Happy Halloween everyone! Hoping for trick or treaters this afternoon and while I wait, I thought I would wish you all a Happy Halloween with a photo of the costumes that Chris and I wore last night and will be wearing tonight. We’re lumberjacks and we’re in love. Chris had a mustache malfunction, so we decided his stubble was enough.
Here are a few more of my journal drawings. The second one was done with my new Lamy Joy calligraphy pen. I had heard a lot of great things about Lamy Safari fountain pens, but when I actually tried one out there was not enough variety in the quality of line for me. I was looking for something that could substitute my dip pens and that would be portable. While shopping for pens at Lee’s Art Shop in NYC the salesman mentioned calligraphy pens. I tried this one out and quickly realized that this is more like what I was looking for. I get a great variety of line and I can take the pen everywhere. I could do without the blue ink, especially since I would prefer something waterproof, which this isn’t. For some reason, this ink and the paper in the Moleskine sketchbook just don’t mix very well – I found myself going over things several times. I did, however LOVE the way it looked and felt when writing. I plan to buy some Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink, but for now I’m going to keep experimenting. So far, I would recommend this pen to anyone looking for a starter fountain pen.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I wanted to start my own visual journal or diary. You don’t get to see the first page because they were ridiculous, but I was really pleased with these subsequent pages. I’m shooting for drawing in it everyday on top of the other work I have planned. I can already tell that this is going to help me focus and find my unique illustration voice.
Looking at the work of other artists and illustrators has felt very important as I work to expand my portfolio. Over and over I have come across the concept of visual journals or diaries. Above is an amazing excerpt from Liyin the Designer-In-Pajamas. This one in particular has inspired me to start keeping a visual diary of my own. I know I won’t be producing pages anywhere near this level for awhile, but I do think it’s a fantastic idea for anyone who is trying to find their voice as an artist or illustrator. How better to find it than to draw something everyday – regardless of how it turns out. I think it is important to have a place to write and draw about your thoughts and experiences with complete freedom. I’m sure it will take me a few days (or weeks or months) to really get into it and get used to drawing without a lot of sketching first, but in the long run I believe it will improve not only my drawing skills but also my conceptualizing skills.
So here is my updated, digital version of my earlier IF Entry. I think this turned out MUCH better. It could use a little more work, but I wanted to slip it in under the Illustration Friday deadline. I’m learning a lot about my style, how I work, and how to best use Photoshop to my advantage. I’ll probably take some more time and get this one to a more finished level eventually. Feel free to compare and contrast!
For a couple of reasons I’m disappointed with the way this piece turned out. I’m very happy with the concept and the layout, but the acrylic paint just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I think this has convinced me to go back to inking on paper and then coloring digitally. Another issue I had was my current scanner. As I’ve mentioned before and as you can see, it seems to pick up all the details I want it to ignore and smooth over all of the interesting detail! I’ve ordered a new one so you won’t be subjected to such low quality scans in the future.
I am submitting this to Illustration Friday as is, but tonight I plan to re-ink it, scan it and color it digitally. If I’m allowed to resubmit I will, but I will definitely post the results here. It should be an interesting comparison and I think it will shed some light on where my true skill is. I love painting, but sometimes acrylics and I just don’t get along that well.
In terms of the concept and color, I would really love to get feedback on this one. Since I plan to do it over tonight I would appreciate genuine criticism – I have thick skin, I can take it!
I don’t have anything completely finished to show you at the moment, so I thought I’d entertain you with one of the oddest looking creatures you’ll ever see. The Star-Nosed Mole. Photos of this thing and some of the other strange creatures roaming this earth seem to have been making the rounds via email and Twitter in the recent weeks, so it seemed fitting that I had just done this quick drawing. I may be using it for an animal-oriented project I’m currently researching. Enjoy!
I just discovered artist and illustrator Grant Gilliland and I’m in love with his drawing style. His blog, The Gross Uncle is full of really incredible work including a play by play of his work on a customized pair of Vans shoes. He also offers to create custom drawings for his fans for $20. These $20 Drawings are full of energy and creativity and all you have to do to get one is ask! I’ve just ordered one and will be sure to post it. In the meantime, please go to his sites and take a look at all of his work. You won’t be disappointed!
This week’s Illustration Friday entry: Flying. I’m not thrilled with the way it came out in the scanner. For some reason mine picks up every fiber of the canvas paper so it ruins some of the smoother areas. I was happy with this as my first painting in a long time and it was good practice for a project I have in the works.