Art Project March

This is what I did in March.

31 March:

Isaac Wilks made the following suggestion: Your room, after turning it upside-down, rotating it 72 degrees PRECISELY, and covering it in glitter - in stages.

And to finish, the most unreasonable suggestion. I instead drew my sketchpad and my drawing tools that I've used all the way through this project. It's now a sketchpad with quite an eclectic selection of images drawn in it, and I'm quite happy to have drawn this project.

All in all, I think I've drawn in quite a few different styles here, and I've learned a few things along the way. One sketch every day can be a little wearing, especially when you're trying to make all the sketches high quality - there are days when you simply aren't in the mood for drawing, or are too busy to find the time, but usually you can find half an hour if you try hard enough.

30 March:

Nick Taylor sent me the following email:
Draw any of the following:
1) How a semiconductor diode works, through the medium of cute fluffy animals.
2) How a semiconductor light-emitting diode works, through the medium of cute fluffy animals.
3) How an OLED works, through the medium of GIANT ROBOTS.

This was my favourite suggestion email, but I really had no idea how to do it justice. In the end I ended up drawing this. The rope represents the current curve for a semiconductor diode, the two images on the robot's pauldrons I associate with OLEDs. PPV is quite a famous organic emitter, which was discovered as an organic emitter 20 years ago now.

29 March:

Josephine Anrep asked me to draw: A Landscape

Joey asked me to draw a landscape in order to challenge me, I often draw character art and the likes, so landscapes and backgrounds aren't my forte.

I originally wanted to go to a location in Cambridge and draw something, but I cut my thumb quite badly on the 29th March, and I couldn't grip a pencil properly, so I elected to draw all the remaining pictures when my thumb got better. On the day I drew this, I didn't really have the energy to leave the house, so I googled for landscape images, then drew one from a photograph.

28 March:

Michael Conterio asked me to draw: Light Entertainment

The ultimate form of light entertainment is fireworks. You see what I did there. I wanted to try drawing fireworks, because I really have no idea how to go about trying with just a pencil and a piece of paper. Obviously there's some issues drawing a image that's made of bright lines on a dark background, so I drew a negative image. Of course, it's interesting to see what it looks like with the colours reversed.

In hindisight, trying to draw the smokey residue you see underneath fireworks by shading in the area beneath the explosions was an error, when you see the negative image, it looks like random scribble. if I were to try this again, I'd lightly shade the whole piece of paper, and smudge it all together to give a mottled background, then draw my fireworks in over the top, perhaps using an ink pen for the brightest parts, then the negative image would look really vivid. I may go back and try this at the end of the project.

27 March:

Fyr asked me to draw: a roman senator chihuahua that has timetravelled to the future. Thanks Claire.

Nothing says THE FUTURE like rocket powered hoverboards and funny shaped buildings.


Khimaira drew: a chibi alien.

Anna popped around at this point and showed me the sketches she'd drawn of an alien and a chibi alien. Aww. They're so cute!

Please note these are larger resolution scans that I haven't retouched. I hate digitally altering the work of other people, it feels wrong.

26 March:

Veritas asked me to draw: a forest in a bubble in microgravity

I wanted to draw an astronaut floating next to the bubble, holding it between their thumb and forefinger - however in order to draw an astronaut completely, and also the bubble in detail, I'd need a huge canvas, or a ridiculous amount of foreshortening. I'm really bad at foreshortening.

25 March:

Isobel Hooper send me the following request: A bee in an elegant Victorian outfit. Male or female, I don't mind which (though monocles are good).

I picked a girl bee rather than a boy bee, because male victorian dress isn't as fun to draw as female victorian dress.

24 March:

Stephen Thomas exclaimed"My god! it's full of teapots!"

I told myself I should ink and shade this.

23 March:

Keeper sent me the following exclamation: "Mon dieu, mon dieu, mon canard est en feu."

No, that isn't ninja duck. That some other duck that ninja duck has set on fire.

For those of you playing the Oddysey LRP this year. I would very much love to see this scene. You have been challenged. I didn't have time to shade this today, and that awesome roman dude took ages to draw (he's awesome though.) - I'll try and get around to a shaded version soon. And maybe also redraw the senator so he doesn't look like a five year old tried to copy the scream.

Some people have told me that the phrase is in French, and not Latin... which I knew anyway :D I never said I'd draw what you said, just that your suggestion would inspire a picture :D

22 March:

Victoria Chatwin sent me a lovely email asking me to draw The quest for the last blueberry muffin.

I'm really sorry this was late - I wasn't up to drawing it yesterday. To compensate, I coloured it in - although I used the cheapest colouring pencils I could find. (None of my other sets had pink, annoyingly.)

