"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind". - Henry James

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Have an Assignment!

The fabulous Ann Firestone of Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue asked me to design a flyer and brochure cover for their upcoming benefit Donkey and Mule Show on September 11, 2011!  I'm so excited and have been roaming around gathering images for the illustrations.  My awesome graphic designer daughter has "volunteered" to help me with the technical aspects of layout and design.  It's all good.

Here are a couple of initial drawings I've done this week in preparation for getting down to the real design work.

Miniature donkeys.  Pencil in sketchbook.
Apparently donkeys are extremely curious and if someone shows up with a sketchbook and looks at them, they look right back :-D
Pencil in sketchbook.
I'm going to have to try to get more "candid" images of them I think.  It will involve making frequent visits to farms and spending time with donkeys.  More fun for me!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lab 12: For Your Eyes Only

In Lab 12:  For Your Eyes Only, Carla gives a reference photo of an eye and we are asked to render it in four different media:  pencil, pen & ink, charcoal, and colored pencil.  Even though I used the same reference for each one, they are all quite different.

I think the last three Labs in Unit Two will require me to find a life drawing class or an open drawing session somewhere.  I've been wanted to get back to life drawing and this may be the motivation I need to find a class or group.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lab 10: At the Coffee Shop

For Lab 10 I took myself out to Starbucks and got a tall Awake tea and a Salted Caramel Sweet Square.  I love the small treats they have at Starbucks.  They are good enough that they satisfy that urge for something sweet and delicious, but not so huge that I feel like I've really blown it (especially after having done Pilates for an hour).

Lab 10:  At the Coffee Shop we are instructed to get a cup of coffee or tea and to select a nice corner seat and take a good look around.  All the corner seats were taken so I sat at one of the tables.  The idea is to do some blind contour drawing of anyone that catches your interest.  After you've completed the blind drawing, you can go back and add any details that you want while looking at your paper.  I didn't get much of a chance to do that.

I wish I could have stayed longer and done more drawing.  I wasn't able to add any details to this one.  I can't wait to go back and try again!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lab 9: Wrong-Handed Portraits

Another fun Lab - Wrong-Handed Portraits.  Drawing with my non-dominant hand, for me the left hand, is sort of awkward but fun.  The portraits come out all wonky and squiggly and don't really look like the person I'm drawing and I kind of like them.
I only got to do two, but I'm going to look for more models.  The trouble I have with drawing people is that I keep having to explain that it doesn't look like them and to please don't be insulted.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lab 13: Eyedropper Faces

Lab 13:  Eyedropper Faces (from Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab) asks you to look at images of faces from magazines or wherever and draw with the dropper from a bottle of acrylic ink.  Carla used black ink in her examples.  I only had dark brown FW Acrylic ink.  I think it works quite well. 

I bought a magazine of hairstyles because there are dozens and dozens of faces, some well known, others not.  At first I felt quite awkward drawing with the stopper, but you have to give up some control - a good think I think.
After drawing the image, keeping it basic, you quickly lay a piece of tissue over it to absorb any excess ink and move the lines a little.  

I think I may go back and embellish them a little.  The top two seem fine as they are, but I'd like to add a hat or kerchief or something to this one.
I think some color and line to refine it a little might improve this one too.
This one got all blotchy.  I think this was the first one I did.  Maybe I'll use a white gel pen to retrieve the eye and fine tune it a little.  It's a great way to do faces, loosen up, and give up some control.

Next up:  Lab 9: Wrong-Handed Portraits

Saturday, May 7, 2011

More Cheater Blinds

Dinosaur Skeleton 
I did some more "Cheater Blinds".  They are oddly satisfying somehow.  By adding small amounts of hatching for shading, it is possible to make a recognizable drawing.

Sometimes the lines go awry, but I don't think it matters all that much.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Drawing Lab: Unit 2 - Inspired by People

Even though it is May 3nd, I'm pretending it is May 1st and this is the first day of a challenge I've given myself to continue working through Carla Sonheim's wonderful book, Drawing Lab: 52 Exercises to Make Drawing Fun.

A while back, probably more than six months ago, I worked through Unit 1: Inspired by Animals.  It was great fun and I had a ball with the Labs.  Also, Carla posted a tutorial on her blog Easy Tombow Rabbits that I did and posted a few weeks ago.  I did about sixteen small rabbits for place cards for our Easter table (and of course forgot to scan or photograph them...).  Our guests loved them and everyone took their "Tombow Rabbit" home as a memento of the day.

I'm not doing the Labs order because some of them require models or being at a coffee shop or something.  I'm jumping around to the ones I can do with materials and references I have at hand (thereby increasing the odds that I will actually do them).  I started with Lab 11:  Cheater Blinds.

The idea is to go through old photos and do modified blind-contour drawings of them.  You can go back later and add shading with a fine-point pen.  These are done on white card stock with a fine-point Sharpie and the shading is added with an extra-fine Sharpie.  Sort of fun.
This is from a vacation photo of people at the beach.  I like the simplicity of using just line.
And some figures on park benches in Central Park.
I may do more before moving on to the next Lab.