Black Belt!

Us and our awesome instructors!

6 months without art classes but with many super-intense training sessions and the hubby and I have achieved our black belts! (Although we need to wait for the official certificate.) I'm proud of our accomplishments, but I'm also excited to get back to having more art in my life again. I am going to thoroughly enjoy the upcoming holiday season, and then jump back into art classes after the start of the new year.

In between now and then, I have a couple of personal projects that I've been wanting to work on/finish, so look forward to artwork to come!

Upcoming testing

Hey everyone! I just wanted to send out a note about the next couple of months. I'm starting to ramp up the training for my black belt test for Tae Kwon Do in early November. Posting will be sporadic for the next 3 months. This is a goal that I've had since I started TKD 12/13 years ago. It got put on hold for a number of years while I finished school, got married, and started a career. I was able to restart training at a great studio and pick up where I previously stopped.

I'm going to try to keep sketching during this time, but I most likely won't have much complete artwork. I will post as I can, hopefully getting in as many Illustration Friday's as possible. Once my test is complete, I will be restarting my art projects and classes in full force.

The eyes have it!

Where have I been for the last month? April got a little hectic between work, classes, and visiting family. I was excited about the upcoming end of the month because I would be done with both art and tae kwon do for about a month due to a very important thing: corrective eye surgery! I was so excited to have time off in the evenings to actually work on art. I didn't take into account that I was having EYE surgery and wouldn't want to do much, even if I was back on my feet in a day and a half.

But I'm back in action and went to the Ren Faire yesterday for a grand day of sketching, walking, and feasting. More about that tomorrow.

Invisible work

I've been working hard on what I hope will be my first children's book. As such, I don't feel it is appropriate to show online until I get this published (hopefully!). Nor will I be mentioning anything about the story. What I do want to talk about is my approach and initial thoughts on the project.

First, this project is new and shiny, thus it is in the 'fun' stage. I have a lot of enthusiasm about the project currently and I hope to maintain a degree of enthusiasm through the end of the project. I think it helps that this project is MY project for the first time, and it is exactly what I want it to be.

The storyline I'm currently working on is one of a few concepts that have always been tagging along in the back of my mind throughout school and the past couple of years. I have sketches spattered throughout many of my sketchbooks that explore ideas and possible directions, some of them more concrete then others. I am happy to say that I feel my drawing skills have improved since those initial sketches because even though I slow down and slack off, I've never stopped.

One of the key approaches I'm taking in this book is to tackle my greatest fears and weakest points in drawing. The images will be full of hands and feet, complex expressions, and--the greatest horror of them all--perspective! I want this project to be a challenge that makes me push my skills as much as I can so I can say that the result of my first book was to make me a better artist. So far I've filled up 6 pages with preliminary concept sketches, and I have multiple folders of image references ready for my use. The more I draw, the more I'm eager to come back the next evening and draw instead of watching tv or reading books. I want to see how my own story unfolds.

There is only one negative to note currently with my project: I've gone to bed with so many ideas in my head that I've lost sleep. I even woke up in the middle of the night the other day and ended up drawing for an hour.

Comment Moderation

Unfortunately, I've started getting spam posts on my comments, rather than actual comments about how good or bad my work is. To resolve this issue, I've had to restrict who can post comments to my site. Now only people registered with Blogger/OpenID can post, rather than any random visitor. That may result in a reduction of comments on my site, but it is really frustrating to see that you received a comment, and you get excited then you read a random piece of crap that has absolutely nothing to do with your art.

Sorry to those actual posters who want to give feedback or support but don't feel they should have to sign in/register. I wish I could leave it open to all.

November is project-finishing month

It's been a busy two weeks, particularly Halloween weekend. I flew out to Tampa to participate in my friends' halloween/masquerade/1920's wedding. Complete with a horror movie cake. :) Fun, but incredibly hectic. The two days after I got back, I slept about 11 hours each day.

My goal for November is the completion of projects:

1. Grandfather's Memoirs - editing is coming along. about 2/3 through editing by hand (made good use of my plane flight last weekend), but I still need to enter all those edits into the digital document...and create the family tree/tables...and finalize the cover...
2. Panda animation - from my animation class last semester. I finished the backgrounds I was working on, but I have yet to make the final tweaks to my line art for the panda.
3. Dog spinning rough animation - from my character design class this semester.
4. Tentative project that I shouldn't be working on, but I couldn't help myself...if anything comes of this project, I will post more about it when I am able.
5. Possible logo design...
6. Illustration friday...since I haven't done one in a while.

As you can see, lots on my plate AND we're heading into the busy season at work.

I also want to scan some of my life drawing from the two semesters I took this year. I went through it and deemed less than a fourth of the pencil scrawls as acceptable and recognizable as a human, but it's a start.

Posting might be scant, since the major project this month is not art related in the least. But I'll try my best to start filling up my sketchbook again and posting images.

Procrastination, Frustration...and Technical Difficulties

The posting has been nil for the past week and a half. I only have myself to blame. I have been re-reading books when I'm supposed to be doing art. oops.

I've also been frustrated with the 'facial perspective framework' that I've been learning in figure drawing on how to build a face drawing to get accurate perspective and depth. While I know the basics of the planes of the face, it frustrates me to no end, particularly when all the 'faces' look like identical androids instead of the people I'm trying to portray. I have particular difficulty with lips, since they are the most malleable and expressive portion of the face.

After ranting and procrastinating and growling in the point that my husband commented on it, I decided to step away from faces and draw some nice peaceful penguins. That helped get me back in gear. Tonight I drew some cartoon turtles and then went on to some 1-5 minute people sketches. Eric sent me information on free stock photography, so I'm using NationsIllustrated (keyword search: people) to get interesting faces/people to draw.

Unfortunately after running updates on an unrelated program, I broke Photoshop. sigh. I've been needing to rebuild my machine for a while now, so this might change my Sunday plans... Now that I'm drawing again, I'll keep drawing and scan everything and post once my programs are up and running.


Technically, I did a daily sketch last night. However, it is not being posted because both Eric and I concur that the sketch of the cute little baby ended up creeeeeeepy. Why can't I draw cute babies. I like babies, I like cute things. I don't understand it.

Also, the daily sketches will be on a pre-scheduled one-week hiatus and will return next week...hopefully with cute drawings and not creepy ones.