Art Project March

This is what I did in March.
Unsure as to what this was about? Check the pitch.
This version just shows my art. You can instead look at Everything.

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.)

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 :)

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!

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.

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!)

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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."


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.


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.

05 March:

Nina Birch asked me to draw: A rat cleaning sewers

Rats are kind of difficult to draw.

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...

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.

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.

01 March:

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

I could have drawn an accurate image, but 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 slowly melted, then fell apart after two days. I did manage to draw anything without eating any (more) biscuits than I had before I started.

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