21 May 2015

Everyday things in May

I'm jumping around the EDiM list this week because I was drawing "on location" so I drew things to which I had access--from my purse!

EDiM #14: Something you use every day…

I went to Burroughs High School in Burbank yesterday and the day before, to promote Teen Summer Reading. Julie, who runs the library there, invited me to come hang out during the lunch hour both days, and gave me a table on which I could spread out my flyers and brochures and poster for "Teen Meetup in the Burb."

Of course, teens being the busy and self-involved beings that they are, most of them walked past my table without a glance, making a beeline for their own seats, their friends, their homework, or whatever. So I pulled out my secret weapon--I got out my sketchbook and started drawing. In only a couple of minutes, I had a few kids gathered around the table saying "Oh, are you drawing? Can I see? Can I look through the rest of your sketchbook?" which was the perfect opportunity for me to say, "You can keep a sketchbook like this all summer!"

EDiM #20: Your wallet or billfold

"Oh, I can't draw," is a typical response, and I countered with "Of course you can! Come to our sketchbook journaling workshop (holds out flyer enticingly) and we'll teach you!"

So maybe this year, for the first time, we will have significant numbers of high school students (as opposed to 12-year-olds) at one/some of our programs. Not that we don't love our 12-year-olds, but it's so difficult to persuade the older teens to participate that we make an extra-special effort. Hope it pays off.

I have a big painting to work on this weekend, so I will probably get further behind with my EDiM drawings…but let us not lose sight of the point of the whole exercise, which is to get you to DRAW EVERY DAY. So I will consider any and all artistic efforts to count. And maybe catch myself up later--or just do the assignments I want to do! (Yes, I am more like my teenagers than not…)

17 May 2015

Two more for May

I started doing them out of order, although still within the ones I have missed. I'll get to them all eventually! Here are:

EDiM #13: The last thing you bought

Technically, that would probably be cat litter, but who wants to paint that? So instead, a skirt I just received in the mail from eShakti.com. It is just below knee-length, and is gathered/pleated onto a waistband and has wonderful rows of tucks around the bottom of the skirt, the bottom one decorated with a same-color tiny strip of flat braid. Their clothing is so creative. I started drawing it and realized I couldn't fit the whole skirt into my square sketchbook, drawing at the scale I had started, so instead I stopped and did a "detail" circle.

EDiM #15: Something you could throw (or give) away

This sweet potato has been waiting patiently on my counter to be turned into soup, and while it waited, hidden behind a large carton of rice milk for which there was no room in the cupboard, it decided that it was not done living yet. So it sent out a LOT of healthy sprouty leaves. Since I've heard it's not a good idea to eat potatoes after they have sprouted, I considered tossing it onto the compost heap, but then I thought better of it, looked up online how to grow sweet potatoes, and discovered that if I scrape these leafy things off the potato and put them in a shallow bowl of water to sprout, I can plant them and have my own plants. So into the water they go, and if they're ready this coming weekend, that's what I'm going to do!

16 May 2015

EDiM continues, slowly

It's not good when something you took on for fun and practice becomes more like a chore or job. I'm going to catch up with these this weekend and then perhaps it won't feel like pressure any more, it will feel like fun again! I really want to do #16 NOW, but I'm taking these in order, so here are:

#10: Something you can turn on/off

As a librarian, it is one of my tasks to get everyone in the library to turn these OFF. Ha ha ha. This one is mine, with a screensaver of my cat Dante in the background. I'm trying out a new technical drawing pen, called "LePen," and I'm liking it--it feels a little softer, smoother, and more flexible than my usual Micron. And it's cheaper! Always nice.

#11: A hat, cap, or other headgear

I wanted to draw the hat/cap/headgear ON someone, but the weather has been too warm for most people to wear hats, so I was just about to resign myself to drawing one of my hats on my coat rack when we had a rainy day and Hailey showed up to book club Wednesday night in her Dr. Who-inspired Tardis hat. I snapped a quick photo before book club started, and drew this when there was time. It was an odd pose, so I didn't get much of her face/expression, but so typical of a teenager--staring at her cell phone. In the library. See above.

Reproducing plaid is not one of my cultivated skills, so I phoned it in a bit--she had a plaid shirt wrapped around her waist, so the pattern was folded over a lot and therefore pretty random. And the hair shading? The top half of her hair is brown and the tips are blonde, it's not just a bad paint job!

A sweet girl, and a good sport to let me photograph and paint her.

10 May 2015

EDiM #8, out of order

I was too concerned with getting the reading log cover illustration completed to pay attention to the EDiM assignments, so here is #8--something with a handle, out of order, done quickly to fulfill the prompt. Hey, every single one can't be well thought out and lovingly crafted!

This was interesting, though, because when I glanced at the handles on this dresser, they looked symmetrical and identical on either side, but when I started to draw one, it was not, exactly. All the same elements were there, but there were a couple in different order, top to bottom, and one side had an extra flourish the other didn't have. (At first I thought I had just missed something, but no!)

This is from an old mahogany bureau that my mom painted turquoise back in the '80s. It sounds like sacrilege, but it's actually beautiful that way. Ruins the antique value, of course, but is perfect for the bedroom, where it has ended up as my clothes dresser, although I think it was perhaps originally a dining room sideboard meant to hold silverware and linens.

It's so dim in the bedroom that there wasn't much bouncing light to make this shine as metal. I probably should have preserved a few white highlights just to give it pizzazz, but as I said…quick and dirty.

And now I have to paint #10, "something you can turn on/off" for today and I will be caught up.

09 May 2015

EdiM #9: Reading Log

I keep saying I've done the last illustration for Teen Summer Reading, and then I realize there's just one more… I started getting my teen volunteers mobilized to label and stuff the "swag bags" we give away when we register the teens, and realized that the one thing I forgot to design and print to go in them is the Reading Log.

This is the little booklet in which the teens write down all the books they read over the summer; they get one ticket per item read, the tickets go into a jar at the Reference Desk, and once a week we have a drawing for $5 gift cards to Jamba Juice or Starbucks or In-n-Out for three lucky winners at each branch. It's a popular incentive!

The reading log should, of course, have a graphic on the front that relates to its purpose, which meant I had to do one more drawing. So I got a list of the top 20 teen fiction books at BPL this month, picked out a few with colorful covers, piled them up, and drew and painted them.

Instead of just picking for popularity, I should have thought ahead to the drawing and painting process, because I picked some covers that were hard to duplicate! Some came out well, and some not so much (there is a lot of Photoshop Elements retouching of little skinny letters here!), but I'm going with it, because I need that reading log to be printed and done!

I'm going to call this my EdiM #9, "something with an interesting label." A book cover isn't precisely a label, but I think doing portions of five of them should count for something!

08 May 2015

EDiM #7

An envelope. An envelope? Yawn. This one left me creatively stumped. People ended up doing some nice things, after I had found my solution, that I wish I had thought of--like the envelope from a sewing pattern for a stuffed bear, or a seed packet for flowers. But most people seemed as blasé as I was with this assignment. Anyway, here's mine:

06 May 2015

EDiM #6

Today's prompt was "something with bristles." I wish these prompts were more interesting--I have to work too hard at coming up with the unexpected. Paintbrush, obviously, or toothbrush, or scrub brush--some kind of brush. Some people did hedgehogs or pigs, some chose bristly mustaches, one woman did her own hairy legs (!). Since this is a flower, and fairly soft, I don't suppose it strictly counts as bristles, but it LOOKS bristly. So I'm going with it.

Jennifer Lawson inspired me to try some spatter. I think something that was not red might have read better--this looks like Dexter did it.