Wednesday, February 23, 2011

From Start to Finish: Drawing Children, Final Project

Hello :)

So you probably have realized that I've got a LOT of catching up to do, blog-wise anyhow. I haven't posted the past few weeks' worth of in-class drawings and homework for the Drawing Children course, and yet tonight we just had our very last class!

It was a great little journey, going from babies and hands to every size and shape of children we could draw. I highly recommend those who are considering a career in children's books to take a class similar to this one, or to read through some of Andrew Loomis' books, and to DRAW SOME CHILDREN. It certainly helped me a great deal!

But anyhow, I'm jumping ahead to our last project, because I'm super excited about it. After six weeks of child-drawing, and six weeks of learning more on how to make a world look more convincing, I'm pretty pleased with the quality of my work. Things just work better, now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing! And I will be backposting the previous weeks worth of work over the next few days.

So this is how I created the latest finished piece:

My original sketch, from our model in class.
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011

The girl needs a world to live in!
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011

Transferred onto Arches Hot Press watercolor paper.
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011

Windsor Blue watercolor wash.
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011

Base layer of color.
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011

More color, along with Caran d'Ache crayons.
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011

Added some Prismacolor pencilwork.
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011

I came up with a little poem to go along with the art, so I can submit to Spider Magazine! We'll see if I make it in (and I'll keep ya updated), but here's the final product:
© Melanie Linden Chan 2011
And since I will be taking the Spring and Summer off from CE classes, I will have time to work/finish my book dummy, submit it, prepare for the NESCBWI Spring Conference, and work on SuperSecretProject #2! All because I want to. Isn't that nice???

I think so! :D

Monday, February 21, 2011

Doodle Fun: Munroe Dairy Contest!

Hi there!

Munroe Dairy is doing a little contest for their 130th Anniversary. The theme? "If you could put a message on a bottle..." The winner will get their essay and/or art printed on all the milk bottles used for their delivery service! (or so I've inferred...) My aunt was kind enough to write the essay, and asked if I would be interested in doing some art to go along with it!
Let's hope we win, and YOU could see my art on your milk bottle every morning. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Creating Worlds & Drawing Children: Overlap!

Hello hello!

Well last week's batch of homework was an overlap between both classes! This was a grea time saver AND it allowed me to really focus on what I was drawing. Our assignment was to create a child character for one class, and a character with its environment in the other class.

So here's what I came up with. :)

yes! this is from my new sketchbook :)

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011
I'm not going to say too much about the little backstory on these characters and where they live, because I feel a real story brewing here and I would like to pursue it. I'll let you use your imagination for now!

Gotta run, so I'll post ya later! :D

Monday, February 14, 2011

Creating Worlds, Week 4: Motif

Hi there, and Happy Valentine's Day!

I didn't do anything creatively cute in honor of today, but I've got last week's Creating Worlds homework assignment to share with you. The only requirement was to create a world using a specific motif, or theme. As in "nature" or "technology" or "fill-in-the-blank."

Now a good way to understand what motif means, is to picture a fence. Based on its appearance, we can tell these things: What kind of fence is it? Where is this fence sitting? What is the fence used for? What time period or location is this fence from? Is there a decoration or embellishment on this fence that gives more meaning to it?

Depending on the kind of fence you pictured, you may have thought of a lot of other imagery that goes along with said fence. A chainlink could mean a prison or an animal shelter; a picket could mean a country lane; a rustic, splintery one could have come straight from an old Western movie. And there you have it, motif. Motifs are loaded with meaning and connections. And artists use them to further illustrate and convey what we want to our audience. We use these little clues to help us!

We were allowed to combine motifs to make our own, which is what I chose to do with my drawing. I originally wanted to do this super techy Steampunk motif mixed with an Asian motif- but that's not me. I couldn't even invent such a thing in my mind! Instead I went with my usual subject: a tree. But I mixed in Japanese and Chinese motifs with it, and came up with this sketch:

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011
And because it was so pretty, I wished it to be a painting, so I transferred it to cold-press watercolor paper and started washing in some color.

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011
And that is it so far! I'd like to finish the piece, but it's tough keeping up with two classes worth of homework, and trying to get them all to look like finished pieces, while working full-time (and doing an occasional load of laundry). I'm not making excuses; actually I've learned a lot from this particular instructor that "it is what it is. The art doesn't tell us you had a sick day. It's just itself."

So for now, I will leave it at that. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creating Worlds, Weeks 2&3: Shape Psychology & Line


Been a bit busy, so here I'm catching up...

In Week Two we talked about shape psychology, and how shapes affect or moods and feelings. It can be best described in Molly Bang's book: "Picture This: How Pictures Work" Our assignment was to draw two compositions, one that gives off negative feelings and one that gives off positive feelings, all based upon the shapes and lines that we use.

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011
The drawings aren't in a finished form- I'd rather paint them and add some neat characters before I consider them finished. But the assignment was complete in essence, so I will be working on them again in the near future.

Week Three was all about line, and the ways we use value and line choice to draw the viewer in or out. Texture is also a part of it. Good examples are found in Andrew Loomis' drawing books, and Maurice Sendak was one of the artists mentioned as well.

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011

Image Copyright Melanie Linden Chan, 2011
Once again, not one hundred percent finished! But I would like to paint this one as well, for my portfolio.

This coming week we are drawing a world that contains a specific motif, or theme. I'll post that one when it's finished in a few days! Well, off to draw some kiddos, see you soon! :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Doodle Time: EleFUNts!

Hi there!

In case you haven't heard, a new children's book store has just opened in Lexington, MA. It's called The Elephant's Trunk Bookshop! My friend's daughter is the owner, and as a good luck present her artist pals are all sending elephant art to decorate an empty section of wall. Here's what I did with acrylics and caran d'ache crayons:

There will be a Grand Opening celebration on February 19th, and they are also on Facebook!
If you happen to be an artist, and would like to participate (there is also a prize involved if you win!), here is the information on submitting (and you can email me if you have questions):

Please submit your 12 inch by 12 inch artwork of an elephant, in any medium, to The Elephant's Trunk Bookshop 1764 Massachusetts Ave. Lexington, MA  02420.   You can send it by mail or (better yet) stop by the bookshop and say hello!  Deadline for submissions is March 1st, 2011.

We will display your elephant art and ask our customers to vote for their favorite.  The artist whose elephant gest the most "favorite" votes will win a $50.00 gift certificate to the store.

Make sure to sign your piece and put your name, address, phone, on the back so we can contact you with the results.  Of course you'll be donating your artwork, but just think, so many parents and children will see your work, you will help make a great children's bookshop more magical and colorful,  and we hope that someday you will return for an author/illustrator visit when your book is published!!