Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A good start...

As any artist will attest, drawing a moving object is nothing short of difficult. Children are no exception! As I mentioned in my last post, people are the "object" of focus for me now, concentrating on children. The top image are drawings I did from two separate photos of kids in one of my wife's previous preschool classes. The bottom sketches are of my children as they played. Needless to say, having the subject frozen in time is going to get a better result. But I am encouraged by some of the lines of the bottom sketches, in that I am able to capture the movements of each "pose" as if they were frozen for me. My biggest problem is slowing my sketching down enough to draw what is there (as opposed to what my left brain wants to put there), as well as drawing and "seeing" fast enough to get the action on paper before it is gone from memory. In other words, looking at the subject more than the paper. And, as the sketches show, a lot of practice with faces.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It is amazing the clarity that comes from drawing (or any art you participate in). Since staring this journey, I have a better attitude at work, I interact better with my kids, I am just a happier person. I guess I had a lot of bottled up creativity that just wasn't getting out thru my graphic design projects.

I recently purchased The Creative License by Danny Gregory on the recommendation of an acquaintance. It is very inspiring, and has, in part, given me the motivation to keep at it every day. He encourages you to draw every day, to slow down and "see" what you are drawing and put that on paper, no matter how good, bad or otherwise. Just draw. It is all a part of becoming a better artist.
Another good read is Martin Salisbury's book Illustrating Children's Books. This starts with a short history of book illustration. It then goes into the importance of drawing from life (both people and animals), drawing on location, and drawing from memory (going out without any drawing materials, observing and coming back to draw what you saw), giving you the means of creating a "file" of information to pull from come the time you are faced with a blank page and no subject to reference. He also covers different art mediums, character development, and creating your own books.

While I have been drawing, I haven't made much progress on the people practice. I hope to get to the zoo this week providing the weather is good and I can get caught up on work!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The people first

People. Probably the most difficult subject to draw accurately. At least for me! I can do pretty good if drawing from a photo, but from life and my imagination, it is more difficult. The image above shows a few of my more recent attempts at children (from my imagination), which I think I read are easier to draw convincingly due to their proportions. Adults, however, prove more difficult, especially the face. So the first challenge to myself is to practice people—from photos, from life, and from memory. I will post a few samples as I work. I welcome your comments on them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Journey Begins

I have always loved to draw. I don't know a time when I haven't doodled or sketched on whatever paper surface I had available.

Over the past few years, I have had this desire to illustrate for children. Not just books, but anything—a magazine, card, website... whatever. I have never made it a point to practice in this genre, but I have done some drawings that I feel have potential.

While online the other day, I came across a website called Living the Creative Dream by artist Holly Conger. I was quite taken by her will to succeed at promoting herself as a childrens illustrator. Her drive and dedication changed my thinking on how to pursue your dream, and the time—and that's the kicker—the time, and work, it takes to get it done. As I grew up, I became somewhat of an instant gratification kind of guy when it came to art, which hindered my drawing at times. If the piece I was working on didn't come out to look like the totally awesome image I had in my head (or the art I saw online or in books), I would get discouraged and stop. Recently, however, I saw potential in my drawings. It is that potential that brings me where I am today.

So, inspired by Holly, I begin my journey to illustration nirvana... and a chance to become the artist I know is inside me.