What a great couple of months this has been! I have been caught up in a rush of school activities for my kids, and my classes have picked up speed as well. I finished out the rest of my Drawing class last semester, just in time to prepare for family and friends visiting over Christmas. Then, my Winter and Spring session courses added to my already frenzied days! Currently I am enrolled in three courses: Writing for Children, Designing and Illustrating Children’s Books and Graphic Design! And I am LOVIN’ it! From the outset, it seems highly unlikely that I could ever keep up this pace. Yet in the midst of each project, I find this new reserve of energy and passion that drives me to finish line. This is definitely what I was born to do!
A self portrait appropriation based on the amazing original artwork of Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuna (Marvel Comics, July 2010).
Last week, I put together the mock up of a Picture Book dummy which I am hoping to get critiqued by an editor at an upcoming conference in May. I initially thought that I would have 3 months to work on this, however I learned during registration that a sample had to be postmarked within 3 days. Needless to say, I was launched into high gear! And just to keep things interesting, my first Graphic Design project due date was around the corner. The assignment required that we submit an appropriation of a favorite character out of a graphic novel. I chose the Black Widow character from Marvel Comics after recently watching Scarlett Johansson’s awesome portrayal of Natasha Romanoff in “Iron Man 2” and “The Avengers” – now THAT’s what I’m talking about ~ Excellent choreography in her fight scenes! This style of illustration is not what I typically generate, and we were expected to re-invent ourselves as this character. After multiple searches for an action packed illustration, I finally found the cover, “The Name of the Rose” (Issue #2) created by Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuna for Marvel Comics. By using their fantastic work as a template, I was able to explore this style with my own pen and ink self portrait and ultimately render the finished product through Adobe Illustrator – it was a ton of fun! I added my own facial features and hair, and my holster carries paintbrushes and pencils, ready to produce extreme graphics at a moment’s notice. Now I have something to hang in my studio to keep me motivated… Speaking of which, it’s time to get back to work! Glad to be back in the blogosphere!
Scribble gestures of gourds and peppers for homework.
Just another quick post on the fly to update you on some more of my drawing class assignments…
We have been getting more into “Mass Gestures” with compressed charcoal… So other than feeling like I have a constant black film filling my pores, I am loving this exploration of textures and media! Here are some of my homework assignments, along with some classwork.
My mass gesture study of a stuffed pillow in class.
The objective for this homework was to create a mass gesture of 3 stuffed objects… I couldn’t leave Cappuccino out of that one! 🙂
Exploring my new world through Prismacolor!
Moving right along, we are preparing to take on landscapes soon, depending on how the weather treats us. Meanwhile, in a whirlwind of personal projects, I have been getting immersed in the world of Prismacolor pencils. I am developing an idea for a series that I will share when I feel they are ready. Here is a little cropping of one of the drawings I have been working on most recently. I have been kindling this desire to illustrate for children’s books, exploring more detailed renderings of subjects and really enjoying the journey! Thanks for stopping by my virtual studio! 🙂
What a whirlwind this year has been for our family! In the past year, we have been through selling a home, building a new home for our spankin’ newly blended family, a honeymoon, a familymoon, and some unforeseen surgeries following miscarriages. In an attempt to navigate through my grief and mend my broken heart, I began to nurture my love for the sketchpad…
In an earlier post, I described The Carousel Project that I have conceptualized for years. This project is becoming a healing balm for me now… As I blend my love for whimsical carousel characters with my desire to bring light into my painful loss, I have sketched a Christmas reindeer character for our first son, Nicholas.
Later in the summer, we learned that my father was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. During some of my prayer time, I was inspired to create a special sketch as a gift. His wife is Vietnamese and his life has been heavily influenced by Asian cultures. I chose to sketch a Vietnamese dragon grasping a pearl, as in the Eastern tradition, a symbol of protective strength and healing from Heaven. He was also raised Catholic, and I felt strongly that the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus should be represented within the pearl… a deeply soulful prayer for not only holistic, but also soul-istic, protection and healing. Embedded within the border is a scripture I felt led to include. It is a passage that speaks to our faith from John 11:25-26, translated from a Vietnamese bible…
Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life:
he that believes in Me, although he be dead, shall live,
and every one that lives and believes in Me shall not die for ever…
This is my first drawing that I have ever colored, so I wanted to extend the symbolism through the Heavenly blues and purples in the dragon against the background sunrise of hope… It is my prayer filled healing sketch on its way to Georgia.
One of my better daily practice sketches.
Continuing my organizational mission in my studio, I found some charcoal sketches from a portraiture class I had enrolled in 10 years ago at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts — WOW, has it really been that long?! At the time, I wasn’t really sure if I would be any good at drawing faces, but I wanted to give it a try. As it turned out, I really loved this subject, and I realized that pencil sketching each day would open me up to clearer observations of the details and sharpen my skills little by little. So now that I am gearing up for my Drawing class that begins in the Fall, I thought I would post a few of my favorites. I decided to add a few of the smaller sketches that were a part of my daily practice routine, as well. This is a conscious reminder that I need to get that drawing pad out again for my down times… Did I really write that? I am a mother of 4, there are no downtimes!!! So in Momspeak, that is to say that I need to carve some time into my quiet hours ~ which equates to the time that the children are in bed sleeping, and when I probably should be doing the same. But who has time for sleep when there are creative conquests on the horizon! These are the moments when you recognize that you are doing what you were created to do. You are recharged with a second wind of passion that drives you into the wee hours of invigorating process until you reluctantly surrender to your pillow. With a breath of fresh morning light your workscape beckons to you… ahh yes, THIS is my Fitztopia…
A quick sketch of Gandalf emerging out of my fascination
with “Lord of the Rings” when the first movie was released.
Exploring various exposures of light in the studio with charcoal.