Categories
Storytelling

Inktober 2019

An inktober story

For Inktober this year I wanted to practice my storytelling and my character consistency. To be honest, ink was just an afterthought.  I enjoyed working with ink for the first couple of weeks and went full on black and white this year – but the second half of the month was a struggle.

I didn’t seem to get any better with my ink washes or my brush pen so fell back on the old faithful microns to do most of the heavy lifting. 
While I didn’t really enjoy working with ink, or with such a monotone palette, I did really love watching my story of Bell, the world’s youngest paranormal investigator come to life on the pages of my sketchbook.

I wrote a cut down version of the story for my instagram posts this year, but really liked the longer version I started with – so thought I’d pop it in the blog for future reference.

Bell, Bear and Baguette

Meet Bell, the youngest and most esteemed ghost hunter of her generation. But Bell did not liked to be called a ghost hunter.  She didn’t hunt ghosts, or harm them or capture them to harness their energy for evil.
She helped them.

Bell was named after the infamous Bell Witch poltergeist. While she didn’t particularly appreciate being named after a malevolent spirit, she had to admit, Bell was a pleasant sounding name.

Bell came from a long long line of paranormal investigators. Her mother and father were the famous Ghost Hunters Meryl and Deryl Von Ipshwich. (Their real names were Steve and Janet Morris, which simply hadn’t fit their exciting lifestyle, so they had them legally changed in the 70s.)

Bell did not hunt the common poltergeist.

She did not ever meet a ghost with unfinished business.

She never came across someone stuck in purgatory, between life and death.

No. bell’s ghosts were different. They were MUCH MORE erratic, MUCH MORE unexpected. MUCH MORE… cute. Bells job was to help the spirits of lost pets reunite with their owners, for one last goodbye before they passed on to the animal afterworld.

Bell had helped many many pet ghosts in the past. Too may dogs to count.

A den of bunnies and a cluck of chickens.

Even an aquarium of fish that made her quite dizzy.

In all her 8 years Bell thought she had seen it all. All the strange and wonderful animals a person could be friends with. There was the goat that ate everything.

Birds that sang without a sound.

The octopus that hugged too tight with too many arms.

The skunk that, thankfully, couldn’t be smelt. 

But today, on a Tuesday in May, Bell came across her biggest challenge yet. A pet bear. 

“You can’t possibly be a pet” Bell said. but Bear said nothing, because the dead don’t speak. And neither do bears. 
Bell did not know what to do. Bear had flummoxed her. She consulted her “Manual for the Contemporary Pursuit of the Paranormal Arts.”  and then her “A-Z of animal Spirits for the Young Paranormal Investigator”. But not a single bear was mentioned. 

“I guess we’re on our own” Bell told Bear. “How hard could it be to find the owner of a bear as large as yourself?” Bear still said nothing. Bell looked for clues. Her infrared camera picked up Bear’s pawprints – but they just went round in circles.

Her night vision binoculars didn’t find the glint of a name tag or collar. But still, they did look pretty cool on her, so it wasn’t a total waste.

Her thermographic photos didn’t show the aura of owners like they normally did – but showed where birds and squirrels and leaves had been instead.

Her compass swung round and round, back and forth and couldn’t decide which way to take her.

By Sunday Bear was still following Bell, who was feeling like a little alone time. She put up posters all over town. But no one rang. Bear was looking sadder and sadder. With each passing day Bell could see through him a little more and that was bad news. Other ghosts came and went but Bear was still there.

Bell didn’t know what to do. So she started walking.
Bell walked and walked and the bear plodded behind her. She walked until the edge of the city became the centre of the city, but Bear did not look up.

Bell walked out of the city and through tree lined streets with large houses on either side. Children played in the gardens, adults walked with dogs or ran past in bright colours. But Bear did not look up.
Bell and Bear walked into the country and past rows of corn where the wild birds flew high and the air smelt like leaves and rain. But Bear did not look up.

The farms turned into woods and surrounded Bell and Bear. The branches met each other high up and hid the sun. The ground turned soft and damp beneath their feet and paws. And Bear looked up.

