Of Mice And Wheat

Based upon a suggestion from my previous post, I decided that my next drawing project would involve mice. I had to forewarn my dear hubby of the subject matter because when he was a child he had a bad experience with a house mouse and has been terrified of the little creatures ever since. So I had to give him the heads up to avoid any freak outs on his end since he can’t even tolerate seeing pictures of them. I don’t tease him about it though because spiders give me the hee-bee gee-bees and since we have an attic, those little buggers have a tendency to just drop down out of nowhere when I’m walking down the hall or cooking in the kitchen. So he gets rid of spiders for me and when our cat died and two months later our house was invaded by a family of mice, guess who had to set the traps and get rid of them? So we have a nice little arrangement for who does what when these creep crawly terrors invade our personal space.


What has been a little surprising to me is that while doing a bit of research on mice I learned that there are a number of different mice. I always thought there was only field mice and house mice but no, there’s more. There’s the deer mouse (also known as the field mouse) that’s called such because its fur is the same color as deer, Then there’s the cactus mouse, the cotton mouse, the wood mouse and the harvest mouse. Of these I chose the harvest mouse to be my subject simply for it’s adorableness and because it’s known to be found among cereal grains which I thought drawing one or two of these mice among some wheat would create some intricacy in the drawing. So far I’ve been working on some preliminary sketches to get familiar with drawing wheat and mice since they’re both new subject matter for my visual vocabulary. And as usual I anticipate that drawing the fur on these little creatures will be challenging because trying to draw fur realistically in pointillism is always challenging but I think this project will be fun as well as stretch my skills a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Back In The Swing Of Things

I’ve been a bit under the weather over the past couple of weeks and therefore more focused on getting back to being healthy rather than drawing. But fortunately over the past two days I’ve been feeling better and was able to get started on a new ACEO. Gracing my drawing board today is a base sketch of an egret with cattails that I found to be a bit cute in a peculiar kinda way. A little tidbit I learned about egrets is that they are not the same as cranes, which is what I thought. Actually they’re more so a type of heron, which is another bird I thought was the same as a crane. In actuality herons and cranes are two distinct birds. I won’t get into the differences between the two but if you look at the pictures below maybe you can spot some of them.ย  As the saying goes, you learn something new each day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Heron
Crane

Cold Air (wip)

Beginning lineart for “Cold Air” artist card drawing.

Getting started on the lineart for my next song inspired artist card drawing. This came to me while listening to The Hics “Cold Air”. It’s a bit reminiscent of my drawing “Succulent” except this time I’m going with daisies and pansies in the hair. 

“Succulent”

Gumball Challenge

“Gumballs”. Photo reference by Sally Robertson

If I wasn’t into pen and ink drawing, I would definitely be into colored pencil. Actually I have a box full of colored pencils just to play around with. There aren’t that many artists out there who do pointillism, far fewer who use color, so when I look for inspiration, I often turn to the work of colored pencil artists and one of my favorite sources is Colored Pencil Magazine, which I follow on Facebook. Frequently they have these challenges for fellow artists and recently they posted this “Gumball” challenge, which caught my attention. For those interested, the point is to create a drawing as realistically possible using colored pencils. Although I’m not a colored pencil artist, I felt inspired to take on the challenge for myself but instead of doing it in color, I’m going to do my drawing in black ink only. Technically that would make it a stippling but we won’t get all wrapped up in semantics. Anyhoo, I plan on working on this in between my colored artist card pieces. It’s a larger work, 8×10 to be exact, so it won’t be done anytime soon but it looks like it will be fun and challenging. ๐Ÿ˜Š

A Love For Simple Line

I keep photos of all my art, so every once in a while, after most of them have moved on to new homes, I go through them. There are pictures of pieces I forgot I even did and there are pictures of pieces I sometimes wish I never let go. It’s like walking down memory lane and remembering an old loves, a little bitter, a little sweet.

As I was going through some of my pictures today I noticed that many of the photos are process pics that show the progression of a piece. These are great reminders that show how I’ve evolved over time in my work but also helps me to see where I need some improvement. One of the things I like about keeping process photos is that I have a personal catalog of one aspect of my work that I secretly cherish which is the line art. Line art is basically the line drawing I do before I start adding in the ink. It may not be as appealing as a brightly colored painting but I love it. There’s just something about the simplicity of the line with no color, no solid areas and little shading via cross hatching that just appeals to me. There’s nothing elaborate about it, just pencil, paper and lines. It’s what I like about comic panels before they’re handed off to the inker. It’s what I like about tattoo designs before they’re placed upon a canvas of skin. It’s what I liked about animation before computers came along and the sketchbooks of concept artists before ideas are given to the CG designers. 

Whenever I start inking a drawing I always feel like I’m mucking it up and it takes me getting halfway through before I stop feeling that way. Once the colors and shapes start to come together that voice inside my head finally stops screaming “OH NO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU’RE RUINING IT!!!” A part of me just feels I should just stop at the line drawing and leave the work unfinished and sometimes I wish I could but ink eventually beckons me and not before long I’m tap tap tapping away with little dots. 

Here are some line drawings I’ve done in the past that are my favorites. Maybe one day I could create my own coloring book.That would probably give me a perfect excuse to leave my drawings unfinished. ๐Ÿ˜Š