Illustrating a Memory

In updating my website, I’m trying to make sure all posts (or at least most of them) have images attached to them. That’s because Google likes to find images with posts.

So today, I created a piece of digital artwork for an old blog post. Because it involved converting a drawing done in saturated colors into a pastel version (on a larger scale), I needed to do a piece of saturated colors first, and then add a layer that would take the saturation tone down. 

I admit, I was not focusing on making a dazzling piece of art, just something to suit the post. But when I got done with the saturated version, I rather liked it. So I decided both versions were worth noting here on the graphics blog. 

The first version (saturated) I call “Spectrum Pinwheel”.

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I then had to add a transparent layer to illustrate the experience described in the blog post. That version is called “Pastel Blasphemy #2”.

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It’s interesting how things turn out. I didn’t expect to like the saturated version as much as I do.

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Live Sketching at CAPS – April 2017

CAPS (the Comic Art Professional Society) had its April meeting yesterday, and we had a live model sketch night. I should have taken a photo of our model, just for comparison. For me, such evenings are great, because I don’t often get the opportunity for drawing, especially not from life. It always makes me feel a bit insecure, because I don’t spend as much time practicing with artwork.

First we did a series of one minute sketches.

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It was good to be stretched doing sketches.

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This one above, I wanted to get a better rendition of her eyes. Not sure I got what I wanted.

We had more time with the remaining sketches.

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The lower right corner on this sketch was me trying to work out the way her curls worked. She had rolled her hair in a unique fashion, so they were a little challenging to capture just right.

The last sketch of the evening was a five minute sketch. Below is the result. I didn’t want to fuss with it more because it felt right just as it was.

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Christmas Past Remembered

With Christmas coming in a few days, I recalled this cartoon I had done while I was in graduate school. I did it on a whim, hence the very rough nature of it.

When we were little, back in Michigan, our house was a two story building where our parents’ bedroom stood at the top of the stairs, while the other bedrooms were down the hall. Our family tradition was that early on Christmas morning, my sister Joan and myself were allowed to go downstairs and get our Christmas stockings and one present to bring back upstairs. Thus, we could entertain ourselves until the rest of the family were actually ready to get up.

Yet, like the eager children that we were, we wanted to go down as soon as we could. However, our parents, by that parental magic the elders possess, would catch us trying to sneak down the stairs. “It’s not Christmas yet!”

So, Joan and I would sit at the top of the stairs, waiting. And every so often I would ask “Is it Christmas yet?”

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The details are clear from memory. Our father was our hairdresser at this point, giving us a very standard page-boy cut. Our pajamas were very comfortable fleece ones, mine having a floral pattern all over them like popcorn, while Joan’s were striped.  One Christmas at least, she fell asleep against me as we waited for the word that it was finally Christmas. Even the bit about curling my big toe over the edge of the step is something I remember from sitting there.

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Black With a Dash of Color

Once again I’m falling behind on getting the Inktober pieces posted. I’m just posting Number 20 today, but this is more due to technical matters, not artwork stuff.

Today, I got my flatbed scanner out of storage (with the assistance of a friend). So I’ve been refamiliarizing myself with the beastie, and then getting the current art cards all scanned in. I’m pleased with that.

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This piece is another mountain reflection on water. This one is based on a photo of Mount Hood. I wanted it to be mostly black & white with touches of color to it. Some of it is in stippling – I do tend to fall back to that often.

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Black & White Inktober

scribblerworks-2016-inktober-18I opted to go to black and white ink again with Number 18. I wanted to try a bit of working from negative space. I had a photo of a fashionable model. Again, working freehand with no preliminary penciling involved.

Unfortunately, I’m not happy with some of the details. The mouth is too large, the nose too high on the face, and the eyes too small. But then, it is freehand — and I am very nit-picky.

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scribblerworks-2016-inktober-19For Number 19, I wanted to try drawing a panther. A friend had posted the photo on his Facebook page and I liked it. Since I was on the black and white kick, the panther had an appeal. The challenge was doing it totally in black and white, because I didn’t have any greys to use. I opted for cross-hatch for the parts I wanted to be that slight grey. He’s a very slinky creature, this panther.

 

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Further With Inktober

scribblerworks-2016-inktober-13So, yet again I’m posting multiple days’ worth of work.

With Number 13, I wanted to see what I could do with straight lines and color. Of course, the limited number of colors I have to work with affects the result. I might have liked a darker background. And I think I made the wrong decision on how to handle the lower part of it, with the swirl of color around the arm.

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scribblerworks-2016-inktober-14For Number 14, I opted for a monochrome approach, using solid blocks of space. I’m trying to look for different ways of looking at things. This is something bolder than I often use.

