Friday, May 29, 2009

Albert's Old Shoes and Gynn

A teacher called me up this week to ask me if I might come to their school to give a book talk to Kindergartens and grade ones and also a mix of three and four year old pre-school children from a local community centre daycare.

I was so excited and happy to be asked to do this.

She said that both of the books, Gynn and Albert's Old Shoes are favourites in their school library. The event was made possible by the Ready Set Learn Program which is designed to help preschoolers to get ready for school.

So I prepared myself for the day. I gathered up a few copies of the books, I put together some of the original illustations in my big black leather portfolio. I bought a set of fresh pastels and I found some big sheets of paper. And at the last, I bought a guinea pig puppet to add a prop.

I was up early at five A.M. to prepare myself for the kids. I was wired with adrenalin.

I drove to the school at 9 A.M. I gave four presentations over the day. I read the books. I answered questions from the children and enjoyed their curiosity and intelligence and desire to take part in the whole experience. I drew the favourite characters of Gynn the guinea pig and Albert the pig with old scuffed up brown shoes as they gave me directions like

"Can you give him running shoes?" or "Can you add the sun?" "In the middle?"

and "You forgot the clouds!" and "It looks like it is raining." and "Where are his shoe laces?"

It was a great day. What fun! And all because of those little books from the 1980s that are so much a part of my life. They are like living books. They have a life that goes on and on. Like those batteries.

Friday, May 22, 2009

IF - Cracked

Illustration Friday again. This week's word is CRACKED. Sometimes I don't know when to stop. But I had fun with this.
Drawings scanned and then colour added and clean up in Corel Photo-Paint and CorelDRAW.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Illustration Friday - contagious

I thought I'd try taking part in Illustration Friday tonight. This silly little idea was in my head all day and it wouldn't let up. The word for the week is CONTAGIOUS.

This is my interpretation of the word.

It reminds me how I feel when I walk into a room of strangers.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Step 5 - I Think This Piece Is Complete, Almost.

Except for some tweaking to come over the next few days I am almost finished with this drawing.

I am glad I went to the end with this one. It took a great deal of patience. I worked on it for two hour stretches and then I had to go away from it for a while. At times my back hurt and I realized I needed to consciously relax my back while I worked on it. I had to sit back in my chair and the angle of my board had to be just right. Otherwise it was painful.

I kept sharpening my pencils. Sharp pencils are absolutely necessary I think.

I am really glad I set down the base in watercolour. It is on Stonehenge paper and I was surprised the paper didn't curl up when it was originally wet.

But I used a minimum amount of water placed in placed the washes in small spaces.

No grand washes over it or anything like that.

Very simple beginning.

I think I will make a mat for it.

I kind of like it.

I am pleased. It needs more work on the lower left side. But for now. I am happy to stop until I am ready to see what needs to be done.

And thanks to Stacy and Karen for cheering me on with this one.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Watercolour and Pencil Experiment

On Sunday while I worried about my little dog and tried to decide whether or not to go ahead with a surgery for her, I realized the neighbourhood was showing off in spectacular fashion with rhododendrons in glorious display. So with my dog in her buggy and my camera in my hands I shot about a hundred photos of blossoming plants. When I got home I downloaded the images into my computer to take a close look at what I had captured.
I decided to try a new approach to a sketch by using both watercolour and pencil crayons after being inspired last week with the virtual sketch date artists.
So here is the progression of another rhododendron bud. About 11 x 14.
About the photos...
1. the laying down of watercolour
2. adding pencil crayon
3. more pencil crayon.
4. more pencil crayon.
I shall post the final work later today if I can manage to make myself finish it by this evening. Maybe tomorrow is a more realistic deadline. I know that working on this piece helped to keep me calm as I worried about my dog.
Meanwhile my little dog is recovering nicely.
She has passed a painful kidney stone. She does not have a serious cancer inside her organs according to the ultrasound. So they were able to go ahead with the more minor surgery although there has been extensive cutting out from her head and back side.
The vet cleaned her teeth, removed a rotten tooth, removed several lumps from her skin including a large cherry sized head lump.
I am hoping she isn't going to have pain. So far she seems a little groggy but happy.
When I look at this painting/drawing I shall always remember the worry as I watched over my little Shi Tzuh.