Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do ponies count as still life? They do if they are these ponies...

I had an email asking, “Where’s your Week 5 art class post?” Hmm, I’m so over posting about my weekly art classes - suffice it to say, oh, let me give you the lowdown...

Creative Drawing - Week 5 was better then the previous four and in fairness I think it’s all coming together. I parked my left brain at the door and with my right brain in tow I allowed myself to “see” this class in a different light. 

That’s it for Week 5 - I’m not going to post the before and after photos because more exciting drawings await.

So whom should I credit with my steady climb up ART’s ladder? 

I will be giving kudos to Betty Edwards (take a bow Betty) and her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. (yes, I am going on a bit about this book, but damn, it’s good and it does give results)

Add a dash of Miss CP to my weekly pot of Betty and you have an artist’s brew that is hard to beat.

Yesterday I had an epic session with Courtney. This was a five hour event; tea and dinner breaks were worked in but otherwise ART was on centre stage. 

Our five hours together consisted of “free drawing time” whereby I completed two assignments still pending from “the book” while Miss CP finishing a personal art project

Here, I would like to say...YOU ARE WELCOME
(that’s to all of you that let me know you were inspired to haul out your sketchbooks and revisit your drawing/writing passions - all because you read it here - damn, I’m good, and cheeky too)

Next came the lesson - more like ART Boot Camp. 

Miss CP is a tough task master; I was tasked with drawing ovals, lots and lots of ovals. All over the page, everywhere - until finally she said, “Now, draw that tube as you “see” it, not as you think it.” (yes, she’s read “the book” too, who do you think lent it to me) 

The object being drawn was a packing tube (the top of it in particular). Much ado was made of the fact that I “got” it and could “see” the top was oval in shape but round in reality. (yes, go figure)

Anyway...then came the still life practice. (and those ponies I mentioned)

Do any of you know professional designers/people in the animation industry? Yes? No? Well suffice it to say they have “things” that inspire them...lots and lots of “things”. (“things” equals “toys” in the real world)

Some of these “things” where taken from Courtney’s shelf for my lesson - three in particular. 

Do any of you remember Hasbro’s “My Little Pony” toys?


Meet Twilight Sparkle - the first “My Little Pony” on the drawing block. 

I used a rust coloured Ferby pencil to do this sketch; starting on the body, adding legs, then tail and head; focusing on negative space. (trying to anyway)

Here’s Applejack - isn’t she cute!

And my version - I did not make her head big enough - failing to do enough reference checks, going on memory, not good if the reference is right in front of me. Yup...on to the next!

And finally, meet Rarity. (the pony with attitude; so I’m told)

And two pic - this one is the rough version...trying to get placement.

This one is my finished version...and...YES, I AM HAPPY WITH IT!

And, one more.
Just because I like this page; okay, okay, I more hands - after this. 
(fingers crossed behind back where no one can see --- sneaky and cheeky)

Now, I’m not giving up my day job (I know it and can do it with my eyes closed, well, not closed, but I could be dozing and I’d still do a good job) but hey, this drawing gig is starting to tickle my fancy!

How are your projects coming along? (drawing, writing, building…??)

Have you finished anything you’d like to share? (link to it in your comment and I’ll share it in a post)

Cheers, Jenny 


  1. I think those ponies are good subjects for still life. They look technically challenging - probably more so than fruit or vases of flowers!

    You are right to be happy with Rarity. That one came out very well.

    1. The ponies really were a good subject - small but detailed. If this was my art class the teacher would have bunched all three together and said "that's life" - to which I would reply - "and who's life are we talking about here" - even as these ponies sit on the shelf they are not bunched together.

      It was a fun diversion from vases, fruits, bowls and boxes.

      And...what are you working on these days, Botanist - anything you wish to share?! :)

    2. It wasn't so much the detail I had in mind, Jenny. I think the combination of highly irregular shapes is what would make these challenging.

      As for my work, nothing visual that makes for easy sharing, but I'm head-down busy on my current novel, Tiamat's Nest. I've mentioned it a few times on my blog now and will likely bore people to death with it in coming weeks :)

    3. You would think that, but I actually find it harder to draw things that have less of those irregular shapes. What I'm really finding out is that I don't draw what I think I the real challenge is "seeing" differently. Way hard!

      And, congrats on passing the 30K mark with Tiamat's Nest - do you have a completion date in mind and a final word count you're shooting for? Just wondering. (and never think that you're boring people - I admire you commitment and all the hard work you are putting into this epic tale of yours)
      Keep it up and before you know it Tiamat's Nest will be published. :)

  2. You are doing pretty good, Jenny!
    I posted my after pics. Still have to get closet done and shelves, but you'll get the idea.

    1. Thanks Ruth - I'm feeling pretty good too - it's not easy drawing a three dimensional object on a flat surface but with steady practice I am confident I will continue to improve.