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scribblerworks-2016-inktober-15I decided to go more abstract with Number 15. I’m back to my stippling. Here I decided to play with the spectrum sequence. The basic background thought was of flame. So the yellow bands went down first. Then, still thinking “flame,” I added orange and then red. However at that point, before I moved from red into the pink to purple range, I decided to work the other edge of the yellow: green. I didn’t want to go over-board with that, since the aim was to have most of the remaining space (negative space) be the blue-purple background. So a little bit of green, then the lighter blue, and then the blue-purple filler.

I ended up pretty happy with the results.

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scribblerworks-2016-inktober-16When it came time to do Number 16, I decided to do some practice in contour drawing. I haven’t done such in ages. Technically speaking, I fudged it a little, since the point is to do the whole thing without lifting the pen from the paper or crossing lines. I did restart lines in this, but for being out of practice with it, it turned out okay.

I was working from a photo of dancer Ruth St. Denis in the garb of a Siamese folk dancer.

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The last of this particular set, Number 17, I went for black and white and an angular rendering of a tree with bare branches. Adding the slender branches and twigs is always an ify thing in my mind, though I’m not sure why. Perhaps because they can’t quite “go anywhere”, but instead have to make some sort of sense in their placement.

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Playing in Ink

Another two days of Inktober pieces.

scribblerworks-2016-inktober-11In Inktober #11, I want for black and white and drama. I wanted to create a sense of a hand breaking through a wall. It doesn’t quite feel like that in the end. But I like it anyway. I certainly got the drama.

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scribblerworks-2016-inktober-12For Inktober #12 I went back to the Op Art inspired styles. This time a sunburst over water. At least, that’s what I was aiming for.

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Catching Up on Inktober Images

Even though I have been doing the daily drawings, I haven’t gotten everything posted. So today, I’m posting several drawings at once – and they are all sorts of styles.

First up is Inktober #5 — a stylized running horse. I’m not really practiced enough drawing animals of any sort. I need to do more animal studies, and doing this drawing just reminded me of that.

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scribblerworks 2016 inktober 6Inktober #6 is another crosshatching portrait. It’s another character from my fantasy world, Arveniem. This is a preliminary sketch for the character of Gwyric, which may change in the future. I’m not sure if he’ll stay looking like this.

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scribblerworks 2016 inktober 7With Inktober #7, I decided to try a very blunt inking style with the marker, also sticking to a flat black. If I were using color, this type of boat-on-reflecting-water thing would be a breeze for me. I like doing those. But when I only have black to work with and a broad, blunt style, it really is a challenge. But I’m pretty well satisfied with these results.

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scribblerworks 2016 inktober 8With Inktober #8, we get a dragon. How can I not have a dragon in this collection of drawings? Would it be me without a dragon?

Of course, as I worked on it, I once again felt my lack of practice in drawing animals, as I’m not at all satisfied by my structuring of the dragon wing. If nothing else, this Inktober exercise is showing me where I really need to focus on practicing, and doing basic structural studies. And that’s a good thing.

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scribblerworks-2016-inktober-9With Inktober #9, I turned to my enjoyment of sequencing of the spectrum. I decided to be stylized about it here with autumn leaves. Experimenting again. I’m not so sure about the results here. The color limitations of the set of markers I’ve been using were a little frustrating. But I sort of decided at the start of the month that I would stay with the set of 12 markers, even though I have other markers with greater variation in colors.

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With Inktober #10, I opted for an entirely abstract piece in red. I’d always been interested in things that came out of Op Art, and these kinds of swirling are one of those. But this time, instead of filling the whole space with the lines, I just went for a more suggestive approach. I may pursue more of this sort of thing down the road, as I liked this result.

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Designing a Fantasy Character

scribblerworks-2016-inktober-4The Inktober project continues.

Offering Number 4 is actually an exercise at drawing a character from my fantasy novel, The Ring of Adonel. His name is FiƔd, and he is a member of a secondary rank of angelic beings in the world of Arveniem. He is a woodland spirit, and a master of the hunt. He usually takes on a humanoid form, but with the antlers and ears of a stag.

I think I need to do more research on antlers, and practice in drawing them from different angles.

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Shading By Crosshatch

scribblerworks-2016-inktober-3-copyWhen it comes to pen-and-ink work, I often call myself the “Queen of Stippling.” All those little dots! But I find that I can often get a great deal of subtlety in shading with stippling. So yesterday for the Inktober project, I thought I would give crosshatching a try.

Day 3 of Inktober I decided to try crosshatch on a portrait, and chose Robert Taylor, the star of Longmire as my model. He has an interesting face.

This was done freehand from a picture online – no tracing, no lightbox.

Going for the rustic feel, I chose brown ink rather than black.

It’s not perfect, but considering I’m a bit out of practice on portraits, I’m content with it.

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