Tag Archives: drawing

This Mom Lets Her 4-Year-Old Finish Her Drawings, And The Results Are Hilarious! ~ Distractify

“At first, artist Mica Angela Hendricks didn’t want her four-year-old daughter near her new sketchbook. She is serious about her art, and she knew little Myla would want to scribble all over the pages. Then, her daughter said the words that changed everything.

“If you can’t share, we’ll have to take it away.”
 
“She had used her own mother’s words against her, and now Mica had no choice but to indulge Myla. She let her daughter finish one of her sketches, and pretty soon, they had a whole collection of collaborations.”

Source: news.distractify.com

Subscribe To Tasty ArtSnacks

ArtSnacks is like a magazine subscription — only instead of a magazine arriving every month in your mailbox, you’ll get 4 or 5 different art products to try out.

Honestly, it’s a bit more pricey than a magazine subscription; prices start at $20 a month (with free shipping for those in the US). But it’s far more likely to get you past inspiration into actually making something.

ArtSnacks is brought to you by Sarah and Lee Rubenstein, the brother-and-sister team behind EatSleepDraw. More details here.

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U3 Artsy Link Round-Up

Dark Mountain Book & Painting By Rima

1.) Collin David reviews The Art Hustle Trading Cards (Series 2).

2.) Breast drawing advice — hint: nudity in the illustrated guide.

3 & 4.) Midori Snyder shares A Bordertown Moment: Skateboards and Skulls and Lotte Reiniger: Silhouette Fairy Tale Films.

5.) Important cultural things to consider and respond to in Are Art Museums Sexist? Yes …And Maybe No (NWS).

6.) Artist Rima shares the inspiration and process behind painting the front cover of the second Dark Mountain Project book.

Doodle Week Challenge: Doodle Away Your Bad Dreams!

I don’t usually post the Doodle Weeks; and, like too many of you, I am a sad participating in them as well. (Shame on all of us!) But, as coincidence (or my weird psyche) would have it, I had a bad dream last night — so bad I had to blog about it at my nearly dead dream blog. And the rule at that blog, such as it is, is that I’m to sketch or doodle a little part of the dream or otherwise illustrate the post. (Perhaps this is where my self-direct art therapy comes into play; why this art moves me so and maybe even why I was prompted forced to have such a strong dream, one strong enough to force me to post and therefore doodle.) So anyway, I had to draw a basset hound.

Amazing facts about the doggie doodles: One, they are done in pen! Amazing feat for anxious me. Two, the first one, posted at the dream blog, is the one I like best.

Perhaps these were so easy today because I needed this art therapy so badly; it was easy to bark away the bad spell. Or, perhaps they were easy because I used to doodle dogs all the time. Some sort of muscle-memory thing. As a kid (what we’d call a “tween” today), I used to doodle dogs like this:

In any case, I do seem to have shaken the worst of the after affects of the nightmare.

In fact, I feel rather light and — dare I say it! — joyful.

So, kiddos, I challenge you to doodle your bad dreams away.  Doodle something little that cheers you up.  It could be a dog, something you once doodled as a kid, or whatever pops into your head.

When you doodle, be sure to share it with us as part of Doodle Week.  (Come back here and leave a comment, a link to where we can find it!)  You can share your doodle, share your thoughts on the doodle exercise — both!  I look forward to seeing and hearing how the doodle drawing works for you!

Fear Of The Blank Paper

Staring down the pristine, stark-white surface of a blank page can be soooo intimidating… This phenomenon occurs with writers too. So what can you do when you’ve got your supplies all set, but that blank white page just stares back at you, taunting you, teasing you, bullying you…

Well, if you’re like Steve Thompson, maybe you carve your Crayolas into Star Wars characters.

If pencils are your tools, Dalton Ghetti‘s carved graphite works may be more inspiring to you.

If words are (supposed to be) your weapons of choice in the creative fight against the blank page, how about carving those pencil tips into letters? (Also by Dalton Ghetti.)

Take that, blank paper! We’re still getting our art on!

