Jun 30, 2014

A Pitiful Display...

Well, the 2014 30-Day Drawing Challenge has come to an end. And I absolutely sucked at it this year.
I had a feeling, initially, that I was going to struggle to get many daily challenges done, but I had hoped to produce more than the entirely pathetic sum total of seven pieces over the thirty days. But despite my best efforts, that was all I could muster.

Part of the reason that I have failed so miserably with the challenge is because I have a couple of other juicy commissions that are taking up a healthy chunk of my spare time. They are moving on a pace, but they will still hold my attention for a couple of weeks yet.
Another reason is because work at the bookshop is very tough at the moment. It's turning out to be a rather busy summer here in Galway, with a huge amount of tourists around (more, I feel, than last year, despite that being the year of Irish Tourism's big marketing push - 'The Gathering'). So I have found myself quite exhausted most evenings, and a million miles away from being capable of doing justice to these 30-Day Challenges.
So I'm going to chalk this year up to being the one that got away... to use a fishing term aptly, I think. I believe next year's challenge will be moving back to July and will return to being a 31-Day Drawing Challenge. Hopefully, I'll be able to get my ducks in a more manageable row for then and will be able to contribute more.
So, anyway, this year's final challenge is a continuing tradition, where the artist gets to chose to draw whatever they want. Here's what I've gone and done:
I started reading the Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time a few weeks ago, and am snatching the odd paragraph to read every chance I can get. But as with everything, time is an issue and as of writing this, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin have only just bid their farewells to Tom Bombadil (hey dol!) and are on the road to Bree.
I adore that world, and have long since wanted to produce lots of artwork concerning Middle Earth and its inhabitants. We shall see what the future holds, but I enjoyed doing this little portrait of Gollum as I see him (not unlike the movie version, but not as cutesy, I think).

I really like drawing on brown paper. Which is a good thing, because I just found a box of brown paper and card that I must have been hoarding when I worked at a bookshop in Melbourne all of those years ago.
Many book publishers and suppliers ship their books to stores with all sorts of packaging materials to help protect the books during transit. Some use those little foam 'peanuts,' others use bubble wrap, butcher paper, etc. Some use brown paper; some even use a really nice olive coloured paper.
Whenever I am on the book processing duty, I try and keep the brown and green paper, because it is great for life drawing and little portraits like Gollum. It gives me an opportunity to use my Karisma pencils (the brown and white in this instance) and some diluted white gouache as well. It's a nifty and quick system that was probably best used by the master, Alphonse Mucha; but several artists I admire still use it today (Justin Gerard, Travis Charest, Donato Giancola, to name a few) and I've been a fan of it for a long time.

Anyway, I think I'll leave it at that today. But I should be back in a few days with a post about my new obsession: ART PODCASTS!!!!!
See you then.


christian said...

A few years ago I re-read the trilogy. One thing that really struck me was the fear, suspense and feeling of dread that dogged the companions as they traveled. That did not come though in the movies, the fear that Fellowship had from always being hunted by a superior foe.

I have not seen the Hobbit. Eff that revisionist noise.

Jay Penn said...

I'm in full agreement, Christian. I honestly think that Tolkien should remain untouched by film or other dramatisations. It cannot be done right, it's just impossible. Thankfully, I have no trouble with images from the movies coming to mind while reading the books, I can thank Peter Jackson for diverting so often from the books in this respect, barely a page goes by without a discrepancy!
I think I'll attempt an Aragorn portrait next.