Thursday, April 3, 2014

Illustration Friday: Sizzle

I have an idea for a story about a rambunctious monkey brother and sister loosely modelled on my younger two children. (But we won't tell them that....)  Here they are not rambunctious at all, because looking into a camp-fire is hypnotically soothing. I heard somewhere that looking at fire or running water is soothing but never boring because the steady movement combined with infinite variation doesn't weary our brains. Maybe so.

No doubt these two will be hyper soon from staying up too late and eating all those marshmallows.

I did most of this as fast as I could before my kids got up yesterday morning. I used two very soft pencils so I wouldn't be tempted to take time I can't afford to build up thin layers of gray with a very hard pencil, which is how I like to do graphite nowadays. But I ended up fussing over it, taking too much time, and overworking parts of it anyway. A jeweler's-wax carving teacher I read said that if you feel something is wrong with a piece you're working on and you don't know what the problem is, pay attention to where your eyes get stuck. That's probably what needs to change. My eyes get stuck on the girl monkey's face, mostly, and if I had time I would do her again with closer set, more monkey-like eyes. Instead of just doing it over early on, or just quitting for awhile to give my subconscious mind time to solve the problem, I kept trying to fix it without figuring out exactly what was bothering me. It's hard for me to start something over, but I have learned that I get a lot farther making ten five-minute drawings than I do working for three hours trying to save one drawing that has gone astray.