Friday, February 26, 2010

Strange things are happening.

These were never intended for posting, but as I have a little story for you and nothing else to post, I thought Why Not! These are more imaginary scenes for cloud practice. The smaller one is about 1"X3", the larger about 1.5" X 3". I've really enjoyed doing these.

Anyway, the real reason for the post is that something very strange happened to me the other night. I watched a video by Myrna Wacknov over at Creative Journey. She was using a coffee stir dipped in ink, standing back from her paper, arm extended, sketching from a photo. I loved the drawing, saw the value of the exercise, and decided to give it a try. Only I compromised and used pencil since it was late and I didn't feel like cleaning any messes. No problem. Arm extended, grasping the end of my pencil, I copied her sketch (which is why it isn't posted here). This isn't the weird part! The weird thing was when I went back to normal sketching and realized I had to change the pencil to my left (dom) hand. That's right, I unintentionally used my right hand to do the sketch. Have you ever accidentally used your non-dom hand? That is so weird!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Portraits, doodles in watercolor

Remember this ? I was afraid to paint it "at the moment", and though I said I would be getting to it right away, I lied. I only did this last night. The background was too intense so I did a glaze over it to tone it down. Let me just say, I find red hair extremely difficult to do. It was much darker than this in reality. And I'm still trying to figure out how to do shadows on people. Do you go with more saturated skin tone color, or do you add blue, or what? How do you create your shadows? Overall I like this. I just don't look at it too closely because my inner critic will begin picking it apart.

Okay, this, this is someone I love and miss very much. I wish she lived closer and that I could see her more often. It is done from a dark photo of her in a cave, where details are often hard to discern. Like the glasses on her head. They just looked like a continuation of her hair in the photo. I almost didn't even notice them, except she had weird-shaped hair which would never happen in reality because she's beautiful, always. I only see a resemblance here. She may not even think it looks like her at all. Especially the skin tones! I'm still having difficulty getting those down correctly, so her beautiful glowing tan looks more like a sunburn! So my message to this person is, don't be offended, I'm still learning here! Oh, and LOVE YOU!

I went back to this and toned down the background with a glaze. Thanks Dan for the suggestion! There is some improvement, though I think it may need another glazing. I'll probably just leave this one alone though. Never was too excited about it to start with!

This ocean scene is only about 1" X 3". I did it for study purposes only and from imagination. I wanted to get better at doing clouds and this is the one, out of about five, that I liked best. I got the idea for doing it from Barbara Weeks. She did some really great studies at the beach.

I've also recently been awarded the Over-the-Top award by Jennifer Edwards, and the Sunshine Award by Cathie Tonkins. I haven't forgot about these; I promise to get to them soon! Thank you both for thinking of me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Glorious, Sunshiny Day!!

The sun came out and I could think of no better way to celebrate the occasion than to lie down in the grass, smell the earth, and soak up some of that precious vitamin D I've been craving! (well, no better way that was practical at the time!) Of course, I had my sketchbook with me, much to the dismay of my fellow celebrator!

This began as a blob of paint that I used to test the paper of a new journal I got from Hobby Lobby-- a 7" X 10" spiral bound Canson Mixed Media journal. About a week later, I was wanting to doodle but felt stymied by the blank white page, so I flipped back through previous pages looking for a place to stick a doodle. That is what all the mini portraits were about...fear of facing a new white page, and instead of jumping in there, I found small places on previous pages to cram in some sketches. Well, at least I did draw! And the picture above is that fearsome blank white page.

This is another of those tiny portraits I did. An inchie. It is loosely based on Capt Elaine's profile photo. Really, I should say "influenced by" because I really, really felt like drawing and I saw her icon and in a couple of seconds had this down. I know Elaine has to be thinking, that doesn't look like me at all! And she would be right. I was basically jotting down the composition, maybe we could just call it taking visual notes. I loved the way the dog came out.

