Happy Holidays! The Evergreen Squirrel is what I came up with for our final Nature Sketching assignment, in which we had to invent a creature based on our previous class (or personal) studies. Considering the number of animals we had looked at, I decided first to come up with a little backstory. Where does it live? What climate does it have to deal with? What does it eat? And so on… My initial requisites where that it had to live in Canada, being able to survive our harsh winters. And, considering the time of year, I wanted to put a hint of Christmas into the design. Wildlife biologist that I am, it also needed to be realistic and above all else, believable! Read on for more research, sketches, and process (yes, ‘back’ pine cones ARE possible)! Continue reading
Nature Sketching: Rhinoceros Research
Last week our homework for nature sketching was to research and draw a ‘large mammal’. During the class we studied from miniature models, subjects ranging from the great Canadian moose to the giant African elephant… while I love our national symbol to bits, the moose is quite the fuzzy animal, and I wanted to try something a little different… hence, the Indian Rhino. As armored as an armadillo, as warty as a toad. Perfect. Continue reading
Nature Sketching: Drawing Dinosaurs!
At Syn Studio this semester I’m taking a course called Nature Sketching, in which we study a different variety of animal each week. From real (albeit dead) fish we moved on to live reptiles (a snake and lizard borrowed from a local pet shop), and last week we visited McGill University’s Redpath Museum. Our homework was to push one of our dinosaur skeleton sketches further, and fully flesh out our chosen subject. I chose the raptor-like Dromaeosaurus albertensis, a local North american species. Continue reading
Inktober: Week One & Bonus Nuggets!
So this year is the first year I participate in this thing called Inktober… to be honest, it’s the first I’ve even heard of it since its conception back in 2009. Created by illustrator Jake Parker as a personal challenge, it has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon spanning the entirety of our social media globe! You can read up on it at Jake’s website, but essentially the goal is to draw in ‘ink’ every day of October (there are variations, however). I’ve already been doodling in pen each day for the past while now, so for me it’s more of a continuation of what I’m already doing. Instead, I’m trying to do some speed doodling, and various other ideas that pop into my head. Here’s a wrap up of the first week, with a few extras added for good measure ;)
As a sidenote: I’ve been posting all these (minus the extras – they’re bonus for you blog followers! ) on my instagram account, for those of you who are interested! Continue reading
Playing with Promarkers: A Whole New Ballgame
A belated happy fall (or autumn, if that’s how you roll), everyone! Finally, the season of colours, warm outfits, and harvest is upon us! Speaking of colours, I’ve been really getting into Letraset’s Promarkers; a less expensive version of Copics. These alcohol-based markers are fantastic, and, like their ‘cousins’, come in hundreds of colours… and I’ll be honest, deciding which colours to buy was, itself, quite an undertaking. Knowing my interest revolves around our natural world, I chose my hues accordingly, keeping in mind I would mostly be colouring fur, trees, and flowers. Still, by the end of two trips to the local art store, I wound up with a hefty collection… to start. Still missing my greys, though (using my PITT artist pens for now)! Continue reading
Analytical Sketching: Sum Up
This Thursday will mark the finale of my latest course at Syn Studio, Analytical Sketching. Essentially, it revolved around building up objects and figures from lines and geometric shapes. It really helped me to build upon my basic skills, and I noticed a significant improvement in the ‘3D’ appearance of my comparatively flat sketches. We only ever used pen and markers, which forced us to commit fully to whatever marks we put down. Since then, I think I may have touched a pencil once or twice. Of course, I was already a pen fan to begin with! Here are a few highlights from throughout the 10 weeks. Continue reading
Pen Stuff: Danbo Doodles
For the better part of the past two weeks I’ve been trying to rid myself of a concussion, and for the most part I’ve been doing absolutely nothing. As the doctor put it; “just lie back and enjoy the twittering of the birds”. Under normal circumstances I would probably attempt to come up with something at least mildly witty regarding the consequential insanity that comes with the twittering “birds” outside my window, but as my head is still a murky stein of sludge (redundant, I know) I’ll spare what interesting commentary I may have and offer up some doodles instead. Danbo Doodles! Yes, that lovable little japanese cardboard box creature featured in so many desktop wallpapers, including mine. In my current art class I’ve been working purely in pen and gray marker, and these tiny sketches follow the same formula. I actually love using pen (I believe I mentioned that before…) and the additional depth added by the grays is a treat. Danbo is a great subject to work with too, as it’s so simplistic yet forces the practice of perspective (kind of) and drawing straight lines. Anyhoo, here are a few quickies for your viewing pleasure. Continue reading
Mini Moleskin: Gesture Fest
So there are times throughout the day that I find myself with nothing to do… It is at that point that I pull out my pocket-sized moleskin sketchbook and whatever pen I can find (I generally have a Pigma Micron on me at all times, but recently discovered Faber-Castell’s Pitt Artist pens… so smooth!), doodling whatever comes to mind. At the moment I’m focusing on my gesture drawing; for which the little pad ‘n pen is fantastic!