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Sketchbook

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AlphaBooks: Don Quixote

My contribution to the Alphabooks blog this week: D is for Don Quixote, in black and white and on parchment texture -
For a slightly larger view, see Alphabooks...and check all the various entries - just look at 'em all! And we're only through "D" so far...!

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Art Students at Work

The latest class was a workshop day - no lectures, demos, guest speakers or in-depth critiques. That leaves less for the teacher to do. Luckily, I had my trusty Pentel Pocket Brush and some marker paper, so was able to sketch some artists at work.

Sure, a good amount of what artists do is drawing, but so much - especially in early stages of the creative process - is the hard brain work of writing and/or planning. Considered and refined are characters, design, composition, layout. Stories are tossed, creative lovelies are snuffed out, the work takes shape as decisions are made, new paths discovered and forged.

Every artist is not only in the process of honing their skills and craft, settling in on their style, but are in the act of creating themselves. Call it exploration, expression, self-actualization. These presentations and personae are experimented with, some discarded for a new look, sometimes they fit like a glove and stick...at least for a time.

Each artist gets comfy with how they like to work: tools, environment, trappings, habits and posture. Most have a tendency to get their noses right down there into the work. I know I do.

Students nowadays come equipped with their own laptop and headphones. They're plugged in to keep inspired and entertained, to research conceptually and visually. Alongside the traditional tools of brush & ink, pencils and a sketchbook is a tangle of cords, and a slick screen.

A relaxed posture can belie a confused creative mind. Those somewhat scruffy-lookin' can have the most ordered thoughts and/or work spaces. Some that appear more together can be most disorganized or work away amidst chaos. I've been all of these and more.

Drawing/writing/creating is part what we see, part what we know. We observe the people and world around us, filter it through our selves, our personality and sensibilities to capture truth, perhaps create new worlds. We explore, test an idea there, make a mark here, feeling things out tentatively, striking out boldly in an effort to convey and connect.

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Blind Ghost

The Alphabeasts project has run its course, but I'm catching up and completing the series after the fact. Something had to give the last six weeks, and it wasn't gonna be me! In case it ain't obvious, Te-no-me is the ghost of a blind man, with his eyes on his hands.

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King

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April's Fool

"The world is full of fools; and he who would not wish to see one, must not only shut himself up alone, but must also break his looking-glass." ~ Bioleau ~

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Buster Squared

A couple drawings of my favorite silent film star/filmmaker, period: Buster Keaton.

Both were drawn in Manga Studio, the first without any rough or underdrawing.

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Brute: In Stages


I sketched up and inked this brute in Manga Studio, then added a textured background and colored with the Chalk brush. On that rocky surface, he seems pretty solid.

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A Bunch from Sketchbook Month

Some doodles I've done during March as the Saturday Sketch-Day blog has gone daily for a time. Drop in and see what me and my SketchPals have been up to. Esperanza Spalding! If you haven't watched her perform you owe it to yourself to check her out. A couple memory sketches of students...


Elongated Archibald Leach at the piano from The Awful Truth -

This lady's neck was even longer in the photo from which I worked.

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SpongeMonkey: Dad & Sis

Two more character sketches for my SpongeMonkey story. Sid's Dad and sister, Imogen.

As I continue to write the story, I notice it's changed it's focus a couple times as I honed in on what's it's really about, keeping that clear now in my sights. Knowing the themes, plot and story points informs the character sketches, and vice versa. Imogen had a different name earlier, and certain traits I wanted in the sketch were at odds slightly with how I was writing her. This sketch has altered her character and will change a scene or two, some lines that don't fit anymore.

In just the last week or two: the story has taken more solid shape; I've settled on the look, process and format; and the characters are becoming more whole and complex, both visually and in terms of personality.

What fun!

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Alphabeast: S is for Salamander

Fire Elemental!


I haven't posted any of my Alphabeasts here on the blog since I is for Imp. So if you've missed J-R, check 'em out at the Alphabests Tumblr page.