Experimenting with Style

I’ve been experimenting with my artistic style over the summer because I’ve been in “artists block mode” when in comes to producing anything beyond a sketch. Below are two sketches with two different styles I’m attempting.

The first is heavily inspired by fashion design sketches, which is why her legs are so disproportionately long and she has a thin, elongated figure. I also used this sketch to experiment with water-soluble oil pastels and see how well they blend when water is applied. They don’t mix as well as the watercolor pencils, but I do like the interesting texture created.

The second’s inspiration is derived from when artists use bright colors in shadowed areas instead of using the typical mixture of complimentary colors or black. I used red in this case; however, I couldn’t just leave the red along and had to go and trace it with purple and then the purple with black. Dark, bold graphic lines are my kryptonite. Or strength in the cases where it works in my favor.

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Squid

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Another drawing in my sketchbook. I wanted to brush up on my watercolor pencils skills since I haven’t utilized them in a while. The paper wasn’t made for wet material which is what caused all of the puckered texture in the image, but I actually sort of like it since it kind of adds another dimensions to the drawing. I had some difficulty with the composition of the tentacles since I honestly only planned the left side before delving right in and is something I will definitely not ever do again when dealing with an illustration like this again. I purposely left the shoulders out because I think it makes the design more versatile if I decided to put it on a t-shirt, bag, etc and is also why I cut the neck off by having the two tentacles touch. I’ve seen this successfully used before this different designs for clothing products.

 I feel like I should also note here that I have never actually drawn a squid before or even seen a live one in person (though I do love calamari…I suppose it doesn’t count). I don’t think I have even really sat down and actually observed and studied a picture of a squid before, so basically what I’m trying to say is that this “squid” I’ve drawn is very, very, very much drawn from imagination. In fact, I’m just assuming that it looks even relatively like a squid. It might just look like some freaky tentacled monster. Anyway, I’m rambling now and am digressing to extreme levels (I blame lack of sleep). Wow, I really did write a lot about this. If you’re reading this right now, then let me be the first to congratulate you on actually having enough willpower to read this far!

Fantastic

Today I decided to go to the gym in the morning instead of in the afternoon like I normally do. It seemed like a great decision at the time. A great way to kick start my day instead of the typical pot of coffee and cup (yes, literally cup. not bowl. bowls are boring.) of granola or Yoplait’s lemon pie yogurt if I’m feeling adventurous. So, off I went hopping in my car and jamming out to some alternative rock. Very little traffic. Not a policeman in sight. Everything’s fantastic. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. 

First, there was no parking. Apparently everyone goes to the gym in the morning. I just didn’t get the memo. Fantastic. Solution: suck it up, park in a different parking lot, and walk over. No big deal. Problem solved. Proceed with “Spend Awesome Morning at the Gym” plan. However, this is apparently easier typed up on a blog than actually done. 

After swiping my card at the gym’s entrance, I start to run my two miles on the indoor track (it was 107 degrees outside otherwise I would have run outside). For the first half mile every thing is fine. More than fine. It’s fantastic. Because this is “Awesome Morning at the Gym” day. Why wouldn’t it be fantastic? However, lots of cars in the parking lot means lots of people at the gym meaning everyone and their second cousins are here and happily blocking the track all the way across as they chit chat with one another. So, about half a mile into my run I end up slowly jogging behind three middle-aged women as they catch up on the latest gossip infesting their mundane lives while moving as slow as molasses and oblivious to the other people actually trying to work out at the gym because that’s sort of what you are suppose to do when at a gym. Work out. And of course every time I eventually get around them it is only a matter of seconds before I’m right back behind them waiting to find that crack to dodge through (9 laps = a mile). Fantastic. Still feeling absolutely fantastic. My jaw might be sore later from gritting my teeth, but everything is fantastic. 

And then I get to the weights. I could live with the fact that it took me on average three minutes to get to use a machine because of the crowd. I could live with the fact that there wasn’t really that much room to move in the weights area. I couldn’t live with the fact that apparently elderly people like to literally stand right over you while waiting for the machine you’re on. Like they’ve never heard of personal space. It’s especially weird when eye contact is made because they seem to forget they’re not invisible and won’t look away. I know I don’t make attractive faces when lifting weights. You would think that would be enough to scare them off, but no. And here is the real kicker: I would ask them if they were waiting for the machine and politely inform them I only had one set left, but they would deny wanting that machine and claim to be waiting for another one. Once I got off, they got right on the machine I was just using. What. The. Heck. Why couldn’t you just admit to wanting that machine? You’re already making creepy eye contact with me while I make pained, distorted faces at you! I think our relationship is a little beyond you politely pretending you don’t want my machine. But whatever floats your boat. It’s fine. It’s more than fine. It’s fantastic. Really, really fantastic. 

Basically that was my day at the gym in a nutshell. I was only there for about an hour. I decided to go ahead and continue my pot of coffee and granola routine since the gym was more or less a failure. In fact, I went ahead and had a cup of yogurt, too, because I like to live life a little on the edge sometimes. It was really good yogurt. Pineapple upside down cake. Made my day just that tiny bit more fantastic.