If you have followed either this blog or my art blog for long enough, you will know that I love classic movie monsters. I draw them fairly regularly – especially during spooky season – but I realized it had been quite a while since I had drawn the Boris Karloff performance as Imhotep, the titular Mummy. I had a great deal of fun drawing the wonky proportions of the figure and I am really happy with the finished illustration.
I have no idea where the idea of a Moth Woman came from. The idea just popped into my head. My only intention when sitting down at my art table was to tackle goache again. As someone educated in 1980s Scotland, my lesson in resilience involved the anecdote about Robert the Bruce and the spider and the mantra of “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” So that is my attitude to goache. I am going to spider it and keep on trying until it is no longer enjoyable.
This Moth Woman was also an attempt by me to try a completely different approach to layering my materials. Inspired by Sue Clancy, who is always so supportive and generous with her creative guidance, I used watercolour pencils for my initial sketching. When I then applied white gouache, it picked up the pigments from the pencils and added some warmth and created a range of white hues. I then went back into some areas of the illustration with the watercolour pencils in order to darken and punch up some forms and shapes. I then added some more white gouache to some areas and added spatters of gouache to the lower portion of the page just for a bit more visual interest.
This was a completely different methodology to me. I am all about that tight line work and black ink and there is none of the latter and very little of the former in this illustration. I think this might be my most successful experiment with gouache so far because I felt the consistency of the paint was more like it should be so I am going to keep trying to get to grips with that medium. I will also use the watercolour pencils from time to time for the sketch layer too in future. It was really valuable to step outside my comfort zone and break out of the rut of my own work groove.
This was the other illustration I created while tuned into professional development workshops. It is possible that Deer Girl was a bit of a warm up because this drawing developed so easily by comparison with barely any erasing. I have a definite preference for drawing female figures so I challenged myself to draw a male character and to draw a face in profile. I am actually really pleased with the result. My Inner Critic is actually really subdued in response to this illustration.
I am one of those people who can rarely settle down to do just one thing at a time. I know it is not efficient to multi-task but I apparently find it challenging to engage in passive activities and I especially need to be doing something with my hands. Therefore, while I was watching some professional development workshops on my laptop early one morning, I grabbed my Art Journal, pencil and pens, and decided to draw at the same time. As I had just drawn Bear Girl the previous morning, I decided to draw a couple of similar characters. The squatting pose for this little Deer Girl involved lots of erasing and reworking of pencil guidelines and I am still not convinced the weight of the pose is correct but at least I tried, right? I also went a bit awry with mixing the skin tone as it ended up a bit too yellow-ochre. Nevertheless, I had fun drawing this illustration and it was the perfect way to occupy myself while listening to workshops.
I woke up really early one morning and powered through most of the things I needed to do that day, including making dinner, before 10am. I, therefore, bought myself lots of free time, including art time. That afforded me the opportunity to develop this little character and create details within the illustration. The proportions are whack but that’s kind of my style so I embrace it. I have struggled to identify my visual voice but, in recent years, I have gradually gained a sense of what my drawing style is. I think this little Bear Girl is a good exemplar of the elements that embody my style. I certainly had a great deal of fun creating this illustration and this is really the approach to art I want to focus on going forward.
In 2019, I completed a sketchbook containing fairytale characters. It is a subject I enjoy but I have not really returned to since that project. I, therefore, decided to draw Rapunzel in my Rainbow Art Journal. I chose Rapunzel because, as you may have observed, I love drawing hair because of all the pattern and line work. This Rapunzel is definitely a bit scruffy, maybe dealing with a bit of bed hair. The disc behind the figure is metallic bronze but has not photographed particularly well.
I find cryptids interesting and I enjoy drawing them. It has been a while since I drew any so I thought I would draw Bigfoot. I could have drawn the scruffy, feral Bigfoot who skulks around the forest but I thought it would be fun to draw Bigfoot dressed up and with a bit of personal grooming. I unfortunately made him a bit bug-eyed and should have resolved that eye shape before going in with the ink. Otherwise I am pretty happy with this drawing.
This illustration is another attempt at using gouache. I am still using it like watercolour, very diluted, so I probably need to get braver about using it at a thicker texture. Even diluted, however, I am finding that the chalky quality to the paint means I am losing some of the detail of my ink work unless I go back over the paint after it has dried. I don’t know whether that approach will work over thicker paint, however. Maybe those of you with experience with gouache can help me find that happy balance with the medium.
This illustration was created way back in 2019 with the products contained within an Art Snacks subscription box. I remember that the blue shade suggested the idea of a bird egg and that sparked the whole idea of a female figure with a nest for hair. It is an idea I still like so I might return to it as a subject at some point.
I have lots of ideas for Sprites in this neutral section of my Rainbow Art Journal so at least one more is likely to make an appearance. My first idea, however, was to draw a Wood Sprite so this character is the result.
I thoroughly enjoyed creating this illustration. All of the weird and wonky shapes and all of the tiny linework to create the bark was absolutely what I love most about drawing. This is the type of drawing that really relaxes me. As I have mentioned before, one of the unexpected benefits of having worked on this mixed media project over a number of years is that I have really come to understand and appreciate what media, methodologies, and styles are really the core of “me” as an artist. I am pretty confident that I am going to abandon my mixed media dabblings to focus on ink and watercolour once I complete this particular Art Journal project.
I work on art projects in small parcels of time throughout the day rather than in one big chunk. This is the practice and habit I have been getting back into over this Summer break. My sketching time, where I develop an idea and map it out on the page, is during my morning mug of tea. That, therefore, is what provided me with the subject for this page. The colour palette was suggested by this page being the transition between the pink section and the neutral section in my Rainbow Art Journal. I do incidentally appreciate that this journal is not strictly limited to the colours in the spectrum of the rainbow and I definitely understand that neutral is not even the name of a specific colour group. However, this is just an art journal for my experiments and doodles so rules don’t matter.