My name is
Joanne Mackellar

Web Designer & Illustrator


Life Drawing

Posted on 09 Dec 2012 in Drawing | 0 comments

There’s only one more session left of life drawing for the year. I like to think I’ve improved quite a bit from when I started life drawing. A long time ago while at art school, I didn’t enjoy life drawing at all. It’s strange that I’m enjoying it so much now!

Tonight’s model was Fecility, she’s also an art student who enjoys life drawing. She has a good feel of what sort of poses we would like.

I would like more 5 minute poses since they seem a lot more interesting.


5 minute pose.



10 minute poses.


20 minute pose.


1 hour pose.
I was acutally quite happy with this one. Another person at the session had given me some new paper to experiment with. It always amazes me how the materials react to different surfaces.

Of course when life drawing stops it doesn’t mean I will. I hope to spend time learning hands and feet and improving I would like to spend the spare time from life drawing learning digital painting.

Life Drawing

Posted on 02 Dec 2012 in Drawing | Comments Off on Life Drawing

I see a lot of artwork on the internet and think to myself “How did they get that good?” Recently I tried repainting a doll’s face and failed miserably, and I see people who do paint faces like it’s a second instinct. So what’s the difference? They’ve had lots of practice. First try will never be right, it’s something I have to keep reminding myself when I try something new.

Recently I got a DVD by Jack Bosson from the Gnomon workshop. A lot has been covered in the books I’ve been teaching myself from. However he touches on how to approach foreshortening. He went on about the rhythm of a pose and how we’re gathering information from the figure to tell a story. It was an investment I would suggest for anyone wanting to learn figure drawing. As a result from this DVD I’ve approached the life drawing group to do some shorter poses. Normally we have just a session of 20 minute poses.

I haven’t posted the last few weeks sessions so I thought I would combine them into one post. The first model is Andrew and the second is Felicity. Felicity herself is an artist and does amazing drawings.

Andrew - 011112_1
10 minute drawing.

I still struggle with hands. I remember at tafe a lecturer told me it was impossible for her to draw hands. At the time I thought “What’s so hard? It’s 4 fingers and a thumb….” If I had a hat I would probably eat it now!

Andrew - 011112_2

20 minute drawing

I was trying to take into account Jack Bosson’s idea of telling a story. It’s new way to approach a blank page, which I think I am ready for. Proportions are not a problem for me as it use to be.

5 minute drawing.

I feel like I’m cheating a little bit by just drawing the gesture of the hands and feet. However if I concentrated on just hands and feet for 5 minutes I couldn’t get much else done.


5 minute drawing.

5 minute drawing.

Some poses are easier to tell a story then others.
20 minute drawing.

The angle of the feet are a bit off.


10 minute drawing.

My dream pose of no hands or feet!

20 minute drawing.

Same pose but I got frustrated with the length of the legs that I decided to start again only to have the same problem with the second drawing!

Life Drawing

Posted on 25 Nov 2012 in Drawing | Comments Off on Life Drawing

I didn’t find this session as successful as other sessions I’ve been to. I’m not sure if I was having an off day or it was the model. This weeks model is 7 months pregnant making her a bit more difficult to draw for me. Maybe it’s because of comics and media but I have a need to slim them down.

Angela - 181012_2

5 minute drawing.

I felt the need to try and draw without construction lines, it wasn’t a good thing to do.
Angela - 181012_3
20 minute drawing.

I think this is the most successful drawing of the night. I even managed to get the feet right!
Angela - 181012_4

20 minute drawing.

I still have a problem drawing faces from life. I tend to squish the features a fair bit.
Angela - 181012_5

20 minute drawing.

At the end of the night I had a case of foreshortening. I should have moved my position in the room but felt it was something I should work on.
Angela - 181012_6

20 minute drawing.


Posted on 04 Nov 2012 in Photo | 0 comments



Life Drawing

Posted on 28 Oct 2012 in Drawing | Comments Off on Life Drawing

A teacher in primary school told me once that an eraser should last you a lifetime. I can safely say that teacher has never done life drawing and is wrong.

So far I have gone through 2 erasers from use. If you look closely at the drawings you can see where I’m correcting myself regrading tone and proportion.

It’s nice going back on old drawings and seeing how much I have improved, I still seem to fair better with females rather than males. I find the female form much easier to draw.

Tonight’s model was Emily, someone who was new to life drawing but did some excellent poses.

Emily - 041012_3
20 minute pose. For a changes she was clothed for this one.

Emily - 041012_5

Another 20 min pose.
Emily - 041012_2

A  lot of the positions are held for 20 mins. The group prefers it that way.


Emily - 041012_4

Face study.
Emily - 041012_1

Again I seem to struggle on different paper. I may stick to bond layout or bristol board rather than change to a grain type paper.

Life Drawing

Posted on 23 Oct 2012 in Drawing | Comments Off on Life Drawing

Life drawing was finally back on. I’ve found that it’s hard to get started after such a long break. In between the months since  life drawing I’ve been practising faces and hands. Proportions took  a little longer to get right.

It’s clear that I need to practice drawing the figure more, maybe with clothing. I’m still working with charcoal, I haven’t really felt the need to move onto another medium. Saying that I’ve got more interest in ink drawings, perhaps I will try that in one session.

This night we had an elder gentleman called Adrian. He was great, brought along his own props and asked to photograph everyone’s drawings.

Adrian - 270912_4

Adrian - 270912_3

I’m very confident with faces now.

Adrian - 270912_2

I’m actually quite happy how the proportions turned out in this one.

Adrian - 270912_1

Of course one session must always have a What was I thinking? drawing.


