Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Old-Fashioned"

How convenient - I titled this picture "Old-Fashioned Girl." Not a lot of people like this one - she gets the least hits on my website - but I do. I did her with Prismacolor pencils on black paper. (That sounds wrong...)

Monday, September 27, 2010

It can do other things! Why shouldn't it?

I miss blogging.
Blogging, as I kind of discovered tonight, is like trying to move a large pallet of pumpkins down a narrow sidewalk into a store using only a pallet jack. You put your whole weight into getting it to move, and it doesn't budge. Then you finally get some momentum, and the fucking thing rockets out of control down the sidewalk where it bashes loudly into a pole and half your coworkers come out and ask if you need help.
Okay, it's a faulty analogy but the idea is the same. If you don't blog for a while, it's hard to get the momentum going again. But once you start, it's hard to stop and pretty soon you go through your whole day thinking, "Hey, I should blog about this when I get home tonight!" and everyone around you assumes you need mental help, which you probably do, but I digress.
I really wanted this blog to be a combination of words and pictures, but sometimes there just isn't time for pictures. Those fuckers are time-consuming, man, and who has time to sketch, ink, scan, photoshop, and upload when you work 60 hours a week? So I decided not to be such a purist, because I do have that tendency sometimes, and decided that even though this blog is called "Amanda's Sketchbook," it's okay if NOT EVERY SINGLE ENTRY contains big shiny pictures to dazzle your eyes.
Yes, I work 60 hour weeks. During business hours I work for a renewable energy company doing administrative-type stuff. Evenings and weekends I work at a small yet upbeat and quirky grocery store chain. (It was during tonight's shift that I acquired the material for the pumpkin analogy.) Neither job is what I really want to be doing for the rest of my life, but they pay the bills (and there are many). When I am not working or sleeping, I am spending time with my boyfriend who also likes to write and draw. Lately I've been crocheting a lot too. I fucking love crocheting.
What do I really want to be doing for the rest of my life? I would love for someone to pay me to draw. Not just anything, but my own ideas. I would love to write too. Unfortunately in this economic climate (or any other climate for that matter) neither of those vocations offers a lot in the way of financial compensation - hence the 60-hour work week. I would love to chase my dreams some more, but for right now I'm okay with putting them on hold for a little while so I can save up to buy a bed. I'm tired of sleeping on the floor.
But I do miss having a creative outlet, because if I don't have some kind of creative outlet all those creative impulses start to ferment inside my brain and make me a little crazy. I want to start blogging again. I want the pumpkin pallet to start rolling again. This entry probably makes no sense - to be honest, I'm still a little shaken from the pumpkin trauma - but I'm surprisingly okay with that. You probably think I'm crazy, and I guess I am, and I'm surprisingly okay with that too.
*Edit* Okay, ONE big shiny picture to dazzle your eyes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moving Day

No Illustration Friday this week, as I am moving from Santa Rosa to Petaluma. Stay tuned, though, I shall have lots of exciting new stuff once I am settled in!
BTW, did you know that drawing in MS Paint with a touch pad instead of a mouse is difficult? It does lend an interesting Schulz-like quality, though.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Cocoon"

I know it's not Friday yet, but I missed the last couple weeks (gulp!) and I'm trying to catch up.
I want to be better, I really do!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I am such a freakin' genius.

I had a sketch that I really liked and I wanted to transfer it onto black paper. But I couldn't use my light box because it's, well, black paper. So instead I scribbled on the back of the sketch with a white pencil, placed the black paper underneath, and traced over it with a ballpoint pen.
Oh, wait, you can't see it very well. Here's a better picture of the transferred image:
Anyway, that's all. Carry on, everyone.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sleeping With the Fishes

So apparently this picture reminds everyone of a scene from Monty Python's "Meaning of Life." I've never seen it so I can't tell you which one; I just want everyone to know I didn't steal the idea and I honestly thought it was an original.
Every time I have a good idea, someone else always thinks of it first.
On a side note, I really like this technique of colored pencils on black paper. I think I may pursue it further.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Illustration Friday - "Dip"

Bah, I don't really like what my scanner did with this. Oh well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Alphabet Exercise

Here's a fun little thing I tried the other day... simply take every letter of the alphabet and turn it into a new creature. Next I think I'll tackle upper case letters...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From Concept Sketch to Finished Art

So I've been struggling a little with what to write in this blog... after all, pretty much any new developments go on my Facebook. And chances are, if you're reading this you probably already follow me on Facebook. So why bother?
I've been thinking for a while about something that is too detailed to concisely express through a Facebook post, yet engaging enough to follow in a blog. I finally came up with something that y'all might kinda sorta be interested in: showing the concept sketch for a piece of art, then explaining how it mutated progressed into its current state.
I should also note that since the night my computer enjoyed a glass of champagne, some things haven't run quite the same - for instance, the connection between my computer and scanner. Fortunately, I hooked my scanner up to my sister's computer and it's running swell, but Em's computer doesn't have any imaging software, so I now have to 1) scan the image using the Scanning and Camera Wizard, 2) save it as a bitmap, 3) open it up with MS Paint and save it as a jpeg, 4) email it to myself, and 5) download it onto my own computer and doctor it up in Photoshop. It's... kind of awkward.
Anyway. Onto the goodies.
This is my sassy fairy. She was one of the few that didn't change much between sketch and final.
 Here's what she became:
Well, her wings changed a little to better reflect her mood. (BTW, I think this to myself about a thousand times a day at work.)
Here's one where I made a few tweaks to make it more engaging.

For the final one, I moved the lion's head up a little and adjusted the bunny's position so she was bending over more... I thought it made their poses a little more dynamic. I also gave the lion some curls and a swishier tail to give him more personality.

Finally, this one is a good example of how a few small adjustments can really change the story. Here, the expression on the fairy's face is innocent and almost naive.
(I'm not sure who the chick on the bottom was supposed to be.)
In the final one, her expression changed so now she looks more like she knows what's going on and maybe even has a hidden agenda. I didn't really intend for this to happen; it just kind of turned out that way. I guess that's where my mind is...

Also I made the elf's feet bigger... he already had such big hands and head, I didn't want him to fall over.
So that's all for now... more to come later! (I promise I'll try to be better about updating this blog!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

... but golly-gee-willikers was it cold.

I just returned from New York City where I was attending the annual SCBWI Winter Conference. I am so exhausted I almost don't feel like blogging about it... almost.
Basically authors and illustrators from around the country gathered in NYC to attend lectures and workshops and hopefully do a little networking. It was pretty swell to be around people with the same goals and passions as I have, and I returned feeling all fired up and ready to go. I attended some lectures, got some autographs, and yes, managed to squeeze in some fun touristy junk in the downtime.
For the Illustrators' Intensive portion, we had an assignment. We were supposed to illustrate a scene of a birthday party for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. As to whose birthday it was, what medium to render in, etc, it was all up to us. At the conference we presented our final illustrations. Some were really good, some okay, and some... interesting, but it was really fun seeing everyone's interpretation of the assignment. Here's what I came up with...

Moral: Don't ever **** with Grumpy.