Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 317 - Seriously...

Being too serious is not something I've ever been accused of.  My day-to-day goal is more or less to make myself laugh (which I do... often) and if others feel compelled to join me they are very much welcome to (which they do... often).  If you've seen even just a fraction of my blog entries you'll realize that this translates to my drawing subjects as well.  My interest in a subject wanes when I can't inject humor into it somehow.

That being said, the list of things that I'm not good at drawing could fill vast libraries.  Today's drawing encompasses several of those things: foliage, landscapes/scenery, and potential "backgrounds" for illustrations.  They bore me.  Today, though, I decided to come up with something that was out of my comfort zone. 

Also known as "What I wish my back yard looked like."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 316 - On Second Thought...

Today two co-workers were making a huge fuss over the discovery of some ants in the office of someone who is on vacation.  I told them that the way they were acting made me think that a giant ant had just installed itself at the desk and set up shop.  I decided to draw that:

It was funny to me at the time but once I got it home I decided I didn't care for it as much anymore.  I planned to draw a replacement drawing as soon as I finished eating dinner.  Well... I got busy doing other things and ran out of time and energy so you're stuck with this ant at a desk.  You deserve better than this ant at a desk but this ant at a desk is all I can muster today.

Incidentally, ants don't bother me... most bugs don't, actually.  There is one thing that I can't stand, though, and that's a centipede.  God help any centipede (or "thousand-leggers" in my childhood vernacular) that finds itself within the boundaries of my personal space because I will screech like a little girl until my husband comes to my rescue.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 315 - Field Trip!

I haven't had a week-long vacation since April 2012 and since I'm a little over a month out from my next one I decided I needed a mental health day away from work today.

It 75 degrees, sunny with low humidity - extremely rare for Ohio's usually 90+ degree, sticky late July.  I took full advantage of the weather and went to my favorite of Columbus's parks, Inniswood Metro Gardens.

Nature drawing isn't necessarily my thing.  I've tried to figure out why that is and I think it boils down to impatience on my part.  I start drawing leaves/stems/branches/whatever and I get bored. I tried to stick with it today, anyway.  I spent more time than I normally would at my first stop mostly because there was basil growing somewhere nearby and I do so love the smell of basil.  Reminds me of my childhood and my grandmother.

Eventually, I settled in front of a little pond at the bottom of a downhill stream.  It was a lovely, quiet spot until a group of three kids and their parents showed up and the gentle babbling of water over rocks was then accompanied by the screeching of kids burning off some mid-summer steam.  I spent the majority of my time in the park today at this spot despite the noise.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 314 - Floundering Phalanges

Hands are hard to draw.  You'd be hard pressed to find anyone (artistically inclined or not) who would disagree with that. Walking into a college-level drawing class and shouting "Hands are SO easy to draw. What's the problem?!" would be a terrific way to find yourself faced with forcefully thrown pencils to the skull.

I try to get serious about drawing hands, mainly by just looking at my own.  When you're faced with something that consists of so many moving parts, angles, creases, etc, it's difficult not to get overwhelmed so today I turned to another source.  Who does beautifully, expertly drawn, yet simple hands better than Disney animators?

If you'd like to play along at home and own The Art of Pocahontas you'll find my references for all of these hands.  They're not all great but, as one of my college professors used to say, "We all have a million bad drawings in us - better start getting them out."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 313 - Some Rants and a Mural Sketch

Sometimes, reader, sometimes I'll be a-truckin' along, doin' fine, bein' all proud o' myself for drawing 313 days in a row.  I'll feel good about how much better I've become and how I'm only continuing to improve.  Sometimes, that's what happens...

...cue the violently screeching brakes sound effects...

Suddenly, the storm cloud of doubt enters brought on by seeing other peoples' work.  I'm drenched in raindrops entitled "He draws feet a million times better than I do." "I wish my faces were that good." "I really need to loosen up my postures." Etc... you see where I'm going here.  Long story short:  EVERYONE is better than I am at EVERYTHING.  I drown in the thought that I've lost so much time over the years NOT drawing that I'll never be able to catch up to where I "should be."

Fortunately for me, I'm not one to let things paralyze me (anymore).  Oh, I keep going and I'll keep drawing but everyday I'll be haunted by those thoughts to some extent.  I guess everyone is like that in some regard.  I just have to keep a-truckin' along and see what happens.

