Visit from the drawing board

I’ve been a negligent netizen again, barely keeping up with any of my online activities.  I think I’m going to have to start doing Illustration Friday again, just to keep me updating, in addition to getting back in the groove in other online arenas.

So what have I been doing? Well, it’s been a bit of a hectic time out in the real world, which has sapped a lot of my attention. But I’ve also been drawing! I’ve been making some real headway on a personal project. Want a sneak preview?

From the drawing table
(click to enlarge)

Yup, that’s the Ox from my last installment up in the corner, next to another nearly-finished drawing. The bottom row has concept sketches, another nearly-finished image, and one that’s been traced onto the bristol and ready to ink. Some of you will probably recognize the Chinese Zodiac taking shape here. As with most of my personal projects, I have to fight the urge to over-think things. As it is, you can see that I started this series before I got my A3 scanner, at which point I realized I could switch to a larger size paper — which I’m loving! I’m still debating a bit what to do with the backgrounds: make a full scene like I did with the Ox, or keep it abstract… full color or more monochrome. One of the beauties of working digitally is being able to play with options, so I’ll probably end up with  more than one version of each.

I’m actually further along than this picture indicates — the Tiger is inked now and looks fantastic, if I do say so myself. The scales on the Snake, however, are killing me! More updates when I start scanning these babies. When this series is done I’ll be making several nice products available to buy, so if you’re interested… stay tuned!

I’ve also slowly been adding new pieces to my RedBubble profile… mostly the more elaborate work from my portfolio. If you ever wanted a print or a notecard of one of my pieces, go check it out; all of the products I’ve ordered from them have been gorgeous and high-quality:
Buy art

I’m still taking suggestions, so if there were any images from this blog that you absolutely had to have a nice printed copy of, let me know and I’ll make it available.

Another update soon, I promise!

Illustration Friday: Multiple

Sketches: Rat

Time was a bit short this week for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, tho I found it quite intriguing. I’m in the midst of a project, which will be a series, which could fit, but it’s still in progress. So that’s what I’m posting today: work in progress! As always, click to enlarge.
Like many artists, every piece I make starts out something like this. Once I have my basic idea I doodle and sketch until I’ve worked out all the proportions, poses, and details to my satisfaction. Because I work in ink I have to get as much figured out in the pencil sketch and underdrawing as possible, while I can still erase easily. Sometimes there are layers of tracing paper and/or photocopies of previous sketches taped down as I refine the layout. Sometimes these sketch pages are more satisfying than the finished piece! Usually there’s one that really stands out on the page, but sometimes it’s harder to choose.

I was looking for some of my older work that would qualify, but couldn’t find anything already digitized. Which has me a bit worried, since one project was done digitally. when I have a chance this weekend I’m going to have to go through my miscellaneous backup CDs to look for it. I’m forcing myself to be better about backups, but I don’t have the same hardware for my home system as I do at work, which automates the process so I don’t have to think about. In fact, I have redundant multiple backups at work, which has saved my butt more than once. But at home my backups tend to be in batches of CDs which can get a bit messy as each one is in whatever filing system that seemed like a good idea at the time so the same file might be on more than one disk but in a different folder.  And after two house moves and three computers every now and then I uncover another stash of disks, but I think I’ve gotten them all now. What I’m overdue for is a big session of going through all the disks with the multiple versions of my files and the final versions of everything to make multiple copies of my master archive. And getting a decent firewire drive. Can’t have too many backups!