In my previous post, I explained that I find it difficult to concentrate on my art while also socializing. While one of my solutions is to draw a familiar subject, another is to just doodle around and see what happens without really thinking about it. This monstrosity testifies to the peril of taking that approach. Yikes. This was actually created on the same day as the Bride of Frankenstein from yesterday’s post. The opposite page was covered in gesso leftover from other projects that I had scraped on with an old gift card. The one positive quality to this page is that it has a really interesting texture. As with the Bride, all I had with me were my portable supplies so I grabbed some Inktense pencils and set to scribbling something out. I imagine I must have started out drawing an owl and honestly goodness knows what happens because the result is truly terrible. I spattered some white paint on it after I got home as if that was going to rescue it. What was I thinking? Even if I was thinking anything back then – which I doubt – I certainly cannot remember now that years have passed. At least I am proving my integrity by continuing with my commitment to share the good, bad, and ugly of my art experiments. Judder.
Rainbow Art Journal – Bride of Frankenstein
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.
Rainbow Art Journal – The Mummy
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.
Rainbow Art Journal – Moth Woman
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.
Rainbow Art Journal – Wolf Boy
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.
Rainbow Art Journal – Deer Girl
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.
Rainbow Art Journal – Bear Girl
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.
Rainbow Art Journal – Rapunzel
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.
Rainbow Art Journal – Critical Cat
Thank goodness this is absolutely the last page in my Rainbow Art Journal plastered in collage. As I did with the Flying Pig, I decided to keep the illustration very simple. This is partly because I no longer enjoy the challenge of painting over collage, partly because I did not want to commit too much time to completing this page, and partly because experience has taught me that keeping shapes blocky and limiting layers works best. I share my art table with my two cats. It is situated in the sunniest corner of my kitchen so, of course, while I like the position because of the natural light, the cats like it because they can snooze in the warm sunshine. They often, therefore, watch my while I am at work at my art table and I suspect they are critiquing me. That is what inspired the subject of this page. I suspect my two cats would have scathing feedback about this illustration. I agree with their assessment but I am just glad to have finished off this page so I can move on and not have to deal with a collage substrate again.
Rainbow Art Journal – Dapper Bigfoot
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.
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