Thursday, 12 October 2017

Home Run


Aaaaand, here's the last drawing I did last weekend.

This one is pretty much in the same vein as the city one with the idea of just starting with something, and I kept adding to it, in this case, a house- nay, a mansion!! I had an idea for the style of house I wanted to draw, and the more I did, the more it became what I imagined.

There's lots of things I like in this one. I really like the shape of the structures, and also how they pile up toward the middle, also how there is more house visible in the distance, but seen only in purple-y shadow. I like the colours and how you can tell the house is made of brick, but various sorts, sizes and colours of brick. The flags are fun, as are the tv antennaes and since I was drawing with a kid, of course there needed to be a clothes line with some underwear flapping in a breeze. I like the little trees in there, and like the city, this one has a similar flat perspective, but the shadow suggests depth. The marker line work is interesting, how it isn't just flat, unremitting tone, but lines of tone that go diagonally or horizontally. It's also interesting that even though it is a structure made of many different archetectural styles, it all goes together.

So there you have it. A weekend trilogy of drawings. Not bad, even quite good. The moral of the tale - use cheap materials, try coloured construction paper - delicious texture!! - and just go for it, don't care too much, but have fun. I wonder if this might be a recipe for life?!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Building On...


This is the second drawing I did last weekend. Not quite as great as the first (previous post), but still, I thought worth showing, because, lest we forget, for one thing, this blog was meant to be a place where I could put up any old thing I'd done, to put it out there, to share it with the world (not just you, Mr. I Ghost!!) and to feel good about my work, to get over myself and my tendancy not to show anything unless it is "perfect". I ain't perfect, and my work is far from perfect. When one aims for perfection, everybody loses.

So, enough of that, about this...

Green construction paper and Crayola markers again. I suggested my drawing partner draw a city, so I drew one too. I'd thought about drawing a "viewer" close to the camera, looking in toward the city, but... naw. I wanted to draw just the city.

I like is how geometric this one is and, in places, how it is almost abstract. I don't do abstract work, mostly because I don't get it, and maybe because I don't understand it, I don't like it, but I do like when things stray and touch the abstract, like when music becomes noise and then there is music in the noise. So I find it interesting how some of the buildings look less like buildings and more pattern, texture and in some cases, just bars of colour.

And when doing this one, a similar thing happened as when I drew the dinosaur. I found myself really enjoying the tactile quality of drawing. The rough paper, the thick markers that scuttle one's best attempts to make great lines. And then colour started creeping in. Maybe it was because I started with coloured paper already and so colour was less intimidating or maybe because I wanted/needed to define other parts of the city and using other colours seemed the best way to do that but... well, colour happened.

And the drawing happened. It took about an hour. Not sure. I wasn't keeping track of time, just having fun. That's when the best things happen, when you're just having fun.




Monday, 9 October 2017

Dino - might!

So... firstly, yes, it has been a VERRY long time since my last confession... er... submission. This is actually one of three I did over the last couple of days. I might try to post all of them here, 'cause actually I think something pretty magical? amazing? fun is happening here.  

I'm really quite proud of this one. This is a goofy, concerned sort of dinosaur holding a bag of brussel spouts. Why brussell sprouts?! Well who doesn't love them, especially at Thanksgiving? Maybe that's why he's concerned - He's not sure everyone will like his brussel sprouts.

And why do I love this drawing? A bunch of reasons really. One, I just had fun doing it. If you have a chance to do some drawing with a kid, take the time and do it. When doing this in the company of a five year old, my imagination was stretched, my creativity pushed, and I had the time to start and kept adding to and adding to the drawing - I realize the last part may not be possible when drawing with five year old! AAAAnyway, believe it or not, this one took me over an hour to do! I used that time to add the rendering lines that define the dinosaur's form - and I think that is one of the best parts of this drawing - how the form was rendered and that it actually looks rounded. Another thing I really like is the various colours. I could have done it all with a pink Crayola marker, but instead I kept adding form lines with various colours - reds, oranges, yellows, and purple as an outline colour.

It was drawn on pink construction paper with Crayola markers - great texture. Every time I find myself drawing with low tech - kid friendly, probably non-archival quality materials I really enjoy the tactile experience of using the materials and come out with something worth keeping.

