Day Eighty Three

Ah, long Monday. I rose early, but made up for it in time wasted with distractions. I managed to get quite a bit of work done, though, AND came along quite a bit on a new piece of art:

Before I fall asleep, I’ll go ahead and share today’s sketch with ya.

fake adj. Having a fake or misleading appearance; not genuine. v. To make a brief, deceptive movement in order to mislead one’s opponent in certain sports.

“Fake” made me immediately think of a doll. I decided to stick with just a bust in order to make it more obvious that the figure was a doll and not a person. I believe my cousin and I shared one of those Barbie makeup/hairstyle practice plastic heads when I was younger; I remember us giving her “cat eye” eyeliner and piercing her nose. I think she was probably the coolest Barbie to ever exist. I drew on this memory for today’s doll. Although she is not that edgy, she’s a little cooler than the average Barbie.

I liked the addition of the cardboard box in order to make it a little creepier. I wanted to make it look like she had just been unpacked.

I hope you had a decent Monday; thanks for reading!


Day Eighty Two

Wow, thank you so much. It’s so great to be here tonight. Gosh, I have so many people to thank. I want to thank...um...all the people who contributed, the academy, my wonderful family...um...wow...so great to be here. Never thought I’d get this opportunity. It’s just...wow...so great.

Oh, wait...


Anyway, I’ll make this post brief before I’m played off the stage.

First, I must share with you my exciting new gift. I believe I’ll be using it for the remainder of this blog, and beyond. Isn’t it exciting??

Ah, well. Now it’s time for some art.

Today’s word is one I may have had before (after this many days, it’s really difficult to remember). Nevertheless, it was a great joy to draw.

stare v. To look at with intent, direct gaze.  

The word “stare”, although it’s not creepy by definition, always makes me think of something a little strange. I decided to go that way fairly subtly with today’s piece.

At the last minute, I decided to add a bow tie. I liked the up-tightness it added to the creepy, almost petulant stare.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post; thank you for reading!
Have a great night.


Day Eighty One

Oh, Ink Drop...why must I be so sleepy?? I guess I’d better get started on today’s post before my head droops so low it hits the keyboard...

I was joined today by my always faithful, always funny accomplice of a brother. I truly envy his artistic freedom and the incredible speed at which he expresses it.

Today’s word conjured up images of frumpy old men. You know the sweater-vest-wearing, philosophizing, tired professor type. So, naturally, I drew a stylish young woman.

cor-du-roy n. A durable cotton fabric which has a ribbed pile.

Fashion (in my limited experience) is all about pulling pieces of the world around you (even the not-so-attractive ones) and creating something fresh and interesting. So, for today’s piece, I wanted to do this with the word “corduroy”. Using a very old fashion idea, I decided to have a thin, glamorous woman wearing a tailored version of a man’s outfit. I thought that a thermal button-up shirt and corduroy pants with braces would be a vintagey, masculine outfit to be taken and altered for a fashionable woman.

I really like the way this turned out-it was one of the easier pieces to churn out. It felt as if it drew itself. 
(It’s wonderful to be back into illustration after a short break.) I hope you have a great night! Thanks for reading.



Day Eighty

Today was a sleepy day. Time seemed to alternate between speeding by and dragging on endlessly. I managed to squeeze in a couple hours in the darkroom and emerged with a couple prints.

I experimented with the new(ish) technique of scratching the photo in order to get rid of parts of the emulsion.

I really like the look of it on the left side of this photograph, but I don’t think it works as well on the right. I hope, sometime, I will be able to find the appropriate use for this technique. For now, I will keep trying.  

Today I decided to get my drawing “mojo” back. Things in the illustration world have been a bit...blah...as you may have been able to tell. With 285 days left in this project, I can’t begin thinking of it as a chore, or I won’t be able to stick with it. So, picking up my dictionary with gusto, I got down to work.

Today’s word took me a while to figure out; I had quite a bit of the piece done before I knew what direction I wanted to take it in.

di-ver-sion n. The act of diverting from a course, activity or use; something that diverts or amuses.

I wanted to draw a very business-like character who’d gotten distracted. I wanted the “diversion” to be something colorful; something childish.
I started by drawing a pencil sketch and then going over it in pen; I planned to use pastels and didn’t want the pencil to smudge with the pastel when I blended the pigment.

Then, I used a different color of pastel for each balloon and blended the pastel to give the balloons a smooth look. I really like the way this came out; I’m happy to have my “mojo” back.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post; thanks for reading! I hope you have a great weekend!


