Working on some fun new art this week, the first time in a while. I’m hoping to use these as a new fabric design over at my Originals By Katharine Tracy and Spoonflower shop next month, but even if they turn out unusable, it’s been fun designing and drawing them out. Tonight I will start to color them.
I’ve honestly had a very difficult time tapping into my creativity lately. Having an idea that is super cute and literal fluff has been a relief. I don’t know what the future brings, but I can’t shoulder the collective burden as much as I have been this past year.
I sketched this Edwardian lady as a gift for my mom. I didn’t have time to get as detailed on the shading as I have been able to in the past, but because the necklace is so complicated, I think there is enough detail work.
In other art news, there are a couple of local shows that I want to submit for, which means I have to actually get off my butt and finish the gallery page on this site finally. I will hopefully do that over the weekend.
I did this random sketch the other day of a kind of bird monster. I like to sometimes just randomly sketch out shapes and then see what kind of creature comes out of the shapes. I ran out of room to do the legs and talons the way I wanted to, but it would be fun to do a series of monster paintings eventually.
I had a little time this week at work to sketch and finished this one up that I did off of an old turn-of-the century photograph.
The only issue is the eyes wound up too big, but I really love how expressive it turned out. I mean, I uh… did her eyes bigger on purpose as an homage to Disney animation. Right. It’s a… design choice. That’s it, a design choice.
Not sure where this guy came from. I started out vaguely drawing a shell-shape last night, and then it morphed into his head and the body soon followed. Maybe he’ll end up in a story someday, or maybe not.
I went to a Drink N’Draw last night with a friend of mine, and these are the results.
Overall, I’m satisfied with the body, but not with the face. This is the same model, and clearly they don’t look like the same woman. Funny enough, the model turned out to be the little sister of a really good friend of mine, someone I haven’t seen since my friend’s wedding in 2009. So that was a fun happenstance! And also maybe why I’m unsatisfied with her face. I think it’s more difficult to use someone I know personally as a model. And drawing myself, forget about it. I never think it looks like me.
In other art news, I’ve decided to just insert my work into a makeshift gallery on my art page rather than link to Deviant Art, as Deviant Art’s new way of operating is annoying me. It will be a little clunky because this particular WordPress theme doesn’t do fancy galleries, but it will suffice for what I want and need right now. So expect that soon!
My husband and I went to a Drink n’Draw this past Saturday for a couple of hours, meeting up with a friend of ours. This is a 30 minute sketch off of a 45 minute pose – the first time I’ve gotten to work with a live model since grad school (beyond quick sketches of my family), and it felt really good. This particular group does weekly nude figure drawing sessions for a very reasonable amount of money, so I’m going to try to get out to that whenever possible.
The model was beautiful, although the lighting was quite harsh in the bar as they had to use a clamp light almost like a spotlight. I was feeling not very good about the sketch and slightly envious of the tighter and more concise sketching styles of the other people at the table with me, but then my husband told me that he actually wished he had a looser style like mine. A case of you always want what you don’t have, I guess. Like my singing voice – I’ve always loved the raspy voice of female vocalists that either deal with vocal strain or smoke crazy amounts of cigarettes, but I’m at the complete opposite end of the spectrum personally.
I’ve decided to embrace my art style. Part of the reason I’ve got so many searching lines when I draw is because I’m really trying to capture the inner essence of whatever it is I’m drawing as well as the shape and form. That actually sounds a little creepy to me, like I’m trying to literally put a piece of the subject into my work, but really, it’s a piece of myself – what my response is after I’ve emotionally and intuitively broken down the subject (whether animate or not) in my mind and put it back together. And if that’s what excites me to create, then I may as well go along with it instead of fighting for a style that isn’t my own.
Where I could use a lot more precision is in my hands and feet. I need to spend a lot of time just drawing those body parts so I don’t stress about them.
I’ve started sketching in meetings when the topics turn to items that don’t involve me. Part of my efforts to really make all available use of the time I have. Fortunately, my work is in an artistic environment, and no one is going to get offended by my drawing naked people out of my figure drawing book.
This pose is tougher than appears, and I relied on my eraser more than I should have. But I kept getting distracted.
I sketched last week in conte for the first time in a very long time. It can get a bit messy when working in this medium, and when you are the mother of a young child, the last thing you want is one more mess to have to clean up. But I had forgotten how much I enjoy using conte, and with similar mess factor, pastels and charcoal. Even china markers satisfy me somehow that pencils cannot. There is just such an immediacy to the line work and shading, and the weight of it is compelling to me on the page.
In further art news, I have purchased my necessary paints and illustration board to begin my first “Dangerous Women” portrait, but I’m going to do a practice painting first as I’ve decided to use gouache, and it’s again been years since I’ve worked with that, since I’ve favored liquid watercolors for a very long time. I also hope to finish my acrylic abstract this week.
Generally, I’m getting back into a regular practice on art, writing, and music. And I’ve had an interesting offer career-wise that may give me some steady income while allowing me the time to be the mother and artist I want to be. Hopefully that will be solidified by the end of the week, and I can talk about future plans then.