Playing with Color

I have this favorite author that is also an artist (ever notice how these things can go together? the drive to create spilling over into other areas?), and I love her work. It’s very different and I can’t say I understand how she does it. Yesterday I printed out one of her drawings, as inspiration, and set to work.

- Click on her name for a link to Maggie Stiefvater’s website to see the picture in question. -

It was fun. I enjoyed playing with the colors. It was hard – on my body at least, because I sat hunched over this drawing for the better part of three hours (what else is a girl to do when the kids are sick and lying around doing nothing?). It wasn’t nearly as frustrating as I imagined it would be because once I set to working on it, it flowed.

You guys know I’m the first to admit I have no idea what I’m doing. My color pencils? I bought a fancy set (Prismacolor Premier) years ago, and have rarely touched them. I’ve never felt like it was intuitive to use them, to figure out blending them. I just didn’t get it. It was really fun to play with them and get more comfortable with them. I still don’t think it comes naturally to me, but more so than before.

I’m a bit “meh” about the final product. My oldest son loves it and says it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. He came in the room and said, “I didn’t know you were so talented!” Pure shock. haha Good to have at least one fan of this crazy eyed rainbow girl.

In an effort not to be a complete theif, I did color my own drawing, rather than replicate Maggie’s. And if you clicked on that link up there, you’ll see mine is really nothing like hers at all. In fact I might try again soon with water colors rather than pencils to get the lighter washed effect.

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Blooming Yoga

This is old. Old enough I can’t remember when I did it. This is what happens when you don’t put a date on the art – you might think you’ll remember. But no.

Ages and ages ago (so probably a couple years ago), I had this idea for a yoga girl blooming out of a flower. I had also just gotten some fancy schmancy markers. Voila.

Now, in retrospect, I would like to have done this in water colors. I’m not a fan of markers. Perhaps because I don’t know how to use them – I have tried and it never turns out to my liking. I have managed to fake my way through acrylics and watercolors, but not so much with markers.

This was also while I was getting a lot of tattoos and I was surrounded by that art. I love tattoo art and I certainly drew upon that for the flower and the gypsy-ish style of the girl.

There are certainly parts of her I dislike. But overall, there’s just something about her I also love. Maybe it’s just that I had the idea and went for it.

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Looking Up

I did this one right on the heels of the last one (the girl with the angry slash smug expression). I wanted the opposite of angry, the opposite of closed off, the opposite of the downward tipped head and glaring eyes. So this girl is looking up a bit and more open.  Or at least that’s what I was going for.  I took the time to do a little shadowing on this one too, which makes the whole thing so much better.  There are days when my chunk of time to draw isn’t large, and days when it takes me the entire time just to get the idea of the sketch on the page.  The shading and shadows come at the end and sometimes get left off.  Once I’ve finished a drawing, once I’ve moved on to other things in my day, I can’t come back.  I’m not in the same space in my mind and I can’t pick back up.  Oh, I have occasionally done so, and it’s not always a bad thing, it’s just very hard for me to get back into the frame of mind for a specific idea/image.

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Emotion

I think one of the most challenging things in art is to portray emotion – and specifically to portray the emotion you want the piece to portray. (I have never used that word so often much less in one sentence. Portray. I digress).

Some drawings in my sketch book are just an attempt to capture an emotion. Just to see if I can do it.

I think I was going for angry here, and she turned out rather evil looking. Maybe mostly smug. I think she looks smug. In my head she’s smug about some evil slash angry thing she’s done.

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Headstand

I was thinking about how to connect Monday and Yoga for this post. At some point I thought, hey it’s not Monday. Yesterday was such a whirlwind of homeschool co-op and trial Tae Kwon Do class and housework. Somehow I woke up today thinking it was the start of the week.

So you get a fresh Tuesday yoga painting.

It started with the idea of a girl – as usual – showing strength. Headstands take not just strength, but also balance, and a fair bit of bravery. After I had the girl, it needed something else. I didn’t want the Om just over there by itself all random, so I played with a bit of a mandala around it. The multi-media aspect is two handwritten pages I found in an antique book – I loved the loopy writing and that it was passages from a book and mostly the mystery of never knowing who took the time to copy passages from the book.

I actually really love this piece. I like the way the girl turned out, her hair, her muscles, her obvious strength. But I also really love the Om and mandala, and especially with the super bright colors.

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This piece spent a year on display at Greensboro Downtown Yoga. Now I have it back and I was able to take a few photos of it to share it with you. This also allowed me to offer it for sale as prints on the Bee Girl Art Society6 shop.

Book Love/Book Art

There is a book festival in a neighboring town today. I’m very excited. Just the fact it exists makes me happy. Add to that it’s close enough for me to attend and I’m stoked. Throw in an opportunity to hear Maggie Stiefvater speak and I might faint. I’ll be the swooning Beatle’s fan at the book fest today.

In honor of Bookmarks, I wanted to pull together all my book related art into one post.

 

This first one was loosely inspired by Shiver (written by none other than Maggie Stiefvater).

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This next one is my redrawing of an illustration in The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce. (I have a variation of this tattooed on my thigh now. That’s how much I love the original illustration).

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I did this watercolor ages ago. It was one of my very first watercolors. And I think my favorite. I did a drawing first based off a vintage photograph. Then I did it again as a watercolor.
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This Divergent (Veronica Roth) piece was a quick gift for a friend. We read the books at the same time, and both fell in love.
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This last one is so close to my heart. One of my all time favorite books is What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton. It’s been difficult for me to share my art – it’s all so personal. To open yourself up to criticism is a scary thing. I did this drawing in my sketch book based on the main character, Sid. I was feeling particularly brave the day I shared the drawing with the author. It made my day (week? year?) when she responded so sweetly and shared the picture with all her fans.
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Shades

This is another one from sketch book 2, and from January. I did this one right after “freckles” … for some reason I wanted to do a face with neat sunglasses. I had this idea for a cleft in the chin too, and heavy bangs. In the end I felt like I channeled Klara Soderberg of First Aid Kit. Not surprising considering I listen to First Aid Kit religiously.

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