Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Brown paper packages tied up with string"

Prismacolor colored pencils on Stonehenge paper
approx. 14" x 14"

Walnut shells appear as if they're hiding something wonderful inside. It's no wonder that miniaturists have used them as fairy cottages, or beds for mice, and that silversmiths have outfitted them with elaborate hinges and clasps. 

There's nothing miniature about this drawing—the live image is about 7" x 10".  I have it sitting on a ledge in my studio next to this piece; they work really well together:

Mine sort of evolved as a version of a "brown paper package tied up with string". 
What do you suppose is inside?

Here are some progress shots; I kind of experimented with ways to render the walnut as I went. (I found it to be much different than drawing one at its actual size!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A book-lover's dream house

Prismacolor colored pencil on Stonehenge paper,  5.5" x 8"
(click to enlarge)

Sometimes an image niggles around in my brain until I just have to get it on paper. I've been sketching this little book house, in one form or another, or sometime. When I started to get serious about this drawing last month, I quickly reverted back to my old architectural drafting days. (It may seem like overkill for a little sketch like this, but when the perspective isn't right in a drawing, I find it really distracting.) I initially thought about making a linocut of this, and I still might.

I couldn't quite decide where each "layer" of the main color would fall, so I played around with blocks of color digitally as a bit of a short cut before applying lots of color to my drawing.

Working on this cozy little piece during the stressful presidential election was the artistic version of eating comfort food. I felt the influence of two of my favorite illustrators: I have been looking at the recent work of Jungho Lee a lot lately, and was certainly inspired by the color palette and dreamy quality of his fantasy book world. The soft pencil lines and hatching were Brian Selznick-inspired, as is the fact that it seems to want to tell its own little story.

So, I may have to listen a little more closely to see what story it is trying to tell, maybe I'll find out who is inside the house and why...!  Any ideas?