Saturday, 23 January 2010

Walking the Beam in graphite and carbon pencil

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is clumsy, and this doodle takes a bit of explaining.

I was born with short Achilles tendons and had them -- well, let's say medically dealt with -- when I was three years old. Some of my earliest memories, unfortunately, are of sobbing to my mother that I didn't want to do the physiotherapy exercises that had been assigned to try to ensure that the tendons didn't contract again (and don't feel sorry for me about the sobbing. I was a weepy kid anyway). The whole tendon thing has led to a lifetime of being more or less clumsy and awkward in getting around.

One of the things I had to do regularly as part of the therapy was to attempt to walk a balance beam. Not the elevated type that they use for gymnastics; this was just the kind of thing you might find in a daycare's play area. For me it may as well have been three metres up and fifty metres long, though. I didn't have the balance or coordination to get all the way down most of the time, and my toe-scuffed shoes were always a testament to the fact that I often forgot to put my heels down when I walked.

Can you imagine having to actually remember to put your heels down when you walk? Even today I still occasionally find myself thinking "heel, toe, heel, toe" on my clumsier days...

Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds.

Kind of suits my overall weirdness, I guess.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Wilderness in... um...

Well, mostly graphite and carbon pencil with a bit of watercolour pencil thrown in just to be confusing. Or something.

This is a quick doodle for the Illustration Friday prompt wilderness. Quick because, frankly, it was all my head could take today. I could donate a headache to anyone who needs one. Seriously. I'd even pay shipping.

Um, anyway.

I know that some people out there might see wilderness (forests, specifically) as dark and forbidding places where something's always watching you. They can be dark, yes, and it's a pretty good bet that you're being watched by something when you're in a forest. I tend to think of it more as visiting someone else's neighbourhood rather than being in a forbidding place, though (erm... can you tell I spend a lot of my time teaching children about nature?).

And hey. If you wander around in someone else's human neighbourhood I'm pretty sure that you'll get watched there, too. Or at least noticed. It isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Asiatic Lily in watercolour and watercolour pencil

I'm getting a bit of flash artifact on this photo. Maybe I'll take the thing in to work and scan it later. If I remember.

Anyway, this is mostly just me playing. Not too much else to say about it except that it's a little weird that the parts that look like they were probably done with the watercolour pencils were done with a brush, and vice versa.

Do I like it? Eh. It's ok. Could be worse. At least it looks vaguely like a lily.

I suppose that's a thumbs up, then.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Spider and Damselfly in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is confined. I'm sure that this particular confinement isn't what the damselfly was looking forward to... but seen in a different way, it's a pretty important one for the spider.

I took the reference photo (photos, rather. I've combined two) for this doodle a couple of years ago at the nature centre where I work. I was out on one of the viewing decks in the Sanctuary when I noticed an orb weaver (not sure on the species, but then I'm sure most of you aren't spider nerds like I am so you probably don't mind) taking its prey out of the web. It was cool to watch.

No, really. It was.

Hey, I've already admitted that I'm a nerd.

This is, I think, the first spider I've done in pen. I've done plenty in charcoal and carbon pencil (click on the "Doodles" slide show on the sidebar if you're desperate to see a couple of them) but I can't remember ever doodling ink spiders. It's also my first real foray with the new Pitt pens I got for Christmas (last week doesn't really count as far as I'm concerned because I was just using the pen to outline). I was kind of surprised at just how different they feel from my Pigma Microns. I think I'll like them, though.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Wild Rose Hips in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is renewal. I'm killing two birds with one stone today because I'm at work at the Nature Centre and this doodle is for a display of fruit-bearing bushes that I've been working on intermittently for much, much longer than I'd like to admit. Funny how some things get pushed aside.


The way I see it, fruits are a plant's best chance for renewal. Not the only chance (when you start looking you find that plants actually have all kinds of sneaky ways to make new plants), but the only way to ensure that good ol' hybrid vigour.

And now I really should get back to work. Different work than doodling, that is.
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