Saturday, June 25, 2011

An attempt at digital sumi-e

Drawing this was very zen. Does that make sense grammatically?
Did some more texture brushwork in Photoshop. Had no clue what I was doing.

EDIT: I don't know how tacky it is for me to point out my own flaws, since I can't STAND it when other artists are always ripping on their own work, but I feel the need to say that I hate the way I did the shading in this drawing and have got to use more references. Sigh. Other than that, I still love this drawing.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Different style

Inspired by Flomino's style of drawing what she wears and after looking at her awesome texture tutorial, I came up with this:
I got that huge t-shirt at a Guitars Unplugged concert up at BYU-I and bought the red sweats at Savers for my ice skating class. I LOVE those red sweats. They are the loudest piece of clothing I own.

I love drawing like this. It's fun, fast, and is a GREAT way for me to force myself to learn color without too much pain.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sketcheroodle Froodle

So I managed to find the CD and install the software to connect my computer to my brother's laptop; unfortunately, it doesn't seem to scan at very good quality. So I'm trying to figure that out so I don't have to outline all my drawings because my outlines aren't the best PLUSSSS I feel like it sort of sucks the life out of my drawings. But maybe I'm just paranoid.

More hands! The quote in the picture is from a story I heard from my old stake counselor Stratton many eons ago. If I remember right, he had a concussion, and he kept saying this to the doctors every five minutes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Some more digital arts 'n' stuffs

Only a couple of pictures today, folks. Digital art ain't the easiest, especially drawing with a tablet. Man, those things can be frustrating.
A WIP of an art trade I'm doing with a fellow artist on DeviantART. These are two of her characters, Emma and Will. Emma is actually the main character, but I seem to have made Will the main character. Dang. Well, I hope she likes it and doesn't beat me with a stick. Also, I can't draw guns and I'll be DEFINITELY using a reference for that.
This ridiculous contribution to society is mocking that second proposal scene in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. My roommates and I were talking about how she never really gives him a definitive answer and I had to draw it.

Anyway, I'll probably post some sketches later this week, but they're extra sketchy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Image Heavy (like YO MOMMA)

I drew a LOT this week. I think that's what happens when you don't really have anything to do and you can only handle so much Netflix. I still don't have a scanner, so here are some more photographed drawings from my sketchbook.
Some hand practice I did during church. Hands are extremely frustrating and difficult to draw and I feel like I never draw them enough. Church is a fantastic time to do it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

beautiful art to inspire you and make you cry so much it's embarrassing

Well! I'm sure after reading about my figure drawing experience you must be demanding to see ALL of my art now. And of course I shall show you my latest gigs on Photoshop, showing you what kind of serious artist I am:
This is my typical day of babysitting. When the baby is down, I sit in bed and watch Avatar. Oh, yes! I waste no time here. I'm just livin' it up.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

figure drawing: a love story

I fell asleep on the train.

Two weeks ago, for the first time leaving Boston on the commuter rail, I was exhausted. Every time I leave Boston I’m tired, but that’s accompanied by anxiety and annoyance and I can't relax enough to sleep. A lot of the time I spend in Boston is alone, and I'm not very good at that. Loneliness empties me. I’ve left feeling frustrated and disappointed and not really understanding why.

This time I wasn’t sitting around trying to figure out my disappointment. Honest to goodness, I didn’t feel that way at all. I sank back into my seat and let my exhaustion overtake me as memories of the evening filled in.

That night, I had gone to a figure drawing class.

It wasn’t so much a class as it was an opportunity to draw a live model. I went to a studio on the 3rd floor of some building in Allston, which is some obscure part of Boston that I actually don’t know quite where it is, only that somehow I managed to get there and I managed to find my way back.

The man who owned the studio was a middle-aged man named Rocco Ricci and he wore tinted glasses and a beard. He served us chardonnay, sparkling water (I took the sparkling water, which was gross), grapes and crackers. He cut cheddar cheese with a plastic butter knife and looked at me and said in exasperation, “I need a new knife.” To every person that walked in, he told them, “Say hi to Liesl. She’s new.”

The model for the night was Jen. Jen, with the drawn-on eyebrows and smoky eyes and red lipsticked lips. Her hair was cut like a pixie and the color of pine tree bark. She had thighs that were amazingly huge. Her stomach stuck out and I loved her for it. I may be skinny, but my stomach sticks out too. My self-confidence swelled as I drew.

We began the session. Rocco discovered I had only a pencil and a sketchbook and immediately produced newsprint and charcoal. For those who don't understand the value of these, newsprint and charcoal are very durable. Charcoal's messier than graphite but just as easy to work with and makes for excellent figure drawing of all sorts. In short, I was rowing a boat and he gave me a motor.

We started off with 3-minute poses, or as Jen called it, “one-song poses.” Unlike any figure drawing class I’ve ever been to, there was music. Rocco played Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, as well as other people I never heard of. Jen spilled out trivia during her poses, naming her favorites - Neil Young - and reminiscing about concerts.

The musicians were shameless with the harmonicas, which went well with the location. The building is next to train tracks that the commuter rail rides on. The windows were open and I could hear cars driving by and every time the train rode by and made this big ol’ whooshing sound that rattled the windows. The one-song poses evolved into two songs and three songs. The sun set as we drew and the metal bars on the windows turned to gold.

A woman named Jan stood next to me. She went to art school but then did something else for 25 years but was now getting back into art. She sometimes danced to the music while she worked and it was contagious. I sang along to “Sound of Silence” and bobbed my head and tapped my foot while I drew along in time to the beat.

