Monday, October 30, 2006

The Grim Reaper Makes a Move

Imagine going to the drive-in only to find out that you have a date... WITH DEATH!

I don't really know why this popped out onto the page today. I was looking at the Drawergeeks' theme du semaine (the Grim Reaper) and suddenly thought about all those songs and stories from the 50s where someone's sweetheart dies in a horrible car crash and the singer/author wails about it for three minutes or 100 pages. Before I knew it, the Grim Reaper was out on paper, making his move.

Too bad I didn't draw him as more of a Grim Greaser. That would have been cool!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vintage Doodles

Just a quick sketch today. I was looking through one of my larger sketchbooks and found a bunch of loose pieces of paper with art from a few months ago.

The ninja rabbit appears in my meeting doodles on a regular basis. Fight on, ninja rabbit!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Honey Apples

In the spirit of posting work more often, here are the apfels:

I'm still planning to work on a background for them, but I may not have the time until the weekend. I can't stand working in the dark anyway, and even the days are gloomy and overcast here now. Stupid fall in stupid Alberta.

Really, the last little while has been super-frustrating as far as artwork goes. It seems that every time I have a few minutes to pull out the sketchbook an interruption comes along. Neil's been home sick, which means he's bumping around the house when he'd normally be off Kung Fu-ing. He's in the kitchen when I want to make lunch, and he's on the console when I want to play games, and today I was thinking that maybe, MAYBE I could go sketching at lunch before my lunch meeting (the cow-orkers have helpfully scheduled a bimonthly meeting during my lunch hour; thanks, wankers) before the weather turns really cold. But no. He's got to come in for an afternoon meeting and we'll be having lunch together again. (Lest you think that I'm insane for complaining that husband wants to have lunch with me every day, you should understand that "having lunch" these days mostly means "walking to the food court, standing in separate lines and then dragging the results back to eat at our desks, in separate offices.) I could do without the five-minute walk to SUB and back, only to be stuck at my stupid desk eating my stupid Edo shrimp.

But y'know. I'm not bitter.

I think I'm back in my "Fuck you, human beings! Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!" phase. I seem to be feeling it particularly badly this morning.

* * *

Sheesh. And after all that complaining I did, it just so happens that Neil missed his bus and wasn't able to get here in time for lunch. And did I do any sketching? No. Because I forgot my watch on my bedside table this morning and if I go somewhere where I can't see the time, I will miss the lunch meeting.

So, not only am I bad-tempered, but I'm dumb as a sack of hammers too.

Somehow, this has restored my good humour. Now all I have to do is to try and convince the cow-orkers that we should hold all our meetings in HUB mall, where you can buy tasty cafe lattes and which is more interesting to draw in than the meeting room.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Maple Leaf

Oh, hey. I'd completely forgotten about this thing:

it's a Japanese Maple leaf. I was planning to do some watercolours of autumn leaves, but the leaves are all gone now and I just can't seem to break out the paints. However, I AM trying out some ink brushwork (it's hard; never again will I look at a simple brush picture and think "pffff!"), it's just that I've hardly done anything worth posting so far.

Anyway. Apples some other day! I've had a request for a background for them so I guess I'll keep working.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Getting Back Into It

There were so few vacation sketches I did that I'm trying to make up for things now that I'm home. I'm especially trying hard to see the potential in my everyday surroundings. (When I took a studio course, my TA used to criticize my choice of subjects. I happen to think that computer cables and circuit boards are just as interesting to draw as drapery and plants. Just because it's not traditional doesn't mean it isn't good!) Of course, after all that, something like a nest of cables is just darn difficult to do. If you're a lazy artist like me, it's much easier to knock out a dried rose:

especially if it's sitting on your desk and doesn't require you to go and open up your computer case.

Today I drew some apples, but maybe I'll save those for another day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vacation Sketches

Here's a few more sketches from the vacation. There's three or four more apart from this, but they are in varying stages of completion (I took some reference photos so that I'd be able to finish some of them, but I don't like to take reference photos of people. For one thing it's rude, and for another thing it forces me to draw quickly before the subject buggers off).

This is a sketch from our hotel balcony in Viterbo. If there's one thing that I think I would truly enjoy, it would be a quiet spot above a semi-busy street where I could sit and watch people on a warm summer evening. Neil sat beside me with his camera, watching pigeons roosting across the street and taking long-exposure photos in the dark, while I tried to sketch people below us. This was a guy standing outside a pizzeria, waiting for his friend who had just stepped in for a few minutes, and having a smoke.

A week (and a few unfinished sketches) later, Neil and I were hiding from a downpour under an overhang in Orvieto. It was right beside a bus stop, so there was a small crowd of people there, waiting for buses or tours or for the rain to stop so that they could run home. This was a dapper old Italian man who was having a great time joking around with some older Italian ladies. Eventually they broke into a song and did some dancing. They looked like they were having great fun.

A couple days after, we wandered around the Palazzo Pitti museums in Florence. We were worn out long before we had a chance to see everything. This was a tourist I sketched out during a rest stop.

We had to hide in the waiting room of the train station in Florence. We sat outside for a bit, but then we got waylaid by someone trying to bum a cigarette off us. He couldn't understand that we were non-smokers and didn't have a cigarette to give him. Anyway, train stations are great for catching people napping, and napping people are great because they don't notice you drawing them and they don't wander away nearly so quickly.

And last of all... my backpack and bike helmet at the airport, before heading home. The thing about airports is that either you have to race for your gate or you have a five-hour layover and plenty of time to kill. We had a couple hours at Roma Fiumicino so I got the chance to do a longer drawing than I usually bother with. It turns out that more detail makes the drawing look much better. Who knew?

I'll post the other sketches up as I finish them. It may take me a while. It usually does.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I am back from my vacation. Somewhat as expected, I didn't do much sketching in Italy -- for one thing, it's hard to sketch when you're out touristing. There's all that walking and cycling and milling around in confusion with a map and guidebook in hand. Having an impatient husband who neglects to bring reading material with him wherever he goes is also not very helpful. Still, I managed to sketch a few things. Here's a lamppost from the sixth town on our tour, and the town I think I liked best, Bolsena:

Anyway, it's been three days and I'm still jet-lagged. I've started eating normally (which is a lovely change) but I'm still falling asleep by 22:00. Heck, it's only 20:00 and I'm sitting here, typing this up, thinking longingly of pillows and other freshly-laundered bed things. I had plenty of plans for artwork this weekend, all of which have taken a backseat to being dead tired. Very sad.