100-day project: Faces [5-6/100]

Busy days here in the heatsink of Seattle, news helicopters floating over the neighborhood for the protests. It’s a wild world, hopefully on the verge of a better one. I’m just at home half-assing home improvement projects and melting into a puddle of irritable, sunburned sweat.

Here are the two faces I drew on Friday and Saturday to stay on top of this 100-day project. My worry is that if I skip a day in order to do something extra good the next, I will not remember to get back on the face-a-day train. What’s the difference between knowing your limits and fearing them?

A pencil sketch of a middle aged white man with glasses and a jocular expression.
A sketch of one man in a photo from Shorpy.com, 7-25-2020. From “Bovey Blasters: 1941” by John Vachon, https://www.shorpy.com/node/25498
a pen sketch of an actor shouting in anger
A sketch of the actor who once played Shaggy in “Scooby Doo”, seen here as an accused murderer and angry cuckold in “Twin Peaks: The Return”. Papermate Flair Pen, 7-26-2020

100-Day Project: Faces (4/100)

Today was a good day. Even though I am currently not employed, in the traditional sense, I am very engaged. I had an interesting dream before I woke up, and despite the heat and discomfort of the hot night I was very productive: Fixed up a job-seeking portfolio page, penciled a 50-foot panorama I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, sketched a bunch of shoujo eyeballs (Shoujo: Japanese teen girl-targeted comic books), made a delicious BLT sandwich…and scored two absolutely CHOICE garbage gems: a working, if rusty, push mower; and a vintage swiveling vinyl fashion chair that is the perfect height for my sewing efforts–no more turning my body into a question mark to thread the machine’s needle!

With all this going on, I nearly forgot to do my face a day, but I made it happen–behold:

Close up of anime style female character with sparkling eyes
Shoujo eyes study, Clip Studio Paint, 7-23-2020

For this I dipped my toes in the Japanese comic book-centered digital drawing software program, Clip Studio Paint. I’m not sure I’ve got the hang of it yet, and I’d like to add some more airbrushing effects to really sell that classic 1970s shoujo anthology cover look, but for today I think it’s all right.

Sewing So Far

I’ve been obsessed with sewing for many years, but was very intimidated. While I was bored out of my skull in Alaska (I don’t hike or ski or fish, it was a little rough that winter), I used my landlady’s 1930 Singer to make a dress and a skirt and a hat. I still wear the hat!

Since then I’ve made minor but consistent progress. But man, since the global catastrophe canceled everything, I’ve sewn a lot more.

Here is a gallery of everything I’ve sewn and can find the pictures of, up until now: August 4, 2020.

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100-day Project: Faces [3/100]

I’ve been wanting to draw a floorplan, but I needed to fulfill my commitment to this project, so I mashed them together in Adobe Illustrator.

As I went along, it became more and more a version of my dream home–entertainment space, lots of reading nooks and natural light– and wheelchair-friendly to boot!

A vecotr drawing of a floorplan that looks like a human face.
Face Floorplan, Adobe Illustrator, 7-22-2020

100-day Project: Faces [2/100]

I love to watch the CBS movie-of the week series Columbo, starring Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo. It’s very appealing to watch a competent detective character go head to head with a legitimately bad person and win through sheer working-joe legwork and psychological gamesmanship–too many TV detectives rely on magical leaps of logic that place them outside the realm of mortal men. Then again, too many shows have cops in them.

Because it amuses me and my friends, I’m drawing Columbo so I can put him on a box of cereal marked “Columb-Os”. Here is my progress so far–chalking this up to my 100-day project because I need to stop working for the day.

half-finished, close up portrait photoshop painting of Peter Falk as Columbo
Columbo detail, photoshop, 7-21-2020

Color doodles in Illustrator

I got used to using Adobe Illustrator when I was a young newspaper graphic designer, using it to build all manner of ads, coupons, and promotional graphics. It’s really fun once you get the hang of it, would recommend.

(Oh man, I just had a horrible memory of listening to a much cooler graphic designer who worked at a skateboard apparel company tell me that he would routinely design 60-page catalogs in Adobe Illustrator, something it was not built to do and at the time not really capable of doing. [for reference, you should use a document design program like InDesign] I was appalled, and frankly, concerned for his health. I hope he’s doing better now.)

Anyway, I made some color doodles while trying to make this blog yesterday. I had fun and they look cute.

Color field of lurid wavy wide green and orange lines.
Inspired by the fashions of the ’60s. Color doodle 1, Adobe Illustrator, 7-19-2020
Color field of a teal background with lime green spots scattered below wide pink ribbons looping from left to right asymmetrically, and a top later of thin white wavy lines running parallel across the entire field.
Inspired by the fashions of the ’80s. Color doodle 2, Adobe Illustrator, 7-20-2020
Color field of lurid green and white lines snakingback towards and away from themselves with sharp angles on a purple background.
Inspired by the fashions of the ’70s. Color doodle 3, Adobe Illustrator, 7-20-2020

I hope to do more later, but we’ll see.

Peace on Earth

My beloved uncle Dan, a Vietnam veteran, anti-war activist, and all around wonderful person, asked me two Christmases ago for an original artwork with the theme of peace. I was very happy to deliver it to him yesterday, at long last. I’m very proud to know Dan Gilman and I’m gratified he liked the artwork, even though it took me forever.

A snapshot of an older white man wearing a face mask and glasses and blue shirt, posing in the bright sun with a framed peice of artwork depicting a number of hands stitching together a quilt with a peace sign on it.
Gracious gift recipient Dan with his new wall art.
Snapshot of unframed artwork depicting a number of hands stitching together a quilt with a large peace sign design.
The completed artwork! Dan’s Peace Art, acrylic ink and paint and colored pencil on bristol board, 7-19-2020


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100-Day Project: Faces [1/100]

In the past, I’ve struggled to complete projects that takes longer than one sitting. But, life circumstances have changed a lot since COVID-19 began, and I feel it’s worth a try to build in a daily art practice with a “100-Day Project.” This will be a challenge, but if I succeed, well–that’ll be something!

I hope to learn more about the materials available to me, but my main goal is to find joy in the experiment, to connect with people in some way (remember other people? I miss other people.), and to practice staying organized.

If I am successful, and do not miss any days due to illness or whatever, I will complete this 100-day project on November 4, 2020.

Pencil drawing with watercolors, a self-portrait of a brunette white woman with freckles and a double chin, wearing her hair back so it looks short in the picture and an orange shirt. She has brown eyes and a labret piercing centered under her lower lip.
Self-portrait, watercolor, 7-20-2020. 1/100 in a series (THAT’S THE PLAN ANYWAY)

I think it’s a bit serious in expression, but when in doubt, draw a self-portrait, right?

I used notebook paper, which doesn’t work very well with the toy watercolors, in the hope these low quality materials would help me keep from getting too precious with it.

This took about an hour, sitting in the shade on the deck we’ve built next to the trash cans. One down, 99 more to go!

And thus, a blog was born.

As all wordpress websites begin, so does this: Hello, World!

I generally find blogging difficult, but after two years putting out a biweekly newsletter (you may sign up here if you prefer reading emails to looking at websites), I think that this time I can actually do it. After all, I’ve poured so much attention into Facebook and Twitter that my phone is now legally a horcrux, so surely I can spread that mess around to a service I pay for myself, right?

Anyhow, I will make an art post tomorrow. But for now, hello, and thank you for joining me on this blogging journey.