Thanksgiving Questionnaire

My art is all about living in the moment . . . Truly experiencing the world around me and having an attitude of gratitude . . . Something we put a big focus on at Thanksgiving, but it’s something we should be doing everyday.

This is my 100th post and I didn’t know what artwork I wanted to talk about so I thought I’d share a little bit about myself. My name is Morgana. I’m from East Texas. I’m a very private person so answering questions about myself like this is pretty rare.

A Lil’ Questionnaire

If you could thank one person (living or dead) for his or her influence on your life, who would you thank?

~ I’ll go for a dead relative . . . my grandpa. He bought our property and built the house that I live in. Even though he died when I was two, the lessons of love and striving to be the best you can be, influenced my parents (and myself) in a way that I’ll always be grateful for.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned this year?

~ My most valuable lesson has been to be a peace maker. Regardless of how hard it can be at times, I always feel better at the end of the day when I was patient and peaceful with the people in my life.

What are three things that always make you smile?

~ My dog, Sunny. My boyfriend, Jesse. And doing what I can to be good to my parents.

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving?

~ The memories, for sure. I love the way the weather feels. The smell of the food. And lately, since I’ve been organizing all my photos, I’ve looked at a lot of images from Thanksgiving. And even if there are some bad memories in there, I just love how I feel when I remember all those little moments.

What random acts of kindness have you received this year?

~ Just one. I was cutting some tree branches for my grandma and her neighbor noticed and came over to help.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?

~ It’s so hard to choose a favorite. But I’ll go with the variety of food I’ve tasted. I’ve had Thanksgiving meals with many different people: German, Spanish, Thai, Trailer Trash . . . And my fondest memory would have to be the smell of delicious Thai food.

What made you laugh the hardest this past year?

~ Definitely Jesse. He’s a joker. Everything he says and does makes me laugh.

What is one thing you would like to accomplish in the coming year?

~ I want to learn to sew. I can sew. But I haven’t gotten good at it and really embraced learning to make my own wardrobe.

Who is the most grateful person you know?

~ She’s not a person, but my dog sure does show gratitude.

What book, article, or blog post are you most grateful for this year?

~ ALL of MY blog POSTS! 😂 I’m so grateful to everyone who visits my blog and takes a look at my artwork. I just wanna strive to improve on it and provide stuff that people will enjoy.

What do you appreciate about the change in seasons?

~ I love the cool crisp air and the colors of the changing leaves.

What is one thing you really love to do as a family?

~ Just being with them. Healthy and comfortable and just being in the moment appreciating the life God has given us.

What is the biggest struggle in your life right now?

~ The pressure of having to juggle way too many things. It can get pretty overwhelming at times.

How do you stay focused on gratitude throughout the year?

~ I can’t help but live in a state of gratitude for everything God has provided for me. Even the bad stuff. I’m just hard wired to see the value in what I have. One way I stay focused on it is to be sure I actually show appreciation to the people I’m so grateful for.

Which of your qualities make you a good friend?

~ I’m genuine. I truly want my friends to have the best life they can and I just do my part by being genuine and sincere.

What song or poem sums up your life over the past year?

~ Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas . . . Ok, so there’s a million songs to choose from . . . The only reason I’m choosing this song is because Supernatural just ended and now that song makes me cry 😭

What is the best compliment you’ve been given this last year?

~ From Jesse . . . he actually sees how strong I am and points it out. He thinks I’m a good woman who deserves to be treated with love and kindness.

What is your favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving?

~ The rolls. They’re so warm and delicious and I always make room for them.

What is your favorite pie?

~ Pecan Pie.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

~ These two movies I have recorded on VHS. 1. The Christmas List with Mimi Rogers. 2. The Second Day of Christmas with Mark Ruffalo. They’re both really sweet movies.

What is your most embarrassing Thanksgiving moment?

~ When I was 15, I was at my uncle’s and I was playing some game with my cousins (D&D lol) and I kept digging into the leftover Broccoli Rice Casserole. I wasn’t paying any attention and I accidentally got a piece of foil on my fork and choked on it and got food all over my chest. My cousin thought that was the funniest thing, but it was pretty embarrassing that I was scarfing and didn’t notice the foil.

Well that’s it. I used some of the questions from this site.

