An artist friend lent me his brand-new book on pastels and today I started reading it. It is a very useful and easy to understand book which is very helpful for beginners like me. I applied the techniques on charcoal and Derwent Inktense although I also plan to use pastels later on. Right now I am too in love with Inktense.
The first drawing practice was of grapes and bananas. Here is my attempt. Since I am using Inktense, I have the choice of adding water to the colors afterwards, which I did.
One day while I was on my way to the dentist, and riding a jeepney on a hot Friday afternoon, my earphones plugged in and playing The Stone Roses' Love Spreads thereby effectively drowning out the cacophony of street noises, a little fantasy came unbidden to me. Maybe it was the song. Maybe it was the unexplainable surge of optimism in my heart. Maybe it was the lingering memory of something that put a smile to my face.
It was a little love story fantasy and somehow I saw myself in it wearing a very specific dress. It was a dress I have been looking at every time I went to the supermarket. It was sold in one of the bargain stalls and did not even have a brand but it was nicely made. It was inexpensive too, except that I had been really scrimping for England and monthly bills so I could not just buy things. I already got a new dress for my birthday last month (another inexpensive piece from the same stall) and another new one barely a month after seemed too extravagant.
However that little fantasy played repeatedly in my head and after the dentist appointment I found myself in the supermarket and gravitating towards that bargain stall.
I said to myself that if the dress was still there then I would buy it. It has been there since January and it was possible that it would have been bought already.
All the other dresses that were displayed with it were already gone. All sold out.
I couldn't find the fantasy dress.
One final sweep of the rack and there it was. My heart leapt.
I cleaned my house. More importantly, I finally got around to fixing the horrible mess of wires and cables behind the TV shelf. I finally extricated the broken DVD player and re-arranged everything. The vintage Star Wars poster that had languished in storage for years is now up on the wall. I finally got around to play my vintage Beatles LP and pleased to discover that it is still in good condition. I found a spot to display the pretty sleeve design of Heathen Chemistry, the Oasis album which I stumbled upon last Monday and could not leave the store without. It totally messed with my budgets and I am sacrificing a few meals in the process but... an Oasis LP! I have always been a Liam Gallagher girl. Champagne Supernova has been part of my life soundtrack way back in the 90s (and it still is today). In Heathen Chemistry, I love the song The Hindu Times.
My Derwent Inktense has opened up new ways of making art and creating illustrations for my fantasy novel which I started out last November via NaNoWriMo. I am in no rush to publish because I want it to be done well. I have decided it will be an illustrated novel and that I want it printed on "aged"-looking paper. Which means that actual printing will probably take a while and I will have to start with digital publishing if I want to get all the colors and images in. I will be self-publishing so I only have myself yelling at myself to get some work done everyday.
Here is the draft of my cover:
And here is my initial attempt at a map. I need one because the place is pure invention.
One of the key items in the story is an urn and I have imagined it to be this:
I find myself progressing faster when I added the illustration work alongside the writing. So it is like watching and listening at the same time and then somehow managing to take it all down on paper as the story unfolds. Rather tricky but also surprisingly motivating. The story feels more substantial because I have visual anchors. Besides, I have always loved the interplay between words and images and I am delighted to have the opportunity to use both in this story.
At some point I would like to be able to draw people because there are some scenes I would just love to portray. I can draw women but drawing men needs more practice. We'll see how that goes.
I might also begin on some illustrations for the poetry books and those I need to prioritize because they will be "released" ahead. By released I mean producing the book in high-quality PDF/e-book format and sharing a portion of the first volume for free, like a Kindle sample. Then the full volume can be available by order. I don't know yet how I will do the sharing and ordering but I guess I will just play it by ear.
This set of Inktense Blocks was an impulse purchase. Although it has been on my wishlist since August of last year, it was not a priority item. It is an expensive brand and work projects have been few and far between.
But there I was, standing in front of the display, and all of the sudden there was a surge of energy from the pit of my stomach and the next thing I knew...