up late/early?

I’m up messing about on my computer, I want to work out characters for a childrens story I hope to write and illustrate for my college project. I am not sharing what it will be called or the scenario. And given my bad grammar here I dont even know if I will be able to do it. But the saying goes that we all have at least one book in us. Mine might be a bit musty and old fashioned! I think I need dragging into the 21st century. I also want to find some watercolour sketches I painted years ago to illustrate this (its a very old project) wish me luck.

Dragon digitally

I’m working on a series of images of dragons for a college project. Working towards a final depiction of a dragon for my proposed children’s book.

Thus started out as a bit of glittery painting I’d called dragon skin. Then I mirrored it so it was symmetrical. Finally I drew features on it symmetrically using a digital sketching app. I like the idea of amalgamating digital and analogue art.

Dragon heads

Thinking about dragons and how they look? For a mythical beast there are lots of ‘species’. Ancient Chinese and Japanese, medieval dragons battled by saints, dragons in stories by authors like Anne McCaffrey, films like ‘ how to train your dragon’, with a dragon with a catlike head (toothless).

Then, logically, the wings wouldn’t really get it off the ground. But a mythical beast would be magical and easily able to fly. How about having wings like a dragonfly? Gossamer and transparent? And does the dragon have a scaled body or could it have fur?

Lots to think about!

Cat dragon

Why can’t a dragon be a bit like a cat? Add some wings and a longer tail for balance. I’m going to write a story for college and the main character is some style of dragon. I want it to be friendly and beautiful. I think I would add scales. Maybe this will be the final idea. I will have to think about it.

Dragon design

My final major project for college will probably be a story about a dragon and an adventure with it. I wrote a story about twenty years ago but when I asked friends what they thought I decided it was too wordy, more like a novel. Not funny enough. So it’s sat on my computer and each time I have upgraded my system I’ve copied the file so I’ve never lost it.

I won’t tell the story, but I thought of it as a tale to tell my friends baby daughter. I was going to get a book published that I could give to her when she was older. Sadly she is an adult now and I’ve lost track of her mum. Maybe that book will finally be finished. Anyway I’m experimenting with illustrations for it.

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Variations

Draw a repeating pattern (top left) of blue flowers (four petals joined into squares).

Add colours, use an app to mirror the pattern, use another one to distort the pattern of lines, or change hues. Erase some of the changes to get a variation in the pattern.

That’s what I do, start with something basic but slightly complex then change it either by hand or digitally. I’m hoping to use some of these patterns for my Final Major project at college.

I digress!

I’m writing an essay about illustration but I keep going off at a tangent. I have to talk about how signs and signifiers, icons and symbols affect the images. But I’m very interested in the causes of homelessness and that keeps creeping into the essay. I even quoted a poem by a poet called Seamus Fox, called ‘No Homeless here’. I had to take it out. I’ve also trawled through numerous books to try and explain semiotics and I’m really struggling. What do I do? I just keep pushing and trying. Sometimes digressing… Hard work.

Arrows or tall beach huts?

I like using post it notes and I saw these arrow shaped ones in the supermarket. I am going to use them in a project for my illustration course. It’s based on homelessness and I’m trying to show time going backwards to when people were safe and happy. I did see them as beach huts, but that doesn’t fit with what I’m using them for.

Every year thousands of people lose their homes for various reasons. They coukd be causing trouble. Or they might not be able to afford their rent, or have lost their jobs, been bereaved, had benefits cut or have mental health problems.

There are so many reasons for homelessness and I think it needs explanation. To many times homeless people are seen as causing their own problems instead of not always being responsible for them.

Book review : Persepolis

It’s rare for me to read a book from cover to cover these days, and apart from reading Asterix the Gail books as a child, I have never read a graphic novel before.

This book was a revelation. It taught me things about life in Iran that I could never have got from the media. I guessed at some of the political issues around Iran but didn’t know much. This graphic novel tackles the early life of Marjane Satrapi and how she was affected by the Iranian revolution. It is honest talking about how people and particularly women have been repressed by the regime. It made me think.

The illustration is clear and understandable, the text clear. It is well written and engaging. Difficult themes are tackled with some graphic images of war, but they are not excessive. The support, and sometimes lack of it, from family and friends is explored.

I was engrossed. I read it from cover to cover. Now I have passed it on to my hubby.

Rating five stars. (Even though I don’t do reviews).

Prevaricating

At the moment I’m stuck with my college work. I have ideas, I seem to know what I want to do. But I have a fear of failing. The heat doesn’t help. I’m ending up doing things at 3am, but it’s not enough. Words circle in my mind, like vultures, ready to sink down on the ruin of my ideas. Prevarication prevents failure. I don’t feel I can do a good enough job.

I must start. By writing this down I’m trying to give me a kick start to things. I need to order a couple of books, but I’ve even held back from doing that. I know I can do the course, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t get higher marks. I have passed each semester though. Why would this one be different? Easier to think than write…