Friday, October 7, 2011

Page Three, Part One

We're back!  After a long hiatus, I have dusted off our sketchbook and it is in the mail to Raena in Texas!  I am excited about the possibilities of this page.  I have a definite idea as to where I would want the page to go, but I am going to keep my mouth shut.  Because I need to see what Raena will do.  Because isn't that the idea - feeding off of each other's creativity?

This is a very special sketchbook. When I pick it up, I am always a bit uptight, because I want it to be good work for Raena, and I know I don't want to mess up the page. So every time I am pushed to try to achieve extra quality. This time I based the picture on a "Creative Commons" photograph at flickr.

The smart thing to do might have been to draw on a separate page and use carbon or something (like I hear folks sometimes do), but I frankly don't know how to do that and I get a bit tired redrawing the same thing. I like the freshness of a first drawing. I did pencil it in first though.

I started at the feet. Initially I was trying to measure visually to get everything just so. I concentrated so hard on the proportions that it was a mess. Finally, I just erased it and gave myself permission to sketch. And that is when the drawing worked. It doesn't look exactly like the girl in the photo here [It is a beautiful photo by Jonas Hansel of a Cambodian girl], but it works for the page, and that is what matters. This is what "adapted" and "derived" means. I toyed with changing the colors of the clothing, but I rather liked the feel of it, so I kept the colors the same. I was trying for a picture book-style feel.

Raena - So glad you're back! Hope you enjoy it, and can't wait to see what you do!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Page Two, Part Four

I was so completely blown away by the whimsical, magical life force of the music that Raena illustrated at the top of the page. I was left with a thin strip at the bottom, and wanted to further that concept. So I thought about it: Grass?, flowers? thought of a fish leaping from the water and the splash and bubbles, and bubbles turning into notes, much as Raena's notes sprouted branches. I tried to illustrate the fluidity of the music, and the way the music itself spawns life.

Once I thought of the idea, I looked all over the web for an adequate photo of a leaping fish. I couldn't find what I wanted. So in an idle moment I drew a fish leaping from the water, splash and all, on a piece of notework paper without looking to any reference. And that is what I used as my guide.

I was impatient on the day when I did the drawing/painting, so I didn't pre-ink, and trusted myself to do it right the first time. It became a bit busier than I expected, and I overworked some spots and that I think is a reflection of my mood at the time. I'm happy with it though. (Click on the picture to see it larger.)

Finally the page is done. All in all it is a very active page! Too busy perhaps, but it was a wonderful collaborative learning experience. I truly appreciate how Raena stretched me away from reality. When I sent the page to her the last time, I expected curtains or ceiling fans.

So here it is: In almost ten months, we've done seven posts. The book has crossed the Gulf six times. And we've completed two whole pages in our sketchbook!

Raena has asked me to start the next page which I hope to do fairly soon (by the standards of this blog). Any ideas on what I should do?