Bear turned suddenly and trampled through the woods. Bell ran behind, her gadgets and gizmos wobbled and clanged around her.  And through a gap in the trees, stood a house. A small wooden house with white smoke curling upwards and on the porch there was a man watching the squirrels.  Bear stopped and lifted one great paw towards the man. 
“Is that your owner?” Bell asked, but Bear said nothing. Bell and Bear walked towards the house. 

“hello sir” said Bell, and got right to the point “Have you recently lost your pet bear?” The man smiled but his eyes were sad. “I don’t have a pet bear, but there is one who visits me often. He watches me from the woods but I haven’t seen him in a long time and I miss him greatly”

And then Bear did something quite unexpected.  He grinned for the first time, flopped on the porch next to the man, and squeezed him in a big bear hug. Because Bear was a ghost, an ethereal spirit made from energy and pixie dust, the man felt nothing, except perhaps a twitch in his moustache.

“The Bear would like to say goodbye to you, before he goes” Bell told the man. “I think he loved you very much”

“And I loved him too.” Said the man.
And Bear, who had finally found his pet human, drifted off to sleep and into the great animal beyond. 

Bell, whose feet were very sore and tired, and who wanted badly to go home and take a nap, saw another ghost walk out of the woods. 
“Oh Deer” She said. 

I hope you enjoyed reading the extended version of Bell’s story. If you would like to see the process check out the process video’s on my YouTube channel.

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Uncategorized

5 Minute Obsession – Today is a Gift

A couple of months ago I decided to listen to a new Spotify playlist. It is called Lo Fi Beats, and I played it in the background while I was sketching one weekend afternoon. I rememeber about an hour in in, I told Martin “I keep listening to this playlist and I don’t even think I like it. I just can’t stop listening”

Lo Fi Beats does that thing where the end of each song merges with the beginning of the the next, so the entire playlist begins to feel like one continuous stream of music. But I listened to it again and again over the month and started picking up favourite songs. 

And my absolute favourite is “Today is a gift” by Beowulf. It’s a pretty chill song and would be easy to pass off as another piece of basic instrumental ear candy – if not for the words.  It took me a few listens to recognise the lyrics – they were from Kung Fu Panda.

Quit. Don’t Quit.

Noodles. Don’t Noodles.

There is a saying:

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift.

That is why it is called the present.

I got pretty obsessed with this song and listened to it on repeat while driving to work, or sketching. So I decided to doodle the inspiration behind the song: Master Oogway.

I started with a simple pencil and marker sketch, but really didn’t like it. I actually think i dislike markers – or maybe I haven’t learnt how to use them yet.

I decided to completely paint over it with my Paper Artsy paints. I love these paints – they are muted and matte – two of my favourite things!

When I paint with these I use the “I don’t need no paint palette” technique that I learned from bybun when she has a twitch channel. She just paints straight from the caps – this way you avoid mess and wastage.

After painting lots of tiny dots (the best part!) I went over again with pencil and added by favourite part of the song on the right side of the spread.

I’m really happy with how this turned out and reminded myself that a bad piece of art can be saved if you have the time and the paint!

Categories
Sketchbooking

A week of OOTDs

One of my favourite hashtags to follow on Instagram is the #ootd (outfit of the day). I avoid the real life selfies and focus on the awesome illustrations people do of their own outfits. I always think they would be so fun to do – if only I was fashionable! My fashion sense could be summed up in two words: functional and comfortable. 

90% of my closet is grey, blue or grey-blue and I wear pretty much the same 10 items of clothes in different combinations. But I gave it ago and realised even though I’m not fashion savvy I could still make a pretty fun OOTD doodle. So here is my week of OOTDs.

Outfit of the day - Monday

Monday: always a slow and tired start. Side note: This t-shirt is the most colourful thing I own!

Outfit of the day - Friday

Tuesday: a checkered shirt is the most fancy thing in my closet. I have 6!

Outfit of the day - Tuesday

Wednesday: an uncertain expression and my favourite green cardigan

Outfit of the day - Wednesday


Outfit of the day - Thursday

Thursday and Friday: Sometimes I’m worried about the amount of grey clothes I own – then I remember that grey is an awesome colour!

