Friday, 30 September 2011

1 drawing down, another half finished, just another 33 1/2 left.

Yup, I've managed to finish one of my drawings, probably one of the most experimental of the lot and am starting to get in the mood for experimenting with the others, rather than just doing a straight up drawing/sketch onto the paper.

So here's a picture of the first illustration I've managed to finish out of the 35 I set myself.
My chosen theme for the Sketchbook Project was 'Travel With Me' so I decided to do a colour map of a fictional country with the journey of the characters marked on in red. I plan to stick this to one page and print out a bit of jargon to about it to stick the facing page. Thankfully I've chosen to hand bind my Sketchbook once I've decorated the front and that should give me some room for sticking a load of stuff in. The map itself was first sketched onto a full A4 page and then coloured lightly with pencil crayon. Then I soaked it for a couple of minutes in warm tea before sprinkling instant coffee granules on it to give a more gradiated look. Once that was done I left it to dry slightly and then dabbed it with the teabags before shoving it under the grill on a low heat to finish it drying. Once that was all dry I got my watercolour palette, a small little white box, and started lightly painting in some of the detail. The place names and the journey route I inked in with a pen.

This is another illustration I'm working on. I figured I'd show some of the dangers of travel, in this case, getting stuck on a desert island. I think I'd been watching Castaway with Tom Hanks and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Black Pearl which is why I've gone for palm trees. It's drawn in soluble pencil crayon over a very very light pencil sketch and once the whole thing's done I'm going to run a paintbrush over it lightly and then cut it out and stick it in. I did originally draw this straight into the book but couldn't remember if I'd used normal crayons or water soluble ones. I figured I'd just start again on a new sheet.

 So I thought I'd include this picture to show my creative workspace. I've got the majority of my art books, sketchbooks and the more frequently used notepads in the shelves and my journal by my bed, that's the little blue/green book close to the left hand side. You can, if you look closely, make out all the Terry Brooks books I've amassed, as well all my work for the Sketchbook Project. I'm going to have to pick up some PVA glue and tissue paper for some of my drawings for that but hopefully that won't be too hard to store, even in my little room.

In other news, I've gotten really into bookbinding. I've managed to bind one book so far, a rough paper one that's just going to be used to sketch out designs for my webcomic pages, nothing fancy. I've managed to create a whole list of book types that I want to bind though which is just a little odd, even for me. There's some that can wait but there's one definate idea that I want to have bound by the end of the year. I'll expand on that in another post soon once I've worked out a few details, along with any other book binding attempts I make.

In the meantime keep an eye on this month's to-do list to the right of the maind body of the blog. You'll be able to see the targets I set for myself this month and how I'm getting on with them.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Personal Challange

So, here's the deal. I've set myself 128 days to do 35 Sketchbook Project Drawings, 19 Witchan pages and 3 holiday pages, starting from today. It may not sound like much but considering that many of them will be full colour it gets a bit more difficult. At least once a week I'll let you know how I'm doing, on top of my regular posts. There might even be pictures.
Right now though I've got to finish one of the drawings that I've already started and aren't including within the line up... at least I don't think I am.
Wish me luck guys.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Writing Techniques and lists.

Today, while writing in my journal, I got to thinking about how I write and I realised that I'm too focused on the end product. I write with all the chapters firmly fixed in my head and I can't help but think that that may very well be wrong for me. I tend to write freely, simply writing things as they happen in my head. Trying to fit what I write within a set chapter outline may actually be damaging the quality of my writing as I'm thinking about it to much. Granted I sometimes write large sections of prose from later in the narrative but that doesn't really reflect on the layout of the narrative itself. I can't help but feel then that I should just write and save the chapter divisions for the editting process and later drafts. It's a known fact that more often then not what you write changes the final product. I need to stop living in the future when I write and simply stay in the moment. And that's what I'm going to do.
On to another subject. Lists. I love making lists. Whether it's my day's to-do list, a list of ideas I'm currently working on, listing the pages of sketches for the Sketchbook Project 2012, it doesn't matter. I just love to make lists. I find it helpful and each time I cross something off the list that I've finished I feel this fantastic sense of accomplishment. Looking at a day's to-do list at the end of the day and seeing almost everything crossed out gives me the greatest feeling. It makes me feel that I'm actually doing something with my time. It also helps me figure out priorities for my projects and my day. I've also taken to setting myself monthly targets and as of October I'm going to be sharing these with you. Hopefully I'll have met my September ones by then. We'll have to wait and see. If you find yourself struggling to figure out what to do, either in the day, the month, the week or your life just write a list. It doesn't matter what goes on there, you don't have to show it to anyone but it'll help you know what it is that you want from your life. I intend to do just that.
In other news, I finally got a proper bed at last. I'm still living with my parents, having just graduated from university, and the bed I had previously was simply a fold out frame with a mattress on top. Now I have a proper bed frame with storage under it and I'm starting to FINALLY feel like I'm at home again. I even have a little desk type thing set up at the end of it using an old set of plastic drawers. I'm ridiculously happy about it because I'm weird that way.
Until next time, buh-bye.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Creative Bursts, Decisions and Fashion

I got serisouly sidetracked last month. Even in the last week. I fully intended to write a blog post a fortnight ago, even wrote it on a sheet of paper and everything. That sheet of paper disappeared into the filing system that is my room though but the good news is I found it today. I'm not going to tell you what it said though, nyah nyah nur-nur nyah :P
Instead I'm going to write a new one, and maybe now and then pull bits from what I wrote if I can find where I put it... oh bugger.
Any whoo... I've gone a bit of a writing spree, in the hope of finally acheiving some monthly deadlines... it's semi-worked. I've written and finished the first draft of three chapters for a novel (incidentally the novel is not the one I originally planned to write but something completely different that spanned from a simple image in my noggin). I completely finished the introduction of my webcomic and have managed to draw the first four pages of the First Book. I also managed to write down some basic information for five different countries in my fantasy world. This makes me sound very geeky but the sheer amount of stuff I expected myself to do was a little ridiculous. I need to learn to stop setting myself ridiculous targets.
This creative burst was spurred on in part, I think, by the fact that I finally decided whether I was going to do the Masters or not. I decided not. I'm just fed up of being poor and to be honest, weirdly fed up of having so much free time on my hands. Plus I'm wanting a break from constant assignments and deadlines. I know I'll probably get them in the real world but they're not as... educational deadlines I suppose. If I decide I want to go do a Masters again next year I can always save up and reapply, this time without the worry of applying for a loan. In fact that actually seems like the better option.
Now onto the third part of my post's title. It's a little unrelated to writing and reading but fashion is a creative output so I fgured I'd include it. Another reason that I'm wanting to get a real job is that I want to be able to update my wardrobe or expand it when I want to and not have to worry about next week's food shop. I'm starting to develop my own personal style and hopefully soon I may well be posting pictures of the day's outfit. So this blog may soon get renamed, relating to fashion as well as writing. I'm looking at doing a collaboration with other bloggers to put links to each other's blog in our own blogs and maybe expand readerships.