An Interview With Sam Garton, The Illustrator Behind The Adorable Otter & Robot Suicides

I first met Sam at Tumblr, where I immediately was attracted to the dark yet whimsical works…

Mr. Gerald Beaufort, the rat, making plans to break in:

A robot suicide:

A dog who finds scary movies too scary:

But Sam, it turns out, is more known for his role as The Otter Keeper, the creator of I Am Otter.

Tell us a little about yourself, Sam… Did you go to art school? How long have you been doing I Am Otter?

I’m 28 and have an office job by day but also work as a freelance illustrator. I graduated from Derby University with a degree in illustration in 2005. I’m obsessed with otters and I enjoy putting sweets in the freezer so they last longer (especially jelly tots). I’ve been doing I Am Otter for about 2 years now!

How would you describe I Am Otter in terms of a project?

I am Otter is a website dedicated to a modern day domestic otter who lives with her Otter Keeper in the London suburbs. Nobody (not even me) can quite remember the day I became obsessed with an otter and decided to dedicate a rather unhealthy amount of time to her. I have a theory it happened when walking to work one day but you can’t be too sure about these things.

It’s a basic html site but I have also got quite into flash recently, so there are games and interactive elements too. At first you could be mistaken for thinking the site is directly aimed at children, but upon closer inspection you’ll find there is plenty of humour that will appeal to adults too. The site also has a built in blog where you can find lots of mini Otter stories, which I update frequently.

When did you start your shop? When did you feel you (and Otter) were ready for a shop?

People would ask me to buy prints so I decided eventually a shop was the best option, sadly me and Otter don’t get too much custom these days and there is a monthly fee. I keep meaning to change over to etsy or a free service but I spent quite a long time customizing this one so I’m reluctant to change for that reason.

What’s the story behind your Tumblr… Not only is the art different, but it’s rather orphaned from the rest of Otter’s world.

Well believe it or not I haven’t always drawn an Otter and her Teddy!

I’m actually very fond of a darker palette and enjoy more sinister and serious themes. There is just no place for that in otters world and so I really wanted somewhere I could be more myself and not be tied down. There is also the fact that lots of kids follow Otter and I wouldn’t want to scare anyone. 🙂

It’s gone well so far, but I’m still getting used to using Tumblr which is very different from WordPress.

The otter series is rather unusual… It’s almost like a graphic novel, more than an art series, isn’t it? Did you plan on this narrative sort of storytelling from the start, or did that evolve more organically?

It all sort of evolved organically to be honest. I Never set out with a master plan. I just started drawing otter and after a while my imagination just took over – I then had to keep drawing her to get the stories out of my head!

I never thought I could write particularly well (and I’m not saying I can) but it was quite a surprise how much I enjoy writing the text that comes along with the picture. I now feel the pictures require the story and vice versa. It does take me a while though – I’m constantly re-writing sentences to get the pacing right and I’m very picky over the words I use.

Do you have any plans to do this sort of presentation with the darker works? Any plans to sell prints of these works?

I would always sell prints to anyone who wanted them. I have my special printer I invested in and it creates great prints.

Sadly printing, packaging and trips to the post office take up time! And after doing otter shop for a while I’ve begun to find the whole process a bit tedious. But, unfortunately, I also have a bit of a dislike for the third party printers. “We print on anything and post to your customer” – great! “We also take 70% of your profit” – not so great. And I don’t like to use them either.

If I sell anything, I like the customer to be happy and get a good deal. It’s almost impossible to do this and make it worthwhile with the middle man too!

How do you feel the commercial aspects, selling prints, running sites, etc., have affected or impacted your work?

The creation of the websites and learning software like Photoshop are half the fun for me, if I’m honest. I guess they have impacted on my work in so much as I don’t do as much drawing because I’m learning WordPress or trying to make a new flash game for Otter. But If I didn’t do this, then it’s not like anyone would know about Otter in the first place!

And, like I said, the process of selling prints is a bit of a pain. I’d rather spend the time learning/drawing something new.

Do you feel more obligated to produce new works or, in the case of blogging, new posts?

I start to feel guilty after a week or so goes by with no Otter story. Half of this is because I know a few fans really enjoy the stories and are waiting for the next; the other half is that I actually feel bad for Otter! I need to make up her next adventure to keep her world alive… and I take this responsibility very seriously. 🙂

I don’t think I’d ever be able to stop writing about Otter… It would make me feel too sad?