Day Seventy Nine

Ah, more snow. I’m cuddled up with a hot cup of cocoa, basking in the warm glow of both my laptop and the TV. (You know, because staring at just one screen is soo 2010) Frequent peeks out the front door have confirmed that it is still snowing, still cold and still winter. (I thought we’d escaped it for a while there, but no such luck.)

Today’s word shocked me. Not because of the word itself, but because of its timing. I spent a while thinking about what exactly, out of the thousands of possibilities, I wanted to create using this word as inspiration.

E-gypt n. A country located in northeast Africa and southwest Asia.

Immediately, of course, “Egypt” brought the recent revolution to mind. Although I do not claim to know every detail, I did follow the revolution as best I could. Although there were many things about this revolution that both inspired and fascinated me, there was one image that struck me most. Beyond the masses of people, the incredible speed of political change and the images of people gathered on and around tanks, there is one image that has stayed vividly in my mind. This image is the hundreds of thousands of people in Tahrir Square stopping to pray. From the moment I saw the first photograph of this, I was amazed by not only the dedication of the Egyptian people but by the beautiful work of art created by a synchronized movement of hundreds of thousands of people. Although I have never put much faith in, well, faith, I am fascinated by this gesture.

So, for today’s piece, I decided to illustrate Egyptians praying in Tahrir Square. It was difficult to get the angle of the bodies correctly but, after a hundred or so, it got a little difficult.

I wish this drawing could have been better; it does not do the incredible feat of the Egyptians justice. Ah well, I’ll get there eventually.

Thank you for reading; I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Have a great weekend! (Yes, I know it’s only Thursday but I think we deserve to celebrate the coming weekend early.)


Day Seventy Eight

Today, as usual, was an “art day”. This meant that, for the first time in over a month, my poor neglected darkroom received some long overdue attention. 

I managed to print one photograph before the lovely weather pulled me outside.

I’m not quite sure about this one. It was taken from inside of a cab while driving through New York City. I’m not exactly sure if it’s possible for the first-time viewer to understand what is going on in this picture. Sorry for the fuzzy photograph. Thoughts?

Before I had even found today’s word, I knew I wanted to do something different for today’s piece. Liking my experiment with using photography as a medium for The Ink Drop, I decided to repeat the experiment. As soon as I’d found my word, I knew I’d be able to find a good scene.

lin-e-ar per-spec-tive n. A technique in painting and drawing in which parallel lines converge to give the illusion of distance and depth.

So, no matter how much of a cliché it was, I decided to focus on alleys and train tracks in order to show a dramatic example of linear perspective. Before I left the house, I ran an old piece of paper through my typewriter so that I could carry today’s word (and the definition) with me while I shot. 

It got a bit dirty throughout the day...

After a few hours, I came up with a few good shots. 

Although I like them all, I really thought two of them, in particular, worked best with today's word:

I really loved today’s project; it was a great exercise to have to shoot with a particular purpose in mind. I’m glad to have enjoyed this lovely mild weather before we get hit with about 3 inches of snow tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed beginning to shoot again; it seems like it’s been ages since I’ve shot steadily.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post; thanks for reading.
Enjoy your night!!


Day Seventy Seven

After yet another long, long school day (Is is ONLY Tuesday???) and a short break for dinner, it was time to begin today’s piece. Earlier this afternoon, I had been sorting through my supplies and found a couple teeny little canvases. Because they were so adorable, and because I grew tired of the same flat pieces of paper, I wanted to try one out.

Originally, I had more of a classic idea of subject matter upon seeing today’s word but, after beginning to sketch, I decided to keep one of my mamas in mind and go with something a little more interesting.

Oh, right...today’s word...

ear-ring n. A piece or jewelry which is worn on the earlobe for decoration.

First, I sketched the ear in pencil. I added a few little circles to balance out the space.

Then, I painted in the drawing. Finding myself without any sufficiently tiny brushes, I broke the “heads” off of a few q-tips and used the sticks to paint with. I think, at first, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to get the coloration of green glass to be believable. At the end, I still hadn’t reached my goal. I think I could improve a lot on this piece, but I do like the way that this painting came out.

Although I probably would not stretch (STRETCH! not GAUGE, people..."gauge" is NOT a verb) my ears to this extent, I have always thought it looked beautiful. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s post; thanks for reading!



Day Seventy Six

To say today was a long day would be a gross understatement. After finishing school around 7 (I’m not sure I’ll really finish school in 5 weeks with a workload like that) I took a short break for dinner and an episode of House. After finishing a delicious chocolate chip cookie, it was time to get to work.

I flipped through the dictionary exhaustedly, and came to a stop at a word that went well with the lingering chocolate chip cookie taste in my mouth.

ta-ble-spoon  n. A unit of measurement; large spoon for serving food.

