I did life drawing today! I still tend to go for a realistic style, but often end up exaggerating parts anyway. For example, her legs in this drawing are really long on purpose. Why? Hmm, I just felt like it wanted to be. Yeah, I do love gesture drawing.
I also love going to unguided life drawing sessions because everyone has their own way and goals in drawing a subject. Creating a goal of a drawing is sort of an exercise in itself. There are drawings striving for realism, drawings focusing on a particular style, drawings experimenting with a specific technique… Lots of abstract drawings too. Lately, I’ve found myself caricaturing the subject too. Somehow, a little part of me feels blasphemous making cartoony drawings, but I also love that you can kind of do whatever you want at these life drawing sessions.
Lately, I’ve been stopping and staring at lizards and reptiles. My latest sketchbook pages are of drawings centering around dinosaurs! Not just extinct prehistoric beasts, but also birds and lizardy things. I even looked up rhinoceros but then stopped after I read that they were mammals.
It started when I found myself exploring of the look of hind legs. Specifically, I was studying that Styracosaurus from Terryl Whitlatch’s Science of Creature Design and trying to draw my own version of it. It looked BAD:
Looking at Terryl’s illustration again, I found myself wondering, what makes those legs so dinosaury? For some reason, I allowed myself to reference the head while drawing, but not the body. I think I thought I had it, but quickly discovered oh no, I need to study up on some hind legs!
Oh hello, bird. After looking at a few reptiles and birds, I made another attempt at the Styracosaurus later that day:
Whoa. Surprised myself! I mean this is by no means flawless, but what a difference. I drew a couple of skeletons too which helped with forearm placement and show some scapula action going on.
Dinosaurs are so cool looking.
This is Lula. Oldest in her team, youngest at heart. She spent her childhood in the circus, growing up as a trapeze artist. Her preferred method of transportation is swinging.
The glass is always half full to her. While super courageous, or perhaps just very happy go lucky, she is also mischievous and always losing things, much to the annoyance of her friends. Though troublesome at times, her cheery disposition and amazing energy make up for her shortcomings.
Inspired by a life drawing session with SkyCandy of Austin.
Meet Corinne. She has a weakness for accessories and cute puppies, but hates it when cute puppies are used as accessories. Ironically, she can turn any accessory into a deadly weapon. Elegant, attractive, deadly. Enemies are fooled by her flirty shyness, a coy strategy to combat muscle and brute strength. She’s actually very practical, enjoys exotic culture, and reads science fiction novels.
Inspired by a life drawing session with SkyCandy of Austin.
Meet Bertha. She’s the leader of a sky acrobat team of heroines trained entertainers. Her specialty is the hula hoop and she handles one that weighs 20 pounds. Enemies are often thrown off by her surprising flexibility. Sometimes she gets intense cravings for chunky peanut butter and chocolate desserts. Hates climbing trees.
Inspired by a life drawing session with Austin’s SkyCandy.
In my mind, I always liked the idea of doing 2d animation. Drawing each pose directly by hand… oh boy! Doesn’t that sound like fun?? To some people, most people, this sounds repetitive. And it totally is. I’m not sure why it sounds fun to me. I think I just like the idea of drawing a lot. But it’s a little difficult to work on a drawn animation without the right set up. Things have to align and stuff. Also, I’ve always wanted to try this page rolling technique that I’ve seen and read about.
I need an animation desk! With the pegs and the inclined rotating surface. I’ve never used one before, even though I really want to have one right here next to me. For now, I just rigged a quick set up by taking one of those standing clear plastic sign holders and sticking two binder clips on the edges to hold the papers in place.
Woohoo, now I have somewhat of an animation drawing table. To celebrate, I drew a sitting cat. Why a cat? Because they’re cute. And I was thinking about how they seem to move pose to pose when they’re pouncing or attacking something. Like this:
The clear plastic of my “drawing desk” allowed light to come through and illuminate the drawing beneath, like a lightbox. It was awesome. Then I got another idea to make the cat get up and start walking, and anticipate the action.
I didn’t use any video reference, even though I kept thinking to do so. I also realized I made it difficult by putting in a perspective. So I had a lot of cleaning up to do in photoshop. But yes, I did finally get to try the rolling page thingy, and it was awesome!
When I stumbled upon Shan Jiang’s Bicycle Coloring Bike at Buc ee’s one day, I didn’t think twice about buying it. It is a beautiful book, and not only does it make me want to color, but it makes me want to draw and animate too. In fact, with my love for bicycles and drawing and recent exploration of cats and China, I’m a little jealous that I’m not the one who made this book! But happy. Jealappy. And jealspired, you know, like jealous but inspired…
I intended to practice some value and shading with this book, but the more I flip through it, the more I’m afraid to taint it with my experimental coloring. The book’s binding doesn’t make it exactly scanner friendly either. Guess I’ll just have to buy another one! Or make my own?? I did attempted to emulate one of the drawings, fascinated by their fantastical yet detailed grandeur and quirkiness:
(Whoops, that’s a Terry bike now. Wheels in perspective is challenging! So is the geometric accuracy required to draw a bicycle convincingly.)
I suddenly remembered that I did start a series of illustrations shortly after I returned from China. I wanted to illustrate my discoveries and experiences of the bike culture from living there. This one was going to be a rather axonometric drawing of the daily bikescape: