Before and After #1

Hello once again and welcome back. Monday has once again reared it’s ugly head. Hopefully you all had a fantastic weekend. I spent Saturday drawing many caricatures. Find out more info about that from our blog post last Friday. This week, I wanted to debut a new segment. I’ll look to post this every Monday. In this segment, which I am calling “Before and After”, I look at a finished piece of art as well as the sketch that inspired it.

I’ve been in the habit of always keeping a sketchbook. Sometimes, I have been disciplined enough to finish one every month. My current sketchbook has been “Live” (what I call the current book that I am trying to fill) since October 2018. I’m a little past the halfway point of filling it. Since I have gotten back into daily life drawing, it shouldn’t take long to finish it. There are many important reasons to keep a sketchbook and draw in it often. My ideals on that will come in a later blog entry.

For this first edition of “Before and After”, I pulled a piece of art that I completed back in 2017. It seems like many Moons ago. When I am doodling in my sketchbook, I often don’t think much about what will make a fun, finished piece of art. 99% of the time I am just getting ideas out of my head and onto paper. Sketchbooks can be an amazing playground for improving drawing skill as well as a place to enjoy creative freedom. This is the place to try all of the wildest ideas you can think of. The best sketchbooks are the ones filled with page after page of experimental art.

One day, while working on a tan-toned sketchbook, this gem was doodled. It was a simple piece. Just a small cartoon of a woman sipping from a cup of coffee. One of my [self-admitted] biggest flaws is my tendency to not push the animation in my characters. I’ve known this for years and it is something I try hard to work on. This piece is simple, but I loved her pose. She just seemed content. Happy with life. After the drawing was complete, I added the phrase “Pumpkin Spice is Life”. This was doodled in the fall and we were in the midst of Starbuck’s annual pumpkin spice latte craze.

Pumpkin-Spice-Sketch
Sketch – “Pumpkin Spice is Life” – ©2017

This doodle caught my eye. As I flipped through this sketchbook, this was one that I kept returning to. Seeing as I saw something in this piece, I decided to finalize it. It was scanned and imported into Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. After several hours, I had a finished piece. It was a ton of fun adding textures and playing with colors. Once it was complete, I tweeted it to Starbucks. The hope was someone would see it and use it and pay me lots of money. That didn’t happen but I was happy with the piece nonetheless.

Pumpkin-Spice-Is-Life-8x10
“Pumpkin Spice is Life” – ©2017 – Timid Lion Digital – 8×10

For me, sketchbook art is hugely important to the artist. Not only is it a place to practice your craft, it is a place to experiment. You can do no wrong in the pages of your sketchbook and you shouldn’t be afraid to try anything. Lining the shelves in my studio are dozens of art books. What I have found is that my own sketchbooks bring me as much inspiration as any of the other art books that I own. You never know which of your ideas will spark something in you. Doodle. Have fun. Draw. Write. Even if you don’t fancy yourself an artist, go grab a cheap sketchbook and put something in it everyday. You won’t regret it. Until next time. So long everybody.