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Badger in training

Every once in awhile a friend of mine will send me an email asking if I can do a quick little illo for them. If I have the time I usually say yes because it’s a fun way to spend an hour or two. My friend Erin is running Crazylegs this year and wanted to make a little shirt for her little one so she asked me to give it a go. After some messy sketches and a quick round of revisions, we came up with something simple and fun.

Super quick and messy sketches.
Super quick and messy sketches.
Tried side view first but turned him to face the front to make him feel a bit more like baby Bucky
Tried side view first but turned him to face the front to make him feel a bit more like baby Bucky

 

 

Khoi modeling the final design.
Khoi modeling the final design.
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Making Marks – Week 1

Paintings in various states of progress
Paintings in various states of progress

Week 1 of my making marks project has flown by. It’s been really great to sit down with a pencil and paint brush at the beginning of each day and just draw something. The week evolved from strawberry girl to a bunch of little pixies riding random animals.

photo from beforethey.com
photo from beforethey.com

My original inspiration for the pixie riding the deer was the Tsaatan people of Mongolia who herd and ride reindeer. I’ve always been fascinated by people who domesticate animals other than horses for riding. What is it that makes a horse more ridable than another animal? In any case after starting down this particular rabbit hole it got a little out of hand, jackalopes, cats, ostrich…

Ostrich Scout
Rabbit Warrior
Cat Rider
Forest Rider
Wild Ride

Happily, most days I found that once I sat down and started painting I didn’t really want to stop so a few days produced more than one painting. I’ve also found myself thinking about my paintings throughout the day and wanting to redo and refine some of the themes into more cleaned up prints. I’ve started on a few versions based on the paintings and I will probably do a few more. They’re not quite ready to be turned into prints but they are working there way there.

WIP for possible Prints?
WIP for possible Prints?

My biggest frustration with the process so far is my lack of finesse with real media. My brush strokes aren’t as exact as I’d like and sometimes the results are not entirely what I was expecting – but then again that is kind of the point. Practice, persistence and experimentation. The other thing I’ve encountered is I don’t know what products I like yet. I haven’t found a white that is a good consistency for painting the way I like to paint – which is a problem when you’re only painting in black and white. I have a few products on order to try so hopefully I’ll figure out a remedy for that one soon.

All in all I think this week has been super motivating so I’m looking forward to next week, I might even play with some color.

If you like any of this week’s paintings you can have one for your very own for just $5 in the shop.

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Making marks – a new project

I’m starting a new daily project which I’ll be chronicling a little bit here and probably a bit more on Instagram either here or here. (still not sure whether two instagrams is a good or a bad idea.)

The rules are simple, every day I will draw something new. There are no real restrictions on medium or theme except that it cannot be digital. Basically it’s an excuse (and a daily reminder) to put some marks on paper.

With such loose restrictions you might wonder why I even bother calling it a project – but to me a project is about making time and intention. I usually have the best of intentions to get out my supplies and play around a bit but often it’s easier to just visualize myself doing that while I continue to sit on the couch, surf the web and watch hulu. By publicly declaring my intent I’m hoping this little exercise will provide a bit of motivation.

Black & White Doodles
A bit of my current studio walls

Over the course of the last few months I’ve found myself drawn more and more to monochromatic drawings oftentimes incorporating nature or geometric shapes (and lately pixies) so I’m excited to dive a bit deeper into those themes and see what comes out.

Part of my reason for starting Manka in the first place was to have an open space to experiment and explore whatever strikes my fancy and take you down the rabbit hole with me. This will be the start of that little journey.

In addition, rather than keep these drawings to myself closed up in my studio I thought I would offer them up to whoever might want them. Each one will be $5 including shipping and you will be able to purchase them in the shop here.

Strawberry Girl
I started today so if you fancy the little strawberry girl above, you can grab her here