moving to New England, I have loved the sight of the old stone walls. They emerge randomly, as gray zippers that cris-cross acres of land, once setting farm boundaries and curtailing livestock. Now, they are pieces of the past, emitting strength and durability in these changing times. Because stone was plentiful, many of our UK ancestors did what came naturally. Built stone walls! Have you ever been to Ireland? Unmistakable connection. While there are no definitive laws protecting them, many people see them as state treasures and want measures taken to preserve them, as they are.
The majority of stone walls were built between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. All 240,000 miles of them! The stories they could tell us....
Because I am in full-tilt sketching mode these days, everything in my path is subject to be my subject! In our little town, we have a retired postal worker. He has the outward appearance of a grizzled bachelor, but he sprouts a mean green thumb! His home is surrounded by gardens...both floral and vegetable. Out front, he sets up a card table, with cut $4 bouquets and produce of various kinds. The payment system is an honor jar. An HONOR jar! I keep expecting him to quit using it, but year after year, the jar is there. Money and all. I love that.