Outfit of the day - Saturday

Saturday: I ran my first ultra marathon! 31 miles over hills, under trees and through fields of corn. It was so hot, and I was pretty gross, sweaty and constantly thirsty. Getting the watermelon at the last checkpoint was my highlight!

Outfit of the day - Sunday

Sunday: I was pretty tired after my run so I spent all day in my PJs, eating everything I could get my hands on!

I actually drew all of these doodles in my sketchbook with pencils to begin with. One thing I found difficult in drawing 7 doodles of myself, was keeping the character looking the same. The face is a different shape in each doodle, as well as the glasses – but I can assure you I don’t have 7 pairs at home! 

So I took these pencil drawing and converted them to digital doodles in procreate. This way I could easily get the face and the proportions the same. A little bit cheaty? Maybe. I DO want to get better at straight up drawing with pencils and not rely on digital methods- but that will come in time 🙂

I also tried a different style for these. And I’m not sure if it’s me. I’m trying on styles right now, like a more fashionable person would try on clothes. I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet, but I’m enjoying the experimentation!

And that was a week of Oufit Of The Days. Maybe I’ll try this again in Winter…if it ever arrives!

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5 minute obsession

5 Minute Obsession – Criminal

I have been wanting to get back to posting more on my website – but I never seem to find enough time. But I’ve figured out a solution: little time = little post!

I will be putting together these 5 minute reads about something I am currently obsessed with each week. I have been taking a lot of inspiration in lately, making plenty of deposits to my creative bank account. So my mind is crammed with information and I can’t keep it all straight.

I’ve read many books, found new artists to follow, new blogs to read and movies to watch. So I’m going to share one new thing I am obsessed with each week.

Criminal Episode Art

I’m starting with podcasts today – and a particular one called Criminal. It may seem strange to write about a crime podcast on an art blog – but I have become obsessed since learning of it’s existence last week. 
I was ready to tell you about any of the numerous art and creative podcasts I listen to. Because of my daily commute – I listen to A LOT. But sometimes you can have too much art talk. I’ve listened to so many interviews with artists over the last couple of months they all blur into one.

Enter criminal. A completely different experience – but still creative, engaging and full of story. Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Each episode is about 20 minutes long and I’ve heard a lot of crazy, funny and even heartbreaking stories. 

To bring it back to art – all the images in this post were illustrated by Ilustrator and Designer Julienne Alexander. She has illustrated all 120 episodes of the podcast with these really cool graphical drawings.

Check out one of my favourite episodes so far – Pen & Paper. The hosts interview Andy Austin who worked as a courtroom sketch artist in Chicago for 43 years. She has sketched everyone from disgraced governors to John Wayne Gacy, and says she only made someone look bad on purpose once.

Other podcasts I’m loving right now:

Everything is Alive: Interviews with inanimate objects.

The Anthropocene Reviewed: Author John Green reviews facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale.

The Picturebooking Podcast: In-depth interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators

Categories
Sketchbooking

The Lost Urban Sketches

A few years ago I was lucky enough to live in Spain, which has since become one of my most favourite places ever.

I lived and worked in Barcelona as an assistant English teacher, as part of a program assisting the English teachers, taking your own classes and in return living with a family for the year for free.

I did this for two years and the first year I lived with a lovely teacher called Ana in a small town near Montserrat called Abrera. I didn’t draw much in Abrera and wished now that I had.

Abrera Rooftops
Abrera Countryside

But the second year I stayed in a different town called La Garriga. I lived with a family from the school who were so kind and welcoming that I really enjoyed my time with them.

The town of La Garriga is about 40 minutes outside of Barcelona city and was filled with beautiful architecture. 

La Garriga House

It was in this village that I gained a love for urban sketching. I didn’t know it was called urban sketching at the time, I just knew I wanted to document the houses I saw in pen and paper. 

La Garriga House


I bought a cheap moleskin rip off, some coloured pens and then each lunch I would plonk myself in front of a house along El Passeig and draw away.

