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.


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. :)


Skipper Pickle said...

And i remember just how long ago...

Your description of the Forgotten illustration prompts me to say that i've really been struck by how your illustrations invariably seem to have some element of narrative to them. i find that i stop thinking about the illustration and start thinking about the story behind it.

That's a neat trick and i wonder how conscious it is.

Tanja said...

Totally on purpose. I usually come up with a story idea that I want to capture a moment from, hence the doodles; or if I start drawing a scene, then I start to think of a story that would explain why this particular moment is important...and that influences the poses of any characters and the layout of my scene (maybe subliminally directing the viewer to a particular area, etc.).
Which is also why I try to get as much info as possible when I'm working with art directors -- I suppose like an actor in a play (or the stage director), I'm trying to capture motivation and purpose for my illustrations.