Art Project March

This is what I did in March.
Unsure as to what this was about? Check the pitch.
This version shows everything I was sent during the month (and later). You can instead look at just my art.

31 March:

Finally, Aquarion asked me for: An artistic anagram of at least three previous APM suggestions.

The month is over! Hooray!

So, apologies for the size of this image, it fits on one of my monitors, just, but the more I shrink things, the less detail you can see. This is three images, of course.
Individually you can see the images here, here and here.

30 March:

Colin Green asked me to make: A realistic portrait of someone.

You know what I can't draw?

29 March:

John Franglen sent me:an animated gif of a poem

The poem already has quite a few lines, so I decided to draw just one.

28 March:

Joey asked me for: a Phoenix, but made of water rather than fire.

I tinged this one blue to make it more watery.

27 March:

Winterlove writes to me: In memory of John Barry, who died recently, I'd like to suggest something of your choice suggested by the phrase "The Beyondness of Things"

To give a sense of scale, On the paper, each of these circles is 34mm in radius, so this is the level of detail I can fit into that much space.
All of the drawings in APM have been the size of a single piece of A4 apart from the snowman, which was A5.

26 March:

Fliss, knowing that I dislike drawing architecture, asked me to draw: A college building as seen from a curving street.

I did a bit of an experiment with this one. Here's the experiment plan and here's the result. Fliss also asked for "a grand building looking smug about being grand", which I think this counts for.

25 March:

Bridget revealed one of her contingency plans: My secret weapon: SOPORIFIC PANDA!

Hey, I managed to resist drawing a Fiat Panda.

24 March:

Yvel Saint Laurent asked me to draw a: Rollerderby

I was sent a description of these events along with the title. Seems like a pretty violent sport to me.

23 March:

Chard asked me for some: Assorted dromedaries

Hi Chard. I drew you a camel NINE TIMES.
The OCAML Camel shows the basic layout I used for drawing the camels, this is as close to "artist source code" as you're going to get :)
(Thanks to all the people who suggested puns for this.)

Zebbie sent some colourful camels:

Bah! Just when I thought I had cunningly avoided drawing any camels earlier in the month! These particular dromedaries are excitedly awaiting the arrival of the next Boden catalogue.

22 March:

Mum asked for an extrapolation of life.

This took a while to draw, but I'm quite happy with the result.

21 March:

Porange wants to know: What Pelagosarus typus does on its days off..

When Pelagosarus Typus gets a day off, they visit their relatives at the museum. This is a pretty accurate skeleton, in that I drew the same number of bones in about the same places as the picture I found.

I didn't draw this one too accurately, because I already drew one marine skeleton, and they're rather similar :)

Zebbie sent me a more relaxed afternoon:

On his days off, Pelagosaurus fires up the BBQ!

20 March:

Michael Conterio asks me to show everyone: How NOT to train your dragon.

How not to train your dragon #1. Don't use other people as bait. If anything the dragon will just develop a taste for humans!

Zebbie sent me some useful instructions, although did tell me this was how not to train my Dagon, which I think is a different kettle of fish...:

19 March:

Delvy asked for: Suffering

There's a lot of suffering in the world, and a lot of good that can be done simply by donating to charity. You can drop in some money at Comic Relief to help fight illness in africa, and help children in the UK, or if you're moved to donate to relief aid in Japan, you can help out by giving to The Japanese Red Cross or 2nd Harvest Japan. Go on, do it today.

18 March:

Scar wants to know what A house you want to live in would look like.

I'd love to live in a windmill. They look so much cooler than houses. Apparently the decision was reversed at the last minute to choose a lighthouse as the family home... that would have been awesome too.

There are quite a few different images that spring to mind when someone asks me what my ideal house would be - because sometimes I think of "how would I lay out a house I'd be likely to afford" and sometimes I think "what'd I design with an unlimited budget?" and so on and so forth. The most picturesque thing that I often think of is a windmill though.

17 March:

Tom Garnett wants: A password checker

The ONS have a really boring logo, and it's really terribly drawn too. I declare it the most boring logo of the month.

Zebbie sent me a millitary gnoll:

So I guess I could pick which of these lines is the actual drawing and ink it....but you get the idea. :D

16 March:

Halfway through, and Isobel Hooper exclaims: THE LIGHTNING! THE LIGHTNING! (she's such a meanie.)

A large number of people have said they really like this zombie lady, so I drew her again. Generally characters I draw improve rapidly the first few times I draw them (as you can tell.) - She doesn't have a name! (suggestions welcome!)