Posted on 10 Oct 2012 in Quotes | Comments Off on Quote


Sage Advice

Posted on 13 Aug 2012 in Quotes | Comments Off on Sage Advice

Stop reading. Start doing. There’s a lot of things that haven’t been done yet that need you to go do them. Go

7 Things I Learned From My Encounter With Russell Kirsch

Life Drawing

Posted on 11 Aug 2012 in Drawing | Comments Off on Life Drawing

It’s been a while since I posted my life drawing sessions. These were actually done in July, but haven’t gotten round to posting them till now.

I’ve been using charcoal pencil with bond layout paper. Paper seems to make all the difference on how I draw. Taking notice of other people’s drawings I’m keen to try ink on watercolour paper and pastel paper. The results I’m sure will be horrifying the first time, but you have to start somewhere.

This session’s model was Selene.

Selene - 190712_5

Proportions are improving. I seem to better with back poses than front poses.

Selene - 190712_4

Selene - 190712_7

Selene - 190712_6

Selene - 190712_1

Last drawing of the night. I still have trouble learning about tone.

Life Drawing

Posted on 04 Aug 2012 in Drawing | Comments Off on Life Drawing

I don’t have a A3 scanner so I’m finding it a bit hard with the weather to take suitable photos of my life drawings. I’ve changed mediums again. I’m now using charcoal pencil and willow charcoal for the construction lines.

This sessions model was Nadia and I’ve come to love the difficult poses she’s so good at.

Nadia - 050712_1

I’m still working on proportions, as you can see her leg isn’t correct.

Nadia - 050712_6
10 min sketch without construction lines.

Nadia - 050712_4
I’m trying to understand tone and lightning still. Another person explained I should be drawing in the high points and low points. The shading from that.

Nadia - 050712_3
Quick 5 minute drawing.

Nadia - 050712_2
Another 5 minute drawing.

Nadia - 050712_5
15 minute drawing. I’m still having trouble with foreshortening.

Nadia - 050712_8
Nadia - 050712_7

I had trouble with the first drawing so I decided to start again. This time concentrating on a small part of the model. It paid off with detail.

It’s all about learning!

Posted on 06 Jul 2012 in Social Media | 0 comments

Recently at my workplace I had created a facebook fan page. Not many people know this but farmers do like to use social media to communicate, farmers happen to be the target audience. Social media is a powerful tool that we could use for feedback on our products and understand what our customers want.

When the page was set up we (the company) wanted to get into social media. I didn’t feel we had a direction in place apart from promoting the products in hopes of increasing sales. I believe the original goal was to promote our brand to the rural community but it was clear it was not working. After a month of setting up the page and seeing how it worked a direction direction was needed.

One of the main reasons heading in a different direction: the type of people attracted to the page. Most were dealers, employees, farmhands or foreign owners of our products. Not really the target audience that had been aimed for.

After showing the page to the marketing manager, we’ve decided to approach the page from a more personal perspective. Before we were just promoting our products, it hadn’t occurred to us that potential customers would go to our website to find out more information about our products. Facebook is not a marketing tool to sale products.

We had a long conversation about the page it occurred to us that the more interesting “post” are the ones that are more personal. As an example we liked the post about farmers coming to the factory for a tour. We also liked the post about a machine being delivered to a customer in South Australia.

It was decided to make the facebook page more personal rather than corporate. People who “like” page are more than likely to own one of the companies products. So what do they want to hear? What do they want to see?

So what have I learnt?

  • Like everything social media is a constant learning process
  • Consider who the target audience is for that media, the youtube channel will have to be more practical than personal. Since we wish to use that as a selling tool.
  • Collabration is key, when you have a problem
  • Consider what we wanted “the voice” of the company to be
  • The target audience can change from your original objective but that’s ok.



Star Trek Intro

Posted on 17 Jun 2012 in Animations, Type | 0 comments

It’s no secret that I love Star Trek. So it’s hard to imagine I wouldn’t enjoy such a clever interpretation of the Star Trek theme.

The team behind this animation captured the essence of what is Star Trek. They’ve done it quite well.

Keep Drawing

Posted on 17 Jun 2012 in Animations, Drawing | 0 comments

I hope to.

Life Drawing

Posted on 17 Jun 2012 in Drawing | 0 comments

I decided to go to life drawing this week since there was no model last week. Again we had Nadia as our model and she does love the difficult poses. At the same it’s annoying but also challenging. This week I ended up using Bond layout paper (50gsm) and compressed charcoal pencils. I’m slowly working my way up to other materials. Taking photos of my drawings is getting a little bit harder due to the lack of light during winter.

1 minute drawings.

2 minute drawings.

5 minute drawing. I’m getting quicker at adding details in.

Another 5 minute drawing.

10 minute drawing.

10 minute drawing.

10 minute drawing.


Practice on drawing portraits with a conte stick. Obviously I still need to use construction lines. I’m finding it really difficult without them.


I didn’t like how this one was turning out so I scrapped it and started again.

The last drawing of the night. This one took about 50mins. I got some good advice on tone and what materials to use from the class last week. I’ve been using line to display tone. I’m quite happy with the result of this drawing, apart from the hands!

Life Drawing

Posted on 11 Jun 2012 in Drawing | 0 comments

I haven’t been to life drawing for a while and the first session I turn up to the model decides to call in sick. The session wasn’t lost, we decided to concentrate on drawing portraits of each other instead. Each sitting went for about 30 minutes, which is why most of the models eyes are closed. There was also had a halogen light on the model to get some nice shadows. I started using charcoal pencil instead of willow charcoal, which gave me better control over my drawings. It’s funny once I get control I will probably want to lose it again.

I feel that I have improved from when I started going last year. I plan to attend more regularly from now on.




I think the above drawing shows how much construction lines can help!