Saturday, December 26, 2009

Illustration Friday: Pioneer

I was talking to one of the art teachers at my high school, and she was telling me that one of the things she has her advanced art students do in their sketchbooks is to copy pictures of various masters, and that was an idea that really resonated with me, since I want to develop enough skills to someday be able to do black and white pen and ink illustrations for middle grade novels, and I have a LONG way to go. Another thing I need to work on is narrative in pictures. So I decided that rather than just "study" pictures of illustrators I admire, to actually "copy" certain aspects of some of their pictures. I teach creative writing, and one of the things we do with poetry is called "copy-changing", where you copy the structure of a poem, and then change the content to make it your own. It's an excellent exercise for learning how to put poems together. And since I want to learn more about putting pictures together, this seemed like a good idea.

So here's my picture: The earliest pioneers were the heroes that myths are made of...

The little color picture is the original Arthur Rackham illustration...

Friday, December 18, 2009


I've been reading Jos Smith's wonderful book, The Pen and Ink Book. The whole third section of it is about drawing strategies--questions you have to answer before you start drawing if you want your drawing to have any kind of unity. I've read this section before, but somehow this time it made a whole lot more sense. I stopped on the #4 question--What kind of space do you want your drawing to have? --and really studied his discussion and examples, because I think that that is something I've been confused about for at least twenty five years of my life. I make drawings or paintings, and I'm not really sure whether I'm wnting some kind of deep space or some kind of flatter, more decorative space. I've had instructors tell me that something or another isn't working, but no one really explained that. I think I'm on the verge, finally, of an answer, which will help my process enormously.

This is a tiny tiny drawing, but probably here it looks the same size as the bigger ones.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Accordion Guy #9

Okay, so this isn't REALLY a "hatching" picture--I do have a few ideas, but I really need to hatch a plan for making a little extra money. Having the kid in college is stretching the budget beyond all reason.

I tried selling cards today at the Holiday Farmer's Market, and though lots of people looked at them and said how much they liked them, hardly anyone bought them. Maybe I was asking too much , or maybe it just wasn't the right thing for this event. Who knows. I really like them, though.

I made the sketch for this drawing a couple weeks ago, and started rendering it in ball point pen yesterday afternoon, and finished yesterday evening at a friend's house with a bunch of other people playing music. When they asked why I wasn't playing , I had to say that it was because I was so much enjoying seeing if I could make this drawing work out...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Selling Stuff?

I've never done this before, and it doesn't feel right, but I'm making about a dozen of my drawings into cards.  I have no idea how much to ask, but I need to figure it out by Saturday for the Holiday Farmers' Market.  Hopefully I can sell enough to cover expenses.  Hopefully I can sell enough to help pay for the (minimal this year) gift buying.  Ideally I could sell enough to contribute to my son's college fund.  It's really tight.

I never thought I 'd be someone who sold art, and I guess if no one buys anything, I will still won't be, but I never thought I'd try.  It's an odd feeling.  The people who have seen them so far really really like them, and I must admit that I do too....