batch update: illustration studio

Assignment: create a character model sheet, like people do for animation but not necessarily in an animation style. I enjoyed drawing this dog enough I think I might use her for an upcoming “design a children’s book” assigment in the same class.

Assignment: create a WPA-style poster about the contemporary issue of our choice.

Assignment: create an illustration inspired in some way by Norman Rockwell.


batch update: rendering techniques for theatre

Greyscale marker. This is a gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago; I remember it mainly because an art history professor took us through it last year and said “hey, by the way, if you bring someone here on a date this is a nice dark private place for you to go!”

My friend Angie, drawn from life during class.

Watercolor rendering, copied from a White House, Black Market magazine ad–the ad was in black and white, and I chose a color on my own.

India ink, wash and dip pen, copied from another ink drawing I sadly don’t know the origins of. The assigment was just to let us get a handle on using ink.


the scottish play

I just got a whole heap of work back in both my drawing classes, so I’m going to make a couple of big batch posts tonight to get all those things up, but these are light renderings based on Rupert Goold’s Macbeth, which was the production that made me decide to go to art school. So they’re a wee bit special.

illustration introduction- dragon and caricature

Two projects from my Illustration Introduction studio! The first was a quick in-class assignment: we had to draw a dragon sitting in a Starbucks reading Harry Potter, and it had to relate to one of the seven deadly sins somehow. Mine was supposed to be Pride.

And the first major project, also due yesterday, was a caricature of a famous celebrity. There is definitely a good bit of room for improvement in some places here, but my professor said it reminded him of a New Yorker cartoon kind of, so I am all aflutter anyway.

brunetti week 2

This week’s exercise was to produce a handful of captions according to a set of prompts, produce a handful of drawings according to a different set of prompts, and shuffle them together to see what accidentally hilarious drawing/caption pairings resulted.

I thought I did a pretty good job on the art and the captions, separately, but I couldn’t get any of them in particular to click together.

It is a hallmark of how poorly my camera and sketchbook get along that I drew these in red pen on brightly colored index cards and they still photograph way better than pencil on my white sketchbook paper.

The captions I generated were






Four out of five of these make the dog picture sadder, but otherwise I got nothing. I am open to input, if anyone sees any good combinations I missed.

Homework is to draw three single-panel cartoons, which I will post once I do ’em!

just a couple things

Just a couple of things I promised to draw for people.

brunetti week 1

I’m playing with Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice. This is possibly a really goofy thing to do, because this book is based very closely on the syllabus of a class he teaches at my school and that I will be taking next fall. But I like the book, so I got impatient, and hey, there is nothing in here so far that will kill me if I do it twice.

Exercise 1.1: draw a car in 4 minutes, then in 2, then 1 minute, 30 seconds, 15 seconds, 5 seconds. Repeat with a cat, a castle, a telephone, and a self-portrait.

I won’t spam with all of these, but I enjoyed the castle most, so have that.

Exercise 1.2: draw at least 25 famous cartoon characters in no more than 10 seconds each.

I am really curious to see how many people can actually identify any of these. There are only a few that I think are really obvious.

Also, I apologize for the sudden drop in image content here; I’ve been having problems with my scanner, so for the next couple of weeks it’s back to the camera and it just does not get along with this paper.

Exercise 1.3: pencil out a 10×10 grid, and fill each box with an illustration of the first word that comes to mind, taking no more than 5 seconds for each.

Brunetti calls this a “Zen” exercise, but it actually stressed the hell out of me, as having a beeper go every five seconds will do. The results were largely unintelligible and honestly not worth posting. I might try it again some other time.

Homework 1: create a 8×11 “doodle page” in black and white, arranged according to some larger scheme but with a dense variety of smaller drawings.

I worried about this one for a bit, because I wasn’t quite clear on what was being looked for, but then I decided the open-endedness was probably the point and if it isn’t, I don’t care, because I’m not being graded on this. I used sepia and white, because I’m a rebel I already spend a million hours a week drawing a comic in flat black and white and I wanted a bit of variety.

just some silliness

As usual, not dead! Haven’t had much to add since the school year ended, but I’ve been doing some exercises that I will post selections from soon! Also I have started my COMIC (it is always in allcaps because I have difficulty believing it exists! On the off-chance someone is reading this whom I don’t already know personally, it’s called Two Old Maids, it’s a Golden Age style cosy mystery, and there isn’t much of it yet but you should defs read it.

In the meantime, I just wrote a letter to my five-year-old cousin who is big into Doctor Who, so I drew her some little doodles on the back and– surprisingly– was really pleased with these little doofy things I drew in five minutes with a fountain pen.

Seriously. If I must be able to draw one person recognizably, why is that person Matt Smith? How did that happen?

Spring 2011: Costume Design

The results of my three projects in Costume Design this semester.

The first was, predictably, Oedipus Rex.

It’s a long time since these were due, so I can’t really think of much to say about them. Some of the figures turned out all right, and the designs in general turned out pretty solid in my and my professor’s opinion’s both.

The second project, which sent me into utter fits, was Hedda Gabler.

Considering I’ve really never done much in collage before, I think these turned out spectacularly well. Professor suggested a grey ink or paint wash behind the figures to make them stand out from the background better, and I agree; she also wished Hedda’s two dresses were less similar in color scheme.

After Hedda we only had two weeks of school left, so the last project was tiny; we just had to pick an existing TV show, invent an episode for it, and design four costumes for that episode. I decided to do mirrorverse Farscape.

Pretty good marker renderings, I think! I don’t know what else to say about these, except that Aeryn is my favorite by like a mile.

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.

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