Monday, June 12, 2017

A Work In Progress

I did a little drawing:

Which I really enjoyed.

And then I colored it in:

And now that I'm looking at her, I think my sister was right and I am not done with her...

So, for today, a work in progress...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Willy...or Wilma?

Today I've got a wonky woman Wonka for ya!

She is, of course, based off of classic Gene Wilder Wonka, and not the monstrosity that was the Johnny Depp version. 

I actually like Johnny Depp most of the time, but his version of Wonka was like a personal affront to society...I demand a written apology.  Shame on you, Johnny...shame...

My favorite part of my drawing is the hair...curly hair is...evasive(?) for me, and I think this drawing gives the essence of curly...and that's really all I can hope for at this point.  So...yay!

I liked the process of using an already known character and making it my own way...I know a lot of people are doing this with various cartoons (notably the 10 million different versions of Disney princesses), and I think its a fun exercise.

I use reference photos a lot when I draw, but usually not "known" people or characters.  I think using something someone else has done and saying "how would I have done this thing?" is an interesting way to stretch your creative muscles without the pressure of having to come up with the entire concept on your own...and I think its ok as long as you acknowledge that you didn't create the concept, only the interpretation...

Who knows, maybe I'll try my hand at some more character 'stealing' in the future...and if you try your hand, I'd love to see it, so leave me a comment and tell me where to go!  (To see your art, not the other option!)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tacky Wallpaper?


So after the pale polka dot baby steps of last week, I was thinking about drawing backgrounds and realized I shared this on Facebook but not on the blog.

I have a large canvas (that I've had for a LONG time) that I wanted to work in acrylic on and was trying to do a mock up and I ended up with this gal.

I like the gal, she's fine, but what I really love is the background!  I actually liked it so much that I started drawing the leaves onto my canvas...this was several weeks ago and I still haven't gotten any further, but let us applaud the fact that I got as far as I did.  (haha)

Eventually, I will get to my canvas...probably sooner rather than later, because I am really excited about those leaves.  I have been doing mostly couch art and acrylics are not such a hot idea for the only room in the house that still has carpet...not for a clumsy paint slinger like me anyway.

I've got the couch art area set up for arting all the time, but my other art area has been sorely neglected for a good while and would require so much cleaning and lord knows I'll do everything in my power to avoid that...the point to this story is: this is how I'm going to get acrylic paint on the living room's a forgone conclusion frankly...but look at those leaves, clearly worth it...

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Palest Girl I Know

The palest girl I know...besides myself...

I was so inspired by my copycat girl from last time that I decided to try a girl of my style in Danielle Donaldson's color palette...wait...that sounds all la-di-da and I don't mean it that way...I should say I was still so inspired by Danielle Donaldson that I decided to do a normal me kind of girl in her palette...yeah...that sounds much less jerky...

This girl kind of reminds me of the first layer of a where you're supposed to add more on top...she's so pale.  But not everything has to be saturated with color!

Even though this is way outside of my usual color usage, I LOVE this pale gal so much!  And I like her pale polka dot background.  I tend to not do anything in the background...unless I do collage work or something...and then there's a whole lot of stuff going on...  But I never draw anything in the background, so this is a teeny tiny baby step and I like how it turned out.

I really enjoy experimenting with different things...although it's easy to do routine things and forget to experiment.  So when I do remember to experiment, I get super excited and, here I am, super excited by those pale dots!  Hooray!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Frida The Dog, Inspired by Frida the Person

Frida Frida

I was inspired to do a picture of Frida, the most adorable dog I know, inspired lightly by Frida Kahlo:

Flowery Fridas galore...

  You know what's hard to draw?  Frida.  The dog, not the person...  The person I might have had better luck with...lots of human face practice...not enough puppy face practice.

So I thought I might check out some tutorials for drawing dogs which resulted in this:

I used THIS tutorial for my drawing.

I think it turned out better, still cartoony but more correct than my Frida drawing.