Last week I was spring cleaning my art desk and found these two unfinished sketchbooks. I come across them every now and then and flick thorough. Each page reminds me of a moment in time – sitting on a hard bench or dusty ground, the older school kids wondering back to school from the sweetshop, the speckled trees and trying my best to capture what I loved about these scenes in my sketchbook.

La Garriga House

There is block of houses in La Garriga: the Raspall block with 4 houses designed by the Modernist architect Raspall. These buildings have been names a National Cultural Heritage and they made beautiful subjects to sketch.

La Garriga House
La Garriga House
La Garriga House

I also loved the trees which held a special quality I haven’t found in England. There papery textured bark and bare cut limbs reaching to the always blue sky.

I played with texture and pattern and line. I hadn’t drawn for years at this point, but I didn’t care if the perspective was off or the lines were wonky. It was the finished drawing that was important, it was the act of drawing it.

La Garriga House

At the weekends I took the train to other towns. Sometimes Vic, Sometimes Girona.

Vic
Girona

But most weekend I took the train to Barcelona and without a map, wandered the streets till I knew them by sight. I bought pastry’s from panaderías and had picnics in the parks.

barcelona arc de triomf
barcelona arc de triomf CU

I walked all the way to Barceloneta, just to see the W building jutting up from the shoreline. I practised my Spanish with shopkeepers who didn’t have the patience for tourists. I took photos of graffiti and street signs and the tiled pavements. Barcelona is a creative feast for an artist.

barcelona parc de la ciutadella
Barcelona Cathedral

I don’t urban sketch anymore. After a year of sketching in and around Barcelona, the streets of my UK town seem plain and unappealing.

The buildings don’t tell me stories like they used to in Spain.

So I can’t bare to complete these half empty sketchbooks, maybe I’m secretly hoping to sit on the streets of Barcelona again, with a pen and a sketchbook, to create new moments and new memories. 

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Project: Year One

Project: Year One

Welcome to my Year One. It’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s because I was floundering. I didn’t know what I as doing, what I wanted or how to get there.

May 31st – I was sitting on anther train on another long commute home from my new job. And I was listening the 3 Point Perspective podcast. This podcast is the best! Hosted by Jake Parker, Will Terry and Lee White – it’s basically an hour of getting the best tips, stories and advice from industry experts.

I was listening the the second episode “Am I too old to start?” where they speak about getting into an illustration career. One thing that stuck with me is when Lee said something like “5 years is going to pass, if you start or don’t”. And so was born the idea of my Year One project.

I have always wanted to be creative in some way. In my life I have wanted to be (in no particular order) an illustrator, horror book writer, graphic designer, web site creator, Pixar professional, 3D guru, motion designer extraordinaire a struggling artist living in a freezing loft in New York, a scuba diving media journalist, a full-time YouTuber, a successful Etsy store owner and a waitress on roller blades in a 1950’s themed diner. 

I’ve achieved most of these dreams partially – but never fully. Worked as a 3D artist for about 6 years. Written several novels during Nanowrimo. Got my Padi scuba diving license. Slaved away in resturants (not on rollerblades thank goodness!). Learned a bunch about motion graphics and animation. Made 11 sales in my Etsy shop and I try to draw every day.

But I’m not happy. 

When I was in university, studying animation and film and 3D, I would come home after class and spend hours on the computer learning more. I devoured every website, magazine and tutorial. I WAS going to be an amazing 3D artist. 

And then I got a job doing 3D. And slooowly the love for it faded. I still got a kick out if seeing a finished project, of knowing I had created a cool looking image or video – but I didn’t wake up excited to got to work, like I used to when I was in school. They say if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

That is bullshit. Maybe.

Our wants and needs change, just like we do. An right now all I want to do is spend each day in comfy clothes at home, drawing, painting and learning more to be a better artist. 

But I know my limitations – I may be able to draw a cute stylized girls portrait or sketch animals from reference pretty well, or piece together a human body (if I hide the hands!) – but I am no way ready to start thinking about illustration jobs or even to create an illustration portfolio.

