Monday, May 23, 2011

Progress, a micromovement at a time....

Yes,  I have managed to make some progress...somewhat slowly and painfully, but progress nonetheless.  I've drawn the beginnings of several pencils for the book dummy...these ARE only beginnings- there are many improvements and additions to be made (some of my post-it remarks and suggestions to myself are still visible on the scans)(which I've darkened a bit, since they are only pencil).  

(ha, new reminder to self- fix the headphones!  Those don't look like headphones, it looks as though she's wearing deflated earmuffs. Or figs, although that makes no sense)

(note to self-fix hand holding book, way too small proportionately)

(this one is still quite rough, just in the sketchbook, not yet on the 'official' paper)

I'm not yet sure that I'm going to use all of these- in fact, it is unlikely.  And as you can clearly see, they're just beginnings- I have yet to add any pattern, any background elements (although in keeping with the pages that I've already done, and my general stylistic vision- ho ho- background elements/details will likely be kept to a minimum).  

However, this bit-by-bit approach, although slow, seems to be the one that works best for me.  I have SEVERAL pieces at once on the go, so I can complete a little bit of one whilst thinking of the others.  I find this easier than working on one piece to completion, because when I don't know what to do/things don't seem to be working, I don't continue to fiddle and fuss (with possible disastrous results), I just move on to another aspect of another piece that I DO know what to do with (hopefully).  This project in particular lends itself to this approach...I'm still not really sure to what degree I should 'finish' the pencils. I have the impression that it isn't good to 'complete' too many pages for a publisher (it might give the idea that you would be unwilling to make changes)- so I'm not sure whether it might also be possible to make pencilled pages 'too good', too.... In any case, my current plan is to draw them up to the point at which I would begin to paint them (although I plan only to PARTIALLY complete the patterned areas- no point in killing myself- also, if anything would give the impression that I might not be willing to make changes...!)

And finally, for your amusement, something completely pointless:

Accusatory spoons!  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Behold! The amazing powers of procrastination, unleashed!

...well, what I have really discovered is that the very act of deciding that now is the time to do certain things that I am, for whatever reason, either putting off or hesitant to begin (i.e. dummy pencils) may actually result in my instead completing OTHER things that have long languished unfinished (i.e. yet ANOTHER  page of my picture book that has been awaiting completion for some time now):


 Hmm, the colours are a bit off...the table is actually a light turquoise colour...I'm going to have to fiddle around with the scanner's colour settings one of these days...(I'll probably do it when I'm avoiding some other task!)  Come to think of it, I had noticed some greens being a little 'off' a couple of times...this is probably related.  

...and I actually DID begin work on the dummy sketches after all... organizing previous notes and sketches,  followed by further thinking, image research,and yes, even some sketching has so far been begun!  It is actually turning out to be a fairly productive few days off.  More soon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another page (finally!) completed...

....not that it was completely executed in its entirety since the last post...I've been extremely busy with my job recently (which is, by the way, sadly, completely unrelated to art and/or illustration, but happily, related to another of my interests).  Although nearly completed months (?how many?) ago, I somehow managed to put off finishing it (partially due to a fear of ruining all of my so-far-satisfactory work with an unsatisfactory final touch?).  Enough was enough- in my zeal to update my site with newer work, I decided that it had to be finished.  You may remember having seen this at some point:

This is the first page of my book. The rungs of the crib are cut off by this scan, but I didn't feel like paying to have a scan done at the local copy place (until I need a high-res version to send out, that is).  I'll get back to working on the dummy drawings tomorrow.   I'm hoping to get at least a few good pencil drawings done for the dummy over the next week; maybe Illustration Friday if I have time (and find the theme inspiring).