ANYWAY... here's a revised sketch based on the requests made for the mural I'll be doing.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 312 - He's A Super Man

It seems as though every day of the year we have some sort of National Something Day.  For example, National Mousse Day happens to be on my birthday and one of Josh's favorite days of the year is September 19, otherwise known as National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Today is National System Administrator Day.  My dear husband (and fan of pirates) happens to be a system admin of the most excellent variety.  He also did a phenomenal job remodeling our kitchen, does more-than-just-basic work on both of our cars and manages to remain married to me for nine years and counting all while still maintaining his usual, good natured countenance. 

So here's to you, Josh, for keeping our computers at home and those at work beautifully maintained; for always, inexplicably putting my needs before your own; for making my coffee and my lunch every morning; and managing to remain polite while wondering why "everything always comes back to Sherlock" with me.*

* It doesn't always.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 311 - Me, But With Better Hair

Ok, long story short: Crazy day at work + Busy at home until 9:00PM = I can't muster the energy to draw but I've still gotta.

I fussed and fought with five or six different sketches before I spit this out on a piece of paper and called it a night.

My hair isn't that full and never, ever looks that nice.  I'm tired, at least give me my pretend, well-behaved hair.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 310 - When It Rains...

Suddenly, I find myself up to my elbow hair with projects.  This is a good thing, sure... but they all showed up at roughly the same time.  Things I'm currently bouncing back and forth between:

1. A logo design for a friend.
2. A potential mural client (see yesterday's blog post)
3. A very large-scale painting for my aunt.
4. The matching back for the book cover I designed a while back.
5. Prep work for an eight week art class I've been asked to teach at work.

Plus just today someone else hinted at their interest at hiring me to do a small sketch for their son.


I'm grateful for all of this work but when I get exceedingly busy I tend to go into shutdown mode.  Shutdown Mode more or less consists of me NOT working on what I should be working on and instead looking at chicken recipes on Pinterest and periodically rubbing my eyes and saying "Ugh, I should work."  Tonight, though, I ignored the siren song of poultry preparation and made myself work.

 So HERE is a color mock up of the logo for my friend...
...and some sketches for my aunt's painting.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 309 - Mural Prep

I've been commissioned to do a mural for the bedroom of the daughter of some friends.  They had some specific requests for me to work with and I had to do a little research into "The Gruffalo" since I'm woefully ignorant of most things that kids are into.  Today's sketches are copies of the characters from the book, which are very fun to draw in addition to being adorable.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 308 - Somethin' For Everyone!

Today is a veritable cornucopia of drawings!

First up, some potential designs for a logo I've been asked to construct:

Second, it's my friend (and fellow Doctor Who fan) Rob's birthday so I drew him a majorly quick and unimpressive Birthday TARDIS:

Last, but not least, is my colored version of my father Kevin, King of Ketchup:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 307 - Tornado Boy

Yesterday was happily spent with lots of good friends and lots of good food and a Fla-Vor-Ice induced fit of giggles among all adults present.

When I'm with so many silly people (and their equally silly kids) I usually come away with several great drawing ideas.  One of the kids, a four year old with a phenomenal range of facial expressions, ran up to his mother and said "I drink tornadoes!" and then zoomed off into the distance.  When I stopped laughing long enough for an explanation I found out that he was, in fact, Tornado Boy and that he helps people by drinking tornadoes.  I loved that statement all on its own, though.  I drink tornadoes.  I thought it was a great demonstration of four-year-old confidence.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 306 - Saturday Status Quo

If I wasn't (a) tremendously terrible with numbers and (b) not lazy I'd go back and figure out what percentage of weekend posts I've done that actually contain actual work that I actually sat down and put effort into.  I betcha that it'd be a pretty low number.

Well, since I'm not one to break with tradition here's today's offering: the basic, base color start of my dad's colored "King of Ketchup" drawing.

On a somewhat unrelated note I did make a lovely lemon tart with a rosemary crust for a party that I went to today.  My limited weekend energy was spend on that bit of deliciousness instead of on drawing.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 305 - Nothin' To See Here, Folks...