I guess this one was just inspiring, not necessarily as a "this is a great concept, and I can do x and y with it!", rather it was inspiring because I was and am inspired to do more drawing. Doing this energized me to do more.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Ok, Mr Illustrated Ghost, here you go.  It ain't much, but it's something.

I haven't drawn in a few weeks, maybe months and I was thinking, "I gotta draw something, I gotta get back on the horse" as it were, that, and you asked for something... ANYTHING!!! So I just started drawing arcs with a pen. A pretty cheap and not remarkable pen on a scrap of lined paper. 

Why am I making so much about a cheap pen? For me, there's something ideal about cheap materials - a notebook's lined paper, especially a pad as opposed to a piece of paper on a hard surface - not so soft and I don't like that much because the lines are too sharp and the pen moves too fast. Great for drawing nice flowing lines but the pen can get out of control too easily. Junky pens are great and even better when they smudge. I did the colour in this one with a couple Sharpie markers - the blue one was dying, which is always sweet. Dying markers have texture and the colour is softer. Love it.

But about the drawing itself. The legs on the... dragon?! are pretty funny. I did two, then two more and it seemed to just need more and more. Seven limbs would have been better than eight, I'll try that next time. The limbs are arranged in an interesting way in that there is a rhythm and a flow to them. Also, it sort of feels like you're seeing a progression of movement in the limbs, as if each is doing the same as the other, just offset in time (Bryan Hitch taught us that trick!) . Every dragon needs wings, and the rough textured wings match the fish-like tail nicely. The mouth is pretty ugly, sort of like the mouth on aStar Wars Sand Person. I think the nose is also pretty funny. Quite the red schnoz.  

Anyway, giddy-up. Comments?

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sorting Stuff Out

Maybe you know I'm packing some boxes, moving a few (thousand) kilometers to a different province. This cartoon comes from my experience of finding a box of letters that I initially thought I'd just move, but then I opened it. You can see what happened next.

Believe it or not, this one is a bit of a triumph for me because I was able to start and complete it so fast; about an hour to do the rough (done on one piece of 11 x 17 paper, and another small piece to add an additional panel (more on that later). Then I took out my last piece of transparent drafting paper and inked it in about an hour. The only things I did in Photoshop was arranging the panels and adding the borders. 

Previously I've drawn panels on various pieces of paper - in case I make a mistake and screw up a panel, then I don't screw up the whole page - and then combine them at the end, but that doesn't work so well for me. By doing most of the panels on one piece of paper helped me see how it would all come together. Obvious for you perhaps, but it was a stroke of genius for me!

The middle panel where the fellow is reading the letter and the woman is seated and gesturing in front of him was tough. Initially it was as tall as the panel to its left. I was going to have something above the man and woman to describe the contents of the letter/discussion but couldn't settle on anything. I took a few minutes and thought that I needed to get across the idea that he realizes he is "looking back", perhaps at bygone things, so I drew the panel just below where he is looking at the books and "Golden Oldies" record. By adding this panel, I was able to communicate his realization, and by not drawing something above the couple, I thought the viewer could imagine what's in the letter, and what he's feeling/thinking.

I like the inking. Nice and rough, but still clear and clean enough. I like the character design; his funny blocky feet and she turned out really well. Nice clear, sharp, flowing lines - my hand was working really well there, no shakes! I like the jokey quality - that he's going to "sort" the boxes with a shovel, and then how that metaphor continues with the hole he's dug into all the boxes. The box of letter's he's reading is meant to look a bit like a casket. It was hard to suggest that without making it obvious.  Perhaps some clever lighting would have helped. I also like how the border drops away on the second last panel. I did that because I thought it would better communicate the link that the old stuff and the woman are related.

I think it reads clearly and there is some heart there. I don't think it is trite nor sentimental, but let me know if you think it is. My feeling when shredding those letters was complicated. I wasn't happy, a bit sad, but felt I was saying goodbye. I knew if I kept the letters, if I sat and read them, I'd just be staying back with old stuff and didn't think that would be good at all. I needed and need to move forward. I hope some of that comes across. If you have an idea how that could have been communicated better, the comments box is listening!