Tuesday, May 22, 2012

AlphaBooks A - Aravis Tarkheena

Monday marked the start of AlphaBooks, the new weekly challenge by Ben TowleAndrew Neal & Rich Barrett.

"AlphaBooks is the name of the game. We will be drawing ficitonal characters from books every week - one for each letter of the alphabet. On the first day (Monday, May 21), everyone will draw characters whose names start with the letter “A.”  The following monday, we’ll draw characters whose names start with the letter “B.” And so on!"

Continuing in the flavor of my AlphaBeast series of detailed black & white sketches with an element of story and/or background, I originally thought I would choose all (or mostly) animal characters from books… because, well… that's my thing. And although Aslan was on my list of ideas, I had accidentally looked at the AlphaBooks page and saw he had already been claimed… more the once. So I went for a lesser known, but still a strong character from the Chronicles of Narnia, Aravis from The Horse and His Boy. An exempt from Wiki:

Aravis is a young Tarkheena, a female member of the ruling nobility of Calormen. With her horse, Hwin, who is revealed to be a talking beast from the land of Narnia, she flees from her home, in her brother's armor, in order to escape an arranged marriage. Aravis is a strong character, whose confidence, bravery and loyalty are offset by arrogance and self-centeredness. She is also an amazing storyteller.
It's been years since I read the book, but it's one of my Narnian favorites. I knew I wanted to do more than just a 'portrait', but not necessarily a 'scene' from the book. After looking up visual references (below) to get the ideas for her overall dress going, I just started doodling and eventually found a pose/situation that suggested a more than a mere portrait would.

Rough Sketches, looking for ideas… "hit it" over on the right.

Original unedited scan, col-erase pencil
References include various web & movies!
Any excuse to watch a movie, I tell you. ;)

So, what do you think of my Aravis? Does she look like her description?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Drawing Morning Pages (Doodle Edition 84)

May 04-07, 2012

Some Behind-the-Drawings Thoughts:

5/04 - An homage to Carter Goodrich, who I discovered randomly from an Amazon spam-mail. His background in in animation, but he's done a ton of illustration all over the place, from picture books to New Yorker covers. Really, really impressive work. In this particular piece, I love the monochromatic color of the background & the subtle textures. Lovely.

5/05 - My morning coffee in a giant M cup. Just playing around with markers and drawing from life. This happen to be the very last page in this, Sketchbook #7 of Drawing Morning Pages.

5/06 - A new Sketchbook (#8). I like to feature text a bit more on these first pages of a new book, mainly because this is were I put my contact information in case the book is lost or misplaced. I also like to note the time span the book will encompass (I've never actually counted, but it's 2+ months total - spanning 3 calendar months). So, often this layout ends up being very 'designy'.

5/07 - Illustration Friday, "Hitched". Two concepts I wasn't really wild about, but drew anyway. Just playing around - I never posted them.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Drawing Morning Pages (Doodle Edition 83)

Apr 30-May 03, 2012

Some Behind-the-Drawings Thoughts:
4/30 - Didn't have any ideas today, so I just started making marks on the page. I remember I was watching Bones on tv… and somewhere along the line it started to look like a board game. Where the mind wanders…

5/01 - April Photo-A-Day Challenge, my complete (Instagram) photos. Some of my favorites are the 'moth before the storm' (NM had record numbers of moths this year - swarms of them - I took this picture before the onslaught), the progression of my blooming amaryllis flower (I took TONS of photos of it, 2.5 made into the challenge themes), awesome NM Skies (always), Younger Me with the tomboy bowl-cut, and the stark electrical lines at sunset.

5/02 - This was an interesting one. I decided to try and draw without looking at the page. Instead, I felt my way around with my hand/palm. I wasn't trying to draw anything specific, just trying to get covered age around the page. They turned out to be pretty interesting abstractions… perhaps I should try it with color sometime.

5/03 - Watercolor. I don't often use it in these Moleskine sketchbooks (the paper just doesn't accept it well, coated), but every once in a while I like to play with water media. These are various items in and around my living room (including the amaryllis seed-pod… after the bloom). I really like how the watering can turned out… I like the idea of watercolor sketches, and the fact that I'm so-not-good at it makes me think I should try it more often