Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Anniversary To Meeee!

I've made my Monday art post, because it's been a while. But the important thing today is not, for once, how brilliant and creative and dramatic I am (nod, people. I need affirmation).

The important thing about today is that it is, against remarkable odds, my thirteenth wedding anniversary! Holy Cats!

Cats are the right thing to swear by, actually- I was never the little girl who played wedding or dreamed about Prince Charming. I had extensive plans to go to art school, become a neurochemistsurgeongineer  with superpowers (comics say it's possible, kids!) and then eventually retire from my life of brilliant crime fighting to make immortal works of art in a house with like 85 cats, which I would deploy as my feline deputies around the city when old age made me too limited to fight anymore.

You can see how I thought I'd  be too busy for romance.

But then some lunatic jumped in front of my car, and there went all my careful plans.

In retrospect, the superhuman crimefighter plan would have been a lot easier, but I'm glad I stuck with the fella. I hate cleaning litterboxes, I look lousy in spandex...and after thirteen years he still makes me grin when I think about him.

So. I'm going to be stepping away from the computer now. See everyone later this week!

Monday Sketchplosion: I Only Rant At What I Love

Well, it's been a while- and since I never did get enough votes to break the last tie, I went for the ladies of fate, who've  somehow decided they wanted to be all mid-20th C popart at me. Not what I was expecting, so it's taking longer than I wanted.I don't know what prompted that at all.

I DO know what prompted this week's sketchplosion. Much as I love fantasy art, there is a distressing prevalence therein of Skinny Pretty People. Sometimes they have wings, or pointed ears. But overwhelmingly, they are skinny, they are mostly generically European, (or sometimes Irish), clearly intended to be attractive, and they are usually wearing some sort of Renfaire clothing.

And none of these things is bad in of itself- I like Renfaire clothing! I am people! Some of my best friends are skinny! And I have drawn my share of  pretty skinny engarbed  pics. But altogether at a lump it makes fantasy art seem ironically unimaginative.

Well, I'm taking a stand- or rather a sit, I don't stand- against this invasion of standard forms! Down with the Pretty People! Back to the Faire Folk! I want fantasy art that makes me jump at shadows and study treebark faces and wonder about the artist's ability to conduct their own affairs in public! And if I have to make it myself, then that's just how it's gotta be. Though it probably won't help my credit score.

So, here's what's eating my brain right now:

No need to vote on these, I'm making them all in time, though I will be making some changes.That basking frogthing needs to different colors, just to name one obvious problem. None of those changes will involve fancy costumes though. I have quite enough of that happening on another project, one which I'm hoping to wrap up...soon. Maybe this month! How exciting!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tyrsday: Happy Bat and Presumptuous Frog

Some animals this time! And color!

This happy freetail bat is from the cover of Texas Co-Op Magazine, a great local mag for, well, customers of Texas electrical Co-ops. That's a cooperatively owned utility (or business, or what have you) if you don't know-- like owning stock in a company, we all own a part of our electric company! And if they do well during the year, we get money back from our utility bill. Wooo! We love our Co-op company!

Also, pictures of happy bats!

The Mexican freetail bat is kind of a ginormous Thing here,but apparently some people don't like bats! All I can figure is those people are poops. Look at that smiley face! That's not even artistic license, it's totally grooving! Freetails eat their weight in bugs, serve as major crop pollinators, and make adorable chirpy sounds at night. I like to watch them doing acrobatics out around our security light in the summer, picking off the bugs that would otherwise be noshing me to the bone. Go, bats!

Also, a rather smug frog. Frogs always look either smug or panicked.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tyrsday 2: Thoughts and performers

Most of the sketches I've been doing right-handed have been from photos. I have a collection of wonderful magazines like National Geographic, Smithsonian, Scientific American- all with excellent and inspiring photos. And while it would of course be utterly tack to try and steal use of the photos for gain, I don't think something like this:

is going to be taking food out of a photographer's mouth any time soon.

These two were taken from an article on Mexico; photos of a luchador wrapping his muscles and a musician waiting to play. I don't think either of these proud performers would care that a weak-wrist artist in Texas was inspired by their angles, but: Thanks, guys! You've been a big help!

It's been a long time since I did this much sketching-from-reference, actually, and that's a failing on my part. There's a danger in the sort of illustrative/stylized work I do of forgetting the basics. It's like spending so much time on a trampoline that you can't stand on solid ground. So it's good to reconnect. More than that, though, I feel like all this right-handed practice (believe me, I'm only showing a tiny sliver of it here) is teaching my brain forms in a way I haven't grasped before. I can feel the way I think about drawing changing.

Mind you, all of this awesome new learning is actually making my work in the moment kind of horrible. But that's a topic for another day...