Tuesday, January 31, 2012

X Marks the Spot

Since I found the They Draw & Travel website, I started brainstorming ideas about elements I would want to include in an illustrated map. Last night I downloaded a trial version of Illustrator in the hopes that I may be able to play around with it a bit for this purpose. I've travelled a little bit but one of my more recent trips took me west to the lovely state of Oregon. There's an attractive quality to the West, perhaps a type of natural beauty which isn't always apparent in my immediate surroundings.  Stay tuned for the final results, or at least my final attempts in the near future.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

IF - Forward

This week's Illustration Friday theme is 'forward'. I kind of liked the light effect on the photo, suppose it makes it look like this penguin is enjoying a bit of the outside :) I took a quick look at the IF blog and discovered the They Draw & Travel website, where artists make illustrated maps of places they've been to. I like looking at different types of maps but I'm a bit hopeless when I'm actually using them, a little different from my husband who loves pulling them out and using them while travelling (don't even try to talk to me about north and south!) Either way, they're hosting a contest. The top nine entries win prizes. The deadline is a week from tomorrow so I don't think I'd be able to pull something off by then but it would be a nice project to try out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A tree grows in the lobby

Part blind contour drawing, part my own elaboration of a tree planted in one of the buildings I work in. I'm thinking of giving illustrated journaling a try. One book I'm currently perusing is An Illustrated Life: drawing inspiration from the private sketchbooks of artists, illustrators and designers. There's a lot of great examples of how it can be done. It's nice when you're starting or considering something new to see what's possible, for me anyway.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Illustration Friday -- Twirl

Illustration Friday is a little site where every Friday a theme is posted, and those who want to participate create an illustration in whatever medium, posting a link back to their site before a new theme is announed the following Friday. This week's theme is twirl. I thought of a lot of things but then settled on a dragon of sorts, as I thought of the coming Chinese New Year. I hope to give illustration Friday a shot each week.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Over the Moon

IMG_0303 by moody_e
IMG_0303, a photo by moody_e on Flickr.
Doodle of a kid and cat on the moon, naturally.

Sometimes I forget about giving in to the creative process. Over emphasis on the end product can psych you out as I have been many times. Common hang up artists of all kinds have to go through. Just have to learn to ignore the nagging doubts of self. I may come up with a theme to work with for a period of time as a kind of challenge and a way to focus some of my energy. Stay tuned for further developments!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I like Georgia O'Keefe. She was an artist born in Wisconsin, who was famous for her oil paintings that depicted abstract forms of nature. She painted a series of flower close ups such as her painting Black Iris. Looking for a change of pace later in her career she was eventually drawn to New Mexico. O'Keefe's choice of subject matter was influenced by its desert landscapes. I like how her paintings have a dreamlike and sometimes surreal quality to them.

I'm pretty accustomed to urban living and am attracted by the activity of metropolitan areas but have a simultaneous appreciation for the organic. A number of years ago I went to Lake City, Colorado, a lovely town of about 400 people, with a friend of mine during high school. While we were out exploring one afternoon I found the jaw bones of an animal most likely that of a deer or an elk. I held onto them after giving them a good cleaning and have rediscovered them recently among my things. I suppose that's what reminded me of O'Keefe's paintings. I started doing a sketch of it earlier this morning. The curly bits around it are supposed to be the texture of the carpet. I may decide to fill in the rest a bit later.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ways of Seeing

IMG_0275 by moody_e

IMG_0275, a photo by moody_e on Flickr.
In thinking more about art and long being inspired by sites like Urban Sketchers, I've wanted to read more about seeing and observation in drawing. In Bert Dodson's popular book Keys to Drawing, one of the first subjects he tackles is seeing vs. knowing. While knowledge of what an object looks like is helpful in general, sometimes we end up relying too much on our preconceived notions rather than capturing what we actually see. The key here is to enlist more curiosity, less assumption.

The above sketch is one of the first exercises in the book. Looking at your hand in an unusual position is supposed to force you to draw something in a way that comes out unexpectedly. I'm not sure how successful I was, but at least it's practice.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Ike by moody_e
Ike, a photo by moody_e on Flickr.
Ike is one stuffed animal that didn't get to keep his stuffing except for a little bit in his head and some in his feet. Misha, the family dog, seems to randomly choose her targets. However, one has to wonder if this target was intentional, as this toy looks a little bit like her...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flower Assortment

IMG_0261 by moody_e
Quick sketch with oil pastels. I don't know if I'd use them as my main art medium, sometimes the results can be a bit garish. They are good for experimenting with though, and the colors easily blend with each other in interesting ways.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Found Drawings

While I was living in Israel I had my dad keep some of the things that I didn't need to take with me. He told me that during those few years some of the boxes got water damage. Assuming that he found what he could means the majority of my old journals, some magazines and probably a sketchbook or two, among other things are long gone. While I was spared having to go through them all and figure out what to keep and what not to keep, it would have been nice to look at them one more time. I found the two drawings above at the bottom of one of the salvaged boxes, illustrating my high school interest in mangas. Funny to think that I did these almost 12 years ago. They still look pretty decent, no?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Down time at work means an opportunity for a quick sketch of some markers on my desk. I'm getting a handle of the job but some things a bit slow in starting up. I guess that's just how things go. C'est la vie.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

At the Last Minute

I'm finding myself doing things at the last minute in the same way that my husband did on occasion during his 365 photography project last year. When you're trying to do something on a daily basis, midnight's imminent approach becomes a big motivator on days when you're uninspired or simply lacking time. I randomly chose a reference photo and quickly got down to business.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Through the Looking Glass

Photo taken shortly after waking. I was able to go into work a little later in the morning so the sun was already out instead of barely rising. The light coming through the glass in the door caught my weary eyes.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Boots and All


 Quick sketch of my boots. Knowing that I'm actually putting this out there, I would have afforded myself with multiple opportunities to get it just right. One of the things about having a daily project is  you don't always have the luxury to fret about the final product. Just get it done.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


A rose is a rose.

I did this watercolor yesterday not intending to do much more than put color on paper. With it I got the idea to try doing something everyday to push myself to make art a habit again. If I'm dedicated enough I could make it through the year. I'll just take it one day at a time. I hope you all come back to check up on the process! At the moment I don't have a scanner so in the meantime I'm resorting to taking photos of my work. One of these days I'll be able to get one but I won't let that stop the process.