I hadn’t stood in a figure drawing class before. I’ve always sat in those super uncomfortable drawing horses and my back would break as I did tedious pose after tedious pose after tedious pose. These poses weren’t tedious and I had a great time because I was standing at an easel, which rhymes with my name.

I stared back and forth at Jen and the paper as I tried to figure out how to draw what I saw in front of me. I pinched the charcoal in between my thumb and index finger and watched my fingertips turn black. At times I attacked the newsprint because I hated the way that drawing was turning out. But then I turned the page and started over. 

That is the beauty of drawing. It’s forgiving. You can start over and you will always be starting over, but each time you do you get better.

One particular drawing became my baby, a three-songer, or a 10-minute pose. I refused to concentrate on anything else and poured my being into this drawing. I manipulated the charcoal in my hand to make the shadows work just right and to capture the hard lines and soft lines. When I finished the details on her beautiful eyes and nose, I stood back and gazed at it. 

"Wow," I breathed. I took the pad off the easel and began to tear out the page to put in my backpack.

"That's a keeper," said Rocco, coming over to look at it.

"I know!" I said excitedly, forgetting my modesty. "It was so fun to draw!"

"I could tell," he said with a smile. "I saw you get into it."

I finally remembered to put my ego away and turned red. "Oh, yeah. I'm not supposed to be full of myself about my art. Uh, thanks. Thank you. It really was an incredible experience." Jen laughed and started a new pose.

Later that night I tried drawing with ink, as is pictured above. A woman named Valerie handed me a brush and I dipped it into a bottle of India ink and attempted to draw. Ink is unforgiving. That is precisely why David, a fellow student, loved it, and precisely why I gave up after three drawings. 

After it ended, I rode a bus to a subway stop with Jen, who smoked and told me stories of all the people who attend that class. She told me about Jan, who had a battle with cancer last year and whose art has become so much more intense because of it. There's Ben, a foul-mouthed genius who's been friends with Jen forever. Valerie, who I worked with on the ink drawings, is an art teacher and organized the group. John, the bearded one, never says anything but comes every week with his twenty dollars and sketchpad. And then there's David, very friendly and almost as new as me.

Jen and I parted ways and I took the subway to South Station and caught the last train to Kingston. I climbed up the stairs to the second level of the train, made my way to a lone chair and sat. I leaned my head against the window, closed my eyes, and nodded off.

I was drawing again. I remembered why I liked it and found new things to love about it. I saw me, a great and an awful artist. Yet I continued to draw and I wanted nothing more than to improve. It's been so long since that's happened. Not like a "I must be better than everyone else" feeling, but simply, "I just want to learn."

There in the studio I found kindred spirits within the ink and charcoal and grapes. Rocco and his friends reached out to me, took my loneliness and placed it on the shelf and didn’t let me touch it not even once while I was drawing. I created on the newsprint. I no longer cared about who was talking to me and whether they were good-looking or not, but instead forgot myself as I soared into the art.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sketchie Poo

 I usually don't show people stuff from my sketchbook, but after showing my sister several sketches, I've decided to post a few up here. Alas, I don't have a scanner. I've had to resort to taking pictures of my sketchbook. I hate doing that because it's a lot darker so you won't be able to see the drawings as well. At least I'm showing you art, right?

Sketches of my brother Tyler and below him my adorable nephew Max. I also attempted cartoonized versions of them. It's a work in progress, but I think the bottom right one's my favorite.
I have a complex about hating everything I draw, so I have to write myself notes to remind me to have fun. Have fun. Have fun. Create first, then evaluate. So I doodled here. And it was fun! SUCCESS.
A little fanart of Rick Riordan's book The Red Pyramid. The top two are my creation, but the bottom two are copies. Carter's is from here, and when I read the description of Uncle Amos, I couldn't unsee him as "Bleeding Gums" Murphy from the Simpsons.
This was after my experience with the figure drawing class. It was one of the most fantastic experiences I've had drawing that I had to draw it. I also wrote about it - I'll put it up here soon. Ish. Except this last Wednesday I got totally lost on my way to the figure drawing class and I ended up missing it which makes me SO MAD.
This is my friend Staci. I simply just drew from her current profile picture on Facebook. She's really pretty so it was easy to draw.

The above two are from when Kent, Mel and I went to the beach on Memorial Day. Oh, and what I wrote about that woman isn't sarcasm. I've recently discovered that when I draw people I come to fall in love with them. People really are beautiful. I love it when people look different - you know, real. Not everyone has the perfect body type, and that's okay.
Just trying out some different styles. I love Berkeley Breathed's work and read Bloom County a lot growing up.
I had a lot of fun drawing this. I just woke up one morning and this contraption was in my head, and I just thought, "I HAVE to draw this." Dr. Seuss is the
So there's this blog called "All the Belles and Whistles." I actually don't read it, but when I saw the title I just immediately thought of a Southern belle blowing a whistle. Southern belles are so fun to draw. They have the prettiest dresses. I want to be a Southern belle, dang it! Here's one more:
The hardest thing about drawing with pen is that you can't erase anything (okay, that's stating the obvious), so you really have to make a drawing work. I'm trying to be less sketchy and make more deliberate strokes, but dang it, it's hard.
Two guys I saw at a coffee shop. I picked the perfect subjects, honestly. These guys stayed longer than I did. I wish I could redo the guy on the left, though. He's a lot older than he looks and he looks kinda wimpy in that sketch.

Goals for next week: Draw more guys! Work on anatomy! Try to study subjects more before you draw! Doodle! Self-indulge! Study other artists' work and THINK about it while you draw! Variety! Have fun! Draw! Draw! DRAAAAAAWWWW