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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Book Round Ups, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 38
1. Mini outdoor pastels

I've been making a regular exercise of getting out and doing quick small pastel studies. Hopefully I can keep this going. The biggest challenge is often finding a spot to paint. There's a lot to think about - how's the light, the shadows, am I being too conspicuous, is there a shady spot to sit, etc. But it's also kind of fun driving around looking for inspiration. If you enjoyed looking at these, I'll be posting more regularly over at my facebook page, here.

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2. Day 30 - wolves (final day)

sketchbook studies of wolves

sketchbook studies of wolves

Day 30 (final day)
Topic - wolves continued

I read that the Latin roots of the word satisfaction mean "enough action". I must have done enough drawing the past month because I feel pretty satisfied. I even had to take an emergency trip to the shops to buy another sketchbook. Holding a completed sketchbook feels good, it somehow seems much heavier.

I hope you enjoyed following my personal challenge. If you did then please like and share with your art-loving friends over on my facebook page here. Thanks for all of your support. Kind wishes to you all!

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3. Day 29 - wolves

quick grab of wolf studies in my sketchbook
Day 29
Topic - Wolves

A fun topic but my time is short today, so here's a quick grab. 

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4. 'Grow'vember day 20 - yet more castles

Pencil drawings of castles
Day 20
Topic - yet more castles

Less sloppy by the day I think. A lot more focus on getting the tone working too today. I'm happy enough with these to move on to the next topic.

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5. 'Grow'vember day 21 - pigs

Day 21
Topic - pigs

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6. 'Grow'vember day 22 - stegosaurus

drawings of stegosaurus dinosaur

Day 22
Topic - stegosaurus

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7. 'Grow'vember day 23 - T Rex

tyrannosaurus rex anatomy studies

Day 23
topic - Tyrannosaurus rex

To feather or not to feather? I heard in a radio show that more has been learned about dinosaurs -since- the film Jurassic Park than in all the time before the film! The bottom image shows my preliminary studies, mostly from the above mentioned film, and from Walking with Dinosaurs the puppet show. The uppermost image was a test to see what I'd learned from the reference material.

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8. Day 27 - Crustaceans

studying crustaceans in my sketchbook

studying crustaceans in my sketchbook
Day 27
Topic - crustaceans

The past few days I've tried to go beyond my original challenge and show more finished illustrations instead of just studies. With all the visual research I've done the last month I'm starting to get quite a few fun ideas. I thought it would be more interesting to see the results of my research rather than the research itself. I was hoping to show another finished piece today but I underestimated how hard it is to come up with something finished every day. Anyway I hope you find something of value in seeing my studies.

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9. Day 28 - kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos
Day 28
Topic - kangaroos

Today was another one of those days I wanted to keep my sketchbook to myself. This challenge has been both good and bad. On the one hand it has got me practicing drawing a lot more consistently, but on the other it has obliged me to show drawings I'm not exactly proud of. I do enjoy looking at the unedited sketchbooks of other artists though, so here's to the spirit of openness.

(Ken Hultgren studies are noted, otherwise they were from photo reference.)

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10. Character Sketch for Baby Moose Visits

3 Comments on Character Sketch for Baby Moose Visits, last added: 1/26/2011
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11. Rough Cat Studies

Boris and Spike
Boris and a little Miffy Sketch

In preparing for our journal workshop, many of the books about making journals have lovely cat studies so I decided to do some of my cats. 

Yes, Boris really looks like this. He is almost 17 and has been shaved because his fur gets severely matted. It gives him an odd appearance. He has a huge head and a little old man body underneath. Great for sketching cat anatomy...You can see every bone and muscle.

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12. Research preview of an A-Z project

Here is a small selection of the preliminary studies I’ve been making for a project I’m working on (top secret at the moment).

Studies for a project A-Z

I’ve been working in water colour a lot more for my paintings rather than just digital. I’m really enjoying the change to be honest.

