Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Sketchbook!

I love my sketchbook (Fabriano Classic Artist's Journal). But it is VERY ANNOYING TO SCAN. Anyway, this post is dedicated to my friend TED!, who if he didn't guilt me into doing it, I would probably still not have updated my blog, because I am SO BUSY! I'm preparing for two conferences right now. The SCBWI conference where I will be part of a Q&A panel and giving a short presentation, and the Game Developer's Conference, for which the game I'm working on has to be polished, and have slick marketing materials. I can't wait to show you guys the t-shirt I designed for the game!!! My first t-shirt! I believe I will be allowed to post up some art after the game launches, which should be before Oct 10, when the conference is.

So I have pet ducks now. Some wild ducks flew into our pond and my Toller tolled them. Now we are friends. Me or my husband visit and feed them everyday and feed them cracked corn. There has to be actual crack in the corn, because they wont eat anything else! I tried oats, peas, carrots - no. It has to be cracked corn or they turn their beaks up at it.

I'm kind of proud of the variety in my sketchbook. There's people, animals, and cars. There was a time where I would freeze if I had to draw a car.

Anyway, I'm getting fat. (At least I feel like it). All this overtime is preventing me from exercising as much as I should. So I'm going to go ride my stationary bike now. I hope you like my sketches!


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Amy Farrier Interview - "Work. Mess up. Work more."

Let me tell you about Amy. She's a friend and also an Austin illustrator. She's modest, smart, supportive, and talented. I adore her! Here is some insight into the person, her art, her process, and more!

1) What is your least favorite color and why?
I think every color can be beautiful in the right spot. I suppose my least favorite, as someone who works in watercolor, would be muddy colors (where you try so hard to create something interesting but end up with an opaque mess).

2) Have you ever fallen in love with a pencil? If yes, Tell me about the pencil. If no, tell me about what Mr. Right Pencil would be like.
I don't think I've ever had a special relationship with a pencil, though I do like to keep some sharpened 3Bs ready for action. Now pens, on the other hand, that's a whole different story. Staedtler pigment liners used to be my go-to pen for linework, but I haven't been able to find them anywhere the past couple of years. I switched over to nibs and ink. My favorite nib is one I found on etsy as a set of earrings made from antique British Royal Post Office pen parts. Turned out to produce the exact sort of line I was looking for; go figure!

3) Do you like hoarding art materials, or do you purchase things like paper and sketchbooks as you complete them? 
I definitely love to open a drawer and have plenty of watercolor paper of different weights/shades/sizes just ready to be painted on. And art supplies are so beautiful that it's hard not to become a collector (bottles of ink, paintbrushes, colored pencils...). I'm also lucky enough to live a few minutes drive from Jerry's Artarama, so I may be a little more stocked up than your average person; but not in a scary way.

4) If you could be a character in a children's book, who would you be, and why? 
Well, maybe Mary in The Secret Garden or Alice of Wonderland. I've always loved the idea of stumbling into another world or finding one behind a locked door.

5) If you left your sketchbook at the San Antonio Zoo by accident, and you only realized it half-way to Austin, would you drive back for it?
Unless is was for a specific project, I wouldn't go back for it. Mostly my sketchbooks are just caught moments or scribbles, and I like to think of a kid picking it up and thinking he or she had found something cool. Or even better, maybe the monkeys would discover their portraits and be excited.

6) When draw in your sketchbook, do you draw in order, from page 1 to the end? Or do you jump around? Do you date your entries?
I do draw in order. Though sometimes I skip the first page if I'm feeling creatively blocked by all the white space, then come back and do it later. Or never. And I rarely remember to write down the date, but I wish I did.

7) You are painting something. You need a number 8 brush. Unfortunately, you can only find a number 4 and a number 12. Do you go smaller or bigger? Why?
Bigger! It may be less perfect, but chances are that if I use a smaller brush, I'll focus too much on detail and lose spontaneity.

8) How many colors are in your palette? Which ones?
Seriously way too many to name, plus I've got two different watercolor palettes. But the colors I use most often are: cobalt blue, French ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt and raw sienna, transparent yellow, alazarin crimson, scarlet lake, and viridian green. And sometimes Payne's gray.

9) Who is your favorite living illustrator?
Well, I have so many favorites, but my biggest influence is Lisbeth Zwerger. I happened to look at a lot of her work when I first started up with watercolor in 2006; she's a master watercolorist, deeply original, draws incredible animals and people, and is always developing her style. And she's illustrated pretty much every fairy tale out there! 

10) If you could give one tip to aspiring illustrators in 5 words or less, what would it be?
Work. Mess up. Work more.

11) Brag about your illustrations. Tell me what you love about your own work.
Hmmm, this is a seriously hard request because anything I say sounds, well, braggy. How about if I tell you what I love about working. I love when the watercolor and linework come together to create the picture I have in my mind, and sometimes it does! And capturing funny, imaginary moments with animals (deer in smoking jackets, cranky cat pirates with a mission). Taking traditional watercolor subjects like birds and fruit, but making them look modern. Stuff like that.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Watercolor Time Lapse Painting of Illustration Friday's topic "Influence"

Hi readers :)
I have been so busy lately. I meant to post this up last week but I've been working a lot. It's cool tho, cos I like the job. I'm making art for a Facebook game! I can't wait to tell you more about it, but it's not ready yet. Soon though, I hope.
Anyway, click here for the time lapse video of last week's Illustration Friday painting.

I've been trying to nurture two different careers in art. One is in video games and one is in watercolor illustration. It's been kind of hard juggling both. Needless to say I am never bored. I always have something to do, something to work on. I guess that's not a bad problem to have when you like what you do. I am exhausted everyday, but I go to bed happy and ready to make more art the next day :)

Anyway, I apologize for not being as regular at posting as I was in the past. I have been sketching a lot, but nothing comes out post-worthy :) Unless you want to see really sloppy sketches. Do you?