30 Day meme day 1

AHAHA I love how I was all determined to keep this thing going and then didn’t post for over two months, and this had no effect whatsoever on my view count. That’s a little sad.

Anyway, here I am; I will be updating with schoolwork from Figure Drawing and Costume Design I soon enough. But in the meantime, just to get back into the swing of putting my art up on the internets, and to sort of warm up preparatory to when I start posting an actual webcomic on June 1



I am doing this instead.

A friend alerted me to the existence of this 30 Day Drawing Challenge. There’s probably a bunch floating around, but since my friend is doing this one I might as well do it with her.

Day 1: draw a self-portrait.

For the record, this is what I actually look like, as of an hour ago when I got home from class:

This is what I drew– without benefit of a mirror, because there wasn’t one handy when I had time free:

Although I did ask someone else sitting nearby whether it looked like me. She thought it did, a bit; I am unsure.

It’s a passable head; at absolute minimum, it shows a basic understanding of how heads work. But I’m not sure it’s me.

the neck is a column, supporting the head

Reports of my death or worse, academic failure, are greatly you-know-what.

I’ve owned a tablet for a while now, but I’ve mostly used it for graphic and layout kinds of work and those not nearly often enough; this was my first attempt at actually drawing something with it. It’s the head of a girl with a flower in her hair; I mention this because the friend I showed it to all CHECK ME OUT, I AM HIGH-TECH NOW! couldn’t even tell what it was. I think you auto-fail out of art school for that. /checks transcript just in case

In slightly more high-quality news, I got so far behind on posting here– even though I was only in one drawing class last semester– that I have three projects that never got posted here. One was an ad for a candy bar; I drew a nice picture of a Crunch bar hanging from a Christmas tree, but it really wasn’t terribly challenging, and the writing turned out rotten-looking because my gold paint pen ran out of ink partway through. Even though the actual drawing looked good, I got a C+ and deserved it, and honestly I don’t think it’s an interesting or difficult enough piece of work to merit photographing.

Next-to-last project was pretty straightforward: choose a medium, draw a portrait of someone and pay attention to dealing accurately with the anatomy of the head. I hate hate hate asking people I actually know to model for me (I really hope this isn’t going to be a problem when I take life drawing D:) but luckily I wasn’t required to draw from life here, so I drew Tuba Byukustun, a Turkish actress a friend of mine is fond of.

I don’t think I’ve posted anything in charcoal here before! Basically all my work in Drawing I was in more fluid media like ink wash and charcoal, but that was before I started posting here; this was Applied Drawing, which was a much more practical kind of class where almost all my work was in pen and marker. In high school, I really hated charcoal because it was so messy, but weirdly doing literally dozens of still lives in it changed my mind. (I think I might post some of those, if I still have them around.) It doesn’t have the look I usually like for finished work– I still love pen and marker for that– but it’s soft and mutable and really relaxing to work with. This drawing is kind of wobbly-looking in some places, but I think it turned out pretty well, and it was nice and quick and fun to draw.

AND MY FINAL. Our final project was to take a chunk of our daily routine and adapt it into either a comic book page or a six-panel storyboard, like for a film clip. Most of my class did storyboards; I, inevitably, did a comic, about reading ridiculous shit on the bus to school in the morning. It stars, from left to right circa panel 4: Kate Beaton’s Fat Pony, Mr. Spock, myself, Archie Goodwin, Lady Morgana, and a UFO of dubious origin.

I got an A on this thing, and I damn well deserved it, too. It is not the most brilliant art ever, but it’s pretty good by my standards, and what it lacks there I think I made up pretty well in concept and design choices and use of color. My professor was also very impressed with my ability to color in that massive black area so neatly without taping, but I don’t know how much that particular skill counts for in the real world.

Okay, so there’s that up to date! I have one week left until school starts– I am again taking only one actual drawing class, but that’s Figure Drawing, so lots of stuff should hopefully be getting posted out of that. And I’m also taking Costume Design, which should also result in some interesting artwork even if that isn’t the actual point of the class. Meanwhile, although it is now seven and a half months since I began my “draw every day for thirty days” challenge, I am still hoping to knock out a few pages of derby girls this week. You never know.

another enormous batch of links

I’m home, kids! Did you miss me?

Regular programming will resume tomorrow, with drawings from my traveling tacked on for a few days; I know I said I’d do architectural drawing, but that involves a lot of sitting outside and being conspicuous about drawing stuff, so mostly I drew museum exhibits and a couple landscapes :/ In the meantime, I have been keeping up with Google Reader, so here– have a whole ton of stuff. This isn’t even all the things I have starred; I’m gonna split this up into a couple of posts.

* From Photograph to Drawing, a post about the history of using reference photography and the relationship in general between photography and drawing. Highly relevant to what I’m doing on this blog right now!

* Scarp, by Jarod Charzewski. Is that a landscape made out of piles of clothing? I think it is.

* Robert Weaver and the uses of principles of abstraction in illustration. Illustration almost always needs to be at least somewhat figurative; it needs to portray something definite and recognizable. But it also needs, like any other form of art, to convey emotion, and this post is about illustrators borrowing principles of nonobjective art to help do that.

* I think this is a landscape painting. But the use of light and contrast is really striking and dramatic and moody. It looks like the beginning of an X-Files episode.

