The Great Catch Up – Part One

I have a really good excuse...

... but every time I use it, it sounds lame

It has been almost exactly one month since I started this project. Don’t worry, I’m not throwing in the towel already. I just had a lot of things come up, like a lot. Like those finals I mentioned, not feeling like drawing, family stuff…like the kids wanting my attention, ugh… end of the year field trips, finishing up all of my (10+) ceramics projects so I could get them in and out of the kiln before the semester ended. Oof. I make myself tired.

I don’t know what else to say about all of that other than I let my work pile up, and as I usually do when I am stressed and overwhelmed, I ignored it (much like I am ignoring the grocery shopping right this minute, because it’s Friday afternoon, and people lose 50 IQ points when they go to the grocery store on a Friday afternoon. It’s too peopley out there!). Because I ignore it, it just gets worse, the stress is increased, and then I have to go into crisis-mode to catch up. I have no one to blame but myself. Myself and the video gaming industry who provide far too many amazing avenues in which I can ignore all of my obligations.

I did attempt many times over the past month to art. Quite a few times I sat with my sketchbook open and my pencil in my hand. Though, the look on my face and the thoughts going through my head were about as blank as the paper. I think though, on average, I arted about once a week. That is still more arting than I had done before, so I shouldn’t complain, however… We won’t count the week that I was on the couch because I tweaked the muscles in my neck and back so hard that I couldn’t even turn my head to check for traffic while driving. Goose commented on my lateness at getting her from school that day. She said, “I think today I am the caboose,” which made me both laugh, and kind of sad because I don’t ever want her to think that the time of my arrival to pick her up from school equates to how much she is loved. I think this. I am ridiculous though, so it’s allowed.

Without further ado, the art! Well… the mediocre sketches and painting gone wrong! They have been reduced down pretty far from their original scan size, so hopefully your page load time wasn’t long.  I am also breaking this post down to reduce on the time that it takes to read it, and also keeping your very precious load time in mind. I know I’d be super peeved if it took longer than 2-5 seconds to load. This isn’t dial up anymore for crying out loud. (She types and then immediately wonders how many people reading this would actually remember dial up and land lines…)

The first thing that I sketched came about three days after I started this whole shin ding. My dedication is so big, y’all.

I had no idea what to do for some many days that not doing anything at all was stressing me out, so I just watched my daughter poking around on her tablet on our over-sized chair that I specifically wanted so I could sit just like she is in the drawing and read books. Guess how many times I’ve actually had the time and drive/desire to do that? :p

What I love: I really, really like the way that her legs look. They look like legs. They look like real human legs, too! I also like how it is obvious (to me at least) that her leg that is resting on the arm of the chair is sunken into the plushy pillow part. Also, I really like her foot. It came out super cute, and from what I’ve read and heard from artists on YouTube, feet are awkward and weird and hard to get right. I think I did a decent job…even though it is from a distance. It still looks like a foot to me.

What I can improve:  Proportions are hard. Like really hard. I did such a good job on drawing the chair the way that I saw it, that when I started putting Goose in it, she got kind of stretched out in the middle. The dippy part right after her chest to about where her tablet is sitting in her ‘lap’ is too long. If I had a drawing tablet, or you know, any idea how to manipulate an image within photoshop, I could just move her front half closer to her bottom half and then clean up the overlapping lines, but I have neither. 

Her hair also looks a bit weird. She had it in a ponytail (she does not have bangs/fringe) and it was smushed behind her head, so she looks both bald and like her hair is pushing her head forward at the same time. Also, I don’t like hair. I especially don’t like the weird scribble noodle mess that is supposed to be hair that I put on my poor child’s head.

I drew her face last because it was the most intimidating, and by that time, her face area was so small that the tip of my pencil took up most of it, so I just roughly put in features and hoped for the best. The best did not happen lol — on screen it does not look too bad. In person, it looks like I didn’t even try.  

Later the same day, I felt so much pressure to get caught up that I actually tried to do the math in my head of how many days I would have to draw two pictures a day in order to get caught up. Granted, this is only 3 days behind, so really, that math wasn’t too hard. I think by this point, one month and three days into the project, I’d need an advanced spreadsheet and a custom algorithm to figure it out. I’m just going to say I need to draw “a lot” before I’m caught up. I do really hope some of those ideas that I had when I only had time to write down what the idea was start looking more appealing.

Anyway… My husband and I were flipping through Hulu trying to find a show that we both wanted to watch, and could watch together. (His tastes lean more towards a lot of gore and things that make my stomach turn… and I’d rather watch cartoons lol) We eventually settled on Stargate SG-1 because I had heard of it and knew what it was about, but never actually watched it. The very first episode made me want to draw, so I pulled out my ghetto sketchbook and my phone and went to town.

For those of you who may not have seen the show, so far, it’s about a race of wormy parasite aliens that use human bodies as hosts and when they do so, the body becomes reliant upon them for survival because the immune system is destroyed (but they never, ever get sick or die of natural causes). OR if you’re pretty enough, you kind of just co-exist as a suppressed consciousness within your own body while the alien does whatever it wants. The aliens are, of course, more advanced than we are so they use their technologies to make people think that they are gods. I haven’t quite figured out if they pulled from Egyptian mythology or if the show is saying that our mythologies exist because of this race of aliens. Either way, they have very little regard for the human race and we’re pretty much cattle for their continued existence. But it made me want to draw Anubis after my husband and I had a conversation about all the different Egyptian gods and what their roles were and why so many of them are confused for another.

This drawing took me three episodes (without commercials!) to do. I couldn’t get the proportions right again. This is an actual jackal…well… I used about five different jackal pictures from a Google search as references. None of them quite had the pose that I wanted to I did the best that I could…and they have very long legs, and long ears and snouts? noses? muzzles? I think it’s muzzles. So no matter how I drew it, it looked super weird. They also have very fluffy tails. Fluffy is pretty dang hard to draw lol.

Obviously, the ‘cat eye’ and the symbol in the moon are style choices of mine to give the poopy dog more of a deity flair.

What I love: Everything really. I think this one is one that I really did well with despite all my struggles. I don’t know if you can see all the erase marks that I made, but I sure can lol — I actually wrinkled/creased the paper erasing and I thought that it was so thin (this is dollar store drawing paper after all) that I was worried I might erase a hole into the page. I do think my favorite part is his head. It just looks right.

What I can improve:  I’m not super happy with the front legs. I think all of the legs in general were the hardest because their legs are so long and skinny, it didn’t look right on the page. Especially how high up the “knees” come. I think I just need to draw more dogs.

Side note: The whole time I drew this I kept thinking about my childhood dog Charlie, who was part German Shepherd and part something with really long legs. Maybe I’ll post a picture of him sometimes. He was cutie faced.

Okay, this post is long enough. On to the next one!! …Monday… Because there are eight more after these and I’m not going to have any brain power left if I write them all today.

May 17, 2019

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