Harris Hawk Pencil Studies

I’m off and running on my SCBWI Mentor Program assignments.  I’m so excited and fortunate to be working with Deborah Nourse Lattimore. At our Tahoe Retreat one-on-one, me and Deborah set up some assignments for the next six months.  Get to know three animals really well with a pencil.  Here is the first.

It just so happens that the Illustration Friday Prompt is “sight”.

Cover Art Challenge – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

ThinkArt challenges Nevada Artists with projects of many kinds. The most recent one is to re-illustrate the covers of the Harry Potter series.  I was randomly given book two The Chamber of Secrets. The only restriction was to use the original Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling   font.  The art is pencil on Aquabee Charcoal Paper.  Text was drawn and added in Photo Shop.

A quick tour through pencil thoughts arriving at the final art.

Thank you to Dinh, Elaine, Pablo, Brian, Liz, Jessica, Evan and Jimmy for your critique, support and guidance.  This was really fun (not easy) to work through.

Studio Makeover

First, I must say in my loudest outside voice, that I’m GRATEFUL to have a space to make art and call my own.  When we moved into our new home twelve years ago, this space was the previous owner’s “man cave”.  But I claimed it the first day.  The windows are east facing, the ceiling is coffered and it fits all of my stuff.  Except my textile, embroidery, knitting stuff in the extra bedroom closet, but that’s for another day.

Having Multiple Muse Disorder means that interests, desires and manifestations of many creative paths must get out somewhere.  White Wolf Studio is the place where my artistic visions dream, breathe and live.  But with that comes “stuff”.  All good stuff, but I can get myself stuffed with stuff pretty quickly.  I love to try stuff, buy stuff and ultimately stack stuff.  I’m such a stack rat.  So……..I took about 12 hours of my time off from work and this is the result.  It may not be as glossy as some of those great “Studio” magazines or as interesting as Lynn Perrella’s “Art Making & Studio Spaces”, and even as I post these pictures it may not seem like such a big deal.  But I’m ready for 2012 and my space is open, breathing and full of life and potential.

Before. Check out the upper book shelf, sheeeeesh!!

After. Select a book without danger and press fabric.

After. Ahhhhhhhh!!

Before. Full sheet of watercolor paper? Not thinking so.

Before. Dusting nightmare.

After. Dusted for another 6 months.

After. Oh, there are those due dates.

Before. There's a project board here somewhere.

After. Hey, room for my hands to find stuff.

Before. All those tracing, sketches, prelims really need a home.

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Connie Furgason's class at Berkeley, CA 2007 with my friend and calligrapher Carol Pallesen of the Silent Hand Scriptorium, Reno, NV.

And then there are those gems I find when I sort, purge and toss bits and bobs that just can’t go in the bin.

What’s on my Desk

I recently applied for the SCBWI Mentor Program.  Part of my application was to submit a one page Artist Statement.  As I thought back to my first illustrations, I remembered that I illustrated my book report cover for “Rascal” by Sterling North.  It was a pencil drawing on red construction paper of a raccoon in a tire swing.  It wasn’t long before my classmates were hiring me to create their covers too.  The price, one ice cream bar.

I decided to go back to that time and illustrate the cover again.  My plan is to create the cover, three interior spot illustrations and chapter illuminated letters.  I’ve listened to the audio book twice and will go borrow the book from the library to get the chapter breaks correct. 

By the way, it is a charming story of 1918 America during WWI, the war to end all wars.  Even during dark times, kids always seem to find a way to make their lives whole.  Sometimes animals and their connections to us are just the thing that keeps us grounded on our planet.

Thumbnail pencil sketches getting to know the animal characters in "Rascal".

Trying New Media

Always experimenting, I used the opportunity of adding new portfolio pieces to try some new media.

White Prismacolor Pencil on Black Strathmore Paper.


Pastel Pencil on Canson M1 Tientes Paper

Two things I learned.  White on blackk paper makes me think in reverse.  Instead of thinking of shadows, I need to think of highlights, which is quite a shift.  And, I’ve always had an aversion to pastels because I can’t stand touching chalk.  But pastel pencils take a bit of that away, enough to make it really fun to use the great saturated colors.

1860 Anna in the Tree Swing

Anna is Liza’s real life daughter and she was our model last evening.  Liza tailored this incredible period dress for Anna and our costume coordinator brought in the rope to throw over the light fixtures to simulate a swing.  I went back to watercolor for this class.  As much as I want to work more with gouache, I decided this is not the right place to “learn” a medium.  One class left of this session.

 

 

Back to the Drawing Board

Back to work on the newest SCBWI Nevada Illustrator’s project.

A bit of work yet to do, but I like the hyena.  This piece will be a 22×30 full piece of watercolor paper.  Big paper, big brushes, big detail and a huge challenge!!