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.
Blue Warrior Woman
Last week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici and the idea was to work intuitively to paint a warrior figure, a trope of self-empowerment. In the past six to twelve months I have gradually come to understand and accept about myself that I just don’t get great outcomes when I work intuitively. The battle between my head and any gut feeling, between intellect and instinct I suppose, is just too great to be cooperative when I am in creative mode. Perhaps it goes hand in hand with my style being definitely more illustrative than painterly. I may continue to experiment with working intuitively when creating random backgrounds or attempting something more abstract but otherwise I have decided that I am going to largely opt out of working intuitively. I figure there is no point in pursuing something that just isn’t working for me given how sparse my free time for art is.
When it came to last week’s Life Book lesson, therefore, I decided to adopt the central themes and ideas of the tutorial without adopting the same approach as Bonnici demonstrated. For that reason, I chose to work with colours that instinctively appealed to me. I have been crushing on turquoise combined with red a lot lately so I decided those would be my dominant colours and I figured the blue skin tones might also be a nod to the woad of a Pictish warrior. She ended up a bit expressionless or at least set-jawed and stern but I am going to pretend that suits her as a strong warrior type rather than my inability to paint any sort of personality. One of my sons asked if I was inspired by the movie ‘Avatar’ and another labelled her an “angry smurf” both of which comparisons made me chortle. Not my best work but not my worst either and at least I am catching up on my weekly lessons after last week’s complete and utter lack of art time.
It is rare indeed for me to even watch a Life Book lesson on the day it is issued let alone start and complete the lesson on the same day. Today, however, I accomplished just that. Just as well as I don’t know when else this week I would get it done. We were stuck at home base today while construction work was being done on the exterior of the house so I watched the video tutorial in bitesize chunks and then worked on the art in stages all while handling four kids and keeping an eye on the work being done outside. I am not sure if the art added to my stress or was an antidote. Regardless, I got it done so go me!
This week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Andrea Gomoll and the idea was to create an illustration of an Inner Warrior Princess. The lesson involved media (watercolour and ink) with which I was comfortable and involved an illustrative style which was again in my comfort zone. Some weeks I really appreciate being challenged and forced to try new things but this week the familiarity was very welcome.
Since I am from the Pictish Kingdom of Fife – hence the Pict in PA – I decided that my Warrior Woman would be a Pict. That then gave me the colour scheme as I knew I would want to put some streaks of woad across the figure’s face. I used a mixture of watercolour paint and Inktense blocks to colour my drawing and I then outlined it using my dip pen and India Ink. She is not authentically Pictish, of course. I was not aiming for historical accuracy. This is very much “inspired by” instead of representational.