It makes logical sense to me that the person most likely to be questing for a blueberry muffin would be a princess. I don't really like blueberry muffins, so I wanted to pick a protagonist I don't identify with. As muffins go, blueberry muffins seem pretty extravagant - so a princess made sense.

Originally, I was going to draw an entire dungeon, with an "action princess" diving and running through all the rooms in a cartoon. As always, I poked around in google images for a reference picture for someone who was a) obviously a princess, and b) a woman of ACTION. As far as I can tell, it is not possible to get both. Making someone obviously a princess seems to entail a ball gown. After all that I went with Princess Peach (as she's easily recognisable.) This is Paper Mario Princess Peach, for those wondering which of her million incarnations I copied. FInally I realised that the action scene would take ages to draw anyway, far too long for a daily sketch. It also wouldn't add a lot to the picture, so I went with the final panel alone.

Toad is a complete pain. I swear he deliberately just runs around making everyone else's lives more hellish. That's why I always pick him in mario party. It's a pretty dapper chef's hat he's got though.

21 March:

Canashir wanted a picture of a mage mis-casting magic.

I really like drawing adventuring parties. They always have such a weird collection of clothing and equipment, that it doesn't really matter what you draw.

20 March:

Helen Walter asked me to draw a HATFUL OF BEEEES.

There are so many bee puns, it's difficult to pick where to start.

I forgot to colour the back of her hair in. Will need to fix that.

19 March:

Today, Arachne has asked me for a magpie stealing a skyscraper.

I think the best building for magpies to steal would be the gherkin building in London.

18 March:

Jon Ward asked for a play on the fact your can have moments in space and moments of inertia as well as moments in time.

It's a bit of a stupid contraption, I know, but it *does* rely on all three kinds of moment to work.

17 March:

Rosie Warner changed her suggestion at the last minute to become An Octopohedron.

It's always bothered me that an octohedron has six points and eight sides, whereas a cube has eight points and six sides. Similarly the dodecahedron has 12 and 20, whereas the icosahedron has 20 and 12. This just seems unnatural.

16 March:

Jennifer Johnson sent me a list of awesome things to draw. I chose An imaginary animal that would be functional either belly-down or belly-up. (possibly in different ways)

Leroy is wonderful. Why not print him out and colour him in?

15 March:

If you read these posts, know that I'd still like a few more suggestions from new people. Today, Clare Brewer asked me to draw some Fräuleins and flintlocks

This was quite fun to draw, but I was concentrating a bit more on my roleplaying session than my artwork. Drawing hands holding guns is a pain, I think I messed it up quite a bit.

14 March:

Some time ago, Martin Denton answered my call for suggestions: Childs playground. Long lost; the snow sits on the cobwebs and the wind howls. Alone.

I tried something different with this picture. Rather than drawing lines, then going over the image to firm up the lines I wanted, then inking and shading, I decided to only draw by lightly shading over the paper - no construction, no outlines. To draw I held the pencil very lightly and just dragged if softly over the paper to make the darker regions.

The words given to me gave me the image of a cold lonely image, but also a very faint blurry grey image.

13 March:

For the weekend, Andrew Mason asked me for a picture of Spaghetti taking over the white house.

The white house has a pointy end and a rounded end. I like the rounded end better.

12 March:

Today, Drac asked me to draw a badger.

Today's plan was to go to the library after work, find a picture of a badger in a book, then copy it.

You have no idea how hard it is to find a picture of a badger in the Cambridge central library. There were a total of six illustrated books on Brittish wildlife. Only three even contained "Badger" as an entry, and none of them had a picture. I found a single image in a photobook of mediterranean island wildlife, but it was only 1x2 inches in total, and not enough to really go on. Then I discovered that I'd forgotten my pencil anyway.

So instead, getting home at 12:30, I've quickly sketched an image I found on the web. Enjoy!

11 March:

One third of the way in, and Colin Love has asked me to draw The Further Adventures of Ninja Duck.

Good luck finding all fifteen. I only drew twelve.

I'm pretty sure that Colin asked me to draw this as a result of this picture that I drew a few months ago.

10 March:

Bryony asked me to draw a tax warrior.

To be honst. I'm not really sure what a Tax Warrior should look like - but I'm pretty sure that they would have a serious expression, and fight against oversized sentient tax returns.

09 March:

Lupie wrote to me before we started, asking me to draw some progesterone - which I have learnt is a hormone that supports gestation.

I had some difficulties uploading last night, so today's update is a little late (sorry!) - everything's back up and running now, so no need to panic.

I really love molymods, they're a load of fun to play with and help you visualise the shape of molecules as well. We've got a massive box in the office, but in this case I found a picture of a molymod molecule on the web, and then copied it (the photograph helps it keep still too.) - the whole picture took about 20 minutes to draw and about 20 minutes to shade. I'm quite pleased with the result.