* Ping the Server, by Sterling Crispin. There may be something here I’m not getting, because I don’t know much about programming, but it seems to be drawing a parallel between pinging an online address and contacting a deity. Mostly I just find it oddly mesmerizing to watch the text scroll by.

* The Liars’ Bench. Just made me laugh.

* Two short films animated by Paul Julian, plus a montage of film credits by him. It’s bad enough movies and TV shows often don’t even have credits at all any more, but I especially miss the animated credits people used to do for live-action movies and TV– Charles Addams, Edward Gorey, most famously Maurice Binder, though he wasn’t an illustrator and his designs were more abstract. (Mad Men and Catch Me If You Can both have fantastic animated titles, but those are deliberately meant to look period; the only modern example I can think of is the credits for the show Covert Affairs, which are pretty cool.)

Er, the two short films are good too.

* Malwarez, by Alex Dragulescu. 3D visualizations of the behavior and growth of computer viruses. I dunno, they’re cool-looking.

* Red. Just a drawing of a shoe, but the texture is eye-catchingly well done.

* Rabbits by Andre Medina. Just what it says on the tin– rabbits.

planning ahead

Okay, so. Assume I keep chugging along with one or two sets of derby girls a day and finish when I planned to, on July 25. I’m going to be in London from July 26-August 5


and travel makes it hard to keep up a daily routine, so I figure as long as I keep on drawing something every day I’m cool. I don’t know if I’ll be able to post my work using just a Blackberry, so there may be a sudden huge batch of drawings of London when I get back. I hope not; I really like being able to post stuff as I go.

After I get back I have another 30 days– 33, I think, actually, before school starts. And I conveniently have Bement’s The Energetic Line in Figure Drawing, which looks really cool and is divided up into 30 short exercises. So that’s what I mean to be doing up through Labor Day, probably in some bastardized hybrid of pencil and ink.

Once school starts, I’ll have two drawing classes, but they’re Drafting for Theatre and Applied Drawing– both classes that sound like they’re aimed more towards accuracy than artistry. So on days when I’m not doing actual homework I think I’ll play around with my Andrew Loomis books– nothing too demanding, I just have a variety of useful-looking .pdfs by him.

That gets me up to the end of the semester, and I don’t know what I’ll do after that. Maybe plants? I was complaining today that the idea of drawing plants really intimidates me.


I try not to post here without something I have drawn, but my Internet has gone all whacked lately and doesn’t want to upload files ever, even giant important files I need to get to other people to keep my job. Maybe my “art” gave it indigestion, I don’t know. There will be stuff posted soon! Honest. Hopefully Wednesday. I love that for once the failure to post regularly isn’t my fault.

In the meantime, BOOKS. I got ’em. Fashion Illustration 1920-1950 by Walter T. Foster; Western World Costume by Carolyn G. Bradley; The Energetic Line in Figure Drawing, by Alon Bement; and a book of Holbein portraits my mom slipped in there. I am still waiting on the Erte and I think one or two more anatomy books, but BOOKS. The Bement in particular is very textbook-y, divided up into lessons with exercises, so maybe there is a way for me to work methodically through that; I already had some Andrew Loomis books that I would love to put to use as well.

Actually, when I can upload things again I might scan some of the Bement book, because it looks awesome and I am seriously excited about it.

piffle + roller derby 1

Hey hey so, um. Content. Yes.

I am terrible at committing to things that matter to me if I’m not actually very good at them. At the moment those things are playing piano, roller skating, and drawing; I may talk sometimes about piano and skating/derby here, and maybe even the hobbies I don’t suck at, but I can’t really produce bloggable results from either. So this is pretty much for trying to hammer myself into drawing on a daily basis even when I hate what I’m producing, which is usually.

To this end I signed up for Artslam originally, which is an LJ thing where you choose a concept and illustrate it every day for all thirty days of June. (Like NaNo for drawing.) I said “okay I will do figure drawing practice from roller derby photos!” except that I had surgery the first day of June, and by the time I started in and did one whole day of sketches everyone else on the comm obviously had their shit way more together than I had mine. So for the last three weeks I’ve been going SCREW IT TODAY I WILL BUCKLE DOWN AND DRAW THINGS >:C and then . . . not.

I am dumb. Feel free to tell me so; I like having people to be accountable to.

The point being! (Holy shit, I am not new to this, why do I ramble so much? I won’t do this every day, I promise.) Two derby girls and a ref, not very detailed, done in HB pencil on a Blick store-brand pad like the classy lady I am.

I photographed this, because my scanner and I aren’t getting along lately, and fiddled with the contrast and levels in Photoshop. I didn’t clean the lines up or anything, though.

I actually don’t hate these, which is a perpetual surprise to me. Even though I forgot to give anyone a waist when I was diagramming and I can’t foreshorten for shit. I could post my reference photos in future, if . . . anyone cares?

THERE WILL BE MORE. I swear it. I am hoping to get more elaborate as I progress– more detail, faces, using different leads and maybe even ink. (I love ink wash. It is so cool.) Later on in my folder of reference photos are clumps of people I plan to draw together. And after that . . . after that I am going on vacation, but after /that/ I guess I will find something else to do 30 days of until school starts. If all goes well.

test post testing testing

check one two check oh god what am I even doing here