Elephant Greetings

In the same vein as the Illustration Friday post, I did a second ink doodle. It's a lot of fun and i just keep telling myself if it wasn't what I originally intended exactly, that's fine. It still looks cool and more relaxed than some of my other stuff. It's fun too!

Plus, I doodled while I watched Microcosmos, a cool French documentary about bugs, and on a wide screen TV they are BIG!!! And since the are not crawling on me, they are coooooool!

Illustration Friday: Stir

Sometimes emotional turmoil stirs within...and sometimes something tragic happens
...and sometimes it's both.

I've been feeling...melancholic...recently, not sure why. I have a lot of reasons I could list, but in light of the news about the Japan earthquake and tsunami that hit today, they just seem irrelevant. My prayers are with everyone in Japan and everyone who has family in Japan.

Our friends' families in Japan are ok. Thank goodness for small blessings.

In Progress

I have a couple of projects in progress at the moment. They are all in various stages from unstarted, to barely started, to under way, to nearly complete. And a new semester is about to start, which usually ramps up my drawing/posting activity on my blog.

  • I have lots of sketches of herbs and ingredients I need to start working on for my cousin's cookbook.
  • My coworker's daughter is very fond of my bug drawings/sketches and would love one to call her own. She reminds me of myself when I was young.
  • There are babies about to be born everywhere, and if I'm enthusiastic enough, I have up to 5 original art pieces I could create for friends and family. The two that are the most important: a close friend is expecting their first child and my eldest sister is expecting HER first child. Woohoo!
  • various and sundry other spur-of-the-moment stuff, including practicing more digital paintings with some of my old sketches. I've been wanting to create finished pieces on some of them for a while, and this will give me some practice before I actually take a digital painting class.

Faces Galore

One of the blogs I read today listed national magazine award winners, and the winner for the photo portfolio was The New Yorker's Portraits of Power. This is an impressive body of work for the photographer, as well as for history in general, since it is documenting current world leaders. However, my initial reaction was probably far different than most people's reaction. All I could think was, "Look at all the interesting face shapes I could draw!" I was itching to pick up a drawing tool and start drawing then and there.

I know nothing about the personality, motivation, mindsets, or emotions that drive all these leaders, but the shapes of their faces, noses, quirks of almost smiles, and the tilts of their heads all make me start creating some type of story for each of them, whether or not it is at all close to whothey are in reality.

Each photo is beautiful in and of itself, but it is the grouping of all these photos together that drives home the uniqueness of each face.

I don't know if I'll draw all these faces, but I'll most likely draw a few of the ones with the most character so I can practice different and interesting faces, since all the faces I draw from my head look the same.

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.


So I'm in between art projects at the moment, but it's going to be a bit before I work on any long-term projects. I still haven't finished my Grandfather's project and I'd really like to get that finished up in time for Christmas. So I will be dedicating most of my limited free time to that for the foreseeable future.

I'll still be working on Illustration Friday drawings in my sketchbook, and hopefully something Wild Things inspired. If you're creating fan music, it's called filk; if you creating fan stories, it's fanfic; so what is fan art? fart? um...no. Whatever it's called, I want to create one to get posted on Terrible Yellow Eyes.

The good news is that I have finished another sketchbook! woohoo! This one took a bit longer then the last, and technically has a few sparse pages that I probably could fill with sketches and ideas. Still, I think I'll retire this one and start fresh this Friday with a new book. I think it will be a standard journal type book, rather than the landscape one this time. I'd like to work with a larger sketchbook, but the 6x9ish size fits so nicely in my purse.


I missed drawing class today. It sucks, but I'm too exhausted from traveling last weekend and all the activities at work this week. After spending a few hours with MANY rambunctious 8-9 year-olds, I think sleep is on the menu. More drawing and posts to come, including one of my favorite drawings from life drawing last week. But for now, bed.

Travel and drawing

I went out of town this weekend to visit my grandparents. It was a very good trip and I got some sketching done while I was traveling. Drew the plane above...the first time I've ever really drawn a plane. I'm pretty happy with it, although I think I foreshortened the body of the plane too much--planes are BIG. Really happy with how the wing/engine turned out. Friday, I'll be posting a number of sketches that I've had in my sketchbook for a bit and have been meaning to get up here. (Tomorrow I have class).

In particular I want to post the drawings I've been working on from the Facial Expressions book I got for my birthday. Some of them are frustrating, some of them I like a lot. All of them are good practice. As I am determined to get better at faces and people so I never can use the argument "I can't" again, so are my friends determined to help me. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and continues to support me.

The story of stuff

I just watched a really interesting online video about the consumer economy:

Story of Stuff

It will really make you think about your life and things you are doing well and things you (I) probably should change. It is moments like these where I wish I could work on graphic design without having to print all the disposable marketing materials.

It made me think about wanting a simpler life, and I remember watching design shows where people moved to the middle of nowhere, built their dream home and live leisurely with their focus being on family and spending time together. I always wondered why they did that and if they would be bored...then I realize that for the first week or so I probably would just want to read, read, read, but eventually I would get tired of reading and miss working on art, then I'd work on art. I think I would eventually find a balance of reading, art, family and fun that I could enjoy...Maybe I just need to go 'Under the Tuscan Sun' and get a ramshackle house that I have no clue how to fix up but enjoy the journey and the people along the way. I could see it...one day...