08 March:

Jacob Steel asked me to draw many things, but my favourite from the list was A surface-to-air walrus.

This was pretty easy to draw actually, a walrus is a walrus, and that means it's largely a blob with giant teeth. Interestingly, the skin on the picture I was copying from was really really wrinkly, and reproducing that kind of texture was kind of a challenge. I drew a few lines in key places (like the "knee") - but most of them were fairly randomly scribbled on, then I shaded from the line from dark to light upwards to make a texture.

I was actually quite tired drawing this today, so I only spent about 20 minutes on it in total, but when I got to this stage I didn't think it could really be improved, so I stopped.

07 March:

Luke Corteen emailed me to ask for Chibi Aliens.

I don't have a lot to say here, these were the first four designs that popped into my head. It's kind of impossible to draw an alien "wrong" - because they don't have any defined anatomy to speak of - so the challenge of drawing chibi aliens is rather easy.

06 March:

Mr. Chris Coward told me that he would love a picture of a full suit of traditional samurai armour, in as much detail possible.

Okay, so a couple of admissions. I have no idea if the names of any of these parts are correct, I just pulled them off the web, so I don't claim accuracy here. There's a pair of leg greaves that are often worn, with this kind of armour as well, but they just look like cricket pads to me.

The design of this kind of armour is kind of nice, basically you have two straps that sit on your shoulders, and everything else just hangs down from them attached by loops. I suppose if you could aim two well placed strikes at the tops of the shoulders, the entire suit of armour would fall off, but that's not especially likely to actually be something you can do.

05 March:

"I was not in a bad mood when I requested this picture, I just have an unhealthy fascination with hellscapes." With this, Chess asks us to draw the following:

"A Landscape From Hell (if you want bonus clarifications, the traditional kind with red stalagmites and tormented souls dotted around the place...)"

04 March:

Today, Edith writes to us as follows:

"Please could you make it possible for me to see a drawing of this photo in as much detail as you see fit."

...So I did. The background didn't interest me too much from a sketching perspective here. I could have replicated the texture of the surface there, but doing so would have taken me quite a lot of time, and once again, I whipped up the sketch in only 30 minutes. I didn't see that there's be a lot of value in drawing a bumpy ground, so I focussed on the shell.

And spirals go on the list of things that are hard to draw nicely.

03 March:

Day three, and the inspiration for today's picture must come from a single word. "Nominative". Thanks... I guess... go to Ellie.

A lot of people say they have difficulty drawing hands and feet. I don't have difficulty, I just can't do it. :)

02 March:

Happy Tuesday! Today, Chevron has asked us to draw "Where The Numbers Come From".

I spent most of the day musing over this. There were so many things I could have drawn today, that I felt spoilt for choice, but, whenever I came up with an idea - a stupid image popped into my head.

The numbers come from Orville. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn't think of anything else. It was one of those days where I couldn't shake off the ridiculous mood I found myself in. I did some research on it. I asked google "Do the numbers come from Orville?" Google tells me that no, the numbers do not come from Orville. In fact, Orville has very little to do with the production of numbers, being as all the puppets who do formed a union on Sesame Street.

So I got to thinking again, numbers have to come from somewhere, and there's an awful lot of them. You'd need a huge operation to make all the numbers we use on a daily basis. Of course, numbers are kind of small, so perhaps they're manufactured in tiny factories and transported around the world in little trucks by tiny people. I imagine such a factory would look a little like this:

I'd have done more, but I ran out of time.

01 March:

Today we drew a sketch of "When the wallaby met the Queen" - Thanks to Megan for this suggestion.

I didn't have a lot of free time today, and I drew this picture during a roleplaying session, between throwing dice around. I learned a few things from drawing this picture though. Firstly I learned that the queen faces to the right on coins, at least the ones that were in my wallet today. I'm pretty sure that she faces to the left on stamps. I'm informed by Rosie that in fact there is a tradition with coins that the monarch faces in the opposite direction to the last one - something I never knew before.

The second thing I learned was that I have no idea what a wallaby looks like, especially in the lower half, so I just drew the heads of the characters in the sketch, and then stylised the rest of them.

The third thing I learned is that the union jack is a complete pain to draw. This was quickly followed by realising that the stars on the Australian flag have seven points... and that they're not regular stars, they're a really weird shape - I utterly failed to draw the Australian flag.

I'm no good at drawing people so they look like they're supposed to. My queen came out as being rather older and gaunter than the real queen - but I think you can tell it's her. The queen's hair is quite distinctive at least. Also, because there's a star behind the wallaby, it looks like he's got a dinosaur horn. This makes me happy :)

White rabbits!

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