Monday, October 31, 2011

The Sketchbook Project - Cityscape

I'm mining another old sketch/style for my newest page. I've done a couple of sketches, and a painting based on Al Hirschfeld's style in the Rhapsody in Blue sequence in Fantastia 2000. I think it lends itself well to how I'm doing all Sketchbook pages, especially the background buildings that are jut windows - the darker parts around the outline really bring them out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life Drawing Session - Procrastination

I find I'm never as creative as I am when I should be doing homework. Last night I really, really needed to be working on a paper. I decided to draw instead. It's still a good use of my time, I could have been watching TV, after all. Oh wait, I watched all of Being Human series 3 too (my god Aiden Turner is beautiful). hmmm, getting distracted again.... Point is, I did a few little studies of the type I should really make a point of doing more often in order to keep my skills sharp. 

Looking at all three I can tell my interest was not holding until the end, though. The first started out as a careful, academic study, the second one is much closer to my typical scribbly style, and the third is barely started, though I like outline look as well. I may try a few studies in which I concentrate on a few simple lines, because it's so hard to do right.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Sketchbook Project - Retro Circles

I couldn't decide what to do for the next page of my sketchbook, so I did a Google images search for 'abstract styles' and used the first one that appealed to me - a retro poster with rays and circles. It was kind of fun, and unusual for me, so it seemed like a good fit. I started out doing the writing along the rays, but for some reason forgot to adjust the angle as I moved, so it ended up perpendicular at the end. That's OK, it was kind of a nifty composition experiment anyway. I d feel like it's missing something, though. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Graphic Novel tests

I've been playing around with an idea for a graphic novel with a writer I work with, and have come up with a few ways to draw our hero. I'm trying to find a good style for the story, which will be set in the 40s, and stars an ex-RCAF navigator turned private detective. Or something like that. Here are some incarnations as I'm working my way towards the final style.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Sketchbook Project - Cubismish

I sat down last night to try and figure out my next sketchbook page, and started thinking about a few sketches I did years ago in a sort Cubism-inspired style, where I basically drew a bunch of lines, then put different bits of whatever I was drawing in the spaces, like this apple:

So I did exactly the same thing and picked up the first thing I saw to draw - a little globe. I think it turned out very well.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I finally got to work after a long weekend of being lazy, unmotivated, and full of turkey. I'm not normally much for abstract pieces, but I loved the shape of this so much I couldn't resist. It's the silhouette of a bracket I ordered a couple of weeks ago. The pair are sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to become my entry closet, and I saw their shadow one evening and loved the shape and the way  it blurred the further out it got. So I replicated the effect with my little light and traced out the pattern:

I think it looks great, though I may yet darken the top area.

Available on Etsy:

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Night at the Circus - Take a Bow

This is Round Two of the little sketches/experiments I've done with my circus-themed photos. After the feedback I got that the first one was a little difficult to read I tried a different technique. I used the masking fluid more as a safety to keep certain areas pure, rather than as the negative space and only image. The colours were used for mid-tones and modelling, rather than all blending together in an abstract field to highlight the white. The black was used almost exclusively for the shadows, again, instead of simply blending into the colour (at least, not as much as the first painting).

I'm not totally sold on this version. I think in some ways it's an improvement. It's certainly easier to see the figure. One the other hand I just don't think it's as interesting. Of course, it doesn't help that I got called away in the middle and the waterproof ink dried in the middle, making it very stripey because I couldn't blend it afterward. Still, that's hardly the big problem here. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Sketchbook Project - Abstraction

I finally finished this page for my Sketchbook Project. I wanted to do a little experimenting with different textures while staying within my 'grey side of life' theme. I soon remembered why I don't generally do abstractions - I'm bored within minutes. They're just not my thing. But that's ok, I need to get out of my comfort zone once in a while! I added some letters, the diagrams for sans serif capitals, so that it would match the other drawings, and then in some of them I even put some writing, which was kind of hard to get in the odd shaped lines because I wanted it to look like a pattern, so it had to disappear on the edges.

I got the idea when I went to Nuit Blanche on the weekend and one of the galleries had drawings with Arabic calligraphy done in different shapes. They had obviously been masked out, then the calligraphy filled them in so that they were in perfect circles and the writing just seemed to carry on after the shape. It looked amazing, and I'll probably do something more formal that features that idea later.

I added a bit of watercolour as well, again to match the first couple of pages. Then I went back to the last one and added some watercolour and handwriting to it, in order to keep everything consistent. I think I'll use the sketchbook to see how many different images and styles I can come up with that still tie together this way. I don't have any real direction, except that I want it to all be grey, so at least I have some sort of idea where I'm going with this.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This is a photo of a print I got last year, and has since been in hiding until I decided to add it to my postcard collection. It's from an artist in Ontario who's work is available on Etsy. His store is Jackson Creek Press. I got this at a craft show, along with a couple of other prints, including the 'Ode to Guitar' he has for sale, and a bunch of cards. This one is my favourite. It just makes me happy to see it. I wish they'd put one up in every art school. Of course, I have it next to my dining room table, but I think people will be able to figure out it doesn't apply to the food! In fact, I wish it came as a pair, and the match would say "If you think you can do better prove it".

If anyone is thinking about my upcoming birthday, feel free to get me the Rest Easy print.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

So True

The life of an artist? From