step one : get my junk together

The first thing I do whenever I'm going to go ahead and start a new project is get all the stuff that I'll need, either for the duration of the project or just what I'll need for that particular sitting, together. Usually, I won't start something new until I'm sure I won't be distracted because squirrel.

So since today is my oldest daughter's very first field trip *sigh* I'm thinking I'll be able to bang out some sketches and possibly even transfer my sketches onto that blank canvas I was telling you about last time - as long as my other two children nap. Marking up a clean canvas is kind of sad at first. But maybe not as sad as a clean canvas that is just empty, abandoned and alone-or worse, surrounded by other blank canvases or worse still, surrounded by painted canvases! Gah. Ok there's that squirrel again. 

Because most of the sorting of ideas has already happened (over the course of months) inside the old noodle, and because I was given a very special picture to refer to, I am at the sketching stage. Generally, when I'm about to draw I like to make myself a cup of coffee, turn on some tube, grab a blanket and snuggle up in my reclining rocking chair (oh yes, it's that good) with my sketchbook. Did I mention chocolate? This is also a good time for that. Nothing better than brown stains all over my drawings. I know this is all sounding quite magical - because it is - but for this project I'm going to need to sit at my desk. Also known as the kitchen table. I may have forgotten to mention that the very sad, blank canvas is bigger than I usually work with so I'm going to have to choose my workspace accordingly. 

For sketching I literally need a pencil and (appropriately sized) paper. My drawing is going to need to be the same size as the canvas because I'll do a direct transfer from it. I'm not fussy about what kind of pencil I use at this point because as long as she's equipped with an eraser, I've got what I need. Nobody's perfect, guys, c'mon. 

Transferring the drawing onto the canvas is quite simple. I like that. I honestly just take a pencil (a really soft one like a 6B) and completely cover the back of the drawing in graphite because I am actually too cheap to buy transfer paper. I said I was classy, not fancy. Once she's all chalked up I just flip that sucker over, place it onto - in this case, canvas - and maybe even tape it down so it doesn't shift. After that I take my regular pencil that I don't care about and carefully trace over the original drawing. When I remove the paper, voila! My canvas is no longer blank and sad and even though I was worried about marking it up, it actually seems to perked up a bit. Oh em gee though just you wait, sad canvas, your life is about to change because you, my friend, are ready for paint.