As an artist, what is your definition of success?

For me success would be to make enough money out of my art that allowed me to do it full time! This would be fantastic as I have so much in my head I want to get out, but just not enough time. I’m sure this is the same for most artists. And I envy the ones that get to that level very much.

It also makes me very happy that my work can affect people in a positive way. For example, I get really nice messages from people saying that reading about Otter has really turned around a bad day they were having, or similar things to this. I’m not sure my darker stuff has this affect on people but hopefully it still invokes a positive or inspiring reaction of some kind.

It sure does, Sam; it inspired this interview.

 

Creating Ceramic Mosaics Of Silent Film Stars

Annette Kellerman, The Australian Mermaid, "the Diving Venus"

A few months ago I was contacted by Nick Bannikoff, a graphic designer in Sydney, Australia, who had recently worked on the refurbished Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre in Marrickville. The centre is now finished, and Bannikoff was assisting with the creation of a graphic interpreting / explaining Annette Kellerman’s life to be installed at the pool. Because I’m rather well connected to Kellerman on the Internet, Bannikoff was hoping I’d be able to assist him finding decent quality images to include in the graphic; which I did, by connecting him to silent film collector Mary Ann Cade. Because I’m rather nosy fascinated with Kellerman, film and art — and unable to get to Australia myself — I asked Bannikoff to tell me more about the project.

 

Background:

The redevelopment of the pool was undertaken by Marrickville council a while ago. The existing pool was only 33mm and a bit dilapidated. There’s plenty of information on the project here.

Annette was born in the council area and the centre (AKAC) was renamed after her in ‘94 (I don’t have any information on that process).

As part of the project a separate graphic design firm was engaged to design the logo for the AKAC (along with several other facilities), and we were engaged as specialists to design the signage and environmental graphics. For a better idea of what we specialise in, you can visit Society for Environmental Graphic Design.

The Mosaics:

We wanted to create an inviting entrance to the change rooms, and decided that the best way to do this was to create life-sized graphics of people standing at the entrances. In effect inviting people in (it also has the advantage of very clearly differentiating the male and female entrances). Annette was obviously a natural choice for the Female change room, but being such an extraordinary character it was difficult to select a male counterpart. In the end we settled on Cecil, a contemporary of Annette’s (this was important to us) who was sadly killed at the Somme in 1918. Had we not been constricted in our selection to an Australian, we would have recommended Jonny Weismuller, whose career so closely mimicked Annette’s.

Knowing what we wanted to do we were inspired by two sources. A photo of a confident young woman in a bathing costume with a very contemporary lighting scheme, and the work of mosaic artist Brett Campbell.

We particularly liked the confident pose and dynamic lighting for the young woman. We felt if we could present Annette in the same way it would convey more of her life and story (than any photo) and make her more relevant to a contemporary audience. We engaged the services of a talented illustrator, Justine Missen, who over 2-3 weeks developed sketches of Annette and Cecil with the stances, shading and attitude we wanted. I’ve attached a couple of images from the process. As we always knew we wanted to create the final work in mosaic, Justine sketched to that end, mapping out the broad areas of colour that we knew could only accommodate a limited amount of detail.

As I mentioned, we had decided early on that if we could execute the graphic as a mosaic we would. The material would fit beautifully within a swimming pool environment, and given Annette’s life was a perfect medium with which to portray her. Brett Campbell, being part of the inspiration, was then engaged to create the final pieces. Brett helped out a great deal with the selection of the tiles. There is actually a very limited range of colours out there, and we wanted a nice glossy finish and a ceramic tile which we felt matched our aims (there is a much greater colour selection available in glass tiles). Due to the fact the entrances were a little dark and out of the way, we also wanted nice bright colours which made the selection even more difficult. He worked in his studio in Queensland (about 1000km away) and would send photos of the progress on a weekly basis, which we would then discuss and occasionally make adjustments or suggestions. This part of the project took about 2 months.

Finally, Brett visited site in late November last year and installed the mosiacs over 3 days, along with another mosaic that formed the background for the main identification sign for the AKAC.

Other things you may be interested in:

As part of the project the council also commissioned artwork for a couple of locations. One of the artists, Mark Wotherspoon, took his inspiration from the life of Annette.