I have three questions for you . . .

1. What’s your favorite pie?

2. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

3. What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Snoopy – Schulz

Athlete Figure Drawings

I’m a Dallas Cowboy’s fan. Sean Lee and Dez Bryant are two of my favorite players. And of course, I’m a Nadal and Djokovic fan. But the sports I enjoy most are the unique ones and the ones that showcase strength.

Some of my favorites are shot put, discus throw, power lifting, etc.

Warm Up Sketches

I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy about the weight cutting I gave him 😂.

This was harder to draw than I expected.

The One-Hand Reach

While searching for poses to draw, I discovered the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Have you ever heard of Knucking Hopping? Or Indian Stick Pull? They have all kinds of sports that showcase skill sets for survival and endurance. It’s cool stuff. Check it out. I chose this pose because I liked the overall triangular shape:

Frank Stelges Copyright 2015

I have a lot of mistakes . . . but progress is being made. Yay!

Some Tips to Remember

Figure drawing doesn’t have to be too intimidating.

  • Warm up with gesture sketches.
  • Break your image down into basic shapes.
  • Pay attention to your negative space.
  • Stand up periodically and look at your drawing from a distance.

And don’t get discouraged when you make mistakes, just pay attention to your problem areas and try again. For more tips.

Proko has a ton of free content on youTube that you should check out too. I found the Bean Method to be very helpful.

Knife Drawing and Photo Organizing

If you wanna be productive and efficient, you gotta have a designated place to work. At least I gotta! The way I said, “If you wanna . . . you gotta . . . ” makes me think of Heavy Fuel 😂.

Dire Straits gif

My Freshly Stained Desk

I’ve heard so many people say that it doesn’t matter, you can work anywhere. I tried to do that with both drawing and photography, basically trying to save money. But after getting my new drawing desk, I realized I gotta have a good desk for my photo work as well. Any ol’ table just wont do if I wanna be productive.

I didn’t want to spend too much which meant that I wasn’t finding good quality, but I lucked out and found a simple wooden desk for free that just needed to be sanded and stained. The paint was caked on so it took a little while but…

I finally finished this desk. I left a few specs of paint because I was damaging the wood trying to remove them. I also completely missed one spot at the bottom of the desk, but it’s no biggie.

Staining the wood made it look a lot better. I still need to finish the drawers and I gotta figure out a way to make the middle drawer work to hold my Wacom tablet . . . it might be too big though.

Photo Organizing

Organizing my photos is a task I’ve put off for the longest time because I didn’t have a good computer or any good software, so I just took billions of photos and stored them on hard drives to deal with later.

Even after I got a good computer, I got into such a habit of just shooting now and asking questions later, that I put this job off for way too long. I basically have to go through my whole life . . . at least since about the mid 90’s.

I love how I have over 800 just of Sunny. I had to narrow down my folders so that I don’t get too confused, so these particular folders have just under 800.

Knife Drawing

Now that Inktober is over, I feel like I can put my attention on all the art I wanna do. I’m juggling so much in my life and in my art. So, I’m struggling a bit deciding what I wanna draw and what I wanna post on Instagram.

Really, you just gotta pick something and draw it.

I collect cool weapons, knives being one of my favorites, so I decided to draw my newest one. I picked a random piece of scratch paper that has ugly scribblings on one side and is blank on the other side. I used to be really into drawing these suns and ghosts. (I should try drawing them again cuz I think they’re kinda cool.)

Bristol Paper

I drew that blade more curvy than it actually is. My measuring was a bit off too which explains why I couldn’t fit all the details😒. Still looks cool though.

I like the reflection in the glass in this pic

After I get my photos more organized I’ll be able to make sense of all the series’ I’m developing and I’ll be putting them up on my blog as soon as I’m able. It’ll take some time, but that’s my current photo goal.

Thanks for checkin’ out my art, and next week, I’ll try to share some figure drawings of athletes.

Figure Sketch of Nadal

I’m not really a tennis fan. I just like the matches between Rafa Nadal and Novac Djokovic. Many years ago when I discovered these athletes I became obsessed. I remember one morning waking up around 8 and I got so excited there was a match on.

It went on forever.

I needed to shower.

I needed to eat.