Perspective Exercises
Combining Objects
Finding the center
Worksheets from SVSlearn

I don’t know what I want to illustrate yet – there are so many possibilities: children’s books, comic books, graphic novels, editorial, technical illustrations, surface pattern design…so that’s another goal this year – to find what I would love to do.

My plan is basically based on the episode I mentioned above.

Project: Year One

  • Learn the fundamentals
  • Take online classes
  • Watch YouTube videos
  • Read art books
  • Study the masters
  • Learn about the industry
  • Check out kids books and graphic novel from the library
  • Follow illustrators
  • Find People whose work I love online and follow their process
  • Find out what an illustrator does, the pros the cons, the mistakes they make, the stories they tell

So that’s my Project: Year One plan – to immerse myself in Illustration and get a solid art base. I’ll use this space to document my journey and my improvement.

I’m going to use this blog more as a journey of my improvement now…so hopefully I can post more regularly and really keep myself motivated!

And if you know of other amazing illustration-based resources, classes, podcasts or YouTube channels please let me know! 

Categories
Mini Masterpiece

Mini Masterpieces – GUSTAV KLIMT

The second mini canvas I will be painting this year in based on the artist Klimt. It is quite a leap from the abstract work of Rothko last month – to Klimt’s highly detailed and patterned works of art, but he has been one of my favourite artists for a while now and I couldn’t wait to attempt to copy one of his pieces of work.

Art is a line around your thoughts.

I believe I first noticed Klimt when I was watching the film “This Means War” where Chris Pine takes Reese Witherspoon on a date to see her favourite Klimt paintings. The scene is pretty funny and the movie was okay I guess – but what I’ve always remembered is when they unveil The Kiss – one of Klimt’s most famous paintings. And I just thought it was beautiful and serene and very gold!

 

Gustav Klimt's The Kiss

Klimt was born in 1862 near Vienna and studied architectural painting in university before going into business with his brother and friend. They called themselves the company of artists and painted interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings.


 In 1892 Klimt’s father and brother both died and he was left to support his and his brothers family. Some experts say this tragedies affected his artistic vision, helping him move towards a more personal style.

Klimt

I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women

Woman were the main subject for his works, sometimes getting him into trouble. In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to create three paintings- Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence – to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna but he he was criticised for painting pornographic images and they were never put on display.

His paintings continued to evolve into his most famous – the golden phase. He received positive critical reaction and financial success from these paintings, often using gold leaf and high society woman as his subjects. 

Fufillment
Hope II
Judith and the Head of Holofernes

For this month’s study I’m painting his most famous piece: the kiss, but I think my most favourite painting from the golden phase is the portrait of Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.

Klimt died in 918, having suffered a stroke and pneumonia due to the worldwide influenza epidemic of that year. 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with the flu and 50 million worldwide died. Since his death, Klimt’s paintings have sold for some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art. His painting Adele Bloch-Bauer II, sold for $150 million in 2016. 

There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night … Who ever wants to know something about me … ought to look carefully at my pictures

This was just a little look at Klimt, his life and work – go check out his stuff online (or even better – in a museum) and don’t forget to look carefully at his pictures!

Check out the process video on my YouTube channel!

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Uncategorized

Endangered Inktober Zine

Why a Zine?

I completed my first zine!  I am running my first marathon in April for the WWF and I need to raise £500. This might not seem like a lot of money to someone who has a large family, a big group of friends and 40 co-workers, but that isn’t my case! I also hate asking people for money – even if it’s for charity. So I decided to put my skills to use and create a product to sell.

In October I created a bunch of endangered animal illustrations with Liquitex Muted inks and Windsor and Newton gold inks. I thought these images would make an awesome little zine – especially if they were accompanied with a few interesting facts about the animals habitat and reasons for it’s endangerment.  So I decided to just go for it and do the whole thing myself!

This is a very brief look at the process – but I have an entire video series that goes super in depth here.

Inktober zine - illustrations

Designing the Zine

I took all of my Inktober images and scanned them into Photoshop using my Canon Lide 220 scanner. They needed a bit of cleaning up – so I got rid of the background and chucked them in inDesign.

