Clovember part 4: the final week of drawing my daughter’s clothes

Here are the drawings of my daughter’s clothes for the final nine days of November (you can see the other weeks here: part one, part two, part three).

Click any of the small pictures below to see them at full size.

And here are all 30 pictures, nicely arranged in a Flickr album:

I did also make an Instagram stop-motion video of myself flicking through the whole sketchbook, but I can’t figure out how to embed that without losing quality, so meh, you can see it here if you are that fussed. :)

What have we learned?

Being a parent, I can’t finish off a project without asking that question. And every art project definitely teaches you something (or reteaches you the same thing you thought you’d learned previously, which is useful too…).

Here are a few key things I learned from this month:

What my weak points are: I definitely need to practice hands more. And I know that I’m no expert at skin tones, from the way my heart sank every time I had to paint a face.

Watercolour techniques: Doesn’t matter how many books you read about ‘wet on wet’ or ‘wet on dry’ – there’s no substitute for actually using the darn things to remind you what you can do and what gives the best effects. In fact, I think those books tend to be rather intimidating: it’s odd when you suddenly realise that you’re using a recommended technique, without ever having thought of it as such.

The first attempt isn’t always perfect: I didn’t actually go horribly wrong and start any of these pictures again (although there are a couple I can see glaring faults in), but I definitely saw myself getting better as the month progressed.

I always seem to need to remember that when I start on a project, it takes time to get into the swing of it, and that it’s actually fine to give yourself the time to find the right style and techniques.

Nothing about lettering: Lettering was not the main point of this project, but it’s an area I’d like to get better at.

You can see that my lettering did not improve or progress through the month. I didn’t experiment with it and really it was just a functional step to get through before I could start painting.

Sketchbooks: I really liked the small Crok’book sketchbook I picked up on impulse on holiday in Barcelona, but to be honest I could have done with something about twice the size (it’s 17x11cm).

I am quite used to doing tiny little pictures with a very fine pen, but it’s a habit I should probably attempt to break out of.

That aside though, it’s a lovely size to flick through, and the paper (despite not having any particular texture) took the watercolour well.

Clothes: As before when I did this, it’s been an education about just how many clothes we have in the wardrobe — and also, their provenance. I was genuinely surprised to see the handful of brands that we favour, and even more so to see what a very large proportion are hand-me-downs, or sourced from charity shops and boot sales.

It’s nice to see my daughter’s personal sense of style writ large, and I’m glad I have this record for the future. Right now, the clothes she wears are as much to do with my taste as hers: it will be very interesting to see how that changes.

Next year, she will be going to secondary school, and will be wearing a uniform every weekday, so this may well be the last Clovember I do for quite a few years.

 

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Drawing all my daughter’s clothes for #Clovember (week three)

A tricky week: I was away on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday – and as a result, found myself catching up by drawing and colouring  four of these images this morning.

The result is that I’m not very happy with a few of them, but never mind. Part of the #Clovember challenge, I think, like any of the ‘draw every day’ challenges, is that you get used to showing your work, whether it makes you cringe or fills you with quiet pride.

You can guess for yourself which is which in this batch. Click each image if you’d like to see them bigger.

Next week – find out what happens when you embark on a 31-day project using a 24-page sketchbook.

See week four

Clovember 2015 – drawing my daughter’s clothes

Clovember is a project in which you photograph (or draw) the clothes you wear, each day in November.

A few years ago, I drew both myself and my daughter’s clothes.

But these days, I work from home, and I go for a run almost every weekday. Plus winter’s coming and it’s cold sitting in an unheated house all day.

Drawing endless pictures of myself in my running gear, topped with a rather ratty old fleece and woolly hat does not really appeal (albeit it’s the look I inflict on my poor colleagues during video calls).

So instead I’m concentrating purely on my daughter’s clothes this year. Here’s the first week. Click to see them bigger.

1st Clovember by Myfanwy Tristram 1st Clovember by Myfanwy Tristram

3rd Clovember by Myfanwy Tristram4th Clovember by Myfanwy Tristram

5th Clovember by Myfanwy Tristram6th Clovember by Myfanwy Tristram

7th Clovember by Myfanwy Tristram

See week 2

Women of Lewes and Brighton

Women by Myfanwy Tristram

women by Myfanwy Tristram

These pictures are made by snapping women in the street with my phone, then working from the photos to paint a composite image on a A1 sheet of paper. The painting was done over a period of a couple of hours.

As I’ve just offered this idea to a potential client (painting their customers), I thought I’d better try it out and make sure it works.

I’m quite pleased with the results, and I’ve noted a few ways the whole thing could be easier, so it was worth doing a trial run.

Thank you – and sorry – if I photographed you yesterday! When I looked closely at the photographs, it did look like plenty of the subjects were looking straight at me, doubtless wondering what this strange person was doing pointing her phone at them.

Luckily, if the actual project goes ahead, I’ll be photographing people with their consent, and in a controlled environment.

And if it doesn’t? Eh, well… it’s all practice.