I think both have their advantages and disadvantages of course- perhaps I’ll write an essay on it if I get bored.



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13. Study of red curly hair

This is a study using the lovely actress Tilda Swinton as a starting reference.

I’m a bit obsessed with red hair I suppose- it’s not very easy to paint with so many shades going on so I like the challenge.

I also saw Pixar’s film “Brave” last night and it was brilliant- lots of red hair too.

Tilda Swinton Study of red hair

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14. Mushrooms and Gloopy lips

Here are some studies for today.

Ink Cap Mushroom Glowing Mushrooms Gloopy lips

I did the lips yesterday and made a video of the painting progress on youtube.

I’m a bit of a mushroom fan, I’ve got about 6 books on the subject now. I just love the different shapes and colours.

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15. Character Development Selkie

Here are some sketches for the development of a character I’ve been doing for my mythological/ magical creatures project.
I’m going to do the costume and decide on a few poses to render next.

Selkies Character Development

These are some style tests I did a little while back.
Hair Types and Style Tests

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16. Character Development Alice

I’ve been working on a few projects recently including Alice in Wonderland. I like to explore lots of different options when I’m designing a character. This is just the initial amount of sketches with reference to the original illustrator Sir John Tenniel in the top right. I then chose the designs I like the most and develop them further with more variations in shapes.

I like to get the reference right first and this helps me learn more about the character, but I think having fun and trying crazy variations is also very important to the creative process.

Alice concept stage 1

I’ve also been doing some warm up exercises I learned from the Schoolism course I did last year (Character design with Stephen Silver). There are infinite variations you can create with the circle, square and triangle as a starting point but here are just 3. the top one is the closest to the original reference but obviously stylized somewhat.

Shape exercise Japanese hairstyles


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17. Smile sketches

Getting a smile to look right is important. There is a fine line between friendly and psychotic.

Not sure if I achieved that here but these were ‘fun’ to do.

Not sure who the one on the left is but the one on the right is of  actress Ziyi Zhang.

smiling faces

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18. Cat Study and Prep for Italy

Siena circa 2006
This is a crazy week of deadlines and prep to head out to Italy next week. To warm up since the weather has kept me from a lot of urban sketching (yes, I am a wimp when it comes to cold), I did this from my 2006 photos. Boy, my photos were mostly awful. I am glad to get a second chance. At least I have a better "real" camera now (sorry iPhone).

I just signed up for Vine video so I hope to show some little videos of the sketchbook panning to location.

I have got all my sketchbooks together and replenished some of the half pans in my watercolor set. I even got some ice-fishing fingerless gloves to use (I suspect it will still be a little chilly).

I am going with my mother, aunt and a couple cousins so it will be a fun trip, except for the fact that Italy currently has no pope, no government...  Interesting times...

Fortunately, our travel keeps us away from Rome, but my Aunt and cousins are meeting us in Florence via Rome. We are going via Milan because I have always wanted to go there. It is a design capitol of the world! Troy will be here in Cincinnati to hold down the fort.

Finally, here is a picture of our car Miffy from my sketchbook. She was doing that wonderful kneading the air thing. I am painting a lot of furry pawed critters this a year so it was good practice. Her fur is short enough that you can really see the toe/claw articulation.

Miffy, Always a Star...

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19. 'Grow'vember day 12 - tigers

 sketchbook drawings of tigers
sketchbook drawings of tigers

sketchbook drawings of tigers

sketchbook drawings of tigers
Day 12
Topic - tigers

Well there's no way in the world a day is enough to master the drawing of tigers.. but I feel I've put in a good effort today and inched my way forward.

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20. 'Grow'vember day 15 - rocks

Day 15
Topic - rock formations

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21. 'Grow'vember day 18 - Castles

sketchbook castle drawings
Day 18
Topic - castles

A big subject castles, I might sneak them into tomorrow's topic as well. :)

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22. Take a Leap Round Up

Happy Leap Day to all and especially happy birthday to everyone who was born on this special day!  Since Leap Day occurs only once every four years, take this opportunity to step out of your comfort level and try something new.