      I'm heading over to your blog to check out your "after" pics...

  3. I have to admit that I haven't really been able to get into the whole My Little Pony phase that has been sweeping the internet over the last few years so I wouldn't know which pony is which but your drawings are actually incredible Jenny, you have improved leaps and bounds and it's getting to a stage where your art really is sticking out to me as something that's not run of the mill and normal but special, you've done such a great job turning drawing out an action figure into artistic little gems and you're going to continue keeping better, even if you don't give up your day job please don't stop with the art because you're getting better and better by the week.

    1. Hahahah - I sure wouldn't expect you to "get into the whole My Little Pony phase"! This recent resurrection of these little ponies is so typical of the whole children's toy business - since they can't create new toys they haul out ones from the past.

      My Little Pony made its first appearance when Courtney was around four years old (21 years ago) and then when they resurfaced she got little mini ones to use as inspiration. As I said, in my post, people in my daughter's industry love toys - lots and lots of toys.

      Rather fun, if you ask me! In fact, I'm still a fan of Lego and since Courtney has buckets of it we will spend a few hours playing with it from time to time.

      I'm thrilled to read your kind words about my art being "special" - truly sweet!
      Thank you, Matthew, for stopping in and encouraging me on. :)

  4. Anonymous4:59 am

    I hope Mark sees these. He loves My Little Pony =)

    1. It's hard not to love these little "gems" (Matthew's word - and I like it!)
      I hope Mark sees them too...might have to knock on his blog and let him know what awaits over here! Such treats...hahahah! :)

  5. Little Man said to tell you these my little pong pictures are awesome

    1. Hi Becca - Tell Little Man I'm so pleased he finds them "awesome" - the actual ponies are the awesome ones, my attempts at capturing them is, at best, admirable (vanity by my name, again) - and I give myself an A for my efforts. (can you hear the laughter that is laced through my words)

      I stayed up quite late last night doing a whole new drawing of the last pony, just for my daughter, to let her know how appreciative I am for all her tutoring.

      I'm watching Tim Burton's Corpse Bride with the intent of "trying" to draw some of the characters from it! I love Tim Burton's work - totally amazing. :)

      Thanks for stopping by (both of you). :)

  6. Sorry not to be here sooner, life is somewhat challenging at the moment.

    I plan on joining you in a couple of weeks. I look forward to it. (Perhaps I need to get that book at some point, too.)

    I went and looked at CP's sites and she's an amazing artist. She reminds me a bit of my cousin's kid, who was one of the illustrators on Coraline. :) Very cool.

    1. No worries Em - I always feel you are here in spirit.
      I would love the company - it would be fun. The more, the merrier.

      "The Book", as I've now taken to calling it, it really worth finding and reading. There is A LOT of reading - but it's so interesting; as strange as this may seem once I start getting into it I'm hard-pressed to put it down. (I can find myself reading into the wee hours of the night)

      Thanks for checking CP's sites - dare I be an uber proud mother and say, "I agree, she is an amazing artist." I adored that movie Coraline - very cool times a hundred. And what's even cooler is your cousin's kid's involvement in it - that's a rush!

      And, if I haven't said it before - I smile every time I see your avatar - so clever! :)

  7. I would guess anything would qualify as a still life.
    So that probably leaves out zombies.

    1. Only things that stand still yup, zombies are out...unless you've just shot one in the head and then it would be an excellent (but ghoulish) still life model. :P

      And so you don't fee left out of the love fest, on avatars, going on over here - I always chuckled when seeing your avatar - it's so you! :)

  8. Wow Jenny, wow! Your hands are awesome! I think that drawing any phalanges are difficult and you have done it so well. It's it so fun? Love the ponies too...I remember that toy (and the commercials) well.


    1. Oh thank you Lisa! Yes, it is fun - very fun, with a small dose of frustrating throw in, but I'm really tickled with finding my lost passion. I feel somehow at one with myself now that I'm holding a pencil in my hand and drawing.

      The ponies were an unexpected surprise. Since I was having a lesson with Miss CP it's her call as to what our still life object(s) will be. I smiled when she took these off the shelf - it brought forth memories of long ago, when she was a little girl and I found myself wearing a smile while attempting these three drawings.

      Since doing the last one - I redid it once more, from scratch, and really focused on the negative space and where all the lines met - I was most please with it and I think I'm going to give it to my daughter to put on her wall and remind her how good of a teacher she is.

      Thanks for stopping in and leaving such encouraging words. :)

  9. Love your ponies. And loving your progress with your drawing.
    I can feel your passion and pleasure in your words
    Just wonderful

    1. Thanks Mynx - passion, pleasure and wonderful, three favourite words.
      I am definitely having fun with drawing and I'm loving the renewed purpose my life seems to have since picking up my 6B. :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.