Finally around 1 there was a weather delay so I could quickly take care of those pesky needs. I’m happy if either player wins, but I root for Nadal. I love his athleticism and his sportsmanship. (I don’t think he’s ever pulled a McEnroe lol.)

I even read a book about him which was pretty interesting. He got a very bad injury at such a young age. But he’s still great.

I’ve been enjoying watching the Nadal and Djokovic matches lately. And I thought Nadal would be fun to draw since he’s ALL OVER THAT COURT. He’s also upped his game which I love.

Tennis – Monte Carlo Masters – Monaco, 13/04/2016. Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a shot to Aljaz Bedene of Britain. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Fun Fact: He has the date 4.13.16 on his shoes to commemorate Kobe Bryant’s last game before he retired. Federer did the same thing. Kobe is another favorite athlete of mine. I lived in Southern California when Kobe was just starting out and watched the Lakers with my dad. (My third word was Magic, btw. LOL sorry Kobe RIP)

I got a little off topic there. So, here’s my graphite sketch.

It’s not bad. Much better than my figure drawing attempts back in July. (So bad, I won’t be sharing those today or maybe EVER.) My measuring is a bit off but not by much. And I’m happy I managed to get the twists in his legs. That’s so hard to do.

I thought this pose was hard?! He’s got some way crazier poses for me to try. I could keep working on this one, but I think it’d be better to just start a new one, and maybe on bigger paper. Sometimes, I feel so cramped on small paper. I need lots of room . . . don’t fence me in lol.

Inktober is Almost Over – Two More Days!

I drew Nadal yesterday, and used his shoes to fulfill my Inktober requirements. I sure am ready for the end of this challenge. Today is ominous, and I have no idea what I wanna draw.

So, who’s your favorite tennis player?

Let me know in the comments and check out my Instagram feed to see all the Inktober drawings I’ve done. Check out the other artists on there too because there are some really cool and inspirational Inktober drawings.

Inktober and Other Stuff

I’m just sittin’ here jammin’ to Soul to Squeeze and not feeling excited about today’s #inktoberprompt . . . Outpost. I think I’ve finally settled on an idea that I’ll do later.

I’ve actually been dealing with a pretty bad injury.

Despite doing yoga since I was 15, I managed to hurt my Piriformis muscle doing Triangle Pose. I lost my balance and then I didn’t even think I was hurt that bad so I did some deadlifts and other exercises until I was in so much pain my muscles locked up. Now I’m just trying to let it heal and not get too mad for being a dum dum.

Organizing My Photos

I’ve been working for a while on the very daunting task of organizing my digital photos that go back to 2004. I always just threw them onto my computer and moved them to hard drives and never spent time getting them organized, other than by the year. (2000-2004 are on cd which is soooo annoyingly slow.)

I didn’t even know how I wanted to organize them, but now my organizational system is extremely obvious. The method that seems to work best for me is to keep every photo in my Pictures folder categorized by subject and then I’ll import them to Lightroom from there.

I discovered Lightroom in college and fell in love immediately. This site has good info on Lightroom, organizing, and other photo stuff.

I haven’t even started working on my boxes of non digital photos. I have my work cut out for me, but I make sure to put time into it weekly, and I’m making a big dent.

Inktober – Throw, Hope, Dune, and Armor

Throw – It’s supposed to be a witch or some kind of powerful person doing target practice with her energy blasts. Trying to hit those spike star things.

Hope – My bf is amazing at calling when he says he will. I’ve never dated a guy like that. So, I never actually sit around “hoping” the guy calls me. But, I do have that feeling of “hope” in my heart that my phone will ring when it’s supposed to.

Dune – I first heard The Presidents of the United States of America when Peaches was very popular. Then I heard Kitty. Then I just liked all their music. So, I drew a little blind spider in a little blue dune buggy. I was trying to not fill in blocks of color and go for a simpler pen style, which is kind of hard for me.

Armor – This Deathstalker scorpion is so scary. He’s poisonous and hides under rocks stalking his prey. I think an image of a Deathstalker vs. Centipede would make a cool drawing to try. In this one, I was inspired by the 1970’s blacklight posters. I was also just trying to practice pen techniques that I’m not so practiced with.

That’s all for now . . . I’m gonna take my gimp self and go do stuff . . .