I caught this guy's profile for only a second. I was happy with how well I caught his likeness. Only, he was walking, and was wearing an orange jumper. I didn't get any of that down fast enough so I made up this little scene. The orange came out a little (lot) stronger than I like. I think I'll go back and change the color of the background. There's too much competition with his face.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mini Portraits

I profess no political ideologies with this sketch. President Obama's photo was there and I was looking for something to sketch. I didn't get a very good likeness. In fact, I was pretty careless about it. His eyeslant was actually the opposite of what I drew, but I couldn't change it since I sketched in ink first. The sketch is approx one inch by one inch.

This was sketched while I was watching Coraline. It is supposed to be her, though when I added the watercolor, the ink was not yet dry and it messed up her nose and her hair doesn't look as blue anymore. This is also quite small at about an inch high. Has anyone seen this movie? I was a bit shocked by the dancing ladies scene and had to go see the rating on it. It's PG-13, not G! The artwork was great, I just wasn't very keen on the story.

This guy, also only an inch in width, is from imagination and was sketched with my Pentel Pocket Brush. I cannot sketch from life with this pen! With all of the blind contours that I've done, I've trained myself to rarely look at the page. But, when using a brush it seems like you need to pay attention to how thin or how fat a line is; this isn't something that I have a "feel" for yet. Do any of you out there draw with your Pentel brush pen while not looking at the paper? Is this a skill you can develop with practice?

There is something about me that I'm just starting to recognize. It seems that if I say I'm going to focus on one thing, I end up doing the opposite! For instance, I said I would focus on tone with pencil for the year; but suddenly I hardly want to mess with sketching at all I'm in such a rush to get to the watercolors. If I say I'm going to focus on learning watercolors, suddenly all I can do is sketch! It makes me feel like I can't move forward. Is it fear or is it boredom, or is it that I like to do it all and need variety?

I've also noticed that I'm starting to doodle more in watercolor. This is new to me, since I normally doodle in ballpoint or pencil. I like that change. I also like these tiny little messy portraits.

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More imaginary people...

I remember the very first realistic face I ever drew. I was quite young and my peers were still drawing circles with smiley faces. I liked loved to draw and would spend hours lost in my own little creative world. But this first face was done quite by accident. My parents told me to clean my closet, and well, you remember the story about the parrot, right? My locker was bad, but my closet was a disaster! And though I always hated having to do it, I often found myself flung into this imaginary world as things forgotten suddenly were rediscovered. On this particular day I saw a piece of paper with a squiggly line on it, just a scribble really; it looked like a profile. So I added the mouth, eyes, ears, etc., and I ended up with a very realistic profile sketch. I worked on this for hours. Putting down some pencil marks, rubbing it to get shading. Looking in the mirror the best I could, to see how it looked from the side. It was a new discovery to me, and I remember that feeling of joy.

And so began my fascination with drawing people. When I doodle, it is almost always faces. All kinds of faces. I try doodling shapes and zentangles, try to be random, but always I see the slightest inkling of a face in there and unable to help myself, I push it to become a face. I once told a friend of mine that I could make a face out of any line. She challenged me and I did it. My proportions may not always be correct and sometimes they come out a bit bizarre (e.g. the lady with the tree arms), but they are always there, found scattered about my pages.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Feeling lazy...Need some sunshine!

I took this corner of a page I had doodled on with ballpoint, put it in corel painter to add the color and the type. I like the addition of the text. Before, the page looked empty and disconnected.

This is Oliver Wendall, our cat. This was sketched in the span of about five minutes, and I didn't even try to draw every pose he made! I thought cats were supposed to be lazy! Done in col-erase pencil with a little w/c added later.

Haha! This is what happens when I try too hard to be imaginative! This silly thing was sketched in black col-erase pencil, w/c added later, and with not much effort to be neat. I just felt messy that day!

A pig from morguefile. Sometimes I just don't feel like putting in the effort of a neater sketch or painting. This was an interesting photo; I may go back later and try this again. With more focus next time!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some Corel Painter Doodles

These are from imagination. No rhyme or reason. Not technically correct. They just became. I thought they looked kind of cool. Anyway, I wanted to get something up on the first. So Happy February everyone! Spring is right around the corner!

I think the guy sketch is begging for some color, and maybe a quote above his head. What do you think?