This month I tried to take on the monthly challenge from Doodlewash. It’s about painting 30 watercolours in 30 days, and there’s a list of prompts to follow.
Since we’re only in the middle of the month, you might have figured out that I didn’t make it through the challenge.
I haven’t given up on this project yet!
Currently I’m working on a layout, like what size the pages should be and if they should be filled with many small pictures or just a big one. And, I’m trying to find the right colours. That is really hard, because it’s supposed to take place at night, but I don’t want to make it too dark.
Of course, it’s not really possible to make a bright night scene unless most of it is filled with lamps or other lights (something I’ve had many arguments with clients about). But I still want to experiment to see just how bright I can make it and still have it obvious that it is night time.
As the title suggests – this isn’t the kind of stuff you usually see here. Well, you know, it’s still drawings, just not the kind I usually make, or even the kind I enjoy making.
I’ve been sketching from real life.
One thing that comes as a bonus for living out on the country is that the buses don’t go very often, and because I’m commuting in the weekends, there’s a lot of waiting time.
If I was a modern human, I would most likely be spending this time on my phone, but since I’m one of those stone age people who still uses a more cubic phone, I’m taking the opportunity to force myself into practicing the stuff I hate practicing. Drawing city-stuff.
I do enjoy depicting things from reality, sometimes. Like nature-stuff. But houses…. No.
There are many times when I see a lovely building and I decide that I really want to draw it, but when it comes to actually doing it, I always find it painfully boring.
But practice is practice, and even though I’d much rather be solving a crossword puzzle in this time, I know that this is going to be helpful for me in the future. Like eating healthy, or studying while it’s still free. I never did any of those things, but I learned from my mistakes.
These previous four sketches are things that I can see from the bus stop. I just wanted to get those over with quickly and didn’t focus too much.
The following two are from yesterday. I was going into town to do some food shopping and had two hours to waste while waiting for the next bus to take me home. So I went to two different spots where I’ve seen some nice architecture, that I always thought would be nice to get a drawing of, but never wanted to do it. Yesterday I had no choice.
The backside of the town’s hotel. I love scruffy ladders and stairways. Never knew how hard it would be to depict.
Those brick walls were from hell. I obviously didn’t care very much about how that looked, I just wanted to get it done. But apart from that, I’m pretty happy with this one.
The church. Or at least a part of it. I love how even the garden shed has fancy details on it.
So why is it so important to me to do something that I really don’t like doing, and don’t really have to? Well, because in a way, I kind of have to.
An illustrator (and especially a children’s book illustrator) should be able to draw pretty much everything, and especially architecture. No matter if your thing is spaceships and robots, forests and magical creatures or cuddly animals, you’re almost certain to bump into some form of architecture once in awhile. Just having a small sense of the structure of different kinds of buildings will surely be helpful sooner or later. Of course, there’s always the amazing internet full of references whenever it’s needed, but it’s not really the same thing. Just depicting a house from a picture is easy enough, but in understanding the forms, which is the important thing when creating something new, nothing beats live-drawing.
Especially the drawing of the roof on the hotel will come in handy for me. I’ve never even noticed that I have a problem with roofs, but this opened up my eyes for that.
I’m very happy that I put myself through this. It was dreadful, but extremely helpful.
I hope it wasn’t as boring for you as it was for me.
Hello! First of all – You might have noticed the changes around here. I’m just trying out some new things. Everything should pretty much be where I left it, but please let me know if I messed something up.
Now for the thing I was going to talk about. Remember the scarecrow project? It’s still on, in case you were in doubt. In the more likely case that you have no idea what the scarecrow project is: I’m illustrating a song, and it’s about scarecrows. This is the tryout-illustration I’ve been basing the rest of this on:
The original plan was to have a few different illustrations in a sequence that goes along with the song, to be put on youtube. But as that is clearly some sort of music video, I would love to be able to get some animation in there. Not much, but maybe just a crow flapping its wings would make such a difference, and it would be so cool if I could do that! The problem is just that I have no idea how to do that, so this is all just a big experiment.
I’ve been thinking more than I’ve been painting on this one. And finally, I have reached a plan. It’s probably the least effective one I could come up with, but it’s still a plan.
The idea is to first put together the actual scenes. But instead of drawing them one by one, I figure it will save me some time to put them together in photoshop instead. Since I’m so modern I recently learned some things about photoshop (but still no animation program) I now have the powers to that kind of stuff!
Anyways, I put the main pictures together, with the help of the started pieces above, and then I’ll be tampering with them. Like moving the arms and change the crows here and there. I’m pretty sure I’ve overseen a much more efficient way to go about the crows, but now this is it.
I’ve laid the brown pencil aside and moved back to ink on this one. For the only reason that it makes the cropping-everything-out-part so much faster. It’s a shame, in a way, because I really like the softer style with this motive. But this is already such a huge project, and if I were to make it even harder for myself there’s the chance that I’d give up and quit. So I’m making it as easy as I can for now. Just for now.
Here are all the finished pieces together. And yes, I did notice that four of those crows are in there twice. No worries, I’m on it.
