Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sketchbooks, journalling and being a SAHM

It always seems very difficult to keep up sketching while having very small children. I would love to do urban sketching, but my kids would have run a km away before I´d finished my sketch.

So for the moment I am sketching from photos. My son is quite interested in colouring in my sketches, and he will wait while I do it. I can hear a voice in my head saying ¨OK - you have 60 seconds - sketch!¨. Sixty seconds is the maximum amount of time a small child will probably wait for a picture to colour in. So this is great practice at developing the fast sketching and quick eye that I will probably need when I start sketching in the real world. Sometimes I only get half way through, but then he finishes off the sketch himself. I have fond memories of doing this with my own dad.

Also, and this is difficult: I let him colour in my pen and ink sketches in my sketchbook journal. This has been quite a leap - that´s my sketchbook, I think. But then I think, oh, get over yourself, you´re not Vincent Van Gogh or anything!

I did these two sketches below on site, which was a rare opportunity.

Imaginary Animals (2)

I´ve been working my way slowly through the Drawing Lab book by Carla Sonheim. A great book! One of the exercises is to illustrate books or stories, which inspired me to start my Matching Sock blog. Another exercise is to draw imaginary animals from doodles. I´m quite keen to do this, but I sort of want to draw unreal fantasy animals, rather than drawing on my knowledge of real animals. While at the beach I noticed that a lot of driftwood is quite strangely shaped, some like quite fantastical animals. You can´t quite see the whole piece in the photo above - but a very weird piece of driftwood! Or is it driftwood...

Sketchbook Journal: Beaches

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Studying Sendak and Elliott

I´ve been studying various children´s picture book artists, trying to learn some different methods of drawing. Here I´m looking at Sendak´s classic, Where the Wild Things Are: my drawing is obviously no comparison to the original, but I learnt alot about his style of shading etc. His whole style of drawing is quite distinctive and interesting - every line is actually made up of lots of smaller lines, which is what gives it that otherworldly appearance. You can´t see it unless you look really closely at his pictures. I´ve also tried to see how he draws clouds - always a difficult one!
For the ocean, I´ve been looking at David Elliott´s book (Sydney and the Sea Monster), to try a different style of drawing waves.

Sketchbook: Maine

I´m about to try out some of the exercises in Cathy Johnson´s Painting Nature in Watercolor. Here are some sketches based on the pictures in her book.

Sketchbook Journal: Plimmerton Beach

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sketchbook Journal: All the fish in the sea

This month´s theme in the Sketchbook Challenge is doodling. This is sort of a doodle, in the sense that I just drew (in pen) with no real planning, just drawing as thoughts popped in my head. I was doodling some ocean waves, and then thought I´d write about how my son asks questions these days, like um, what´s the biggest thing the ocean apart from whales, fish, squid, seals, polar bears, jellyfish, etc etc etc etc ?¨, until the only answer I can give is something like, ¨um... plankton?¨

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A face a day (13)

Another sketch I´ve drawn over the breakfast table this week. I´m studying Giovanni Cirvardi´s Complete Drawing book, and gradually getting quicker at the initial sketching stages. This was a really hard person to draw, and I tried about twelve times to sketch him. I can´t quite figure out why it was so hard, but it really was. Even this sketch isn´t a hundred percent right, and I can´t quite figure out what would need to change to improve it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Drawing Waves

I just finished reading Susan Casey´s amazing book Waves. I couldn´t put it down. So I thought I´d have a go at drawing waves, also using Claudia Nice´s various books on pen and ink. I think this turned out well. The reason the surfer is a sock is that it is part of my Matching Sock comic strip on my other blog. It is entirely done with a 0.05 technical pen.

Gratuitous photo of Kaikoura, South island, New Zealand