Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Let the Inspiration Reign Free

It is funny where inspiration comes from. Christine and I were watching the show Once Upon A Time that features a number of characters from various fairy tales in the storyline. Neither of us were enjoying it, so we turned if off. Come to think of it, I'm not really sure why we bothered, considering I really don't like stories that use fairy tales as a jumping off spot, but we did. 

So a few days ago, I started doodling the little angry guy you see above. I knew he was a dwarf, like from the Snow White story. Who knows why, but I did. I didn't question it, but just kept drawing.

I often draw characters posed as he is, with the camera looking down as it is and always find it challenging and never satisfying. Until now!! Not sure if you can see it but the I used two tricks to make it believable. 

  • I drew a perspective grid under his feet
  • I shaded his knee caps and shins.
I know these tricks, I've known about them for years, but have I ever put them both together with a character posed like this? I don't think so!

So I drew him and then there needed to be something he was looking at and for some reason, a cute dog came to mind. Boy did he turn out cute! The eyes are great and I knew that back leg was going to make look right, but I think it worked 'cause I got the anatomy about right and the shading helped too.

And then there needed to be something beside the little guy, and what better than a treasure chest. I didn't know what to draw inside of it and then I figured light coming out would be most interesting and mysterious.

And speaking of inspiration, now the drawing has inspired me to think about a story featuring this guy, maybe a story about the other dwarves. Who are they, what do they do? What are their real names? what did they do before and after Snow White?

Monday, 1 January 2018

Gift Drawings

Give me a bit of time (2 hours?!), some construction paper and kid's pack of crayola markers and look whatcha get!!

What is it?! Well, an alien world of course! Can't you tell by the green hue, the pink trees with branches that go down, not up?! Obvious!

The first decsion was the colour of paper. Seriously! I drew the perspective grid in a green colour that I hoped wouldn't be too visible in the end. As it turns out, you can see them, but they doesn't detract. Then I drew the doorway of sorts at the bottom and started working to the right. I did the tall pink tree (remember, alien world) and then started filling in the buildings behind. Early on I did the tall building in the back with the exhaust stacks. I didn't really like that part and it threatened to wreck the whole drawing but I perservered. It was either keep on and try to make the rest of the drawing good or admit defeat and try to draw something else, which I didn't really want to do.

So I just kept drawing more and more bits of the building and shading here and there, adding shadows, darkening lines adding railings and so on. Part of the fun of one of these sorts of drawings is how it makes me feel like I'm in the environment, climbing the stairs, seeing what's behind that wall and so on. The yellow and orange ground tiles were particularly inspired as is the odd design/font/text on three walls.

But really, the parts I like best are the parts I did nearly last. Namely, these guys...

Basically stick figures, and they were kind of hard to do because the markers were fat and the paper sucked up the ink, but still I was able to get nice forms - great boot shapes that look like weight is being put on a foot, interesting clothing designs, hats or helmets, pants, arm bands. Neat-o!

... and these creatures coming up from behind...

Weird, slinky, silent dragon-y sort of creatures. Adding them really helped the overall composition and helped make the whole drawing that much more interesting.

I really like this one and find it quite compelling and pretty inspiring! I LOVE when that happens, it is super rewarding. A Christmas gift to myself! 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Look Ma, No Hands!

Ok, it's been a while, like a LOOOONG time.  Sorry, Mr Ghost.  But I hope this one makes up for the wait. Maybe a little bit.

Speaking of taking a long time, this little drawing (aproximate 7" x 6") took about two weeks. I just kept chipping away at it, adding a bit of shading here, a building there. I did a rough pencil perspective grid but didn't really follow it too rigorously, so it is a bit off here and there.

It all started with the explosion hitting the building on the left and the people running away.  Then I drew the two vehicles to the entry's right, then the lower buildings behind the vehicles and on and on. The plane was a fairly late addition, and the guy in the bombed out building looking on was quite late in the game. It was fun to do, just shade bit now and then throughout the days. 

I did a drawing in high school that had almost the same perspective and theme but I got bored and tired shading bricks and it wasn't as interesting a scene as this. Worst of all I put a sign on one building that read "Joe's Bar" (inspired eh?). Rightly so, the teacher pointed out that with that bit of writing, it was hard to see or interpret the drawing beyond that sign. It made the viewer think that "Joe's Bar" was the point to the drawing, and it wasn't. So now I make sure that unless the text is totally necessary, I leave legible, readable words out. Sometimes there are things that look like letters or writing, but they are vague and unreadable.

I like how it feels like you're in this one.  I like the rough pen strokes, I like the heavier lines which help suggest depth or layering. I like the dynamic composition with the diagonal lines and of course, I really like the scene and the destruction. It's cool. It'd be terrible to be there, but it looks amazing.

And then we could talk about the why of the drawing. Why of all things did I draw this?! Where the heck did it come from? I dunno. I can't say I have desires to blow up buildings with my own personal figher jet or that I feel I'm living in a war zone or that I'm fighting something, though that last one might be true, who really knows.

The one thing I do know is I kept doing it and leaving it on my desk because I wanted someone, many people to see it and say glowing things like "WOW! That's amazing! Nice drawing! You're really good! Come with me, I need you to do this great thing over here," or something like that.

Is that why I draw? To show off? To be impressive? It's embarrassing, but I think there is something to that. I want appreciation. Selfish? Check. Needy? Check. Like many other "artists"?

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.