Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Project

During my last few entries, I've mentioned a project I've started to work on.  Several weeks ago I was approached by someone at my church who is a long time employee of the school for the deaf here in Columbus.  He was interested in doing iPad-based Bible stories for deaf children and asked me to illustrate for him.

Nifty, right?  I thought so.

Basically, there'd be a simple story on each "page" and key words that children could click on.  They would then be presented with a video that would show someone signing the ASL translation of the keyword.

He's started me out on the birth of Jesus and the first page is of the annunciation.  I once again tried to hammer down some ideas today and this angel sort of showed up.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Why Do Hummingbirds Hum?

According to my husband, a man in possession of an infinitely sophisticated sense of humor, it's because


"They don't know the words."

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'll show you my boring hummingbird sketches.


Why hummingbirds?  My mom enjoys them.  We were recently in a store that features local artists and she took a'likin' to a watercolor painting of a hummingbird.  I said "It's too bad you don't know anyone who could, you know, paint a hummingbird for you."

Long story short, I'm painting a hummingbird for my mom for Mother's Day.  I hope it turns out well, but I'm her only child so she's got nothing to compare it to...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Still Starting... Not Much Moving

If you'll check out my post from two days ago, you'll see an eensy weensy little single sketch that I explained was part of the trying-to-pretend-I-know-what-I'm-doing process in the beginning stages of a project I'm working on.

Well, today I'm still trying to maintain the illusion of competence and I'm still trying to nail down the "look."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Very Much Not Great

In what has seemingly become "a thing" with me lately, I've attempted to draw from a classical painting due to my lack of original ideas.  Today's victim is the Arnolfini Portrait by van Eyck.

I've always been strangely attracted to this painting.  It's part of the National Gallery's collection and I'm very much looking forward to geeking out in front of it during my trip to London in September. (Is that humble brag? Might be. Sorry.)

For today, though, I've attempted to draw just one of the figures.  Poorly.  Well... I didn't set a goal of poorly drawing her, only that's how it worked out.

As you can see by the ghosts of several attempts, her face didn't translate.  I intended to save it for last but become disillusioned with the thing as a whole so I just gave it up.

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's a Start

I've been asked to do some illustrations for an interesting project about which I won't get into detail just yet.  I don't yet have enough visuals to accompany an explanation.  So nod your head and pretend you're terribly interested.

What you DON'T get to see are the myriad of no-good, very bad sketches that I've done to try and pinpoint the look of the characters in this project.  I think today I might've finally landed on something promising.

I'll use this as a jumping off point for more development and THEN I'll tell you about the aforementioned terribly interesting project that I'm working on.

You can stop nodding now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ridiculously Cute Rabbit

For the uninitiated, I work full time at a continuing care community for seniors (meaning we have everything from independent living through full nursing).  I'm the front desk receptionist at said community.  It's an extremely gratifying job and I love the folks I work with and for.  Today, one of my residents asked me if I'd draw a bunny for an Easter card she was planning on sending to her grandkids.  It wasn't a busy day so I obliged.

I like what I did so much that I kinda, sorta didn't want to give it to her!  So I traced it off, redid it, and gave her the copy (which was just as good) and kept this one.

That doesn't make me a bad person, does it?  It just means I did extra work and showed initiative.  Yeah!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Raphael on Repeat

I very much enjoyed my time spent drawing from the Raphael painting the other day.  It was a much-needed departure from the norm... so much so that I decided to do it again today!

Today I chose his Madonna of the Goldfinch.  I've always enjoyed the style of facial features that are typical of Renaissance art:  heavy lidded, cherubic mouth, sort of somber looking. I had intended to draw the entire head of this particular subject but tossed it early on in exchange for just a partial sketch.

Oh... a fun side note:  See that black dot right on the line of the lower eyelid?  I dropped a pen, tip down, RIGHT THERE.  Now, my high school art teacher would've tried to build up my character by telling me to "make something out of it" but I'm thirty-two years old and I'd rather just whine about it and move on.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Let's Get Funky

Are you ready, reader, to hear about another one of my funks?  No?  Too bad.  You clicked on this blog, so you can click off.  (I'm not suggesting you euphemistically "click off" only that... you know... you just close your browser window.)

So. My funkiness.  I started this blog as a means to... let's see how I worded it: "keep myself publicly accountable to draw something every. single. day.  It served that purpose quite well in that it bolstered my self-confidence and it got me drawing again.

Great.  So what am I whining about?

Well, now that I'm all warmed up again I find myself aimless.  It's fun to draw silly doodles every day but I find myself craving something more artistically nutritious. What do I do? Trying to answer this question has made me realize that I haven't shaken off as many of my own personal neuroses as I'd thought.  I get really excited about an idea but the second I run into any difficultly I wilt and convince myself that whatever problem du jour it is that I'm facing, wouldn't be a problem if I was more skilled.  The natural progression seems to be that, followed by a period where I draw nothing or nothing good for several days. I'll then produce something I like... get excited again... reject myself again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  In the end, I just wind up angry.

If there is any wisdom at all to be gleaned from motivational posters everywhere is that's I should use that anger to fuel my forward progress! Yeah!  Except my natural tendency is to retreat to the bathtub with a book and forget about the whole thing.

Tonight I decided to do something different.  I'm an art history nerd; it was my minor in college.  I have all manner of gorgeous art history books collecting dust in my office so I broke one out, flipped around a bit and decided to sketch Raphael's Alba Madonna.  

I obviously didn't get into great detail.  It was just an exercise to use a different part of my brain than the usual doofus, cartoony, gee-whiz section I usually tap into.  I drew long enough to get through most of Elbow's new album (with which I'm currently enamored) and then called it a night.

I feel a little better now.  Thanks for reading.  Oh, and don't go and Google this painting because it's better you just pretend I did a really great job copying it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

He's Actually Much Taller

I drew this yesterday and forgot to post it!

Yesterday, I asked Josh what he thought I should draw and, after a thoughtful pause, he answered "You and I as Mario and Princess Peach."  I asked "Which one of us is which?" He assured me that I could decide, thereby taking all of the fun out of what would've been an amusing drawing of Josh in a pink dress.

Josh was difficult because he doesn't have as many defining features that could be adapted into Mario form.  This isn't an insult to Josh... goodness knows he's the cutest man I know... it just is what it is.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Last One, I Promise...

See the last two posts regarding my ridiculous drawings that pull from "We Didn't Start the Fire" lyrics.

Today: "Chubby Checker Psycho"

I think all the silly done been wrung out of this concept now... time to move on.