I arrived at the cabin 🙂 With Lillepoes. I brought my knitting and look forward to knit some here. It’s lovely weather here! Everything is green and the birds are cheering and there’s enough of a breeze so there are no musquito’s or horse flies.
Lillepoes and I have spend some time on the porch 🙂
I made a fun drawing and thought I share the proces with you. This is the end result, this is mr. Wolf:
I used a pentel pocket brush which is a marker but with a brush like tip. I can make thick and thin lines with it, as if it was a Japanese brush.
Drawing is a weird thing for me. It’s the thing I enjoy most! Still I am very reluctant to start. To put a pen to paper. It really feels like homework. I now know many artists have this.
My initial plan was to draw a cool, modern grandma. Gaming, wearing a hoody and ear mufflers:
But I couldn’t. I can’t draw people and how do gamers hold their hands and what’s a cool console anyway? So I studied the picture on the right instead, it’s by artist Scotty Young, because I wanted to change it into a wolf and also into a grandma and then into Little Red herself. I like Young’s style because it’s so spontaneous yet scruffy, with thick and many thin lines.
You see my studies. The first one is on the far left. Slightly above it is the second one, which has already much better proportions. Mr. Young is really really good.
Below I took my study and tried turning it into a wolf, first with a large snout, the one on the bottom, then with a short snout, the one at the top. Then on the right… I tried to work it without a beard, tried to make it Little Red…
Yeah, I gave up. What a mess. That idea is so not going to work. Young drew the absolute best version of that image and what was I thinking anyways.
So I gave up and just looked at my pinterest for a bit and thought “maybe draw a wolf in a silly dog outfit?”
So I image searched for “dog dress” but that didn’t give good results so next I searched for “dapper dog” and came across:
A familiar picture! In nice contrast, I could easily just mimic in all the dark shapes with my black brush pen and it would automatically look like clothes. So I took my brush pen and without a pencil sketch I just drew the clothes as I saw them, quickly, without thinking and with the Young picture still fresh in my muscle memory.
Then I looked up the picture of a wolf half facing the viewer and put it in. It wasn’t this one but something similar:
I then messed up by enjoying brushing in the fur on one side of its head too much: it went all black! I sighed and put the picture away. When I came back to it I saw that my mistake now looks like a genius artist considered where the sources of light are. An important step in most drawing. You have to consider composition; how shapes interact with each other and with the space (negative space). And light, you have to consider light.
I usually forget. I’m so invested in jotting down an idea or illustrating a look on a (dragon’s) face or expressing a motion that I forget about light. I just give the main movement a thick, black brush stroke and forget all about the light.
But not this time. This time an error makes me look good. Which is another reason not to judge your own drawings.
So that’s how it is for me. I’m trying this and trying that and failing and bumbling about and there’s quite a bit of despair going on but by now I have learned to push through the feeling of “home work” and just put the pen to paper and don’t pay attention to all the critiques in my head.
Luckily I do have some skill with the brush and I so very much enjoy a good brush stroke. I learned to make a single brush stroke go thin and thick. In the previous century I got a bit of education in sumi-e:
sumi-e blue heron by Anna snorrepot sumie
sumi-e cat by Anna snorrepot sumie
Sumie is also form of art where you stop thinking and just exist. These strokes are done in one breath. The heron is famous on the google 😀 if you look for sumie heron it’s always there.
The piece itself is in Australia, in Tasmania, with my family. It was done on rice paper, with ink that was rubbed from an ink stick with just a few drops of water. In a sumi-e studio in the Netherlands. I made it in the beginning of this century and this is the only picture I have of it. I was just trying out where to put my stamp.
I still remember making it. The feel of the brush in my hand, the friction of the paper, how the bristles in the brush moved. It was marvelous. I made this one and another. Only two exist. The second one is in my living room.
The cat was done last year, with the pentel pocket brush pen, if I recall correct. It’s quite small and so is the brush pen so that’s fitting. You can see a slight hesitation in the lower left corner. That’s when a though fluttered through my mind. “this gonna be good!”
And then it wasn’t. But is still is because it shows a human made it. In that respect it’s more personal than the heron. The heron shows mastery. Everything came together perfectly. The quality of the ink, of the brush, my skilled hands, my quiet mind.
The cat shows me, personal. Which is true sumie.