Friday night at the Wells house is the one night a week where no freelance work is allowed for either party and dinner and a movie are the order of the evening.  This evening's activities are brought to you by one of Josh's clients who gave us a Cheesecake Factory gift card, followed by a viewing of Shaun of the Dead while consuming the take-home namesake of our chosen restaurant.

Today's drawings are nothing special.  They're very preliminary sketches for a logo I've been asked to design for a farmer/chef friend of mine.  You don't even have to look at 'em if you don't want to... I've just scanned them as proof that I've drawn something today.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 304 - Some Pig

A pig fixed my week.

Several factors have contributed to me having an increasingly crummy week.  The majority's share of the blame belongs to the heat and humidity that we've dealt with here in Ohio for the last several days.  It's making people crazy and in turn people are making me crazy. It's worn me down and I've not been my usual jovial self.

Enter the pig.

I work at a continuing care senior community and our nursing home floor had a program today featuring visiting animals. One of those animals was a potbellied pig.  I'm not sure if the pig had an adverse reaction to riding in an elevator or it just decided that it was done being paraded about on a leash but its poor handlers had a terrible time getting it out of the lobby.  One of the handlers came up to the front desk to ask me for a handful of tissues which she then proceeded to hold up to the pig's posterior while the other handler trying desperately to guide the pig to the front door before it could express its appreciation for our carpeting.  The pig decided it was having none of this and walked around in circles, snorting and oinking up a storm.  A co-worker (who was at my desk at the time) and I were laughing so hard that we had tears running down our faces.  The pig was eventually removed from the building, albeit at a glacial pace, and balance was again restored to the universe.

Have you ever met one of those people that just never laughs?  I am NOT one of those people. I laugh at the drop of a hat, but apparently I required an above-average kind of laugh to shake me out of my funk.  I've been in a much better mood ever since.

So here's to you, pig.  You saved my week.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 303 - Return of the King

The picture that I drew this past Sunday portraying my dad as "Kevin the Ketchup King" was very well received. So well received, in fact, that His Majesty requested a print of his visage.  I told him I'd do him one better and throw it into Painter to spiff it up a bit.  That's what I've done tonight (minus the still-to-come color, of course).

Understandably, my family (and anyone who knows my dad) has loved this picture.  You, however, out there in Internet Land as you are, need a point of reference.  Here's a picture of my dad and I from a few years ago.  In my Facebook trolling this is the only picture I could find of him that comes close to the expression I've drawn.

Pretty good, right?  I'd like to take this moment to again remind my benevolent father that I am, in fact, his only child and would like to remain in His Grace's good graces.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 302 - The B-Team

Have you ever had one of those days where everything you touch turns into a steaming pile of you-know-what?  I'm more than just sort of having one of those days today. I wasn't even going to attempt to draw at work but I thought it might prevent me from putting a Sarah-shaped hole in the wall reminiscent of Wile E. Coyote.

It was Josh to the rescue once again.  He came up with "The B-Team" which is like The A-Team but less competent.  I loved it.  I used to watch The A-Team with my dad all the time.  Being that this involves multiple characters (and a black vehicle with a red stripe, of course!) and I'm having the aforementioned terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day I'm going to spread it out over several days.

So today I've done The B-Team's version of everyone's favorite gold chain festooned gentleman... except mine is incredibly scrawny, nerdy and has a paper clip necklace.  I love him.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 301 - Rough Ideas

I was still half asleep this morning when the idea for this drawing popped into my head.  It's astounding that I was able to retain that information long enough to say it out loud to Josh later over breakfast, thereby sort of assuring that I'd maybe kind of remember it.  I don't do well in the morning.

I suppose the inspiration was based on this earlier drawing that I did combined with the recent conversation I had with someone about my childhood night owl habits.  In the summer when I could sleep in, I used to stay up all night and finish one book cover to cover.  I had a group of several books that I would always reread like The Secret Garden, Little Women and A Wrinkle in Time (my favorite book, second only to Jane Eyre).  I'm a fast reader but I'd still be awake until 2:00 or 3:00 AM. 

I found this to be an amusing take-off on the whole monster-under-the-bed theme.  There's a lot wrong with this drawing that I need to correct but it's a good start, I think.  I wanted to get something down on paper before it was replaced in my head by some other form of silliness.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 300 - Sorry, Dad

Today is Day three-flippin'-hundred, folks.  I can't believe it.

