It seems the best way to improve the current situation.
I woke up this morning to icy rain. By the time I finished cycling (inside of course) there were fat, light flakes of snow falling quickly past the window behind me.
The Minnesota State site for Covid vaccination eligibility said it would be April or May before I’d be eligible for a vaccination.
That means more isolation and no figure drawing co-op.
If you’ve been reading along, you already know I think Alun Armstrong has one of the best noses on the planet.
He also happens to be one of the busiest working actors. Check out his IMDb filmography.
It makes sense to me that drawing him throughout March can only be a great activity. (Besides, he’s in a ton of adaptations of Dickens’ books so that only makes sketching him more fun—think dundrearies.)
What Do We Do Now?
#MarchIsSketchAlunArmstrongMonth is a creative activity designed to help you keep your drawing practice going.
It’s non-commercial. No fees, no payments. You just decide to play along for the fun of it.
During March (all 31 days of March) draw Alun Armstrong once, 10 times, everyday (31 times)—whatever suits you.
Use this opportunity to practice drawing directly with a brush pen, or watercolor brush; improve your ability to glaze watercolors or color pencils; play with thick gouache strokes, or use any medium you want. (I’m hoping someone will use out of date macaroni.)
Just sketch Alun Armstrong.
- Every time you create a sketch/painting of Armstrong, post it on social media with the following hashtag
- Then drop me a note in the comments section below. Be sure to include a link to your posting, so I don’t miss your post. You can post on your blog, on instagram, on your Facebook feed…
This is a time for you to experiment with your paints, or work on your art goals, or practice color theory, or focus on capturing details that create a likeness…That’s what you are going to get out of this.
Sketch Armstrong once or 31 times—it doesn’t matter, you get to set up the parameters of your participation. Just be sure to post on social media with the hashtag
But wait there’s more.
Win a Mentoring Session with Roz
Everyone who sketches Armstrong and posts the equivalent of five 1-hour sketches will be put into a prize drawing.
I’ll look over all the posted and hashtagged sketches people have sent me links for during the month.
Then on April 1, 2021 (and this is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke) I will draw a name out of a hat and that person will win a 60 to 90 minute (depending on what ground we have to cover) mentoring session with me on Zoom.
You can ask me questions about your specific Armstrong pieces, or about a particular medium, your goals, whatever. I’ve been teaching and mentoring artists for over 35 years so it will be an information packed meeting.
What Does “the Equivalent of Five 1-hour Sketches Mean”?
In a project like this if I ask people to do a minimum of five sketches some playful individuals might try to game the system. Just to get into the prize drawing with a minimal amount of effort they might make a few gesture sketches in an hour and post them.
Posting gesture sketches would be great, but if someone spends 30 hours over the course of the month to make an oil painting of Armstrong why should that person be penalized and not eligible for the drawing because only one painting is the result?
So to even things out I’m asking you to spend some real effort on your sketches. If you sketch Armstrong everyday for instance, many days perhaps your hashtagged work will be gestures—but for at least five of your drawings you are going to put some time and effort into them—get them to some level of finish. Alternately if you sketch Armstrong 16 times during the month, and it’s obvious (and it will be to me) that you’ve put in sufficient time in each sketch to be at least the equivalent of five one-hour sketches, your name will go in the drawing. And a 30 hour painting gets in for obvious reasons.
Anyone of ANY SKILL LEVEL can participate. If you’re just beginning your sketching life, drawing the same subject repeatedly is a great way to learn proportions, play with composition, or work on your use of color or line.
I’m going to be looking for effort—the equivalent of five 1-hour sketches.
How Do I Participate When Armstrong Isn’t Exactly Stopping by to Model?
As readers of the blog know I prefer to draw from life. But Covid is making it pretty difficult for me to get out and about to see live subjects. And I’m sure I’m not going to simply bump into Armstrong on a grocery run.
#MarchIsSketchAlunArmstrongMonth is NOT about stalking Armstrong. (Anyone stalking Armstrong is immediately disqualified from the prize drawing!)
This project is about honoring Armstrong’s lifelong contribution to our entertainment. Instead of drawing from life you’ll need to draw from video. You can stream shows with Armstrong pretty much everywhere. Here are some to get you started:
“New Tricks” on Amazon Prime. “New Tricks” is a crime show about retired detectives brought out of retirement to work cold cases.
“Bleak House” (2005) on BritBox. “Bleak House” is a television adaptation of one of Dicken’s best books—it’s one of my top 3 favorites.
“Little Dorrit” (2008) on BritBox and Amazon Prime. “Little Dorrit” is yet another adaptation of a Dickens novel. (I think there is actually a rule that Armstrong has to be cast in these adaptations.) He plays twin brothers in this one!
He’s in “Brave Heart.”
And “Downton Abbey.”
Google “Alun Armstrong” and see one of the many videos on YouTube in which he appears.
Go back to Armstrong’s filmography and find new sources. (For instance I know the 1974 series of “Father Brown” is streaming somewhere—he’s in “the Hammer of God” episode of that series. He’s in “Frontier,” a show about the fur trade in the 1700s North America—it’s streaming on Netflix.
You get the idea, Armstrong is everywhere. He’s in “Krull.”
He needs to be in your sketchbook as well.
I know you can sit this out, but what would be the fun of that? Challenge yourself to work on your portrait drawing skills by drawing an amazingly expressive face.
The nose, the eyebrows, the penetrating stare—it’s time to get it all down on paper (or your drawing tablet).