Colin Love sent me this drawing of a vision Which I totally didn't get upside-down.

Cyclone: check
Impossible blades of light: check
Ball Lightning charging towards my face: Check

Zebbie sent this poor poor doggie:

This dog is sad because there is a storm outside. :( Also because she does not like lightning even though her name sounds a bit like thunder. PRO TIP: Do not do a Google Image Search for "sad dog", it is FAR TOO SAD. There was a photo reference for this dog where it looked even sadder but I closed it and can't find it again now.

15 March:

Early on, Zebbie asked me for: Ferns

You see? it's two different breeds of Fern... This totally counts as cheating doesn't it? - and all for a cheap laugh. I'll draw some real ferns (plants) at some point too.

14 March:

Amongst several suggestions, Chris Coward asked for: Intergalactic Planetary Woodlice.

Woodlice are creepy.

Zebbie sent this picture:

13 March:

Young Dwarven Gageteeress Reclaims Ancient Lost Dwarf Hold with Clockwork Manticore. Read All About it!
(Headline donated by Colin Love.)

This was my favourite suggestion for a topic to draw so far. Can you tell? A lot of the detailing has of course been lost when the picture was shrunk. One day I'll learn what does and doesn't vanish. If you want to see the full glory original scan, you can look here - but be warned. It's a large image. I learned an awful lot about drawing complex images too. The trick is to use very very light pencil strokes until youre absolutely sure you want the lines (and this should only be after everything else in the vicinity is done.) - The areas where I did this correctly look better.

To answer the question that keeps coming up: Whether or not female dwarves grow beards seems to vary a lot with who's writing: I've looked through several Wikipedia articles on mythological dwarves, and it varies quite a lot. I think the most appropriate setting for this picture would be Eberron (a setting where everything is steampunk) - and female dwarves in Eberron don't have beards. (Besides, this is a "young" female dwarf so wouldn't in many other settings either, and beards are hard to draw anyway.)

In the Insurrection LARP and later in CUTT Dwarves tend to have horns rather than beards, which I think is much cooler.

I really need to get better handwriting

Zebbie gave me this, which includes a big key (something I intended to include in my manticore, but forgot about until it was too late to really add.) She also included the dwarven hold, (which I left out on account of the picture being complicated enough already.):

12 March:

G. Weir wants: a zombie mad scientist. Because recursive shouts of "IT'S ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE" are awesome.

The problem with this suggestion is that the coolest zombie mad scientist possible has already been done. The character on the right is one "Dr. Franken Stein" from the anime "soul eater" - The only character I've ever seen who's developed a style of kung-fu that needs you to be seated in a wheelie-chair. (Hey! it lets you run around and kick people simultaneously!)

The character on the left I made up, Having stolen the aesthetic.

Zebbie played some catchup:

11 March:

Tea made an exclamation about: Killer Camels!

Okay, I'll admit. I've never actually seen resevoir dogs, so I have no idea a) if this is actually a climactic scene, or b) if this is at all an accurate depiction of the word "killer". It does look pretty badass though.

This is the first time I've ever tried to draw a two-colour image. Light and shade is much more important when you only have two colours to play with.

Zebbie sent this picture, which I'm really glad about, because this was my other idea for today's picture:

Here is my picture of 'Killer Camels' - I think Rosie suggested cigarettes when it first came up but it seemed the most obvious avenue to go for (once I couldn't think of a snappy image to imply a camel(s) stealing the water of a nomadic party in the desert causing all the humans to die of thirst). I have attached the reference image that I used to make sure I was representing the right brand of cigarette.

10 March:

Wings made the following suggestion: A Flying Muffin, with strawberry jam on it.

It's very difficult to draw things like "strawberry jam" in black and white. In fact, if you look at jam closely, it doesn't look anything like this - it's kinda crystalline and translucent. Mmm Jam.

Khimaera drew an awesome muffin:

The lesser chocolate speckled muffinbat spurns your strawberry jam, it feeds on the blood of it's enemies.

Zebbie played some catchup:

The thing being carried by the balloons is a small pot of jam and a muffin sellotaped to a paper tray, but it seems I drew them lighter than the rest of the page so it was hard to photograph...

09 March:

Chevron wants to see: a big spiky army invading a soft peaceful landscape. Why does this not surprise me?

Aw look. Here's a lovely soft surrealistic empty landscape. Isn't it jus-...Aaaarrrrrrrgh!

