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.
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.
This is another one of those pre-pandemic “vintage” pages in my art journal. I produced this illustration while chatting with other local artists at a meet up in a coffee shop. Feels like a different time. Anyway, I had this page that was just covered in leftover white acrylic paint and all I had with me were my travel art supplies so I pulled out a black Inktense pencil and set to work drawing something. One of the things I find beneficial about my art time is that it is just me and the paper and the materials and no other distractions. It is very calming in that way. Conversing with other people while trying to create, therefore, is a challenge for me as I get distracted. One of my solutions is to draw something so familiar to me that I really don’t have to give the illustration that much of my focus. Classic movie monsters being one of my go tos, the Bride of Frankenstein was the subject for his particular day. It’s very simple but sometimes that is what is called for.
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.
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.
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.