This illustration is another experiment in a yellow and green colour palette but this time using just ink and watercolour instead of mixed media. That combination of colours always makes me think of ‘Fern Hill’ by Dylan Thomas. It was one of my favourite poems to teach and I have fond memories of doing so. The colours of green and gold are used throughout the poem to signify different things about life’s changes and stages. That got me thinking about the transitional phase between childhood and adulthood so I chose to draw a tween girl. Lately I have been drawing ears too small but I think perhaps I over-corrected myself this time and gave this girl ears that are a wee bit too large – what were called “jug lugs” when I was wee. Maybe the proportions just add to the sense of tweenage awkwardness. Yes, let’s go with that.
I grabbed 20 minutes with my art journal yesterday and created this illustration. I guess it is more a character design. I came up with the idea of a humanoid insect by combining this week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt – bugs – with the fact my middle two sons are into comic books and there are some truly bonkers characters to be found in those. So I decided to draw Beetle Woman. Quick ink drawing coloured with watercolour.
This art journal page is an exercise in repetition. I could have used tracing paper or some other technique in order to achieve near perfect consistency between the faces but I instead decided to really challenge myself to see if I could reproduce the same drawing three times. I am actually surprised by how successful I was. You can definitely detect the differences between the three faces but they are definitely close enough to read as identical triplets or clones. It was actually my illustration of clone children that influenced elements of this drawing, such as keeping things monochromatic and giving the figures really rigid hairstyles. I painted the columnar bodies with Daniel Smith’s Lunar Black watercolour because I really love it but am still getting to grips with how best to use it and achieve its beautiful granulation. Ultimately, my first layer achieved pretty good granulation but was too wishy-washy in terms of saturation, but the second layer intensified the saturation but the whole thing became a bit patchy and streaky. Evidently I need to keep experimenting with this paint.
This will be my third year of participating in the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. I signed up immediately and really could have got cracking with filling its pages as soon as I had completed the previous (zombie themed) sketchbook in December. However, I have been procrastinating or so very many months. Partly this was because I was percolating and contemplating several possibilities for my chosen theme and subject but mostly it was because I was crippled once more by that loud inner critic of mine insisting my doodlings are not good enough to be on the shelves of the Art Library – which is ridiculous since two of my sketchbooks are already there. So I gave myself a stern talking to and a wee bit of a pep talk, arrived at a final decision regarding my subject matter, drafted a plan for each page, and I am making a start.
I have opted to work under the umbrella theme “Scenes from a Story” and my subject will be fairytale characters. I will be drawing in my usual style with line work in black ink but this year i have rebound my sketchbook to include Canson Mixed Media paper so that I can add a splash of colour to each illustration using liquid media. I will be sharing my progress over on my more specific art blog and also on Instagram.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, one of the ways in which I use my Rainbow Art Journal is as a record of art supplies I own and the way they behave on the paper I use for art journaling (Canson Mixed Media). This illustration, therefore, was created using the two shades of yellow in my set of Dr Ph Martin Hydrus watercolours – hansa yellow and gamboge. My intention was to be much looser in my creation of a figure on the page but I guess I couldn’t suppress my control freakery enough so the illustration ended up pretty tight regardless. She is one of those sprite type characters I have drawn before and I decided she could represent sunshine. I added a circle in the background using a yellow watercolour pencil and then I filled the rest of the background with spatter. It’s a very imperfect drawing but I had fun creating her and process is much more important to me than outcome when art journaling.
This week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “goddesses or monsters”. As long term readers of my blog will know, I love mythology and especially Greek mythology. I was, therefore, overwhelmed by the possibilities and suffered from a creatively crippling bout of indecision. In the end, however, I decided to whip up a quick ink and watercolour illustration of a Minotaur. The Minotaur is one of my favourite monsters and I had not drawn one for a while. This one echoes the body shape and proportions of one I painted in an altered book three years ago. I placed him on a grey background and used a more muted palette so suggest his labyrinth dwelling. I kept second guessing myself as I am usually a bit more bold with my use of colour. However, I am calling this illustration done.
We had a busy Memorial weekend as the youngest Pict turned 10. Double digits is a milestone birthday in our family so it was a big deal. For his birthday celebrations, we took a day trip to the Poconos and ate lots of scrumptious food and delicious treats. I still cannot believe we no longer have a child in single digits. It really is a cliche but they truly do grow so quickly.
Anyway, the three day weekend meant that we had a good dollop of quality family time and also had time to just chill and relax. I, of course, used my solo free time for art and did some art journaling. This particular illustration was a response to an Art Journal Adventure prompt inspired by blueberries or the colour blue. Followers of my blogs will know that I am a tad obsessed with zombies so that is what I decided to draw. I actually recently drew a whole horde of blue zombie bunnies and my last submission to the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project was a series on zombies but those were mainly heads. It had been a while since I drew an entire zombie figure. I don’t really know where the pose came from except that I knew I wanted lots of sharp angles from bent limbs and hunched shoulders. Ultimately he ended up looking like he was on his haunches ready to spring into action which seems appropriately predatory.