Thursday, August 31, 2017

More work with Background and Collage

Here is another example of a prepared background I made in a journal as part of a wonderful course I took with Roz Stendahl, and some collaging and journaling work I did over the background.

This background came as the result first of a light ochre-colored wash, then later layers of blue and brown.  You can see texture lines in those colors--the "dots" would be created by spritzing the ink while it was still wet.  The lines (on the left in the blue) were created by dragging a silicone texturizer through the wet ink.

Once it thoroughly dried, I added the journaling and the selfie.  I posted this selfie a few weeks ago as one I sketched on a day I took my mother to the hospital for some out-patient surgery.  I simply printed it and collaged this copy in.

The journaling was inspired by a book I'm reading about cultural context:  what are some basic facts about the "character" of the place where you live, and how does it feel to live there much of the time?  How do these things go together?   It's something I'm interested to explore across many pages of this journal!

I don't ever do much with collage, but I really like this notion of working with my own art from other sources to create new pages.  I want to explore more of that.  And the texturing tips I have learned from Roz!  So much fun.  (Messy, but fun!)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sketching and Collaging onto a Background

I mentioned a while ago that last spring I took a fantastic course in creating backgrounds for art journals taught by Roz Stendahl.

Here's one example of the kind of work I did with her class.

I had done this sketch from an old mugshot I found online (old mugshots are terrific to sketch from!).

We had begun creating backgrounds in the class and had hit the point where we were adding some stuff to them, collaging, drawing, journaling, and really experimenting to get a feel for what could be done.

Anyhow, here is what I came up with.  This isn't a miracle of design of anything:  it was my first shot at working this way!  And I'd never used some of these tools before (I can't even remember what-all I used, other than it involved paint pens).  But it was terrific fun to play with and to discover the depth that you can get in a page starting with interesting layered backgrounds like this.

See that little piece of washi tape on the right?  Not real washi, it turns out, but plastic stuff.  Cool looking, but doesn't take ink or paint very well.

Anyhow, this is sort of a "kitchen sink" spread--what will this do? was my mantra as I played.

I learned a lot!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Practicing Faces

I practice.  A lot.

Scribbling almost every single day.

Sometimes that includes exercises, either from a book or a video, or something that I make up myself, to learn something that I know I need to improve on.

Like human faces.

How am I going to get better at drawing comics if I don't get better at drawing human faces?

I thought I'd show you a few pages of my practicing.  No attempt to create anything pretty here!  Just lots of scribbling, with spirit, to practice, practice, practice.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Conquering Advising: A Mini-Comic for My Advisees

Last spring, as the time approached for my advisees to come for their meetings with me prior to their registering for classes. I created this comic to help them prepare for our chats.

I did it because for years I have sent them emails with detailed instructions--and every year a good 25-50% of them show up unprepared.

And if they come unprepared, I send them away to get prepared and they have to make another appointment.  This can result in them not being able to register at the first possible moment, which can result in them not getting the best pick of courses.

It also results in weeping and gnashing of teeth on both our parts.

So I wondered if sending them the same instructions in a comic would yield better results?

Answer:  YES!!  100% of my advisees came prepared!  And some even pronounced, "This comic is cool, Dr. Trembley."


I look forward to using it again this coming school year--will it continue to work?

I completed the comic entirely on my iPad Pro in Procreate.  I printed it on one 8.5 x 11 sheet, folded twice, cut and stapled, to create one mini comic from each piece of paper.


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.