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Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Day at the Hospital

Last spring my mom had some out patient surgery, and I went along to take her to the hospital, bring her home, and stay with her for a day afterward.  Everything went very smoothly.

It was up early, then hours of waiting.  So, of course, I brought along my sketching stuff.

I was working in a Midori Traveler's notebook (thus the unusual paper size), in an insert book I had made out of Strathmore mixed media 500 paper.

I had fun doing a variety of subjects, though you'll see I dropped the color as the day wore on.  I think I was just too darned tired!











Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thinking About Colored Backgrounds

Last spring I took a course in colored backgrounds and textures from the amazing Roz Stendahl.  If you don't already follow her blog, Roz Wound Up, I recommend it.  You can learn more about her classes there.

Anyhow, BEFORE I took her class, I thought a bit about colored backgrounds, which I almost never use, and what a difference it might make to sketching.  I mean, what do I know?  Nothing.  That's why I was taking the course.

So for fun, I just painted a few pages (with FW Acrylic Inks) and sketched on them.  Nik was a willing subject.






I can see how color and stroke can add all kinds of energy to my sketches.

Remember, I did these just as a baseline for myself before I took Roz's class!!    I'll post some of the work I did after her class soon!  It's a lot better.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

People and Angles

Still working on finishing up my china marker sketches in my Strathmore toned tan sketchbook...

at my weekly Open Studio group, I worked specifically on capturing some distinct angles.  I need to add more flexibility to my people when I draw them.  Getting some of the subtle angles of real people into my drawings will help a lot, I think.

In this one, I aimed to capture the slightly downward tilt of my friend as she drew.



In this next one, I wanted to depict my friend reaching over a counter to grab a clementine fruit.  He bent sideways, from a bit of a distance, his hand coming much closer to me than his body.  He moved fast, and I did ask him to do it again, twice, but not to post, while I tried to capture it.



In this one, my friend was reading something intently.  I loved how he listed slightly to the side--I certainly do that!  It's amazing to me how I tend to draw my characters sitting and standing and walking straight, which really, most of us never do!



There is always so much more to see and to draw.  The world is an amazing place.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hattie the Cat Enjoys "Close Time"

I am working on finishing up my Strathmore tan toned sketchbook, which I started last fall.  My goal was to fill the book using only a china marker--and I am within pages of finishing!

Most of the work in this book has been gestural, but here I did a few more detailed sketches of my cat, Hattie, who will deign to let me draw her if someone else is also present appropriately adoring her.





Both of these were done very quickly, under five minutes each.

One think I love about the china marker--it goes very quickly.  And a second thing--it keeps me from fussing too much because of its blunt tip.

When I finish this sketchbook, I may buy another just to keep this practice going!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

People in Unrealistic Color

Fun with expressions of my fellow artists at my weekly Open Studio.

I wanted to play with portraits and adding values with non-realistic colors.  I always think that adds a cool vibrancy to portraits.








Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Simple Lines with the Dogs and Cats

More practice with shapes and contours.

I'm looking for the shapes that make these personalities come alive.   Distilling to the most expressive and necessary.  It's part of my thinking about working more on comics.








Thursday, July 27, 2017

MAK Landing: A Mini-Comic


In June I took part in the Cartoon Studio week-long intensive at The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.

I can't say enough good about the experience I had there.  If you are seriously interested in learning more about how to make comics, check out their many summer workshops, for all ages.

Our assignment in this "intensive" (and it was--but such fun!) was to go from concept to completed, produced 8-page mini comic between Monday morning and Friday morning.  We had lectures in everything from webcomics to inking to story and character creation.  And we worked and worked.

What a blast to be focusing on a medium I love with other people who love it too!  And to learn so much!

Anyhow, below is my comic, a short adventure story for middle grade readers.







I will write more about creating comics in the future!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More Practice with Minimalism and People

I really am interested in this notion of practicing capturing people with fewer lines.  I don't want to go entirely to gesture, but I want fewer lines to capture more about body language and character expression.  I want to develop this for my work in comics.

I'm going to spend some time this summer studying Jules Feiffer who I know is a master at this.

These were fun.  In these I thought a lot about weight, and how people distribute their body weight when doing various things.












Thursday, July 20, 2017

Car Have a Recall? Sketch in the Waiting Room


My car had a recall, which they warned me would take an hour to repair.  I figured that meant more like two hours, knowing the dealership, so I went prepared to study people with bold lines from my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, and no additional colors.

This was all part of my preparing to take courses at The Center for Cartoon Studies in mid-summer.










One thing I really want to learn more about:  how little line information can it take to effectively render an expressive face?  Where do you get the most bang for your line's buck?  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

People as Silhouette Shapes


A while ago I spent a day or two sketching people as silhouette shapes.

In comics, the readability of characters depends a lot on their overall shape and the differentiation of those shapes among characters.

Drawing real people this way helped me see a bit more about how that works.











I used the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a little journal which I don't like much because it doesn't take watercolor at all.  But it was perfect for this.

This was part of the "Sketch 100 people in five days" drawing challenge.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sketching While Watching Soccer

I have a nephew who plays college soccer and during the Fall season, I like to scribble away during his games.

The women's national team was playing on TV one day--what a great way to practice sketching the sport and get more people into my 100 People in Five Days challenge.