Hip_hop_2 Interested in joining the dance buzz and learning a few moves of your own?  Hip-Hop Dancing by Joan Freese will take you through hip-hop history, explain what type of clothing you should wear, and show how to do a few basic moves.  Once you get the hang of it maybe you (or your middle to high school-aged student) can form your own crew and win a few battles!

Dancing not your thing?  Try your hand in the kitchen with Spatulatta Cookbook by theSpatulatta_cookbook Gerasole sisters,  Olivia and Isabella (hosts from www.spatulatta.com).  Written for grades 3 and up, this creative cookbook is full of bright photographs, easy recipes, and sections that explain basic cooking skills and measurement.  Delicious and fun recipes like “Mashed Potato Ghosts” and “Yumbo Gumbo” really make this cookbook stand out from the rest – there’s even a section for snacks and another for vegetarians!

Strike_a_poseIf dancing and cooking are too stressful for you, then a relaxing activity like yoga may be what you are looking for.  Strike a Pose: The Planet Girl Guide to Yoga by Karen Birkemoe casually explains how yoga can be incorporated in your everyday life.  Organized for grades 5 and up, it covers a variety of poses, breathing, and meditation.  Simple illustrations will help readers execute and understand beginning yoga positions.

Take your leap today, unless you can wait until Leap Day 2012!

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23. Fashion Design Round Up

The fourth season of Project Runway just wrapped up this week. To stave off any withdrawal symptoms, here are a couple fantastic fashion design books.

Vera_wang Fashion_design_the_art_of_style Fashion Design: The Art of Style by Jen Jones is a highly photographic, behind-the-scenes peek at fashion design and designers, past and present. And, taking a more in depth look at one designer, Vera Wang by Anne M. Todd delves into her design roots as well as what motivates and inspires her to create today.

Sew_subversive_2 Trendsetter_2 Interested in becoming a designer yourself? Check out these two tomes. Trendsetter: Have You Got What It Takes to Be a Fashion Designer? by Lisa Thompson looks at just what the title asks. And get started yourself by transforming clothes you already have with the ideas in Sew Subversive: Down and Dirty DIY for the Fabulous Fashionista by Melissa Rannals.

Poseur_2 Fashion can be fiction too. From the publisher of Gossip Girl comes Poseur by Rachel Maude. Four Hollywood Hills sophomore girls couldn’t be more different, so when a school class forces them together to create a fashion label, the sparks fly.

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24. What Do Children Read?

Interesting article in the Washington Post about the reading habits of children. It may surprise you. There's also a PDF'd 56-page report on the study. Very interesting reading, indeed.

The article in the Post is here.

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25. Anger Is A Gift

I was driving my car today, and the car in front of me had this bumper sticker: "Anger is a gift." And I thought, "Wow! What a right on concept!"

Anger tells us that something is wrong, and we better correct the situation, if it's humanly possible. It also reminds us that we have values, and that we are passionate people. You have to feel strongly about something to get angry about it. Your mind is screaming for you to "Do something!" And I don't mean pull out your .45 Magnum revolver. You're not going to make anyone's day with that. Maybe it's time to evaluate what's going on to make you so angry, and then do some problem solving.

In today's e-mail, Wings for the Heart Motivational Newsletter (http://www.wingsfortheheart.com), I came across five steps for striving to be happy. What would your five steps be? Well, I found step two rather interesting:

2.Have a healthy outlet for your anger - you need to let your frustrations out.Talk to someone if you must or go to the gym to pump out those happy hormones.Studies show that people who exercise are more readily able to find solutionsto their problems.  

That sounds like good advice to me, if you want to be happy.

Nevertheless, never forget: Anger is a gift, and it's what you do with it that counts--like all gifts.

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