Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tags, Calendars, and a figure

I haven't been drawing, well not much anyway, only my usual Monday night figure sessions. But that doesn't mean I haven't been doing any art. I have just been working on the computer with Illustrator or my photographs. Above is a Christmas tag I finally finished using Adobe Illustrator. I started this last winter just after Christmas and got most of it done but only in the past few days I actually finish it off.

Lots of layers and I know I should have more reindeer but... other than that I rather like it. So not like my drawing style that it was rather fun to do. I used photographs of a sleigh and of reindeer to draw my sleigh and deer, course the both are simplified versions, and the colors are my own. This makes the 4th gift tag I have designed in Illustrator, have to think about what I want to illustrate next.

My other computer project was to finally assemble the calendar that I also started last year. But this time I found a script on the internet that would create the layout in In-Design for the days of the month. I added the photographs. Photos are from the past 2 years and each photograph was made in the month it is representing. That was fun to do, and I am very pleased with how it came out. The photo above shows units in the process of being assembled, a finished calendar, a bone folder and the printed sheets still waiting to be folded.

I am working on a butterfly calendar to go with it and basically h ave that one done also, just need to head out to Staples to get it printed. I set it up to print on legal sized paper so it is smaller than most commercial calendars but otherwise I think it looks pretty good. Selecting photographs is almost the hardest part of creating a calendar. If I can focus on my animal drawings I would love to create an animal drawing calendar for 2014.

I am thinking about putting them in my Esty Store, but haven't figure out how to show them off.

Above is a week ago Monday's figure drawing. Not totally happy with it, though parts aren't too bad.

I finished what I wanted to do on my drawing a bit early so did another pen sketch, I think I got her head a bit too large, but feet and hands are almost better than in the graphite drawing. 

The photograph above is the one I have used on the calendar cover. It was such a beautiful sunset and I was lucky enough to be at a location where I could photograph it without any buildings or man made objects in the way. It can be very tricky to photograph a sunset without telephone or electric poles not to mention buildings sticking up in the middle.

That is it for today. Hope everyone here in the States has a wonderful Thanksgiving Thursday. Per usual comments are always welcome.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Voting, Figures and a Bookmark

Here in the US Tuesday was election day. Thank heavens the election is over for a couple of years, the political ads on TV were starting to drive me and I think everyone else here in the States crazy. Wish there was some way we could shorten these election cycles, this last one for President lasted 2 years and that is just plain crazy, nothing gets done in the Congress while everyone focuses on the Election and what may happen.

OK I have vented, not knowing what to expect at the polls I took a sketchbook with me. Good thing I did as the line was long and I had time to do some sketching while I waited. Top is a quick sketch of 4 others in line waiting to vote. Middle is a quick portrait of an older woman sitting in a chair waiting for the line to move to where she would be almost next in line. My voting location is in a elderly community complex, the old one was in a school but it moved several years ago. The advantage is that most of the pole workers don't have to travel too far, and it is easier for the residents to vote. Not that I think that is why they moved the location, but it might have been a factor. The last sketch is of part of a decoration in a fish tank in the lobby of the center. Not wonderful drawings but not too bad for just quick sketches. I should do more of these.

Otherwise I haven't been doing a lot of drawing, not entirely sure why, just haven't felt able to sit down and concentrate on any of my animals, weather has been a factor we have had another storm with lots of wind, rain and even some snow. Thankfully where I am the snow is only sticking to the grass and not to pavement, but some communities got about half a foot. The weather forecasters really messed up with this one, people aren't going to be happy.

I did manage to work on another bookmark. Free form daisy's drawn in ink with added color pencil. Not real flowers of course but it was kind of fun to do and didn't take a lot of concentration.

This past Monday I was back in the Studio for my weekly figure drawing session. This one is semi OK, not my best work but much better than last weeks drawing. Lighting was from the floor which makes it easier to draw the features of the models face. Pose was a bit tricky and the model had a bit of a struggle holding it for us.

I finished what I wanted to do on my graphite drawing a bit early Monday night so pulled out my sketchbook and did a quick pen sketch. Lots of errors and not a lot of detail, but I suppose in a way it might be a better drawing, more energy. You can see from the pen sketch how much the pose had shifted by the end of the evening. In some ways I didn't mind, but with this pose which I laid out in the first few minutes when she was more upright there was no way for me to reality check the neck length. I have a feeling it is a bit too long in the graphite drawing, but it is what it is and I will just have to try again next week.

I pulled this photograph out from a group I made last month at Daniel Webster. The berries are Asian Bittersweet. It dries well and makes a pretty addition to fall flower arrangements  However it is an invasive species and not good for the native trees as it tends to wrap itself around tree trunks eventually killing the support tree. There is a native species which isn't quite as aggressive and so does less damage.

That is it for today, hopefully our storm is almost over and I will be able to get back to working on my animal drawings. The Morning Dove is almost done, and I would like to have it finished for my next post. In the meantime comments are welcome and I hope everyone reading is warm and dry.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Morning Dove Dwg and stuff

I have started my new animal drawing, and since I couldn't face any more grass, at least in the near future, I selected a photograph I made of a Morning Dove at the Panne at Daniel Webster. Not close to finished but it is a bit further along than many of the in-process scans I post. I have just started on the feathers and need to spend a lot more time on them. The tree branch it is sitting on is starting to take form, and I  have taken the time to tone the background. Since the background is water there won't be a lot more work to be done on it.

Morning Doves are sort of odd shaped birds with their pear shaped bodies and small heads. Still their feathers are rather pretty, not to mention the fact that I can't be too selective when it comes to the animals I can get a close photograph of, one with enough details for me to draw the animal. So if my drawings seem to be of ordinary animals that is why.

As a break between my realistic animal drawings I spent some time with pen and ink and Inktense pencils to create another bookmark. This is loosely based on Zentangle patterns for the ink work, I added color with the Inktense pencils and then added a bit of water to brighten the colors and blend them together. The Stonehenge paper is heavy enough to take a bit of water without a lot of warping so it works out fairly well. I still have to add a tassel to this one but I picked up some black embroidery floss yesterday so should get to that this afternoon or evening.

I have been posting some of my bookmarks for sale on my Esty account if any one is interested.

Because of Sandy our Monday night drawing session was canceled and moved to Wednesday night (Halloween). I think I should have stayed at home. I am not at all happy with this drawing. Partly it was me, partly the model (she is twitchy and can't seem to hold/keep the pose from one break to the next) and partly the lighting. For some reason Scott went back to direct overhead lighting, and the model whose face is quite delicate was sitting so that her whole face was mostly in shadow. UGH, the foot doesn't even look like a foot,,the way she was curled up on the sofa it was pointed directly toward me. I know I need to learn how to draw under all circumstances, but this direct over head lighting is going to take me a bit to figure out.

Ah well there is always next week, and hopefully a different light source.

As a final image I have a photograph I made at Borderland State Park. The image is of one of the open fields around the old farm house that is on the property. They mow the fields in the summer to keep them open, and you can see the color in the trees that edge the field.

That is it for today. Hope everyone has a great weekend, and per usual comments are always welcome.