Inktober2020 – Days 3, 5, and 7

Eight days into Inktober2020 and I haven’t missed a day. Overall, the challenge is going good. I’m developing a daily habit of drawing and I’m creating some really great sketches that I can work from.

I struggled a tiny bit coming up with a composition for Rodent. I knew what I wanted to do, but a day was just not enough time for me to make it happen. I posted my unfinished drawing on Instagram. I like the image I drew for Wisp, but I didn’t get the background bold enough. And day 4 Radio, could have been better, but I did what I could.

Day Three – Bulky

I almost skipped day 3. I couldn’t think of an idea I was happy with and I didn’t think I’d have time anyway, so I decided I just wouldn’t pressure myself to do it. Thankfully, that night I got the idea to draw a big bulky coffin and a tree squished into a locket.

I was also able to try out pen techniques that I’m not that familiar with.

Bulky Sketches

My first idea was to draw a muscular arm against a black background. I didn’t like the idea but when I typed “Bulky” into google, bulky muscles were the only images showing up.

Then I considered a scarecrow but I wasn’t coming up with anything interesting.

Day Five – Blade

I like how this one turned out. I knew I wanted to draw a skull bowl with blood dripping from a blade. I was pretty much inspired by the tv show Supernatural. This method is used to call on Lucifer or whichever evil lad or lass that needs to be called upon. (Oh hey, Supernatural airs tonight . . . YaY! The last season has been delayed due to our lil’ nuisance, covid😷😒)

I wanted to rely more on pen techniques, but I’m just not quite confident enough. I used pens and Inktense for this one.

Blade Sketches

Day Seven – Fancy

I like this one too. I used bic pens on the unicorn and crystals and Inktense on the background.

Fancy Sketches

I knew right away I wanted to try drawing a unicorn. And I love when this happens . . . the image just came together easily with no struggle. I drew one sketch trying to place the unicorn in a water pool surrounded by crystals. But I didn’t like it. Then I drew the image I ended up using.

Don’t forget to check out my new Instagram account. I’ll be sharing my Inktober drawings everyday there.

Day 1 Inktober2020 – Fish

A Grand Transformation

Finally got Instagram. I decided to start my account with Inktober.

Inktober 2020 Manifesto and Prep

Do you struggle to come up with ideas for Inktober?

Do you get scared that you might miss a day so you just don’t do it?

Or do you get a little intimidated by the social media part of it?

These are some of the reasons why I haven’t done it in the past. One mistake I was making was thinking that I had to fly by the seat of my pants and not prepare ahead of time. If you have the time and ability to bust out an ink drawing everyday without prep, that’s great. But that won’t work for me.

My Manifesto

I think manifestos are fun to play around with. I was inspired by past artists who wrote manifestos. Mine is really just a declaration of goals instead of the violent and aggressive call to action style.

Pen Practice

I don’t have any experience using the Macron ink pens so I started with a couple of practice pages. This page also serves as a good reference for the size of each pen.

And this page is practice of the different shading techniques.

Day 1 – Fish

My goal is to have a sketched out idea for each day before October. If I can’t do that, I’m going to be sure I have at least have sketches for the first ten days. Then I can add the rest as I go along.

A couple of years ago I was really into drawing Koi, so that’s the type of fish I’ll be drawing for day 1. These are some practice pages I did to get used to my new pens.

And here’s my sketch on scratch paper. I’ll probably make some changes or maybe even change my idea completely, but this sketch gives me a place to start working from.

I plan to draw the pencil sketch for the final Inktober drawing in my sketchbook the day of. And I’ll also be using liquid ink and Inktense pencils. (Forgot that on my manifesto)

I’d also like to have a Halloween theme, but it’s not required.

Instagram

I’ll be honest. I’m not into social media. It just doesn’t interest me at all. But I know that it’s a good idea for artists to use Instagram. So, I’m gonna be brave and kickoff my Instagram account with Inktober2020. I don’t really understand hashtags and all that, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it.

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll post my Inktober art on my blog every single day or not. High Speed Internet isn’t available at my house, so I have it at a family member’s house and it isn’t always easy to go there everyday. I will be posting to Instagram everyday.

If you’d like to see my daily progress, just let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to try to do that for you.

