Saturday, December 30, 2006

my drawing history

There has always been a part of me that wanted to draw something that was my own, not something I looked at or copied. Like many young girls, I drew MANY girls wearing frilly dresses and curly hair. I drew this one when I was twelve (I don't have much of anything saved that I drew when I was younger). I was always so proud of what I drew and would show them to my mom (who never seemed quite as enthusiastic as I felt).

My mom homeschooled us. Part of our curriculum included copying pictures from coloring books. The drawing above was one of my favorites that I drew again and again (my mom seemed a lot more impressed with these drawings). Doing this helped me to fine-tune my eyes and hands to recreate what I saw.

I remember the day my mom came home from a church activity and told me that drawing upside-down helped you to draw better. I thought it was funny, but tried it and was amazed how it worked. When I was thirteen or fourteen I read Drawing on the Right Side of Your Brain, (Betty Edwards) which goes into a lot of depth about that kind of drawing. It's one of my favorite books! The lamp above is one of the things I drew while reading the book. My brothers got quite excited to see the realistic things I drew.

I continued to learn from a few classes in high school and art, but I never did much with it at the time. A few years ago when I was expecting my little boy I tried my hand at drawing again. The piece above is something I drew in 2003 (looking at a photo). By this point I felt comfortable drawing realistically, but I still felt the desire to do something of my own, something from my head. Every time I tried, however, everything looked horribly stilted and I was so frustrated.

I finally came upon the book that taught me what I had always dreamed of doing: The Big Book of Cartooning (Bruce Blitz). I already had the desire and the foundation, but this book helped me to expand my abilities. Above is something I've been working on this week to add to my portfolio. Years ago, I never would've been able to do that, but I feel so much freedom these days. It's wonderful!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A BIG difference

As an aspiring illustrator, I'm getting ready to send out my first round of postcards to potential publishers. This is the illustration I'll be sending out. I just discovered the power of good, espensive paper. As I hope to make a good impression through the postcards, I opted to try this picture on good paper. I was amazed at the difference! The second picture above is done on cheap-o student grade (Blick cold press) watercolor paper, and the top is the expensive stuff (Windsor Newton hot press). I really wanted to give Fabriano soft press a try (I've heard great things about it from several illustrators) but my art supply store doesn't carry it. But I really liked this stuff. It was also great going over things in ink and not having all the little cracks get in the way.

By the way, I'm creating this blog so that I'll have reason to keep on illustrating. I fear rejection, but I LOVE to illustrate! Whether or not someone will pay me to do it, I need something to keep me going. But, as a wife, mother, author, illustrator, and music teacher, I have many other obligations, so my goal is to post once a week.

See you next week!