Quiet Sunday

The daily sketch:

20200112_151807.jpg

After yesterday’s sketch, where I used shadow incredibly sparingly, I wanted to try a sketch that used more drastic contrast, so I found a reference photo of a model in dark shadow and gave that a shot.  It didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but this is after two reworkings, and is a vast improvement over the sketch that was on the page when I first laid my sketchbooks down (I then returned to it after lunch, with a clearer head).  I’m beginning to realize that time and persistence are probably the two greatest determiners of whether or not a piece I’m working on will be halfway decent or not; I don’t have great fluency yet, but returning to a piece over time does, eventually, yield better and better results.  I think I’m going to find reference pics that will allow me to work on light/dark values for the next few sessions.

Today Andy, Bear, and I headed into Waltham to meet his cousin Janice, her husband, and their daughter while they moved her back into her dorm.  We met up at a small Thai restaurant — the kind of hole-in-the-wall with six tables and a storefront right on the sidewalk (step up off the curb into the dining room) — and had an enjoyable lunch.  Janice is an illustrator, and came bearing a gift for Bear, a book she had illustrated called The Little Esrog, which Bear received enthusiastically (for a kid his age, he is incredible gracious when receiving gifts… and he genuinely likes books).  We were late getting started on bedtime routine tonight and it’s a text-rich book, so we won’t be reading it until tomorrow, but Bear is looking forward to it.

Besides that, which was a worthwhile diversion I was happy to have had the chance to share in, today was frustratingly stagnant.  I dressed in gym appropriate attire for our lunch date (black leggings and a nice black-and-white tee), and then stupidly pulled on my boots before leaving the house, and didn’t realize it until I was literally walking down the interior corridor to the gym (luckily Andy and Bear were right next door grocery shopping, but still.  I was — and still am — incredibly angry at myself for such a stupid mistake, and generally frustrated that I didn’t get to have my workout today).

I came home feeling drained, but dragged myself through putting away groceries, cooking dinner, folding the week’s laundry, and packing for Arisia (all our clothing, at least; anything I wont need between now and Friday).  I’ve just been generally down and lethargic this weekend, just very low energy.

On a positive note, last night I opened Google docs and clicked on a few unfinished fanfics from last year.  Two of them I had been working on a bit in November and still had their general shape in my mind, but I was reminded of how silly, self-indulgent, and fun they were, and how I really should continue them just for the hell of it… and then I opened another one that I hadn’t touched since July.  Crowley-centric, in the Good Omens fandom, and something I had struggled with and absolutely hated every word as I commited it to paper (I had been reading a lot of GO fanfic at the time, and it felt like my prose just didn’t hold up to some of the amazing authors in the fandom)…

…But, oh my God.  It was so much better than I remembered it being.  For a first draft, not edited or combed through or revised, it was surprisingly sharp and focused.  It wasn’t the pinnacle of the craft, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a solid piece of writing, and I can’t believe I agonized and self-flagellated so much over that story.  It made me really hopeful that I might actually return to and finish it, possibly after the con (there’s a GO panel I’m attending that I’m hopefully will rev up the fandom in me).

Oh, and the con is on Friday.  I’ll probably reinstall WordPress Mobile on my phone so I can post, at the very least, my daily sketches, but there may be a four-day stretch of little other than that.  I’m sure that comes as devastating news.

Hoping Monday is gentle with you all, with something enjoyable waiting for you at the end (for me, it’s a cup of tea, a 9 pm bedtime, and a stack of trashy magazines to read with my husband).

Sunday, (Fan)day

My daily sketch:

20200105_184115.jpg

Not happy with this sketch; I actually generally dislike all the human figures I draw (which is why I’m trying to make it a priority to draw more of them, because I need the practice).  My biggest issue, as I’ve said, is proportion, and, going sort of hand-in-hand with that, perspective.  I have trouble conceptualizing forms in space in the abstract, so I absolutely have to have a reference photo, and because my sense of proportion is off, it never ends up resembling the reference and I end up just feeling discouraged.  I hate how hard it is for me to be okay with not being good at drawing things; this was, again, a sketch I wanted to sort of sweep under the rug.  I’m not.  I’m owning it.  And I’m going to draw more and more human figures, because that’s the only way I’ll get better.

I was excited to see, when the schedule went live tonight, that Arisia is having a few “figure drawing” panels/workshops; the timing really seems like kismet, given my resolve as of late to get better at art.  One of them will actually be the first panel I attend on Friday night, and I’m excited.

Actually, I’m excited the Arisia schedule went live, full stop.  This is late for them, and I’m thrilled by some of the panels and offerings.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet on this iteration of the blog but I’m intensely interested in fandom culture, and I’ve been attending fan conventions for eleven years.  Arisia is, by and far, the favorite of the cons I’ve ever been to.  This is my seventh Arisia, and I’m just as excited as the first year.

Today was oddly Arisia-centric.  Along with going to the gym (and woo, what a workout that was), my only foray out of the house today was to Savers, to try to round-up the necessary accouterments to put together a Crowley cosplay.  Good Omens was a huge fandom for me in the summer of 2019, so much so that I had a Good Omens-centric Tumblr and read more fic in that one fandom over the summer than I’ve read in all my fandoms over the prior six months, I kid you not.  I was lucky enough to be gifted his sunglasses over the holidays, and thought it’d be relatively easy to find the other pieces —  grey slacks, a vest, a blazer.

Sadly, it was not.  I might try again next week, but I’m not going to pretend I’m not a bit discouraged.  I don’t do cosplay generally, I just don’t have the time or the money (or really, the inclination in general, though I do love cosplay-watching at cons, and have deep respect for talented cosplayers), but Crowley, I don’t know.  Crowley was special to me.  I gorged myself on Crowley-centric fic over the summer, particularly the “Crowley Was Raphael Before He Fell” and “Genderfluid Crowley” tags over on AO3, and I was really looking forward to putting together something for the con.  Maybe I still have a chance.  We’ll see.

Back to work tomorrow, and Bear’s first day back at school.  I’m almost done my micron pen piece, so I might work on it and possibly finish it tonight.  It’s not perfect, but I’m still thrilled with how it’s come along.

Here’s to a good work week.