Justified by the fact I was very burned out and running on empty, I spent most of Winter break in hibernation mode. I decided to participate in a manageable festive art challenge in order to force me to make time for art at least every couple of days. The one I opted for was Yuletide Witches created by Heather Mahler. The magical theme appealed to me.
The first prompt was “Ice Witch” and I think I started pretty strong with my illustration. She maybe looks a bit more like a pixie or some such than a witch but I was pleased with how the ice crown turned out.
The second prompt was “Ghost Witch” and I was disappointed by my efforts. I got carried away with all the shroud wrappings so the effect is much more mummy than witch and I am not happy with the face either. The good thing about an art challenge is there is always another prompt waiting and the opportunity for improvement.
I was much happier with my “Bow Witch”. She turned out much closer to the vision I had in my head. Since that prompt was for Christmas Day, I opted for traditional Christmas colours of red, green, and gold – not a combination I would usually use – and I think it is quite effective in this context.
The next prompt was “Reindeer Witch” and I decided to make her a bit more spooky. I used a photo reference for the reindeer skull but – true to form – I got the proportions all wrong. I think visually it still works well as a headpiece and overall I am pleased with how this drawing turned out.
The penultimate Yuletide Witch was a “Dried Fruit Witch” and I had actually been dreading that prompt because I had zero inspiration and no idea what I was going to draw when I put pencil to paper. Then I thought of all of those garlands of dried citrus fruit and how they could mirror chunky necklaces and that led me to think of cranberries as beads and that whole aesthetic of bold jewellery made me think of Endora from ‘Bewitched’ and gave me the vibe for the witch herself. And so the witch drawing I had most been dreading turned out to be the one I enjoyed drawing most.
The final witch was a “Wishing Star Witch” and I decided to challenge myself to create a sense of glowing – something I knew I would struggle with. I think I made some progress in that area with this illustration.
So those are my Yuletide Witches. I enjoyed working on them and having some quiet time at my art table every couple of days. They have photographed horribly because of the grey, dull light but the editing adjustments have them close enough to reality for sharing purposes.
I have been sick for over a week now. I am negative for all the big ticket items. I just have several lower level viruses combining into an overall debilitating grot. The doctor was befuddled by how I had fallen prey to so many bugs at once until he learned I was a preschool teacher. Apart from Covid – when I was asymptomatic – I have not been sick at all since 2019 so it is also fair to say that my immune system is weedy and pathetic and really has not rallied the defences at all. It’s an incredibly busy and demanding time of year so being sick right now is also a source of stress and frustration. Overall, I am feeling pretty miserable.
All of which preamble is to explain why I yet again turned to a Draw This In Your Style challenge for my art time. Free time is pretty paltry right now, as I am sure it is for most folks, so it was convenient for that reason as well as the fact that I am just feeling pretty cruddy. I opted for a challenge set by Inknes due to its very simple colour palette and because I liked the mythological and heraldic vibe to her original. I have found that I really like drawing weirdo wolves. I like drawing the body shapes and also all of the linework for the hair. I enjoyed working on this piece and it was a welcome distraction from feeling sorry for myself and my rubbish immune system.
‘Tis the season for me to have very little spare time. However, over the course of a few days, I managed to respond to a Draw This In Your Style challenge. The Ivy Foxes challenge was set by an artist who goes by Vossanova on Instagram and I thought it would be a fun experiment for me to try and draw them since their style is so distinctive and very different from my own and because animals aren’t a frequent subject of mine. I am not satisfied with the end result because there is such a massive gap between the image I had in my head and what appeared on paper – turns out I am not very adept at drawing foxes – but I found it very relaxing to draw all of that ivy – hence I got very carried away with it. I had fun drawing it and really that is the most important thing.
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.
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.
I don’t have a LinkedIn account but, if I did, I could possibly list as one of my skills “Draws creepy eyed children from yesteryear with proportions that are wonky to an often unsettling degree”. I did a whole series of drawings based on vintage photographs last year and most had wack proportions and many were bobbleheaded. Apparently I have experienced zero growth since completing that series because this pair of sisters might be the most big-headed figures yet. I don’t mind. I had fun drawing them, which is the main thing, and they make me laugh. The girls in the photograph I used for this illustration were holding baskets of flowers in their hands but I eliminated those from my drawing. Incidentally, this was drawn on the reverse of a very crinkly page so has not photographed at all well. It will flatten out over time because of the weight of the book.
As a wee girl with limited access to TV and only a couple of channels available when I did have the opportunity, I would consume whatever happened to be on. Often that meant showings of vintage movies and reruns of comedies from the silent era. As such, I developed a real love of the vaudeville, physical antics of actors like Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton. I don’t think I have ever drawn Buster Keaton so I decided to have a crack at depicting him in this grey section of my Rainbow Art Journal. I wanted to capture his deadpan expression and those large eyes that convey so much. While I normally fill the background with a disc or random shape, I chose to draw a very simplified house shape as a nod to Keaton’s famous stunt whereby the front of a house collapses on him. As a first ever attempt at drawing Buster Keaton, I am pretty happy with how this illustration turned out.