Monday, February 25, 2008

Time to Draw

Well, I did a total of two drawings last week, way below my goal of four a day (which may have been a bit over ambitious). One was from a photo of my son hitting a beach ball with a toy bat, shown above. So anyway, I am putting myself on restriction for a few weeks. I spend so much time online looking at other blogs (which I enjoy), as well as an abundance of other needless online activities, that I lose so much drawing time. Of course, I didn't help that the magazine I design was on deadline last week as well!

In the words of Danny Gregory, this will be somewhat of an "electron fast." No unnecessary web surfing, TV watching, etc. I will be drawing instead. And this will be the perfect week to start since work will be slow! We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Zoo

Went to the zoo here Saturday morning with the goal of doing people (and some animal) drawing. Well, did more animal than people, which was still enjoyable, but not my intended goal. The drawings are good, but nothing worth posting. A few things made the trip a bit of a challenge.

1. There aren't many places to sit undisturbed to draw. Trying to stand and hold my small sketchbook and draw was a bit hard. When I did sit, a lot of people would stand in front of me, obstructing my view of the animal I was drawing.

2. It was a beautiful day, so needless to say, the zoo was packed. This may seem like a good thing; so many people to draw. However, when most of them aren't still for more than 15 seconds while viewing the animals, it was hard to get a decent outline. I managed to find two places where the people stayed still long enough to draw them.

3. Drawing for more than an hour and a half outside becomes tiresome (I was there three hours), and as I was finding it more difficult to draw my intended subject, I decided to call it a day.

The neatest thing that day was watching the elephants spray themselves with mud. The best part was this guy (above), who would suck water out of the pond and spit it in to the dirt to make more mud. I know they say elephants are smart, but I would have never imaged one mixing the mud himself!

The day wasn't a total bust. I tried to really study the people as they passed, especially the children. The animals, of course, were cool, and just walking through the gardens throughout the park was relaxing. And I did get one compliment on my drawings from one of the visitors! I will definitely go back, as drawing the animals from life was a fun challenge. And watching people, how they interact with each other, is fun and a good study.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Belated Valentine

Driving home from the store on Valentines Day, this little image popped into my head. Just missed the end of the day, so it is a bit "belated."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Random Sketches

Here are some sketches I thought I'd share. Many times an idea or character will pop in to my head, so I grab whatever piece of paper happens to be handy and sketch it out. Post-It notes were my medium of choice for a while! It's funny, a lot of the ideas come when I have become comfortable in bed. The ones shown here are mostly mid-day musings that jumped out at me. The snake in the top drawing started as thoughts of an alligator, and the donkey character appeared one night in bed, so I drew him the next day along with attempts at other poses. The second drawing shows a resting (no, not dead!) horse from memory, and a horse drawn after a quick sketching session with the neighbors horses. The third is a little tug boat character that I have been working on for about a year. I have a story idea, but nothing solid yet. And the fourth is a random cat drawing, and a drawing of a model caboose I have on my desk. Anyway, gives you an idea of what I do when I am supposed to be working!!

On another note, I have dedicated this week to drawing children exclusively. My plan is to do four 10-15 minute drawings a day, in an effort to—hopefully—get a better idea of their shape and movements. Going to the zoo Saturday to try and get some life drawing done. I'll share some of those in future posts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Illustration Friday

I have been wanting to participate in this thing called Illustration Friday for several weeks now. I have only recently gained the courage to complete and upload an idea. This weeks word is "blanket." My first idea was of two people under a blanket on a bed watching TV. I drew this, but the people's proportions were less than normal, though I was satisfied with the overall drawing (quite surprised actually!) However, in conversation about IF with my wife, she came up with the idea of using a blanket to make a tent, which lead to my idea shown here, which, if it is not already obvious, is a child reading/playing under the sheet (blanket) with a flashlight. It was done in watercolor, (with a little too much hatching; used the wrong pen!!), but overall I think it is a decent first try. I did the hatching because I could not get the colors dark enough to make the room look dark with a glow from the light under the covers. The ballpoint pen I used globbed in many places and the line is a bit too think (can anyone recommend a good pen to draw with watercolors?). Any whoo, I am so enjoying this journey and am encouraged more every day to keep at it. I can't wait to see where I will be a year from today!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Why do we draw?

In her blog, Draw Anyway, Myfanwy Nixon covers her top 10 reasons why she draws. Some of mine are obvious here in the reasons I do this blog (to become a better artist and to perhaps draw professionally one day). Don't know if I have 10 total, but here goes...

1. To let out some of the creative ideas floating in my head.

2. As a form of relaxation (as long as you don't set a standard for the finished piece, this works).

3. To get over the anxiety of starting a drawing.

4. To break the monotony of the day

5. As a way of spending quality time with my kids.

6. The joy of watching the drawing come to life on the paper as I draw.

Well, I don't have 10, but you get the idea. Drawing is one of the best gifts God has given me, and I am thankful to be able to do it, if only as a hobby now. I just wish I would have awaken this person inside me sooner!