This card is from my stepdaughter’s birthday a couple weeks ago, before the end of the civilization as we know it. It’s fanart from a newish Netflix cartoon called Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, about a post-apocalyptic Earth where most of humanity lives in underground burrows because the surface is rules by mutant animals. If you are trapped in your own home and enjoy that sort of thing, I highly recommend it.
These are the other 2 dragons from the set of 4 mentioned in the previous dragon post. While I did enjoy playing with light on the mountains, water, and clouds in the red wyrm image, not to mention the sweet reflections on the knight’s shield, I never liked this image very much. Possibly, I was just unhappy with my color choices. I felt that they couldn’t all be blue and green (by this point I think I had acquired a full set of high quality colored pencils, and wanted them to wear down more evenly) but red and purple, at the time, were very daring choices for me.
Here, the princess never satisfied me. She seem cartoony, and I wanted her to look, at the very least, comic booky. The dragon is pretty solid, though. Love that twist at the bottom of his tail. The colors in these images has faded over the years, revealing some of the textural imperfections.
Secretly, I’m really into comics, and always have been. Publicly, you’ll only see me with books of course. I didn’t have a lot of exposure to comics as a kid; there was no one to share them with me. Of course, I was lucky enough to grow up in the time period when Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, and Berke Breathed were writing dailies, and I still own many of their collections, but I never had access to comic books when I was little. I remember owning maybe one issue of Superman that a babysitter gave me.
In high school and college I developed an interest in the history of comics: Robert Outcault and the Yellow Kid, the Katzenjammer Kids, Krazy Kat, and all that. I read everything the library had to offer me, and I did end up reading some classic comic books. A volume of the first Wonder Woman comics stands out in my mind.
Sandman was probably the first graphic novel I ever read, and of course the storytelling and the artwork are both stunning. After that, I read every graphic novel anyone gave me, a rather eclectic assortment. It wasn’t until grad school that a guy introduced me to Alan Moore. I read The Watchmen first. Talk about amazingly good storytelling! I’ve read a fair amount of his work. My favorite is definitely Promethea, which might not be as objectively good as his other stuff, but which I adore. It’s the catalyst for my Alphabet of Desire.
It’s a really striking image, and much-copied. I love the thickness of the brush strokes, the boldness of the color.
Exercise 31 involved learning from others: pick a famous work, study it, learn from it, duplicate it, and then expand the project in some logical way. The example in the book suggested visiting a ballet school if, for example, your famous work was one of Degas’s.
For my extension, I visited the nearby Tucson Botanical Gardens and sketched flowers.
I like the rougher look to Van Gogh’s work, how it seems sloppy, but it’s not. The colors weren’t really available to me with the materials at hand, but some of them made a nice showing there, anyway.
Sketching in the gardens was so enjoyable. It’s definitely the sort of thing I want to incorporate into my artist’s life to a much greater degree.