The piece is entitled “Silver Screen Mermaid” and a plaque will be installed soon that reads: Inspired by the collective consciousness of Annette Kellerman, the divine silver screen mermaid and Hollywood starlet (1887-1975)

Alien Reporter Advice On Creating Comics

I’m no comic expert, but ever since I saw both Ghost World and American Splendor (pretty much back to back), I’ve wanted to create a comic. I bought a basic black sketchbook to draft my ideas… And that’s about it. The crisp white pages were too intimidating. But when I came across this post at Bungy Notes , I had a fabulous Ah-ha! moment:

I am about twelve strips into a weekly comic I publish over at Black Magpie Theory called, “Klexmur, Alien Reporter.”  It’s been a life-long fantasy of mine to create and publish a regular comicstrip.  If you’ve paid attention here, you know I have more than a passing interest in comics.  I also approach my work from a performance studies background, which holds (at least in some versions) that the best way to understand something is by doing it.

It’s that last line there, the “I also approach my work from a performance studies background, which holds (at least in some versions) that the best way to understand something is by doing it,” that’s the kicker.

I may just have to view the process as performance art — if only for an audience of one.

Drawing People on your Fingers

Lately I keep finding these photos of characters people have drawn on their fingers. They are cute, some are even very clever.

I posted  two on my personal blog, Finger People and Finger Dancers.

I’m going to take this idea with me next time I visit my nieces. They will have a lot of fun, glad to have an excuse to draw on themselves. We will get out all the coloured markers, the construction paper too. I can make hats for them to cover the tip of each finger they draw a face on.

Here are some more. Mainly links to groups on Flickr where people have posted their own creations.

 

Doodle Week, March 6 – 7th: Cityscapes

This week it’s cityscapes. You can do some extra work, a little research and draw your own cityscape. Or make one up. Kind of nice to think of a unique way to present it. I drew this one on a big blue marble, representing the planet. Not quite to scale. 🙂

Want to know what Doodle Week is about? Read all about it.

Lighthouses

What is it about lighthouses that draws people? People collect lighthouses figurines. People paint and draw lighthouses. People will stop to photograph a lighthouse even when there could be something else more interesting which they did not even notice in the shadow of that mystical, lonely, stark looking building poking the sky.

I think it is the romance, mystery, history and the feeling of adventure – surviving storms at sea and pounding waves. The idea of steadfast lighthouse keepers, daring rescues and pirates hiding their treasure exposed in the roving splash of a beam of light.

They are kind of fun to draw. Even more fun to be down at the water, hearing it, smelling it.

Photo Galleries of Lighthouses:

Lighthouses as Art:

Lighthouses Visited/ Documented:

Doodle Week, February 27 – 28th – Toadstools

Welcome to Doodle Week. You have a week to try the doodle challenge. This week it’s a toadstool, a fairy mushroom. Highly suggest you draw them and do not ever snack on them. Add a fairy, a gnome or just some every garden insects to your toadstool. Colour them, the traditional look is red with white spots. Just remember, bad things tend to happen to those who nibble on toadstools and just because those fairies are all magical and sparkly does not mean they are sweet, little angels.

From Wikipedia: The term “toadstool” was often, but not exclusively, applied to poisonous mushrooms or to those that have the classic umbrella-like cap-and-stem form.

Doodle Week, February 20 – 21st

This week it’s gargoyles. I’m about to catch the bus so I can attend a neighbourhood strategy session about saving some of the old buildings in my town. Will see how it goes. I love the old places and would like to see some of them refurbished if they can be saved from demolition. Anyway, that is why the doodle for this week is gargoyles.

You can find a simple gargoyle to draw, just search online for inspiration. No drawing has to be complicated, unless you want to be that way.

Happy drawing!

If you need to read about Doodle Week go back to the post all about it.

Painting with Stamp Markers

A lot of materials produced and marketed for crafting use also have applications for more “fine art” oriented artists.  One example being stamp markers.  These are felt tip markers marketed for used with rubber stamps.  Their key quality is that these markers are slow drying.  This allows them to be used to paint the surface of a stamp, and stay wet long enough for different colors to be applied before the stamp is pressed to a surface.