Preparing for Inktober 2020

The popular Inktober is almost here. I’ve always wanted to try but never did because I was just too overwhelmed and I felt pressured about coming up with a good drawing for each prompt. I pretty much just didn’t think I could do it.

I can do it though!

And I’m gonna be smart and prepare for it. YouTube has a ton of videos of artists giving out tips and tricks for completing the challenge successfully. So, I’m checking those out.

I’ve always wanted to get some nice pens but always stuck with my Bic pens. Bic pens are great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s always nice to have a variety. My dad got me these pens and sketchbook for my birthday, which I’ll be using for Inktober.

A Few Tips

  1. Gather your supplies – I have to be able to balance my art with everything in my life, so I’m probably going to just focus on Inktober and put my other projects on the back burner. I’ll also be sure I have my pencil, kneaded eraser, all my pens, and my sketches available so that I can just sit down and work.
  2. Get familiar with the prompt list and sketch out ideas – I’ve already written down the list on a large piece of paper and started sketching out some ideas. My goal is to have a sketch for each day before October.
  3. Relax and have fun – This is the most important tip. It’s great to be able to actually complete a challenge, but ultimately, I just want to have fun and I want to draw. I’m hoping this challenge will help me improve and create some interesting art.

Desk Project

In other news😂. . . I was wanting to buy a small and affordable desk but all I was finding were crappy made desks for way more money than they’re worth. My dad came across this old desk that’s the right size and the right price . . . free.

The paint is very old and I’m working on sanding through a few layers. It’s taking a long time because I’m not using a sander, just relying on the ol’ muskles.

That’s the top before I started sanding. I’ve finished the top, the drawers, two of the sides, and I still have two sides to go.

There’s Sunny sniffing the desk. It was stored in this old house for a very long time, so I’m sure there’s a bunch of interesting scents grabbing her attention. I’d like to sand down to the wood and stain it. I think it’ll look better with a stain instead of paint.

Next week I’ll be sure to share my Inktober Prep. progress and any goals I have for the challenge. I plan to post everyday, so if you’re planning to do the same don’t be shy . . . like, comment, and follow my blog. And hopefully we can create some cool artwork together.

Birthday Dessert Drawings

My boyfriend’s birthday was yesterday and my birthday is tomorrow so I wanted to share some dessert drawings. I love how our birthdays are close together. It makes it feel even more special.

dessert sketches

This is a sketch I did on trash printer paper. Just getting a feel for the shapes and warming up.

graphite cupcake

The main reason I chose to draw desserts is because I think cupcakes are so cute. This one is drawn using graphite pencil and sketchbook paper.

graphite macaroons

This is a drawing of an image of macarons I found on google. I’ve never tried this dessert. I’ve heard they’re not very good. I just think of Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl, eating them in the bath tub while she pouts about her many problems.

graphite three layer cake

I initially just wanted to draw cupcakes but then I wanted to draw cakes, doughnuts, and other desserts too. They look so delicious. I wont be having any of these desserts for my b-day though. I’ll be having Pizza Pie from Pizza Hut 😂.

inktense practice desserts

These sketches are done on hot pressed watercolor paper. It was my first time using this kind of paper, and I love how it felt. It was also my first time using Inktense pencils. So, I was just playing around with mixing and determining how much pigment to use. Very little pigment goes a very long way with Inktense.

Polychromos cupcake

This cupcake was drawn on tan paper using Polychromos colored pencils. I put more effort into this drawing than the others. I used a photo of a cupcake as reference (link at the end of the post) but I made a few changes to make it my own and not outright copy the image.

I blended everywhere except the background and the surface the cupcake is sitting on. I love the way colored pencils look. Also, I accidentally used Inktense on the cake part where it’s really dark.

I’ve been wanting to draw cupcakes for a long time, and I finally did it. It was fun and maybe I’ll draw some more again soon. Any other September babies out there . . . Happy Birthday to you too!

Reference Images

Healthy Black Velvet French Macarons (To Celebrate My 25th Birthday!)

Up-close-picture-of-a-slice-of-iced-vampire-cake-sitting-on-a-white-cake-stand-700x1050

https://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/layered-bloody-vampire-cake-recipe/

fondant-cake-recipe-5-480x360

https://whereismyspoon.co/my-best-base-for-fondant-cakes/

https://www.123rf.com/photo_6570035_pink-cupcake.html