I'm planning another postcard mailing- I've had quite a good response to the 'Spring' image; that may be the one to go with, although that won't be suitable for mailing to the children's market- I'll have to come up with something else for that (cue ongoing inner dialogue of doubt as to suitability of work for that market, etc.). 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Autumn & feather boas

Here it is, finally, for your viewing pleasure, the painted-in-colour sketch for 'Autumn'.  (So, in my mind, apparently, autumn is blood-red and wine coloured [and pomegranates look rather like beets], while summer is black and orange and spring is bright yellow and green.)  Still, on the whole I'm mostly pleased with these...I'll get to making 'good' drawings of summer at the very least (a bit of a mess) and perhaps others too (I used cheapo paper and it is quite buckled...not the best for a high-res scan even if I decide that the sketch IS acceptable- that's a big IF-) sometime soon.  'Winter' I might redo.  I quite like the pose but the pseudo-crystalline formation?  Ugh...not quite what I had in mind.  Surely something better can be done with the idea.  Well, in any case you'll see updates on this at some point in the near future.

What else?  Well, I went to another burlesque-themed drawing session yesterday; here are  a few sketches that are okay- no more, no less.  Not a spectacular session for me but fun nonetheless...:

No, she did not have (or wear) wings....this was for one of the contests, which involves adding something to the drawing, usually.  This one was- give her wings.  Hence the wings.

 Again, no...although props might not be out of the question, there was no giant bottle- it was another contest; this time the assignment was to give the drawing the appearance of a (presumably Art Nouveau!) poster or label.  I didn't really give it much thought until the last few minutes and gave up on the idea quickly...I decided that this was NOT on its way to looking Art Nouveau in the least...

Here, more use of the ubiquitous BOA.  Yes, I've officially had enough feather boa....I know, I know, I suppose that it's to be expected at these sessions, it's one of THE burlesque accoutrements, it's coy and flirty and sexy and all that....but I have found it very annoying the last couple of times I've encountered it.  Here, and in the previous sketch, it isn't bad...but there always seem to be a couple of poses in which there seems to be very little to draw BUT the boa- which I don't find to be either terribly amusing or otherwise helpful to me drawing-practice-wise  (I, for one, don't feel the urge to incorporate feather boas into my work very frequently).  Ok, ok, enough about that.  I'm sure that I'll see them again if I continue attending these drawing sessions, so I'll try to think positively about the whole thing.   Perhaps drawing feather boas will turn out to be a highly useful skill at some point, for some reason that I am now unable to foresee.

I'll be back with further news and remarks soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Autumn- sketch in black & white

This is just a quick update, a tiny little post before I go away for a couple of days.  Here is a sketch for 'autumn', the final season-  I'm not yet sure whether I'm satisfied with this idea.  Something about the woman's expression, combined with a certain other something about the way she's holding the glass reminds me of Aubrey Beardsley- this pleases and amuses me (although I hope that I'm not copying one of his drawings without realizing it!).  I'll finish painting it when I return; in the meantime some sketching may transpire, and I'll consider a colour scheme- but I'm not bringing my paints, not for three (likely very busy) days away.  I'll be back soon enough...!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IF: bottled

Here is my entry for IF this week; the theme was 'bottled'.  This is obviously just a quick sketch, nothing more than silliness and the first thing that came to my mind (they're not even in a BOTTLE, it's clearly more of a JAR).  This fast and associative idea-generation seems to be the best way for me to get something done for Illustration Friday these days instead of agonizing over it- I mean, it's really just for fun- if I do indeed come up with something that I like- e.g. 'cultivate' a couple of weeks ago (which prompted me to rename it 'summer' and do a 'seasons' series), all the better.  Back with more soon- the final season still to come.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Well, here I am, fully a week later, and yes, once more I have completed a rough drawing for another season and little else besides- general busy-ness being once again the excuse.  Ah well.  By this time next week I want to have finished not only the final season (several sketches/ideas for it, at least, if not a reasonably completed drawing-sketch) as well as an entry for this week's Illustration Friday. 

This week's season is Winter.  I'm reasonably pleased with it- particularly because the 'annoying' sketches that I mentioned last week were 'winter'.  (They are still too annoying to post- but I will mention that I was thinking more along the lines of a woman curled up, rather than stretched out.)  I'm still not sure about my attempts at a 'crystalline' formation around her- this could be better executed. 

Well, that leaves Autumn....I have some thoughts.