My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


Twilight Flight

A sketched environment with the usual col-erase blue pencil (not non-photo or non-repro blue). One of several I'm playing around with in between working on other things. I'll post more later.


Practice and other Oddities

The top post is one of the scenes from an animation short that I started working on when I went back to school, and then put away on the shelf, so to say, until I found time to work on it again. The elements were built of various watercolour paintings that I cut up in Photoshop, and then composited in Combustion (with some nice Z-space) with some of the set animated there as well. I've been thinking about this old project rather alot lately. For some reason, I'm always most interested in working on my projects when I have actual paying projects that I should be spending every minute on. Ah, well.

More male portrait sketch practice. I don't create many illustrations of male characters, particularly human males, in most of my personal artwork. For me, it's simply more interesting to create a different female character (generally human) because in some fashion it is another aspect of myself that I am actually drawing. In my own little mind, I live that character as I draw it...I know what my character is thinking as well as its motivation for whatever pose or moment that I choose to capture them in. Hmm. I guess I'm trying to say I like to draw my characters from the inside out, which is why I find it more of a chore, er, I mean a challenge to draw men. Plus, the human female form is much easier to draw what with all those nice curves. :) In the face, too. And then there's always the possibility of using my own self as a reference if I need one.


Breaking in the Sketchbook

Today's sketches include some random bits that I did in my new sketchbook, (some with a reference, some not) along with a quick rough sketch of an idea I had for Illustration Friday's topic, "Forgotten" (posted above) that I'm not gonna have time to finish before Friday. I'd like to work on it another time, though. They're all drawn with the usual blue pencil although I did a bit of experimenting with my scanner and Photoshop color settings when I exported them for web posting which is why they're all variations of blue to dark gray.

The story behind it -- well, actually there are 2 stories. My first story thought was based on some childhood memories that I had from when I was about 6, and some of my experiences during the interesting traveling we did around Europe one summer. The other was a thought about that little toddler that was forgotten at the Vancouver airport when his parents were so tired and overwhelmed that they didn't realize that they'd left him behind. And, I wondered: what if it wasn't just days that it took the parents to retrieve their forgotten child; what if it was years? Like if they were traveling interplanetary rather than from one continent to another on Earth. So, my illustration story is about a forgotten child in a spaceport.

Ran out to get a new Strathmore (now Canson) Field sketchbook (my current fave) at the closest art supply store...and the pickings were mighty slim. The art supply section was considerably downsized to what seems to be a mere 10 ft square section. I'll have to start doing my art supply purchasing online like I did whilst working in-house. Just means that I need to plan my purchases, and buy bulk when possible. And if I run out of 2-H pencils, micron pens, drawing and marker pads, vellum, bristol, etc...I need to remember that the nearest stocked arts supply stores will be about 10-20 miles away. I won't even talk about the fact that the nearest comic book store is even further away these days. Sigh.

So later this afternoon I went ahead and did some online ordering since it takes about a week to get here with ground shipping; ordered a couple of pads of Denril Vellum (one of the things I'd hoped to pick up at the art supply store today) among other items (like a couple more sketchbooks which were about half the price). I really like Denril Vellum for tight line-work, particularly when I'm tracing over my tight pencils on my lightbox in order to get clear sharp lines with Micron inks for the final art (before scanning and coloring on the computer). It's a method I picked up years ago when I was doing multimedia artwork -- creating characters and scenes which were colored in Macromind Director and/or Studio 8 and then animated in Director (by me) and assembled in Authorware by the team of programmers. Like I said, it was a while ago. :)


Variations on a theme

After drawing a left foot when I should have sketched a right (d'oh!); I thought I maybe needed to do a bit more figure drawing practice. Plus, I wanted to do some experimenting with costumes. So I paged through a few mags I had around and looked at some stills and video of fashion shows online.

The above sketches are a minor sampling of the scribbling I did today in my sketchbook. And, it looks like I need to get another sketchbook -- I finished up that particular one with these.


Pixie Dixie

My most recent pet mouse, Pixie Dixie. At the moment, my only pet mouse, but one is plenty. She's a really sweet little mousie. When she sees me (I've had her about 2 weeks now) she'll stretch out, walk around her cage a bit, and then reach up for me to pick her up. I'll put my hand down into her little 5 gallon aquarium, and let her hop up into my palm. She'll wrap her little tail around a finger and squeak or chitter at me. I wonder sometimes what she's trying to say. I only keep her out for a little bit before putting her back in the tank -- it's much safer there...I have a couple of cats, too. :)

I get a batch of mice about once a month to feed my two snakes, Copper (corn snake) and Ghost (a Texas rat snake). Since I've had those guys about 18 years (I really didn't think they'd live that long, so I must be doing something right), that's a lot of mice that I've seen. Which is why I rescue one or two once in awhile. Guilty conscious, don't you know. Although, since I'm not a vegetarian I'm not feeling really that guilty...I eat meat, too.

Although except for sashimi, my meat is always cooked.


sketchbook: faces

Some random faces from my current sketchbook. Spent about 15-20 minutes sketching each one with my Sanford Col-erase blue pencil. I felt that I needed some practice doing realistic portraits versus my usual somewhat stylized quick sketches of made-up people.