Every Sunday evening Josh and I get together for dinner with my parents and my aunt.  My parents and I were all born and raised in southwestern Pennsylvania and as a result are brand loyal to Heinz when it comes to ketchup.  

Like any good southwestern Pennsylvanian, my dad puts ketchup on everything.  This evening that fact prompted my mom to refer to my dad as The Ketchup King.  I immediately interjected with "I haven't drawn anything yet today... there it is!  Kevin the Ketchup King."  For obvious reasons I'm not going to abbreviate that title because I'd hate to give the false impression of my family having anything to do with horrible, racist organizations.

I'm interested to find out what my dad will think of this.  I betcha any money he'll make the exact face I've depicted him with.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 299 - Some Saturday Silliness

We had a yard sale today.  More accurately, we sat in our driveway with our junk on a beautiful Saturday morning while commenting on the lack of people at our yard sale.  That's what happens when you live on the very end of a cul-du-sac, I guess.  No through traffic.

Friends of ours contributed their junk to our sale as well.  Among their offerings was an old gas dryer and one of those awful fake ficus trees every apartment dweller seems to have owned at some point in time.  The ficus showed its displeasure at being discarded by continually falling over.  The dryer remained passive.  We sold almost nothing, certainly not enough to justify the effort, but thanks to a Craigslist curb alert, we got rid of most things...

..most things, that is, except the Dryer and the Ficus.  Stalwart to the end, they were.  So much so that they got their own tribute painting in honor of their bravery in the face of the vicious bargain hunters of north Columbus.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 298 - Now See Here...

This post was supposed to feature an entirely different drawing than the shockingly mediocre, stunningly average eye that instead occupies this space.  I drew something that, at the time, I thought was good but coming back to it after several hours and looking at it with fresh eyes I discovered that nope... not so much. So rather than just post that original drawing and cringe every time I thought about it being available for public consumption, I flumped myself down at my desk and doodled.  This is the only thing decent that came out of that post-flump activity.

So please keep it mind that it may appear as though I've only drawn one, incredibly boring eye today, in reality, I've drawn one incredibly boring eye and an entirely separate, truly awful drawing that I just didn't feel you needed to be subjected to.  You're welcome.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day 297 - Wherein I Try to Draw Interesting Fish

Fish. I love fish but I never can seem to draw fish with personality. Their shape leaves a lot to be desired as far as being able to coax something expressive from them.  Whenever I've tried to draw them in the past it always falls flat.  Drawing things that are devoid of personality is not fun for me and I always do better when I can inject some life into something.

So I tried more fish today... They range from "Eh" to "Eh, ok, I guess." on my scale of success.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 296 - Something or Other

I'm not sure what this is.

I started out drawing one thing that turned into something else that I changed to another thing that eventually became... this.  I decided I just wanted to leave it unfinished instead of tacking on more. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 295 - The Usual Back Up Plan

Ok, you've heard it before... Animation student in college... blah, blah... draw Disney characters when I don't know what else to draw... blah, blah... Boring.

I love drawing Meg from Hercules.  Not only does she have rockin' hair but she's a great character. She's got a brain and an attitude and a good vocabulary which is not something you can say about most Disney heroines.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 294 - Comma Chameleon

Hi. My name is Sarah and I overuse commas.

I do. I never know where, o,r, whe,n, to proper,ly insert, them.  I could brush up on punctuation rules that I no doubt learned in school but... well, I just don't care THAT much, I guess.

So here's me... wheelin' around my load of commas that I freely and liberally disburse when and where I please.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 293 - Arm Anatomy

Even though I stated yesterday that I hated doing anatomical drawing in college I went ahead and did some more again today.  Boring or not, it is a good way to learn to more accurately portray the human body.  You can tell I lost interest during the muscle side of this drawing... my patience, much like my ability to properly scale the sizes of bones in the arm, is severely lacking.