I like to see what I can come up with on my own sometimes and then go for a tutorial.  I think it helps me assess my progress. 

My Frida drawing is better than it would have been when I started, better than just a year ago even.  But there's still a lot of room for improvement of course and that's exciting...I have so much further to go!

Art is one of those things where the journey is at least as important as the destination...
It's learning skills, but also style and personal preference.

I enjoy learning and growing...

I enjoy the journey that art takes me the point where I am often glad that I have so much further to go...

When the journey is this much fun, who worries about the destination?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Copy Cat, Smelly Rat...

I made this lady because I have a secret love affair with Danielle Donaldson's  work.

I really enjoy her color's so...I don't know...ethereal, antique, romantic...fabulous...

My girl is a pretty blatant copy, but I swear it's because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

I saw the head wrap on one of Danielle's girls and thought it was one of the most glorious things I have ever seen, so I had to copy it.

Donaldson's CreativeGIRL book is actually pretty good as well...  I have a copy somewhere, and I can't find it and it's slowly killing my soul.  You know how it put something in a spot because there's no way you'll forget where it is and then the next morning you wake up and don't have a clue what you did with it...I can't be the only person who does this...

On my girl, I forgot to color in the eyes, but I think that it brings the head wrap out as the focal much so that I decided to leave them that way forever...also, I really enjoy the lip shading on this gal...

I'm looking forward to making more art with this color palette in the future...and to finding my copy of CreativeGIRL so that I can do the exercises it contains!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Magic Things

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
-W.B. Yates
Did I spell "senses" wrong on the page?  Yes, I did. 
Apparently, my spelling senses need to grow sharper...

But spelling errors aside, I am a fan of the quote for sure.

I like the idea of magic things waiting for us to notice them.

I think we get caught up looking for grand gestures of the universe,
and, sometimes, I think we can get those things.

My guess is that the magic of life, though, is found in the small details...
the parts we ignore as ordinary. 

So much of life is found in the smallness of it....

Maybe that's why those magic things are looking forward to our perception becoming more keen.
Because the magic is already there.

We just have to open our eyes and see it.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Back Where I Started, In A Better Place

"It's a funny thing coming home.
Nothing changes.
Everything looks the same,
feels the same,
even smells the same.
You realize what's changed is you."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Today is my 34th birthday. 

It's been almost two years since I've blogged.
It's been almost as long since I've really made any art.
How did I manage to let go of something that meant so much to me for so long?

The truth is, I think, that as much as I needed art and this blog for growing,
I needed it to stop for the same reason. 

My art and blog had been like a diary for me, a sounding board to hear my own voice in this noisy world...a place to figure out what I wanted and how I felt.  There was a time when that was what I needed most of all.  In a way, it saved me.

It became so important to me that it took over.
It consumed me to there point where nothing else really mattered.
No one and nothing else was as important as making art.
That's not a way to live.

The thing about growing is that it is not without pain.

The thing about learning is that we often learn we are wrong.
And then we must decide what to do.

Middle ground is not a place I have lived comfortably.

I have never been one to take a step forward or back, but instead a jump in either direction.
And so I quit, cold turkey, the blogging and the making of any art of merit.
I set out to live my life in the real world without any of the things I felt were holding me back.

In the process, I learned.
I realized I had led myself astray in a lot of ways.
It's important to listen to your inner voice,
but there's also value to listening to what others have to say. 

When you're in a situation, you can be too close to see the truth of the matter...
you can't see the forest for the trees.
Occasionally, you can be lucky enough to find someone to trust, who can slowly pull you back from the tiny details and make you see the big picture.  A person who can  show you that you're not lost forever amid the trees; there is a path out.

I was lucky enough to have a friend do that for me and wise enough to see that, even though it may not have been what I wanted, it was what I needed.  And that it wasn't selfishly only what I needed, it was better for others too.

So now here I sit, in a familiar place,
easing back into something I love,
with someone I love by my side.
Still learning, still growing.
Back where I started, but in a better place.