I found myself with enough time to tackle another Draw This In Your Style challenge and – since we are still in spooky season and Drawlloween – I thought I would tackle the challenge of drawing a teen vampire by an artist named Alexandra. I always find it fun to translate digital art into my analogue ink and watercolour and this one was no exception. I think my version looks more tween than teen because I drew fuller cheeks but otherwise I stuck pretty closely to the composition and colour palette.
I am back in the classroom and my own kids are back in school so I am immensely, overwhelmingly, exhaustingly busy. However, I am working hard at carving out time for art as a way to decompress and balance things out. I am currently beavering away through Drawlloween, the annual daily drawing challenge, and sharing my illustrations on my other blog. By some miracle, I found myself with extra time to draw this past weekend so – what with my creative brain being fried from the daily drawing – I thought I would have a crack at a Draw This In Your Style challenge. I selected a vampire created by Heather Mahler because it’s still spooky season. I have done two of her previous DTIYS challenges because her subject matter appeals to me, I like her colour choices and the way she utilises symmetry and asymmetry while her style and medium are very different from my own. I really enjoyed creating this drawing. It all came together with ease so was very relaxing to work on.
This is another drawing I did for the #Tekenuurtje challenge on Instagram. I thought the angles and weight of the pose would provide me with a suitable challenge and they really did. I did a lot of fussing over the legs in particular. However, I think I actually rose to the challenge as I believe I have everything looking “right” in the end. The proportions are not spot on but it wouldn’t be my style if things weren’t at least a little awry. I cannot find a way to link to the original photo so you can click a link to my Instagram post and swipe to see the source image.
Behold! For I have finally reached the very last page of my Rainbow Art Journal. After this illustration, I get to close this sketchbook, take it off my art table, and file it away on a shelf. It has taken me five – FIVE – years to finish this art journal. There was so much procrastinating and so many lengthy breaks where it just sat abandoned on my art table. I have started and completed so many other art projects during that span of time but this particular journal and project was a malingerer. I am, therefore, very happy to have accomplished my art mission for this Summer break in finishing this journal.
For this last drawing, I took my inspiration from one of my sisters. When we were kids, she was really into Rainbow Brite. We never saw the show (did it even air in Britain?) but I had won three of the plush toys in a competition and, having no interest in them (I think I was 9 and had never been into dolls) I gave them to my sister. She absolutely loved them and expanded her collection. Anyway, my idea was to draw a less cartoony, less cutesy Rainbow Brite but there was a twist: I decided to challenge myself to create the illustration entirely from memory, without any visual references whatsoever. I actually remembered the costume pretty accurately in terms of the arms being comprised of stripes but with a preponderance of blue. I decided to steer away from the original costume while maintaining the stripes and translating it into a blockier design. Where I was completely adrift from the original character was with the hair. While I got the hairstyle right, I had completely misremembered the colour. I really believed her hair and been rainbow coloured but, nope, she was just blonde or ginger – depending on the incarnation. Never mind my memory fail because I actually like the rainbow hair for the purposes of my journal.
Incidentally, the washi tape is not really a compositional element, though I decided to let it peek through a thin layer of white paint. This poor art journal has taken a beating and some of the pages are separating from the binding. The tape was, therefore, entirely practical.
Although I am glad to be finally saying farewell to this project after all of these years, I am glad I undertook it. In some ways it has been useful that it took me so long because I can look at the early pages of this sketchbook and see how far I have progressed with my skills. For example, the way I draw faces has improved a lot. It also does work well as a record of my experiments with different colour combinations. There are many that I would use again. I have also learned that turquoise really does go with everything. However, I have also decided – especially in this past 18 months – that I am no longer very interested in mixed media. I definitely feel more “me” as an artist when I am using ink and watercolour and I think, whether chicken or egg, that my skills are far better in those media than they are with others. I am, therefore, going to focus on ink and watercolour going forward – while challenging myself to get better with gouache because pushing myself out of my creative comfort zone is never a bad thing.
I have lots of ideas for future art projects. I think I work most efficiently when I work on a series but what I am considering is running a few series at the same time, one that is simple I can work on on days when I have tiny portions of free time and one that is more involved. Once I figure it all out, I will be sharing that art over on Pict Ink. Stay tuned I guess.
This is the penultimate page in my Rainbow Art Journal. I am almost there! As I so often do, I decided to draw a female figure with a circular disc in the background but this time I drew several discs so that they could form circular bands, one for each colour of the simplified rainbow (purple in place of indigo and violet). Don’t judge my geometry skills: I do not own a compass so I traced the red circle and then eyeballed the other rings from there. There are definite flaws in this piece and things I would do-over but, even with those and the wobbly not-concentric circles, I am pretty pleased with this illustration. So much so, indeed, that I rather wish this was the final page in the art journal because I have a suspicion my final drawing will not be up to snuff.
I recently drew Boris Karloff as The Mummy and I found it so relaxing to draw all of those wrappings that I felt the impulse to draw another mummy. As I had hoped, it was indeed calming and enjoyable to draw all of those overlapping and dangling bandages. Maybe drawing monsters is my meditation? Anyway, I am pleased with the final drawing. Sure, the head is way too big and the other proportions are also awry but she’s a monster and those can be a bit wonky. My style may actually be apt for this subject.
Another Sprite for the series contained within this Rainbow Art Journal. This one is a stone sprite. I imagined her body being constructed from piles of stones, like a cairn, just like the small one I drew balanced on her hand. I added in some craggy shapes, like split rock, to offset all of the curves, but I think I like all the rounded shapes better. What do you think? I have struggled to use Daniel Smith Lunar Black effectively to really make the most of its wonderful granulation. I am, therefore, especially chuffed with how that paint choice has worked out in this illustration. I really think that visual texture adds so much to this drawing.
This illustration actually started off as a depiction of someone being sucked up in a beam of light. Think UFOs and alien abduction. As the drawing progressed, however, I decided that the figure was actually doing the opposite and was falling. The negative space was, therefore, a tunnel or pit rather than a beam of propulsive light. This was another “short on time” day which necessitated me painting only a single layer of watercolour. As such, the black “tunnel” edges of the composition are very patchy. They would certainly benefit from additional layers of pigment to make the black richer and more dense. As much as that uneven, mottled quality bothers me, I am trying to convince myself that the scrubbiness works to suggest some kind of rough textured surface, such as packed dirt. That’s me attempting to hush my Inner Critic. It has not photographed well but the spatter – used to suggest disturbed debris – is two shades of gold watercolour.
With a busy day ahead of me but still determined to keep up with my almost-daily art habit, I figured one solution would be to work in monochrome and with a single layer of watercolour. I, therefore, mixed some grey paint at different dilutions and used my ink pens to create a slightly wider range of tones through mark making. It’s a very simple drawing but I am glad I made the time to create it.
My intention, as a set forth on this drawing, was to create an illustration of the Maschinenmensch from Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’. However, as I went along, I departed from the character design and ended up with a more generic feminine robot. There are still elements of False Maria in there, mainly in the torso, but I will have to have another attempt at drawing Maschinenmensch at a time when I am more capable of focusing on details. This has not photographed well in the bright sunlight of a summer heat wave but the robot figure is painted in Rembrandt graphite watercolour so is very densely metallic and shimmery. What looks patchy, therefore, is actually just the way the camera is picking up the sheen. Also, while the eyes look blank white, they actually have silver irises.