I sketched this out a few days ago and cleaned it up today. It was after a few days of constantly reading the news on my phone, mostly scrolling past headlines, and reading about all the fucked up shit going on with covid and racism. Apparently it's called doomscrolling.
Today I started writing messages on the protesters signs and went for a hike at Alum Rock Park, up to Eagle Rock. Can you see where I fucked up on one of the signs? Also check out the pics of the mutant bug (tarantula hawk) and a plant from outer space.
I made a little bit of progress on this today after taking 4 days off. Starting from the left I straightened out a bunch of signs and began fleshing out the people.
I finished the first pass on this 11"x17" drawing today. I laid out all the people with signs and then filled the gaps with people holding up their fists. The next step, after a few tweaks, will either be putting the messages on the signs or adding details to the protesters and making them all unique. Right now they all look like bald white men. When I'm done inking this, and if I'm happy with the results, I'll get to work penciling the 18"x24" version.
As I work towards an 18"x24" size drawing of my "protesters" piece I'm doing smaller versions as art studies. What I've been doing so far has been drawing the people holding up blank signs then I'll go and write something in them after. Because I'm going to have so many different people with signs I thought I should figure out what they're gonna say so I started writing & laying them out. Almost everything I wrote is something I've read on social media and on people's actual signs relating to George Floyds murder, police brutality protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
I drew this and inked it today. It's a little bigger that 4"x5". The plan is to draw a big one (18"x24") with a bunch of protesters in face mask holding up signs and fists. I got a good idea of how I want them to look but still need to figure out what pens/markers to ink it with. I mainly used a Copic Sketch on this for the varying line widths but it's too big for the small details like fingers & hair. I'm gonna try a Sharpie next and see if I like it better, then maybe a Micron Graphic 1 and other sizes.
Here are a couple sketches I drew over the weekend. Their inspired by the people in the pictures below. They're screenshots from videos I took during a march from San Jose's city hall to the police station a few weeks ago. I wanna draw a bunch of protesters wearing masks & holding up signs like I've been seeing downtown.
I started sketching what will most likely be my next ink drawing. It's a large scale (18"x24") version of the "protesters" drawing I made a couple days ago. It's hard to see in the pic but it's people wearing masks holding up signs & closed fists. Next, I'm gonna draw darker lines with more details and maybe sketch another version with smaller people so I can fit more of them onto the page.
Yesterday, after uploading my "protesters" drawing to Instagram, my friend Catrina let me know that Works/San Jose, a local non-profit art gallery, had a call-for-art and that my drawing fit the theme. I looked into it and found out it's for a memorial exhibition for George Floyd, Breona Taylor, and the countless other black people who lost their lives due to racism.
From the Works website: "Rather than issue corporate statements, Works seeks to amplify creative voices calling for justice. We ask artists to thoughtfully respond with work for a community exhibition respecting those who have faced the ultimate deadly disrespect."
My drawing fit the bill so I submitted it last night. This morning Works/San Jose posted my drawing on their Instagram page.
The show is online only, since we're still dealing with Covid, and officially goes live June 19th (Juneteenth) 2020.
I drew this with a white China marker in my black sketchbook this afternoon. It was inspired by the protesters outside of San Jose city hall who've been demonstrating against police violence, racism & transphobia during the Covid-19 pandemic. I might draw a larger version with a lot more people holding signs.
I went over all 4 of these drawings today and whited-out any mistakes. I probably missed a few so I'm gonna over it again tomorrow. Besides that, they're done. They're gonna go in frames but I want to take some hi-res photos of them before framing them to make prints later. The original plan was to show these at my exhibit at the SJSU/Martin Luther King Library, which would have ran thru May and June but was canceled due to the Coronavirus. I'm hoping there's not a 2nd wave, now that things are reopening, so I can look for a place to hang my work for a future art show. Fingers crossed! I think I'm gonna try and knock out one more piece this size, if not more, while I stay SIP.
Good news! I got my Covid test results back this morning, no cooties detected. I also finished inking Eyes & Mouths today. Next I gotta erase the pencils and go over it, and my the other two pieces, Brains/Guts & Hearts & Stars, with white-out to fix mistakes. I'm finally beginning to see daylight!
As I get closer to finishing my Eyes & Mouths drawing I want to start doing more art to reflect what's currently happening with the Black Lives Matter movement. At the beginning of the Covid shelter-in-place order I found it really difficult to create anything new. I worked on inking old sketches and finishing projects already in progress. Eventually I started feeling "creative" again by drawing on small cards, before inking my larger pieces, to warm up. Over the last week and a half I've been preoccupied by the George Floyd/police brutality protests happening in my city and around the US but now I want to get creative and show my support.
I laid some ink down on my Eyes & Mouths piece today. I want to remember what's happening now with the Black Lives Matter movement so I changed one of the pupils from an egg shape (I think I drew it around Easter) to a rising black fist. There are other icons on here, like a tooth for when I got a root canal and a roll of toilet paper (pictured below) for when it was sold out at stores due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
I took the day off from protesting, watching police brutality videos and constantly checking the news. I wanted to work on Eyes & Mouths after a few days off. I looked to see what I had to ink next, lots of straight lines & almost perfect circles, then practiced on a separate card. I was super rusty and wasn't feeling good about my lines. After a while I decided not to work on the main piece but to keep drawing on the cards. The only thing I drew that I kinda liked was my Cells pattern with little pupils all looking towards the center. Simple but good practice. Tomorrow I'll try again and hopefully finish the piece.
With all the chaos that's been happening in my city, and around the US, I've just been trying to focus my energy on finishing this piece. That's not to say that I haven't put thought into current events. (George Floyd's murder protests) What I'm reading and seeing online has been weighing down on me, stirring up all sorts of feelings and I've been processing that while working on this drawing these past couple days.
It finally cooled down enough for a couple hours, before the sun went down, for me to draw a few more eyes & mouths. Since I took a couple days off I did some extra warming-up.
I can deal with the heat but the last couple days I haven't been able to work on my Eyes & Mouths piece because my goddamn arms get all sweaty and I would ruin the paper while drawing on it. It feel like I've been thrown all sorts of curveballs since I've been working on these larger pieces. Now I need to figure out a solution or wait till the temperature drops.
More byproducts from working on the Eyes & Mouths drawing. I draw these to warm-up and test the different pens before inking the main piece. It's a great exercise and fun to get loose with these before getting super focused inking the big one.
A few days ago I started using a fresh Copic marker and today as I was warming-up I saw a little thread hanging from the tip. I pulled it, thinking it was lint, and it turned out to be the nib itself. It was damaged and I made it worse by yanking it. I was pissed off at myself. I tried cutting with an X-acto knife what I had pulled but I couldn't get it back to normal. Afterwards I didn't want to use the marker anymore and I didn't have any extras. I thought I wasn't gonna be able to work on my piece for a few days till I got new markers delivered. When I went on Michaels.com I saw that the store closest to me had black Copics in stock, and was doing curbside pickup, and had a coupon for 20% off the order. I ordered a couple Copic markers and a Pentel brush pen and they were ready to pick up in less than 30 minutes. I lost a couple hours, total, trying to fix it and picking up a replacement it but it was better than losing a few days waiting on a delivery. I don't know if Michaels stores have been doing the curbside pickup the whole time during the pandemic, or if they just started doing it, but it saved my ass today. And this is not an ad or endorsement, shopping at Michaels is usually pretty disappointing.
I inked a few more eyes and a mouth today and drew a spider preparing to eat a fly after witnessing it in real life. True story, bro...