03 July 2015

Every day in July

It's Day 3 already, and I missed doing days one and two. The prompt today was "desert life," so I decided to do a drawing of a desert hare, otherwise known as a black-tailed jackrabbit.

I usually draw a minimalist, contour drawing with pen and then supply the details with paint, but this time I decided to concentrate on making the drawing more complete. I was going to post that; but then I just couldn't resist painting those gigantic, translucent, apricot-colored ears because they're so spectacular. So here is my drawing...

and my painting:

For this subject (something with fur), I probably should have done my drawing in pale pencil so that there would be no hard edges when I went to paint fur, but…hindsight. I am in awe of people who have both the skill and the patience to draw wildlife and reproduce with pen or pencil each individual hair. That's not me! But I still admire them greatly.

01 July 2015

Reading is my religion

The last prompt for Every Day in June, for June 30th, was "religious icons, imagery." That one stumped me for a while, because those of you who know me will know that I am not religious, and that even if I were, iconography is a foreign concept, since I was raised in a Fundamentalist Christian church to believe that making images of religious figures was blasphemy! But I'm never one to shy away from blasphemy these days, so I started thinking about the concept: If I had a religion, what would it be? The conclusion I drew was that READING is my religion. So if reading is my religion, who are the religious figures who represent that faith to me? Authors!

But which one to pick? In the end, I went with a YA author with lots of iconography. One of the reasons I chose to portray "Saint Mags," or Maggie Stiefvater as she is known to everyone else, is that she is a person who lives large, and who is easily represented by the things in her life. I didn't include a few of them in the picture, for sheer lack of room and time, but in addition to being a fine writer of young adult fiction, she is also an artist (she just drew and is issuing a line of tarot cards based on her Raven Boys series), a musician (she plays multiple instruments and writes music), a wife and a parent to two children (Thing One and Thing Two, as she refers to them on Facebook), a one-time race car driver, and a keeper of many furry friends.

It also didn't hurt that her most recent YA book is called Sinner--I loved the juxtaposition of that book cover with the portrayal of her as Saint Mags.

So here is my post for June 30th--I didn't manage to do more than half the prompts this month, but I feel like at least I'm going out with a bang!

The raven is for Raven Boys; the 1973 Camaro is one of her beloved collection of muscle cars; the landscape reflects Virginia, where she lives; she cohabits with a herd of miniature silky fainting goats; this is her typical mode of dress (except for the halo); and Sinner is her latest novel. And this is a proper painting size, at 12x16. It took me about two hours to draw, and about six hours to paint (with breaks for drying…and reading, of course).

I'm not entirely happy with the coloration on the face and hands…but she IS an exceedingly pale person! I'm not sure her friends would recognize her from this portrait, but I hope so. That's what the iconography was for in all the old paintings--if you saw arrows in the chest, you knew it was St. Sebastian, even it it wasn't a good likeness. Personally, I prefer miniature fainting goats.

All hail READING.