I didn’t make the whole heads for those last three expressions. Since they’re all in pretty much the same pose as the first two, I think it will be enough just to put those in there, and move the head slightly. I Should have thought of that before I put all that time into sketching those heads…
Now for the exciting experiment-part of the whole thing, which I’ve actually already gotten started on:
I believe this is going to take quite a while, but I really have no idea.
Wish me luck :)
Here’s a little personal project I’ve been working on last week. The original plan was to start working on a new book, but as I enjoy painting much more than writing, I skipped putting the story together, and went straight to the fun part.
The character sketches:
I was struggling with the fuzzy one a lot, and when I finally found him, I had a feeling that I’ve seen him before. It happens to me a lot that I make something I’m really happy about, and later discover that thing already exist. Here I feared that I was plagiarizing either Tove Jansson or Dr. Seuss. Luckily, I couldn’t find him anywhere on google, so I decided it’s probably fine.
The start of the big sketch:
And with the inking finally finished. (Notice my awesome table)
I always regret putting in so much detail when I get to the actual inking and painting, especially the basket was soooo boring. But it’s worth it in the end.
The final result!
It’s not very likely to ever turn out as a book, but I really like these characters, and the place they live in, so you’ll probably get to see more of them in the future.
Have a nice day!
Since you didn’t get the diary post in the beginning of the month, but I’ve been doing some documenting since then, I thought that you might as well get a little diary tour now.
Not much is happening out in the country. It’s mostly dog walks, digging in the garden and work for me.
We’ve been visited by the neighbor’s dog a lot. The neighbor isn’t too happy about it, but the dogs are.
Working amongst a bunch of cats is as cozy as it is frustrating.
Then it’s all of the travelling that I told you about before, which is going a lot better since the dog got used to public transport.
And digging, with the help of the grooviest gang in Gummarp (that’s the name of the place)
And more dog-walks. After the winter it’s kind of flooded here, so it’s more jumpping than walking for us right now.
That’s all from me today. Hope y’all are having as nice a time as I am :)
A little while ago, I made this drawing just for fun. I really liked these guys, and realized that this is a golden opportunity to practice motion, angles, proportions, and most of all: character consistency.
When I illustrated my first children’s book, I hadn’t even thought of the importance of this. It showed to be a huge problem, and no matter how hard I tried, the character still ended up looking different on the last page than it did on the first.
I have learned from my mistake, and I’ve been doing a lot of practice since, but the learning never ends, and here’s some more:
The first drawing.
Then three more, in different stages of the process.
And the final result. I’m quite happy with them, and these guys might be going on more adventures in the future.
I still have more work to do until the character consistency reaches perfect, but at least I have come a long way since that first book.
Have a nice day!
Hello! Here’s the diary from last month. I don’t have a summarising spread this time, but I’ve been documenting as always.
It’s funny how my choice of color is affected by my mood. I found that I used a lot of blue in january and february, where a lot of things happened, but everything was going smoothly and I was calm and overall happy. March haven’t been particularly eventful, but I’ve been going through a lot of emotional turbulence, especially towards the end of the month, and that showed up here as a lot of red and purple.
You’ve already seen this one. Not so much red and purple here.
Patrick outside of the caravan. It’s very brown here still, but the green is on it’s way.
So, yeah. Emotional turbulence. I’ve had quite a few days like this lately, but I think it’s about to pass now.
I got a weekend job. It’s probably very healthy for me, and it’s a great job. I mostly took it for the purpose of getting out every once in awhile, and meet some people. But of course, I’m geting payed too, and knowing that I’ll be having some extra money has made me go and buy a lot of stuff that I don’t really need. Like a gold pen. And apple juice and cookies. That’s luxury for you.
And this one, which you’ve also seen most of already. No red or purple here. Just warm and happy spring-things.
Happy april y’all!
Sometimes, that creativity-thing is just nowhere to be found, but the urge to draw something is still there. When that happens, I find it best to just draw whatever’s around me. While it’s not quite as fun as making up something new, it’s always a good practice, and it gets the itch out of the fingers.
This time I thought I should draw the stuff I carry around with me all the time. It would probably be more fun if I had done this two years ago, because I used to have all sorts of things in my bag. Anything anyone could ever need, that could fit in a bag, I had it. Sowing equipment? you bet! Piece of bread and maybe a little cheese? Of course! Mini-chessboard? A small porcelain elephant? Sure, why not? A harmonica, bandage, extra socks, screwdriver, lip balm, makeup(which I don’t even use), pens and papers obviously, a beer, some foreign coins….
I was even nicknamed Skalman – which is the name of the turtle in a popular swedish cartoon, who keeps everything in his shell except for locomotives and cruise ships (he does have a helicopter).
I guess I’m some sort of mini-hoarder.
Nowadays, I rarely carry a bag anymore, but I do still carry a lot of stuff around.
These are the things I have with me wherever I go. All of these seems so important to have on me at all times (well, except for the paperclip and twig. I don’t really use those) but I would probably be just fine with only the keys. Not even the dog leash comes to use that much.
What do you carry with you when you leave the house?