Thursday, August 30, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Six

We visited an amazing open street market of restaurants--sort of like "Taste of Chicago" but smaller and permanent.  It featured food from all over the world.

I could have spent several days there drawing people and the beautiful food creations.

But I had to eat!  So I only got a few sketches in...

I didn't eat this Pad Thai, but I loved the bowl it came in!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Five

We had just a little time to visit the amazing Apartheid Museum, so I didn't sketch much while there.

The two things I captured meant a great deal to me, sort of as a bookend of the amazing history of the people of this area of the world. 

First, I captured this very rough sketch of a wonderful piece of art outlining the Constitutional Pillars of South Africa today.  It made me think long and hard about the work they have done here and the work we need throughout the world.  I think South Africa truly could lead us...

Second, I spent some time drawing from some of the AMAZING etchings done by the San, some fo the earlier people to live in this area, and some of the first in the world to think symbolically.

That just amazed me.

Such visionaries across time lived here in South Africa!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Four

This page is a fun example of one way to keep a travel sketchbook when most of your time is spent on a moving bus.

I pre-drew the squares before we left the hotel.  Then, as we drove, I spotted things in the distance and drew outlines as fast as I could as we approached.  I tried to mark each with the time.

Then later I filled in details.

For this page, I added watercolors while in the hotel room at night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Three

These are some of the first sketches from our trip to South Africa as part of a college choir tour.

All of these were drawn and colored on a moving bus!  So....

I had fun capturing the likenesses of our tour leaders.

I also enjoyed recording some of the details I knew I would forget in a year, or a decade.  Names, times, interesting details.

We learned that stoplights are called "robots" in South Africa.  And I observed from the bus that Disney and Nickelodeon seem popular here too--at least by the size of their billboards!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part Two

More sketches from my travels to South Africa in May, 2018, as part of the Hope College Chapel Choir's tour.

An amazing experience!

Here are a few sketches from the airplane.

 First, looking some views from inside the plane from Chicago to Dulles.

Next, the first view of our plane to South Africa!

I had fun recreating the journey map from the airline's magazine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

South Africa Sketchbook Part One

In May of 2018, I traveled to South Africa as a faculty member doing some teaching and chaperoning with the Hope College Chapel Choir, under the direction of Brad Richmond.

I had chosen to attend Hope College in 1981 because I wanted to sing in that choir, which I did for three years.

Traveling with them to South Africa at the conclusion of my 30th year of college teaching was such a perfect marker in my life.

I thought I'd share some of the sketches I made along the way.

First, a scan of the cover of the book.  I purchased a hardcover Strathmore 500 mixed media book, but I recovered it before we left to something which I thought would go with the landscape and colors we might see.

It seemed important to draw a map, marking the places we would visit.

I always make a list of the art supplies I take with me.  This helps me plan for future trips.

The final packing before our trip included help from my puppy.

I also took the time to do some sketching from a South Africa rand note.  So lovely!


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Inspired by Lemire's Roughneck

Lately I've been looking at how other comics artists draw people moving through the woods, especially from the perspective of the sky.  My brain can't generate that on its own, and it's an image I want to be able to convey in my memoir.

Inspired by how Jeff Lemire does it in his recent (and wonderful) graphic novel Roughneck, I drew this quick sketch.  Obviously I imported myself and my dogs into the tree perspectives.

This is helping me understand how the perspective guide in Procreate can help me too.

Perspective is a mystery to me, still....

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sketching a Birthday Outing!

Last month my sister (and my mom and my nephew) took me for a day-long surprise outing... to many of my favorite places!!

Of course, I sketched it as we went.

I ate breakfast with one of her lovely dogs, Marvel.

Then I opened my first card of the day, which contained these fabulous celebration sunglasses!

We ate breakfast at my most favorite restaurant in the world (seriously), The Original Pancake House (not to be confused with other pancake houses or houses of pancakes).  There I ate my favorite meal in the world: 49er Flapjacks, in-house sausage patties, one egg, and coffee.  Fueled for the day!

We spent the next three (plus!) hours in a huge used bookstore in downtown Detroit!  I found a bunch of books with older comics in them.  Then, with our last bits of energy, we went to the nearby Blick's.

Later we enjoyed homemade Oreo cookie blizzard ice cream cake and then we collapsed. 

Happy birthday to me!!  What a fun family!

Sketching several pages to track on special day was a lot of fun.  I used pen, watercolors, and some collage in a square Global Arts Handbook.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sometimes Stuff Doesn't Make Sense, but Go With It

When I'm deep into working on a project, I find that all kinds of images pop into my head that just don't seem to have anything to do with it.

And sometimes they don't.

But sometimes, later, it turns out they do.

Anyhow, this is one of those.  I was working on a memoir, saw some underwater photography I'd done pop up as the screensaver on my laptop, and this image (which is purely made up) popped into my head.

So I captured it.  Not sure what's going on, if anything, in my subconscious here...

Of course, any excuse to play with my watercolors...

It's all part of the creative process and I just have to pay attention to it.