This is the result of my playing around with a ballpoint pen early in the morning at the breakfast table. It seems that just now I am into fantasy beings – first the grumpy plant (you can have a look at it here), and then this one which is a crossbreed between a fish and a dragon (look at his head!) and a seal and whatever you can see in it. He (Yes, definitely it is a “he”) looks as he is courting another being which we don’t see. One day I might write a story about him…
I must admit this painting is a bit weird. The more I was colouring the drawing in Photoshop the more I saw a rather fierce or grumpy looking flower in my mind. And I wanted to create a bit of contrast by adding all the colourful little butterflies. Of course that’s what I see – you might see something totally different!
Another quick sketch which might serve as a reference for my cat cartoon / illustrated story. Just now I am collecting various poses and cat gestures and practising quick ink sketches.
This is another quick sketch – I think I didn’t need more than 10 minutes, the search for this image included. I was looking for cats, because I had that story about the guardian cats in mind (you can read a short version of this story here.) I have an illustration in mind which shows the cats meeting in the forest and talking about how to help their human friends. I definitely can see one of the cats yawning, looking a wee bit bored.
I already did a bigger version of the yawning cat and imagined myself tracing it onto good paper standing at the window once again. I more and more wanted to have a lightbox to transfer my drawings to the final paper. Those lightboxes or lighttables are quite expensive, so I asked around whether someone would know of a used one. One of my colleagues I was eating lunch with told me of a simple solution – a glass pane put on something with a lamp under it.
Today I brought some old books to the nearby charity institution and strolled through the rooms not really expecting to find something I could use for a light table. However, I found a glass pane and paid 4 Euros for it. Back at home I pulled out two of my IKEA KASSETT boxes and put the glass pane on them. Then I fetched a lamp which I still had but not really need and put it under the glass. Voilà! The lighttable! I have to sit on the floor for tracing, so it is not super comfortable, but it is much better than standing up, and I am not depending on daylight.
I am still practising quick sketches with a ballpoint pen. Fortunately I’ve got heaps of scrap paper with prints on one side, and they are ideal for practising quick drawings.
Here is a shark:
Both of these sketches are based on some references I found on pinterest. Pinterest is full of drawings, paintings, drawing tutorials, character design references and the like. Here you can find my pinboards. Enjoy!
Here’s the second tulip sketch. As I said before, no pencil, no eraser, just a ballpoint pen.
I think it was Leonardo da Vinci who said that you should practice drawing every day. It seems to be easy, but in fact I’m having difficulties to sit down and do a sketch every day. There is a place online – www.habitRPG – where you can “gamify” your goals and to-do’s and work on your habits. I have discovered it a few days ago and find it fun and useful…
I decided to set myself the goal of doing one quick sketch a day. As spring is approaching quite fast, I am focusing on tulips. I am using a ballpoint pen because I really wanted a quick sketch and not something I had been working on carefully wih pencil and eraser. Of course there is the possibility of cleaning up the lines in photoshop, but I won’t do that. No eraser, either the traditional one or the digital one.
I am not working with printed out references. I did a google search for “tulips”, went for one photo I liked, opened it and then began to draw. Why should I use ink and paper when I don’t really need to?
Art has become my passion. I grab my watercolour pencils when I come home from work, I love to watch youtube videos about drawing and painting (my “watch later” list is getting longer and longer), I am uploading scans of my paintings to Rossmann, a very known drugstore here in Germany, in order to get some nice cards to be sold here and there, only to describe some of my art connected activities which all have to take place after work or on the weekend. My free time is precious to me, because that’s all I have for my passion, art.
However, I live in a three room flat, and the self-cleaning flat hasn’t been invented yet. I must admit that I don’t like to do housechold chores, especially because two days after you vacuumed the floor it gets dusty again. It reminds me so much of old Sisiphus working hard to move the big stone up the hill and then – ftt – it rolls down again.
Nevertheless some things have to be done. Maybe there is a way to make it easier? Suddenly I imagined (my imagination can be rather wild and strange) I would be surrounded by living objects. One of them is the Speaking Bath-Tub which is crying out loud because I neglect it that much. I sat down and made a quick sketch. Doesn’t the tub look a bit angry? Shoosh, dear bath tub, this evening you will get a decent rub down, poor little thingie!
Here’s the final version of the butterflies painting. None of these colourful insects exists in reality – I just went for the colours which came to my mind.
By the way: This time I used q-tips for wetting the paper. I’d read somewhere that with those q-tips it is easier to control the amount of water you’re putting on the paper and wanted to try it out. It was okay, but I found no big difference between them and using my tiniest brush.
I am using the smoother side of the rough watercolour paper this time. Much better. And I used my window as a light table when I transfered my preliminary sketch to the watercolour paper. I only sketched the butterflies; the background was created during the process.
The days are still not long enough to allow using my window panes as a light table during the week when I come home from work. This leads to a certain work flow in which I do the sketching and the research for references during the week, then do the transfer to the watercolour paper on the weekend and continue with the painting during the week.
This is the general plan. But I allow myself to digress from it. I am hoping to get this painting finished on the next weekend. A new painting probably will have to wait for another week. It is a very thin line between having goals and trying to meet them and putting onself under too much pressure. We’ll see.