I was attracted to stamp markers as a tidy and compact alternative to paints.  They offer a lot of the versatility of paint, but are much more portable and easier to organise if you have very limited space available in your home.  For example, they can be brought out and backed away again in a simple pencil case. There are a lot of different stamping markers, the set I bought are from the Dee Gruenig Signature range produced by Marvy.

If you use stamp markers on normal paper the result is similar to any felt tip marker (see above right).  However they become a lot more flexible when used on a high gloss or cardboard.  Here the long drying period allows for a lot of painterly effects including blending, rubbing, scraping, smudging and erasing.  In fact, unlike paint, stamp markers can be completely erased from a surface even once fully dried.

The limitations of the markers relate to the same qualities that make them interesting to work with.  If applied too lightly the marker will bead up and withdraw from the surface as it dries, turning a pastel wash into a scattering of dark dots.  I am currently finding it hard to avoid white fringing my marks, as shown in the picture to the left.  And even when dried, the markers smudge easily and it is very difficult to avoid marring the surface with fingerprints.  At this point I am not sure what finishing product would protect the surface and not interact with the highly soluble ink.

You can see some of my other stamp marker sketches on my blog–if you have used them yourself, please drop us a comment or a link!

Doodle Week, February 13 – 14th

This time around the doodle theme is cats. I like cats, their independence, mysteriousness and that feeling that you never quite know which of you is the pet, the cat or yourself.

If you need to read about Doodle Week go back to the post all about it.

If you are in Canada and have the long weekend, take this as a time to extend your doodling till Monday, which is Family Day, here. Get everyone to doodle and post them all. If you live in a rural town or city (as I do) there will be no bus service on a holiday so you will have all that time to doodle. How about doodling the adventures of Mad Manx, the really cool (but tail-less) cat?

Happy Drawing!

Doodle Week, February 6 – 7th

Share your doodles. Post your link here in the comments. If you need inspiration look for birdhouses online. There were a lot of them. Some very ellaborate. Mine is kind of simple but I like how this one turned out.

Read about Doodle Week, the rules, regulations and standardizations (whatever that turns out to be). Mainly, just doodle something birdhouse related and join in.

Doodle Week Begins with Dollies, January 9 – 10

This weekend will be the first Doodle Week at U3. January 9th and 10th are the days for you to create your drawing and post it to your blog. Then link back here in the comments to show off your work.

The theme will be dollies, more properly known as dolls. For inspiration have a look at the Flickr group called Dolly Doodles. There are a lot of ways to draw dolls, simple, cute, pretty, complicated or just sweet and simple. What kind of doll will you draw?

Word Grrls has a post with 101 + Links for Doodling and Drawing by Hand.

Doodle Week

doodleweekDoodle Week is back. This time it will be part of U3. (I type it as U3 because I don’t want to type slower and check my spelling).

Doodle Week was something I started with Claire. Later, Mo joined us and helped bring in more people to doodle. Over time things wound down until I gave up on Doodle Week. I kept doodling myself, took a break for a couple of months, then started up again sometime before the holidays. It’s like a bug, you just can’t get over.

When Deanna mentioned bringing Doodle Week back as part of U3 I took a second to consider it. Taking it on again, telling people about it and trying to encourage more people who think they can’t draw to draw anyway. That’s how and why I started Doodle Week after all. As you can see, I decided to do it again. Once you doodle you can never truly go back.

The Rules of Doodle Week:

Doodle Week is like other memes online. One site hosts the event and others chime in with their contributions posted to their own blogs. Everyone who participates links back here so we can all find each other. Some will leave comments on each other’s doodles. But it isn’t a set rule, just very nice to do. We all need encouragement!

Doodle Week will be one day each week. A topic will be set for the weekly doodle. If it isn’t something that inspires you, pick something related. I will try to come up with ideas/ themes/ topics which are seasonal or at least inspiring enough to give everyone room to grow their own version of the theme. For instance, if the theme is Valentines Day, you can come up with something as simple as drawing hearts to as complex as drawing your own Valentine card to send to your favourite love.

That’s about it for the rules. Pretty simple.

Doodle Week on Flickr. Handy for anyone who wants to join but does not have a blog to post doodles to.

Doodle Week on Twitter