All my #hourlycomicday posts in one place

February 1st is Hourly Comics Day, when (mad) people commit to drawing a cartoon every hour that they are awake. I saw this happen on Twitter last year, somewhat wistfully, because by the time I knew it was happening, my day was half over.

This year I was no better prepared, but I did at least see a tweet about it just a few minutes after waking up. Typically, my train of thought went:

– Nah, I can’t possibly commit to that. How do people DO things, AND find the time to draw them?
– Well, I might just draw ONE cartoon…
– Argh, this is ON – there’s no way I’m stopping now.

And that’s how I always get sucked into these things. Click on each of the images below to see them bigger.

MyfanwyTristram_Hour1_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour2_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour3_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour4_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour5_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour6_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour7_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour8_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour9_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour10_2014

MyfanwyTristram_Hour11_2014

Hourly comics day is huge

If you’d like to see what other people have produced, you could be in for a long read:

What I learned from Hourly Comic Day

  • It’s exhausting!
  • You don’t have to record every single thing that happens. I did, and that’s probably why I found it so tiring, but some of the best ones I saw just focus on one small event from each hour. Those cartoons tend to be funnier, too.
  • You have to let go of any desire to present perfect drawings. Actually, it’s quite liberating to discover that when people read a project like this, they tend to appreciate the content more than the fine art.
  • Use a smaller sketchbook, so that when you come to scan them at the end of a long long day, you don’t have to scan every page twice.
  • Don’t expect to set the world alight. I barely received *any* comments on Twitter – I guess there are so many people posting (and frantically drawing between times) that it’s hard to stand out. Conversely, things went down much better on Facebook – but then, the people who follow me there tend to be personal friends with a pre-existing interest in me and my life. :)

What I didn’t learn from Hourly Comic Day

  • How other people handle sex scenes. C’mon, people, really?

Will I do Hourly Comic Day next year?

Right now, I’d say ‘no way’. But when February 1st comes around again, you might just see me getting pulled in.

November 2012: clothes project

Everything my daughter and I wore in November 2012

Everything my daughter and I wore in November 2012

In November 2012, I decided to draw the clothes I wore, every day, for a month.

And as if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, I also drew my daughter’s clothes. At the end of the month, a good friend commented that the illustrations would make a great comic.

She said one thing that really struck me: that these clothes may seem pretty ordinary now, but in a few years’ time, the picutres could stand as a historic document.

So I cleaned all the sketches up and started putting them into a printable format. What you see here is me playing about with ideas for the cover.

In my day job, my boss has a penchant for extarordinarily long blog titles – I think that’s influenced my choice of title here.

My summing-up post at the end of the whole project – complete with pie charts! – can be seen here, and clicking here will take you to all the pictures on Flickr.

Everything my daughter and I wore in November 2012

A surprising thing

Gudrun Sjoden tunic by Myfanwy Tristram

Gudrun Sjoden tunic by Myfanwy Tristram

All right, so this lovely thing happened.

I’ve had this Gudrun Sjoden dress pinned to my wish I could justify that Pinterest board for.. well, for 25 weeks, according to Pinterest itself.

Something about the pattern and the colours really appealed to me, and the cut is one of the few that actually suits my frame.

It had become a benchmark in my mind – I’d see a cheaper dress that I liked, in a shop, and think, ‘yeah, but if I buy two like that, I might as well buy the Cirkus dress, and the Cirkus dress is definitely twice as nice as that, so..’

As we know, it’s quite easy to justify any purchase with this sort of logic eventually. ‘Ooh, I’m so good, I didn’t buy these fourteen things I briefly liked the look of, so now I can definitely reward myself with the thing I really want’.

And that’s the stage I’d reached last week. The Gudrun sale was on, my resolve had weakened, and I was going to buy the dress.

Until… disaster!

The tweet says it all. The leggings were still available, the tunic was there, but there was no dress to be had. And that’s when the amazing thing happened. Gudrun Sjoden tweeted me to say they’d look out for a dress and send it to me, if I’d draw it here.

Talk about an offer you can’t refuse – why, even if I’d bought it with my own money, you know I’d be sitting down to draw that thing.

Now in the end, they couldn’t actually locate a dress in my size, and they sent me the tunic. I have to say, I wouldn’t have chosen the tunic myself, BUT, now I’ve tried it, I’m sold. It comes with a belt, and you can wear the tunic Robin Hood style, a little bit pulled over the belt, which – rather than emphasise voluminous post-baby tummy, which I suppose was my fear – actually looks rather nice. This tunic is going to be paired with black skinny jeans and boots all autumn long.

It *was* fun to draw – though you’ll note that I didn’t draw the whole pattern. Artistic licence!

Gudrun Sjoden bag by Myfanwy Tristram

To make the whole thing even more special, it came in not only a floral-patterned envelope, but a polka dot tote bag. It’s as if they knew about me and polka dots.

And there you are, my first ever ‘sponsored post’. Almost certainly my last, though, y’know, if Fat Face, Bravissimo, Boden, or *breathes* Marimekko would like me to draw myself in any of these, I am right here, and, evidence shows, fully amenable. :)