Sunday, March 24, 2013

figures and head studies

1 minute gestures
1 minute gestures
1 minute gestures

5 minute study
5 minute study

10 minute study

10 minute study

10 minute study

20 minute study

Some gestures and quick head studies from my figure drawing class.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wee granny sketch

Sketch I did today for a story I'm working on.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Calendar of Tales: December

This is the image I've submitted to Neil Gaiman's Calendar of Tales Project. It's the month of December, the month I was born in. :)

Here's the story it's for:

Summer on the streets is hard, but you can sleep in a park in the summer without dying from the cold. Winter is different. Winter can be lethal. And even if it isn't, the cold still takes you as its special homeless friend, and it insinuates itself into every part of your life.
Donna had learned from the old hands. The trick, they told her, is to sleep wherever you can during the day – the Circle line is good, buy a ticket and ride all day, snoozing in the carriage, and so are the kinds of cheap cafes where they don't mind an eighteen year old girl spending fifty pence on a cup of tea and then dozing off in a corner for an hour or three, as long as she looks more or less respectable – but to keep moving at night, when the temperatures plummet, and the warm places close their doors, and lock them, and turn off the lights.
It was nine at night and Donna was walking. She kept to well-lit areas, and she wasn't ashamed to ask for money. Not any more. People could always say no, and mostly they did.
There was nothing familiar about the woman on the street corner. If there had been, Donna wouldn't have approached her. It was her nightmare, someone from Biddenden seeing her like this: the shame, and the fear that they'd tell her mum (who never said much, who only said "good riddance" when she heard gran had died) and then her mum would tell her dad, and he might just come down here and look for her, and try to bring her home. And that would break her. She didn't ever want to see him again.
The woman on the corner had stopped, puzzled, and was looking around as if she was lost. Lost people were sometimes good for change, if you could tell them the way to where they wanted to go.
Donna stepped closer, and said, "Spare any change?"
The woman looked down at her. And then the expression on her face changed and she looked like... Donna understood the cliché then, understood why people would say She looked like she had seen a ghost. She did. The woman said, "You?"
"Me?" said Donna. If she had recognised the woman she might have backed away, she might even have run off, but she didn't know her. The woman looked a little like Donna's mum, but kinder, softer, plump where Donna's mum was pinched. It was hard to see what she really looked like because she was wearing thick black winter clothes, and a thick woollen bobble cap, but her hair beneath the cap was as orange as Donna's own.
The woman said, "Donna." Donna would have run then, but she didn't, she stayed where she was because it was just too crazy, too unlikely, too ridiculous for words.
The woman said, "Oh god. Donna. You are you, aren't you? I remember." Then she stopped. She seemed to be blinking back tears
Donna looked at the woman, as an unlikely, ridiculous idea filled her head, and she said, "Are you who I think you are?"
The woman nodded. "I'm you," she said. "Or I will be. One day. I was walking this way remembering what it was like back when I... when you..." Again she stopped. "Listen. It won't be like this for you for ever. Or even for very long. Just don't do anything stupid. And don't do anything permanent. I promise it will be all right. Like the YouTube videos, you know? It Gets Better."
"What's a you tube?" asked Donna.
"Oh, lovey," said the woman. And she put her arms around Donna and pulled her close and held her tight.
"Will you take me home with you?" asked Donna.
"I can't," said the woman. "Home isn't there for you yet. You haven't met any of the people who are going to help you get off the street, or help you get a job. You haven't met the person who's going to turn out to be your partner. And you'll both make a place that's safe, for each other and for your children. Somewhere warm."
Donna felt the anger rising inside her. "Why are you telling me this?" she asked.
"So you know it gets better. To give you hope."
Donna stepped back. "I don't want hope," she said. "I want somewhere warm. I want a home. I want it now. Not in twenty years."
A hurt expression on the placid face. "It's sooner than twen--"
"I don't care! It's not tonight. I don't have anywhere to go. And I'm cold. Have you got any change?"
The woman nodded. "Here," she said. She opened her purse and took out a twenty pound note. . Donna took it, but the money didn't look like any currency she was familiar with. She looked back at the woman to ask her something, but she was gone, and when Donna looked back at her hand, so was the money.
She stood there shivering. The money was gone, if it had ever been there. But she had kept one thing: she knew it would all work out someday. In the end. And she knew that she didn't need to do anything stupid. She didn't have to buy one last Underground ticket just to be able to jump down onto the tracks when she saw a train coming, too close to stop.
The winter wind was bitter, and it bit her and it cut her to the bone, but still, she spotted something blown up against a shop doorway, and she reached down and picked it up: a five pound note. Perhaps tomorrow would be easier. She didn't have to do any of the things she had imagined herself doing.
December could be lethal, when you were out on the streets. But not this year. Not tonight.

Inspiration for the December Tale
@neilhimself asked:
"Who would you like to see again in December?"
@Geminitm replied:
"My 18 yo-runaway-self so I can show her that I find someone to love & own a home of my own - it did get better."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just say no......

Along with Shallow Thoughts, I'm going to be doing a series of different themed posts to exercise my story-telling ability. Today is the first post for Just Say No, where I go over the reasons behind what I consider to be bad ideas.

Today's Just Say No......

Part 2 for "Rockets" coming soon

Morning warm-ups: 03/05/13

30 seconds

1 minute

1 minute

morninig warm-ups

Warm-up Drawings from yesterday morning
30 seconds

2 minutes

2 minutes

Monday, March 4, 2013

Landscapes this weekend

Here are some landscape paintings from this weekend. The first is from driving through the Arizona badlands. The second is Mt. Olympus at sunset.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Meditation" watercolor figure

I really need to get back into doing watercolors. It's been a while since I've done them.