I had a boost to the creative side of my ego recently with two people liking my work so much they commissioned me to produce drawings for them. I have not made any art for anyone other than myself and family for well over a year since the whole immigration and relocation thing gobbled up my free time and sapped my creative energies. I have, however, been gradually building in a bit of time here and there to devote to creativity. It was, therefore, a real pleasure to spend a whole lot of time on art last week in order to design, create and complete both commissions. Of course, the house went to wrack and ruin as a result but meh! You will need to forgive the quality of the photography in this blog post. Last week was incredibly hectic so it is actually a wonder I thought to even grab a quick snapshot of the work in progress and the completed work. Suffice to say they look much better in real life than they do in the photos.
The first commission was for a doodled tree frog. I have done other doodle animals before but this was my first frog. It was a really fun shape to work with and the silhouette was so very clearly of a frog using its sticky feet to clamber up something that I had complete free rein to fill it with whatever doodles struck me. I started by sketching out the external and internal shapes. I then started to fill in the interior shapes with lots of doodles, working in different areas so as to avoid the ink running or blotting or my fingers accidentally smudging anything. It was very therapeutic and restful to just sit at a table in a pool of sunlight and doodle away. I aimed to balance out more geometric patterns with more organic ones.
And here’s the finished doodle tree frog:
In my family, we are a tad obsessed with zombies. I have been crazy for zombies since childhood when I first saw ‘Night of the Living Dead’. I have watched everything I can featuring zombies ever since and have read a few zombie novels too. My kids have inherited my love of zombies though, of course, they don’t get to watch those movies or read those books – since I am not as permissive in such regards as my parents apparently were. They play ‘Plants V Zombies’, dress up as zombies and play zombie-themed make-believe games. They also inspired me, a couple of years ago, to take on a weekly drawing challenge whereby I had to draw a different zombie every single week of the calendar year. Emerging from that personal project, I also sold a few zombie drawings. The other of last week’s commissions was for a version of a Zombie Bunnies drawing I sold a couple of years ago. My eleven year old has yet another version in his bedroom. As you can imagine, I took great pleasure in drawing zombie critters again because it has been a while.
I started by mapping out where the zombie bunnies should appear on the paper. I then applied the colour. I work in quite a graphic way with the detail coming from the drawn line so this stage was all about blocking in chunks of colour to create separation and contrast between the members of the horde.
The final stage is the most intricate and time-consuming as it is about using the ink dip pen to add all of the detail of shape, line and pattern. It is these elements that ultimately give the zombies their unique characteristics and personalities but which also tie the drawing together as a whole, unifying the image.
I had a great deal of pleasure in producing these two very different art works. They were both fun projects. It was also a real joy to be justified in devoting that much time, energy and focus into art again. It made me realise how much I was missing art in my life. My goal, therefore, once we move into our permanent house, is to find a light space in the house that I can “borrow” on a regular basis to act as my art studio. Furthermore, if I can find the time in my schedule to allow me to be productive then I might even explore the possibility of actively selling my art again. But that is getting ahead of myself for now.
Thanks for looking.