This was too good to go without sharing... Josh came into my office earlier and censored the cover of my anatomy book using one of my kneaded erasers.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 292 - Miscellany

Since this is my blog and I'm allowed, I want to take a second to shamelessly plug another blog that happens to have been written by my most excellent husband, Josh.  Last summer Josh and I spent four arduous months remodeling our kitchen... more accurately, Josh remodeled our kitchen and I helped when needed but otherwise stayed out of the way. I was responsible for picking out all the colors/finishes/pretty stuff so that was sort of a big deal. Josh kept a blog during this time and finally got the "holy crap, we're done" post up.  Go check it out and bask in the awesomeness that is Josh Wells:

Enough about him! Back to me!  I drew more feet today because, as you are probably aware, I'm terrible at them.  I resorted to the inside-out method forced upon me during my freshman year of college - anatomical drawing.  I hated doing labeled anatomy drawing but it really is a great way to learn what's going on under all that skin and meat (great band name: Skin & Meat).

So here's some feet...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 291 - Podiatric Post

Shoes and feet are fairly high up on the seemingly infinite list of Things Sarah Isn't Good At Drawing. This one has been plaguing me lately so I thought I'd try and get a little more competent.

You would think that searching for images of feet on Google image search would provide mostly benign results and not horrifying pictures of all manner of diseases and injuries.  You would think that and you would be wrong.

Please note that I am fully aware of how non-committal and timid my lines are on the foot drawings. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 290 - Red, White & Lazy

Today on the 237th anniversary of my country's independence, I exercised my God given right as an American to be as lazy as all get out.  Since I have to work tomorrow I had to make sure to cram as much slothful activity into one day as was humanly possible. America!

So what did I work on today? I put about an hour in on my friend Leslie's drawing... if you compare this to the last time I posted my progress you probably won't notice a massive difference but rest assured darks are darker and highlights have been added.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 289 - Wistful Wednesday

It never fails... at this time of year, every year, I get overly nostalgic.

Back when my mom was just a kid, my grandmother and her friend Helen started the Merrittstown Villagers 4th of July parade.  It started small with just a few kids carrying homemade signs and flags, but this year is their 47th year and people come from all around my tiny hometown to see vintage cars, fire trucks, local marching bands, etc.  The day's festivities are capped off with fireworks that are set off on the hill that overlooks the town.

The best part about all of this was that the parade route went directly past my house and the hill where the fireworks were set off from was directly behind my house.  As far as my kid brain was concerned July 4th was only second to Christmas when it came to best days of the year.  All of my cousins, family and friends would come to our house and spend all day there. My dad (a volunteer fire fighter) often drove a fire truck in the parade (I sometimes got to ride on it) and he helped set off the fireworks at night. It was fantastic.

I moved to Columbus, Ohio almost thirteen years ago when I started college and my parents and grandmother followed suit.  I haven't been back to a Merrittstown, Pennsylvania 4th of July since my parents sold the house I grew up in, although I've considered it more than a few times. My grandmother was always the one cheering the loudest along the parade route.  She passed away almost nine years ago now... somehow it wouldn't the same without her and having to actually stake out a spot for the parade and fireworks? Unthinkable.

I got off on a tangent there.  What did I tell you? Nostalgic.

I threw this together fairly quickly today.  A rough representation of me as a kid. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 288 - Husband Transmogrifier.

Today's drawing is yet another request from my husband.  He asked that I draw him and our cat Charlie as Calvin an Hobbes.  I love Josh, I love Charlie and I love Calvin and Hobbes so sure, why not?!

First, I did a regular, black and white version that I outlined with a lovely fine point marker that I dug up.

I thought I'd try and throw some color on it but since Charlie is in reality eighty-seven different colors it was a little more complicated than I anticipated.  I like Josh in color but not so much Charlie.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 287 - The Party Llama

It would seem as though Josh has a monopoly on the ideas that I use for my drawings. In all fairness I do get a lot of good drawings out of his suggestions because he knows how my brain works and usually suggests something with an amplified silliness factor.  I reject a relatively large volume of his drawing ideas though because they almost always involve something opprobrious featuring certain English actors with whom I am smitten.  Punishment for my perceived wrongs, you know.

Moving on...

Several days ago Josh looked at me and matter-of-factly said "The Party Llama".  "Mmmmmkay," was my response.  Apparently, he was inspired by an alpaca finger puppet that I have in my office (currently on the head of a wind up Statue of Liberty toy, in case you're keeping score). I understand that alpacas and llamas are two different things but "The Party Alpaca" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Since everything I know about llama anatomy I learned from "The Emperor's New Groove" I referenced some Kuzco as a llama drawings.  It sort of took on a Joe Camel vibe that I didn't intend to convey.