Taking the Challenge. EDM Challenge #1: Draw your shoe

I decided to try tackling the EDM Challenge after a multi-year hiatus. The Challenge is an incredibly inspiring and motivating series of exercises devised by the wonderful Karen Winters. It initially began in the EDM Yahoo group but has now become a part of the EDM Flickr and Facebook groups too.

Each week, Karen posts a prompt for a drawing subject and zillions of people tackle the challenge and post their results. It’s a great opportunity to compare and learn from others. You can find the list of challenges in the files section of each of those groups. Also I have included a page on this site with the list.

I’ve decided to go back a half dozen years and start at the beginning with EDM #1: Draw a shoe. I hope to tackle a new one each day or so (unless life intrudes in some horrid way or I lose interest, as is my wont).

I drew this shoe with my new Lamy Safari Fountain Pen, Charcoal Broad Nib (L17B) filled with Noodler’s Bulleproof Black ink. This Noddler’s ink is perturbing me a bit these days. Even when I leave it to dry for hours, it can be a little less than waterproof at times and can add a black tinge to my watercolors. It seems to vary by the paper, so I am not giving up on it yet. But I do love the handfeel of this big fat nib; it’s sorta like drawing with a charcoal stick.

I drew the shoe as a contour drawing, tracing around each hummock of shoelace and protruding bit of tongue. Then I want back in and drew the interior bits, making sure the laces crossed where they outghta, and that the nose of the shoes wasn’t too snub or too elephantine. At this stage the drawing looked amateurish and flat. So I added some cross hatching in places ( I always vow not to do shading and then give in and add light and shade. I just can’t keep myself to just drawing in pure line) and filled in the interior of the shoe. Then I took out another, older pen, my Lamy Safari Charcoal Extra Fine Point ( L17EF) and drew in the little holes and stitching and added another layer of crosshatching.

I was still wrestling with how to capture the lovely grey suede of my new shoe, so I hauled out my Daniel Smith paints and used a grey, Sodialite Genuine, keeping things fairly flat as I really wanted to make  a drawing rather than a painting. Next I added a coat or two of Cadmium Yellow   and a dash of Doctor Martin’s lemon yellow for good measure (I bought these shoes primarily for their canary yellow, delightfully cushioned soles).

Finally I wrote about my new shoe with the trusty ol’ steel nibbed dip pen.

The composition is a bit wonky as my page is square and my shoe is oblong but it’ll do for a twenty-minute drawing before breakfast.

On to the next challenge.

Oh, and if you have drawn EDM #1 and would like to share it, please post it somewhere (Facebook or Flickr or on your blog) and tell me where I can see it.