Friday, January 29, 2010

Drawing + gouache

Here's what I added to that drawing from the other day. The diagrams are all from that railroad book (although out of scale and simplified) and the color is all gouache. I like using it in a semi-transparent way that's somewhere between normal watercolor and gouache to give flat areas of color that don't totally hide the pencil lines. I can tell I'm going to keep playing with the opacity of the paint in these drawings to change how much it shows and hides of the underlying drawing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gorgeous objects, courtesy of Belinda

Here's another beautiful treasury curated by Belinda that includes one of my pieces...go have a look. Thanks again, Belinda!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New old book

I'm a huge used book store junkie. Did I ever mention I used to work at a couple of different bookstores? It seems like the most natural thing when I'm looking for reference materials for artworks to go poke around at old books.

This is a railroad manual from 1911. I haven't scanned any of the images in it yet but as you can imagine it is crammed with technical drawings. I love technical drawings in any form but trains are especially interesting to me because my dad and his dad many years ago worked for railroads. I've been trying to convince my dad to let me have some of his dad's old reference materials but I've yet to get my hands on them. So when I saw this at the local used book shop I figured it would be the next best thing :)

I imagine you'll see this book again in different forms in my work.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Work in progress

Ok, this is the first thing out of what I've been working on that I think I far, anyway. I'm going to add in something else of the diagram persuasion and see how that goes. It's on watercolor paper (Fabriano hot press, if you're curious) so I have some options for how to do that. And you know me, I can never just draw something and leave it alone - it has to have something strange layered over the top.

I'm very curious to hear what you all think...I'm not totally sure what I think yet because it's something new for me. I'm still working with line quality and line weights so I think it's still very related to my other pencil pieces in that sense. But like I said, I'm nervous about using the figure and I'm trying really hard to keep this from being so cutesy/pretty/fashion-model-y as the work I keep seeing and don't really care for. I'm hoping to give subjects in my work something to do because I don't feel a connection to work that has pretty girls just...sitting around looking pretty (if that makes sense). So I've compiled some reference material with things like putting on a scarf or hat (as here), sewing, cutting fabric, etc. and to me they're things that suggest "doing" - going outside, creating, and things like that.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It's been a little difficult getting any actual finished artwork done around here lately. Mimi here is just one of the obstacles (this photo is looking down at my lap while sitting at my studio table). I'm still in a researching/sketching/researching/sketching phase and I still don't feel like I've hit on my next direction yet.

One of the things I learned at school was to have a deep and abiding fear of using the figure in my work. I'm not sure if that's just a random thing based on the professors I happened to work with or if everyone hears that while studying art. Anyway, part of me sort of thinks that the figure would be interesting...kind of gives anything a narrative quality, in my opinion. But I really don't like all the "pretty girl" art I see around the interwebs these days. And I'm not really good at doing any kind of caricaturing or stylizing in my drawings.

So that's my dilemma. Still working on it, and if I ever come up with anything I'm happy with, I'll be sure to let you all know :)