Inktober zine - inDesign

This was the first time I had used inDesign in about 8 years – so I had some catching up to do! I positioned all the images and wrote a little blurb for each, about the animals, it’s environment and threats to the species. Then I needed a front cover.

Inktober zine - front cover texture Inktober zine - front cover design

I used the sames inks to create some cool splats and drips. Then I took those into Photoshop to design the front cover. It’s a pretty simple design but I think it stands out!

Printing the zine

Printing was the absolute worst. It took me an entire day, a hundred tutorials and articles and about half my printer ink to figure out how to match colours. But I did it in the end! Printing was a lot harder than I had expected and it was at this point, I was questioning my decision not to out-source.

Inktober zine - printing Inktober zine - print colour mismatch

The amount of print tests I got through was crazy!

Inktober zine - print tests

Assembling the zine

After I perfected printing – it was time to fold. I used this really cheap card scorer to fold score and fold the pages so each was had a nice sharp edge and lined up correctly.

Inktober zine - scoring pages Inktober zine - folding pages

Then came stapling (a nightmare) and finally trimming. I did this the old fashioned way with a ruler and blade. I found out the hard way, by destroying and entire book,  that the blade needs to be super sharp!

Inktober zine - trimming

Then I packed it up really nicely with a few little freebies and a nice thank you note and popped it in the mail. The zine has been online for three days now and I’ve already sold 6 which I am really happy about! All proceeds of the zine and the originals go to the WWF, so hopefully I can raise some money.

Inktober zine - front Inktober zine - back Inktober zine - spread 1 Inktober zine - spread 2 Inktober zine - spread 3 Inktober zine - spread 4

If you would like to know more about the process you can watch the first video below. If you would like to purchase a zine yourself – check out my Etsy shop!

 

 

 

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Mini Masterpieces – MARK ROTHKO

I have an idea to paint mini masterpieces for a while, and I’m starting with American artist Mark Rothko.

You know those tiny little canvas on easels you can buy in craft fairs? I got one for a present last Christmas and ever since then I’ve had the idea to paint little copies of my favourite paintings – or to even learn about new artists. I think I had a few art history classes in university or maybe even high school, but I can’t remember any of it – although I have always wanted to learn more. To learn about the different movements in art and what they were influenced by, to learn about my favourite artists and discover new artists, living or deceased.

So I’m taking this little canvas (and 11 of it’s friends) and once a month this year, I will be looking at an artist and then painting a miniature version of one of their pieces. To start with I choosing someone whose art can seem very simplistic on the surface – but when you look deeper – you’ll find many layers.

Mark Rothko

“To me art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risk.”

I can’t remember when I first found Mark Rothko – but I’ve always been aware of his famous “block colour” paintings. They are the kind of thing you may look at and think: “Jeeze…a 3 year old can do that”, but then you look again and see layers and layers of colour that seem to glow from the canvas. I was super interested in finding out more about Rothko and discovered he had a really interesting artistic journey to arrive at these colourful paintings.

Rothko moved with his Family from Russia to the United states in 1931 and he refused to to be put into the box of any art movement, but he is generally identified as an abstract expressionist. His first paintings in the early 1920’s were influences by expressionism, and are very different from the boxes of colour he is most known for. These painting often depicted claustrophobic, urban scenes – such as the New York subway – and painted in bright acidic colours.

Rothko’s work moved to Surrealism in the 1940’s and his painting included abstract imagery of humans, plants and animal forms. At this time, Rothko was also interest in mythology and has been quoted saying:
“without monsters and gods, art cannot enact a drama”
 