Here is Zebbie's invasion:

"Argh argh, the crystals are coming!!"

08 March:

Felp said: "Personally I would really like to see your interpretation of an evil duck.... possibly plotting with other ducks to rule the world."


Here are Zebbie's Ducks:

07 March:

Jasmin has only one word for me: Labrynth!

A good way to draw perspective images is to use a grid - which I didn't do. This was freehanded, which is why it's all slightly skew-wiff. Escher style drawings are harder to draw than they look as well, but I'd always wanted to try one. I think in hindsight, the trick is to use lots of construction lines. Oh, and the isometric maze is solvable, just badly drawn.

Here is Zebbie's labrynth:

For the Labyrinth I was very wery tempted to draw David Bowie but in the end settled on a minotaur instead. Both this and the previous picture would have been helped by me not losing my eraser shortly before starting them...


06 March:

Jon Ward wants: a human sized cyberpunk dragonfly.
...Now I do too.

The problem with this kind of thing is that it's never really possible to finish. You can just add and add and add. Also, when you start to get very detailed images, then shading the picture doesn't really add much.

Khimaera also drew a dragonfly today. Digital Goodness.

I am of the opinion that cyberpunk things should glow and have many wires, yay green.

Here is Zebbie's dragonfly:

Cyberdragonflies are ALL ABOUT the irridescent eyes. And wearing wetsuits clubbing. I decided not to bother with legs on this model as they made thnigs too cluttered.

Bridget also drew a dragonfly today, making Dragonflies the most popular thing since Dragons.

05 March:

Nina Birch asked me to draw: A rat cleaning sewers

Rats are kind of difficult to draw.

Here is Zebbie's contribution. I think this is the first time we've drawn something similar.

Today I took a different approach of drawing quickly without a reference or a rubber, using a 5B pencil. Looking at pictures of actual rats would probably have helped, ubt that was kind of the point.

04 March:

Johnathan Toner delivered the imperative: Draw me a homage to mario kart!
Well okay, we're on.

People ask me a lot how long it takes to draw something. In this case, I drew from 0:20AM until 3:00AM, (if you care about equipment, I used one sheet of cheap A4 copier paper, and a 0.5 HB technical pencil.) In hindsight, I could have saved a lot of time, as the entire message is conveyed by panel 5 alone...

Here is Zebbie's contribution. It's a picture of a homage to Mario Kart. Clever!

This is a cushion from Ravelry, made by 'KnittingNonni' for her grandson.

03 March:

Corin tells me that: Cool guys don't look at explosions

I've tried to draw explosions before, and they don't come out so well. But anyway, this is the first image that stuck with me when I read the phrase. It was this, or Pliny the elder looking puzzled at Vesuvius while his son yells "you're soooo uncool". Which nobody would get.

Here is Zebbie's contribution. I love this one.

Today's drawing was done in a different style, in respectful homage to the drawings of Chess. In retrospect I should not have arranged the lines above the gangster's flat hat into an ambiguous point, however I like the bright and complex end result of this style overall.

02 March:

Today, Rosie asked me to draw: The result of an insect swarm

I spent quite some time browsing the web for one of those stereotypical "boneyard" images, you know, the ones where there's a dry lifeless netherhell landscape with the bones of some great animal sticking up out of them at threatening angles. It's surprisingly hard to find a good picture with google image search, everything seems to come up with images of different things.

The last time I drew the skeleton of an animal was in 2008, it was a rat. I think I've improved! This is a whale skeleton, I think it looks a bit like a spaceship. Alternative ideas were a pot of honey, or this lady running away very quickly.

Zebbie contributed earlier than me once again.

Here is my drawing of "The result of an insect swarm" - it is a picture of me shortly after arrival at work this morning, realising that my relatively new woollen tunic has acquired moth-holes in it....

I'm currently experimenting with the page format a little bit.

01 March:

A simple start. Cillian asked me to draw: Digestive Biscuits.
It might be biscuits, but it's still life.

First of all, Zebbie sent me this wonderful picture:

"I spent several minutes trying to come up with a witty or imaginative way to present Digestive Biscuits before deciding just to go with the first image that had come into my head on reading the suggestion."

A second photo is here. Following this subliminal suggestion that I think of an innovative way to present digestive biscuits, I decided to go for a different angle: Schematics.

I'm rather pleased with how this came out. I do now have a biscuit clamped several inches above my desk underneath my desklamp (in order to get a better view.) It's slowly melting. I did manage to draw anything without eating any (more) biscuits than I had before I started.

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