It made me think of the excited anticipation that comes with beginning to bake a delicious dessert. With every added ingredient, you push closer to creating something delicious. Although I have not baked in a while I know this feeling well; often, as a young kid, if I wanted a cookie, I had to make one (with the aid of my mother calling out directions from the other room). I remember pulling a freshly baked cookie from the tray and, seemingly impervious to any amount of tongue-searing molten chocolate chips, chowing down.

I wanted to illustrate this feeling of excitement in today’s piece. I used my amazing white pen to add a little shine to the eyes and convey a sense of the eyes’ direction.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post; thanks for reading!!
I hope your Tuesday goes better than mine is most likely to!


Day Seventy Five

Where did this weekend go? I’m 100% sure that someone snuck in and stole about 20 hours from me. Grr! Oh, well. Today’s word went perfectly with this confusion, and what I’m sure I will struggle with tomorrow.

This word, of course, brought to mind a large stack of books, and the frustrations that every school child faces.
Before I continue, I will tell you the word...

ed-u-ca-tion n. The process of being educated.

As I thought about starting into this week’s work, the things I dwelled on the most were the distractions I continually face. Being a student whose education (or lack thereof) is pretty much entirely up to me, I know all about the temptation to throw down the books and go play in the sun. For today’s piece, I wanted to illustrate struggling with the temptation to walk out on the boring stuff in favor or something more immediately rewarding.

I liked that she looked as if she was almost buried by the books in this drawing.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great last few hours of your weekend.



Day Seventy Four

Well, I’m not sure where today went but this evening made up for any lost time. We dined at Michael and Carla’s where the wine flowed, the conversation bubbled, and the food...oh the food! As I am unable to come across an adjective that does it proper justice, I will just say that the food was divine.

As I returned home with two beautiful new jackets and a dress, (How wonderful is it to be the same size as someone who is both incredibly generous and incredibly fashionable?) I realized that I had yet to complete today’s post! Rushing for my dictionary, I came across a subject that had come up quite frequently at dinner, especially when comparing America to one of our host’s home country.

sur-plus n.  An amount beyond what is needed.

Tired of illustration and in possession of multiple loaves of bread, I opted for a medium not yet featured in this blog-photography. I wanted to portray today’s word in a whimsical, comical way. I tried several different approaches, and applied filters to the photographs to add to the mood.

I liked the idea of an animal standing atop a seemingly giant pile of bread. Originally, I had a dinosaur in mind but, after crawling around on the floor of my younger siblings’ playroom for what seemed like hours, there was not a dinosaur in sight. Darn! But, luckily, I came across this adorable little elephant after a little digging. Although I doubt this idea has masterpiece potential, I really enjoyed how it came out.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post; thanks for reading!!


Day Seventy Three

Today was definitely my kind of day. It was sunny, crisp and clean with a slight cooling breeze making its way through downtown almost timidly (as much as any breeze is capable of being timid). I finally finished off an old 36 shot roll of 35mm film today. My absolute favorite thing about film, especially 36 shot rolls, is that usually, by the time I have used every shot on the roll, I can no longer remember the shots that the roll might contain. So, when the film is finally pulled from the sink and taken off the reel, the shots it contains are remembered anew. This is the reason I remain (mostly) loyal to film photography-there is nothing that makes hard work more rewarding than a little wait and a lot of mystery.

Although I was hoping to come to you today with some form of magnificent breakthrough, I present instead a sort of steady, slow progression towards something different. Maybe it’s better this way; I have time to steer myself calmly towards new ventures. For now, I will press on with the skill and direction I currently posses.

Today’s word is a lovely one. I thought immediately of long afternoons spent in my mother’s herb garden as a child. I would pinch and clip and pluck until I had gathered a make-shift “kangaroo pouch” (made with my t-shirt) full of flowers and herbs. Trotting back into the house, I would make a strange, often overpowering brew. My favorite flower, though, was always...

lav-en-der n. An aromatic plant having spikes of pale violet flowers; light purple in color. lavender adj.

In order to convey the softness and relaxation that I associate with lavender, I decided to use watered-down paints on heavyweight backing board.

I first sketched the stalk from memory, and then looked up images of lavender to make sure I’d drawn the buds correctly. I painted a color similar to that used on the stalk as a background and used a yellow background to make the lavender stalk stand out. Before I painted on the yellow, I smudged pencil around the outside of the stalk to dirty up the color a bit. I wanted the colors, even the yellow, to remain muted and calm.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post; have a great weekend and thanks for reading!