 In the late 1940’s Rothko started reducing the forms in his painting to mere shapes and colours. These would be the seed to his later best-know works and were dubbed “multiforms” by the art world. I find it really interesting when looking at this time line – how his worked got more and more abstract as the years went on and by continually simplifying his work he developed his unique style.
“The progression of a painter’s work, as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity.”
Hi multi-forms grew simpler, took up more space. The soft edged cubes of colours seem to float on the canvas. This is what Rothko was working towards and what he is best know form. These painting are know as “sectionals” and Rothko felt they better met his desire to create universal symbols of human yearning. His paintings were not self-expressions, he claimed, but statements about the condition of man. These painting may seem simple, but I think then are so beautiful. I don’t know if I’m intelligent enough to see the yearning if man in these shapes and colours, and I would probably cause Rothko to roll his eyes if he knew I just loved how the colours shone through.
 “If you are only moved by color relationships, you are missing the point.”
I guess I’m missing the point, but at least I have a nice view while I miss it!
 In 1968 Rothlo suffered and aortic aneurysm and speant 3 weeks in the hospital. This brush with death followed him for the rest of hos life and the next series of painting was a departure from years on colours. These were 25 canvases titles “black on Grays” and would be the last thing he painted before he took his own life in 1970.
“There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend: One day, the black will swallow the red.”

Miniature Masterpiece

Before I painted a teeny canvas with my feeble attempt at Rothko’s styles, I sketched a spread in my sketchbook. I really love how this little portrait of Rothko turned out. I also jotted down some keys dates in his art journey, a famous quote, and of course I had to sketch out some sectional examples.

I chose to use the Black on Grays as examples. As his last, slightly sad, paintings, these canvases still hold colour. At first glance they look like shades of grey, but if you look closer you can see greens and reads and creams peeking through. I wonder what he was thinking when he painted these, it looks like they were dark heavy thoughts.

My marker doodles don’t do them justice, but they were fun to draw!

Then I moved on to the canvas. I decided to paint this bright orange, red and yellow piece. I used gouache, in the hopes I could layer the paints the same way Rothko did. It didn’t really work though as gouache activated the layer beneath. I was able to use some scrubbing technique to get the lower layers to peek through.

This is a pretty poor attempt at copying a Rothko painting, but it was a fun little exercise. While this is a very simplified version of Rothko’s style, if you are interested in learning more about his painting techniques – check out this cool video I found on YouTube that explains how he painted.

And my process video is below 🙂

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Uncategorized

2019 Art Goals!

2019 is here and so are some new art goals. I love the start of a new year and thought it was the perfect opportunity to create a new avatar and think about my art goals for 2019. Last year I didn’t make any goals and got a bit lost and unfocused at time. I tried waaay to many personal monthly challenges, which all failed because I was trying to force myself to draw something I didn’t feel like.

I also find I don’t really have a thing yet. Like, some artists really know what they like. They draw snippets from there life, or comics about cats, or ethereal portraits of waifish woman. I don’t have a thing. One day I’ll draw a penguin, the next I’ll draw a house from google maps, the next I’ll draw a terrible portrait and then cover it in black paint and call it “moonless night”.

So for 2019 that’s gonna be my main goal: find my thing! I got to planning how I’m going to do that in Frannerd’s new planner.

2019_art_goals_planning

So, how am I going to do this?
  1. People – full bodied, in poses, in actions, interacting, doing stuff. Keep the dismembered heads to a minimum
  2. Places – these are things my people will interact with. Not a full street scene, but maybe just a bench and a flock of birds to feed.
  3. Pets – this should really be animals (but that doesn’t alliterate!) I really enjoyed drawing animals for Inktober last year so I’m keeping the party going!

2019_art_goals

So everything I do this year will fall under one of those sections (or all of them at the same time!) and no more monthly challenges! Hopefully this way I will keep a focus and improve my skills and style.

A couple of little goals I have are to fill up some of my empty sketchbooks. I’m hoping to fill up 6 – that’s 2 a month – so hopefully it’s doable! If not, hopefully my pet llama can help me out.

2019_art_goals_sketchbooks

Lastly, I would like to work in Procreate more – so I’m starting a digital sketchbook and I’ll try to draw in it most days. I want to keep a sketchbook because I find working in Procreate quite stressful sometimes. There’s so many choices, so many brushes and ways to do things. So many styles and I can undo and re-do over and over and over. So with all of that AND the pressure to create an amazing finished piece – it just kind of put me off from using my iPad for art.

So watch out Procreate – I’m coming for you!

2019_art_goals_ipad

Those are my goals this year. Check out the video below to see the process of my new avatar and hear me ramble about goals some more.

Do you have any personal or art goals this year?