Illustrations for Poetry Collection – Pencils are Almost Done!

Penciling is coming along really well now for my illustrations.  I’m going to share one illustration all the way through my process.  Well, not all the way through.  My rough sketches are VERY rough, and I don’t really like sharing those.

This particular illustration started out by being simply the flaming sword of Truth, but it didn’t seem visually interesting enough, especially as these illustrations are going to be in gray scale (washes of black ink).  So I went back and read my poem a few times and came up with the following.

Sword of Truth with SerpentsNote: this image has been darkened in Photoshop so the pencil lines show.

The three-headed serpent have bindings in the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” bent.  I roughed out some scaling on one of the serpents in order to get a sense of proportion but will add the rest with ink.

I tend to work maybe a little too heavy with my pencils, but I’ve embraced that as just being part of my process and adding to the overall completed work.

Thanksgiving is next week, so I may not get to starting to ink until the following week, but I’ll share my progress as I go!

A New Meaning for Bleeding for Your Art

Last night, after an excruciating hour and twenty minutes of getting my son down to bed (a job that usually takes fifteen to twenty minutes), I settled in to work on my illustrations for my poetry collection.  I’ve tried to get these illustrations done for the past five months, so I was excited to finally pick up from where I had left off.  Unfortunately, my hands are badly cracked and dry right now with the weather shift, and I began bleeding slightly from a couple of the cracks, and because I was tired, my drawing hand kept grazing the illustration board.  It got so bad that I had to stop mid-way through my first penciling in frustration.  I tried too hard to remove the red stain (these are supposed to be black ink renderings only, after all) and wound up removing a few layers of paper in the process.  I think it will still be fine once all is said and done, but I was disgusted with myself, upset that my hands have gotten so bad (weather, stress, not taking care of myself, not getting sleep), and because I am an artist, my imagination immediately jumped to a place where I wouldn’t ever be able to be creative again because my hands are so bad.

Tonight, I’ll try again.  I have a pair of vintage kid leather gloves that I will wear and see if I can draw in them.  I may need to invest in several different pairs of gloves and experiment with all of my different creative endeavors if this keeps up because, let me tell you, graphite dust in open cracks hurts and probably doesn’t help the healing process that much.  I am going to buy petroleum jelly on my lunch break against my better judgement to hopefully trap in moisture and heal my cracks (I say “against my better judgement” because there can be long term issues using petroleum-based products, but short term it’s a much better alternative to steroid creams or tar products).  And I am going to take time over the next several months to take care of myself and lower my body’s inflammation response.  I refuse to be a victim to our modern day of life, and I will heal and live as healthily as I can.  There is too much creative work to be done to live any other way.