I have still been doing plenty of art, even though I haven't posted it here.
In the spirit of that, I'd like to try to post stuff here again. I may or may not manage to resurrect my 365 project, although I had plenty of ideas waiting in the wings, so we'll see. If I can manage a post a week or so, to share art and musings, I'll consider that enough.
On that note, I'll start with my most recent stuff, and it is loosely book-related. The other hobby that I cram in whenever I have a few spare moments is role-playing, which is always a weird thing to have to explain to people who might not know what it is. Not Dungeons & Dragons (although I'm no stranger to that, and it's more flexible cousin GURPS), not something kinky for the bedroom, either. I roleplay online, and there's a pretty vast community who does, with original characters or fan characters drawn from books, movies or TV, we're mostly people of a writerly bent of mind, coming together to play characters meeting, going on adventures, forming friendships (or conflicts), and basically engaging in interactive story telling. It's something that crosses all genres and styles, depending what the people involved are interested in playing, and it's something I've been involved in pretty much as far back as I had regular access to the internet.
|The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck|
I'm not sure if it was the general environment of the game, or the idea of Beatrix Potter's art, but I threw myself into the game with a passion, created an original character, and started painting.
|The Tailor of Gloucester|
|The Tale of Mr. Tod|
The setting of the current roleplay game is the countryside, rather than the city, and we were encouraged to make animal versions of other characters we already play, if in need of inspiration. That's not quite what I did, but I definitely went for an archetype I tend to play, a slightly grumbly, bookish old man, and the perfect animal seemed to me to be the badger.
|My own take on a badger character|
There's nothing wrong with her illustration, of course, but the badger described in the tale of Mr. Tod wasn't my badger at all. What I cam up with was the image of something slightly more respectable. Bespectacled, bookish, just a little grumbly but with a sharp sense of humor. He's a retired, well-fed old badger who prefers a peaceful neighborhood and slow food (which ought to put the new neighbors slightly at ease). He's not quite as much of a gentleman as he's taken for in his old age, though, and he's been in more than a few scraps, including a vicious fight with a dog that left a scar over one eye. His name is Mr. Tadge Blackbriar, and in the game, I have yet to see anyone address him by his first name, I guess he comes off as too distinguished for that.
|Mr. Tadge Blackbriar|
There's something about working in ink (prismacolor fine line markers, in this case) and watercolor that feels like an easy default. From a very early age I got used to watercolor paints, and a family friend who is a professional artist to this day gave me childhood lessons. I remember sitting in her elegant house, with the grand piano and white carpet no shoes were allowed on. Her father's art hung on the dining room wall (a landscape in the tradition of English Watercolorists) and her art elsewhere throughout the house. At the dining room table she taught me different exercises in texture and how watercolors blend, or how to keep them from blending, when needed.
At home, we had a privately published book of hers, a story of a mouse.
|Mr. Blackbriar moving into the neighborhood|
I've been so inspired by the roleplay, in fact, that I started doing portraits of each character that joined. Playing online, there's space for icons, a handful of little images to be used with each post of writing that can help illustrate the character's mood. That kind of thing inspires me to draw even more images of the character, in a variety of expressions. Expect more art posts to come...