Thursday, December 17, 2009

Digital Doodles

Digital sketches count, too! Here are a few doodles I did with my gorgeous Wacom tablet, using Corel Painter IX. Digital doodles aren't as common as the old-fashioned kind, for me, but they do occasionally happen.

I was going to do a wordless comic about a Curious Squid who went around the ocean being innocently curious about things. Actually, this was probably the train of thought that eventually led me to Oswald. This squid ended up looking just a little too lifelike, and is perhaps more creepy than cute. I dunno. You decide.

Helen again! She's taking her cat for a walk.

This girl's name is Sophie. Other than that, I don't really know much about her. She's washing her feet, and looking very fetching.

Jingle-Bells and Witches and Cages, Oh My!

Here is Helen (twice)! She's an albino. She loves flamboyant clothing.

This is Elspeth. She's a witch. She doesn't use a dumb broom, but an awesome tree branch, like the witches in the His Dark Materials trilogy.

This was a concept sketch for my final project in intro sculpture. The assignment was simply that it had to be a "wearable" sculpture. This idea looked pretty cool on paper... a shiny metal neck brace with a bird cage going over the top... buuuuut it underwent significant modifications and became something rather different. I am such a 2-D artist. Making stuff exist in three dimensions is HARD. ;-;

Some portraits

I was just playing with my new Sakura brush pen. SOOO fun to use! As much as I love digital art, the feel of a really great brush pen is impossible to replicate. It forces your hand to be really precise, or the line weight will waver like crazy! Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. It makes for a very natural and unique look.

More fun with the brush pen! I drew this one in a Moleskine. How sophisticated of me! It's a good sketchbook -- portable, durable, round corners, creamy yellow paper -- but I've barely drawn in it after having it for almost 6 months. That's the problem I always have with "nice" sketchbooks: I'm afraid to soil them. I draw much more readily in crappy spiral-bounds, or in my school notebooks.

This one's about a semester old... I drew it shortly after discovering Portrait Adoption. The concept is that artists can submit character portraits, and then artistically-challenged people who desire pictures of their original characters -- for roleplaying or noveling or whatever -- can purchase them, and even have them customized for a little extra. I was giddy with daydreams of wealth. Imagine drawing generic fantasy babes and getting paid for them! I can do that in my sleep! But, even though I've registered as an artist at the site, I have yet to submit anything. Anyway, this portrait was going to be some kind of shaman... person. You can tell she's a shaman because she has mysterious tribal tattoos.


Just a few little nudes, no references used... I actually draw nudes a LOT. They're easy for me, and often look so beautiful it seems a shame to cover them with clothing. I'm very excited to be taking a figure-drawing class next semester (despite the initial awkwardness that may result from all the models being my fellow Beloit students). Until now, my main points of reference for the human body have been myself and my imagination. Also, I'm no good at male nudes...

Mathematical Biology

These are sketches I did for my graphic design class two semesters ago. We were supposed to come up with a logo for the SMB (Society for Mathematical Biology), an organization that one of the bio professors at Beloit is a part of. Looking at their website now, I see they did not make use of any of our ideas... They're still using their same old low-res nautilus. Oh, well. Anyway, my concept was to show the life represented by molecular formulas. My final logo was a slick vector that looked pretty good, but I thought my sketches were better -- more organic, which was kind of the point.

Class Notes

Some more doodles from my Art History notebook... I did take actual notes, too -- I swear!

I think I must have had this in mind when I drew that last one. @_@ So beautiful! Why don't people dress like that anymore?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Warming Up in the Margins

This semester, the margins of my notebooks tended to be populated with a lot of these tiny, ridiculously lithe little dancer/gymnast people:

They're fun to draw because they can gracefully handle the unrealistic anatomy and flexibility that I thrust upon them. There's an artist I follow on DA who seems to draw almost nothing but ballerinas -- with limber, muscular, perfect bodies -- and the effect is both beautiful and a little scary. You should check out her gallery -- and check out those leg muscles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Time Warp

Let's start at the very beginning (the very best place to start). Here are some older sketches that I salvaged. They are arranged roughly chronologically, dating from two years ago to one year ago.

This is an arrogant young lady of the Victorian era. I seem to have a soft spot for those. She's thinking about her butler, who is naturally quite a hunk.

Speaking of hunks, here is a particularly hunksome one, partially inked.

This doodle was inspired by the fabulous 20's costumes bedecking the charming cats at Lackadaisy. It's nowhere near as cute, though, and there is something very wrong with her face...

This guy is named Oscar, and he is a professor of economics. There on the chalkboard you can see my muddled impression of what Economics must look like.

Here is a partially-transparent person! Other than that, I have no idea what's going on here.

This was my first-ever sketch of Oswald McSwidgen, my octopus detective character! Well, originally he wasn't a detective. I just wanted to draw a dapper octopus gentleman, because it seemed perfectly natural somehow. Then, later on, I was struck with a thunderbolt of brilliance and realized that he was a deep-sea Sherlock. You can see my excited annotation scribbled above his name.

Here's picture of a character named Roza, doodled on the back of my Importance of Being Earnest script. The last page, in fact. You can see the title track if you look closely! (Or, er, what would be analogous to a title track in a script.)

And last but not least, the cast of the Crystal Chandelle - a radio play written and directed by my friend Matt, and which I had the fun of voice-acting in. I've been meaning to do a nice finished lineup of these people.


This blog is intended to be a happy home (and, in some cases, final resting place) for the sketches that seem to proliferate on any random scrap of paper that enters the vicinity of my right hand. More often than not, I end up losing them or just throwing them away because I don't have any good place to keep them. The rather fanciful name "Sketch Garden" indicates my hope that having these sketches preserved and accessible will encourage me to develop some of them into full-fledged works of art.

Sometimes sketches turn out great just the way they are, but it's hard to show them off while they're crammed in the margins of my school notebooks or scribbled on the backs of envelopes. Why, oh why, do my best drawings so rarely end up in my actual sketchbooks, where they're supposed to be?

Well... Now, wherever they turn up, I can capture them and pin them up here for safekeeping. I would appreciate it if you would comment on any picture that catches your interest, whether you have a full-blown critique or just one silly remark to make.