I made a lot of progress yesterday & today preparing my taxes. I got all my 2019 business expenses categorized and entered into Turbotax. It's even showing me, as of right now, that I'm expected to receive a federal refund. It's been a few years since I've gotten money back from the Uncle Sam and that got me excited.
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 didn't anything artsy today. I'm still tired from the event I DJ'd on Saturday. I just did laundry and went out to buy groceries & supplies. Tomorrow I'll try and fix all the little fuck ups I made while inking my recent drawings: Brains/Guts, Hearts & Stars, and Eyes & Mouths. I got my bottle of Pro White ready to go. I hope it matches the paper. How shitty is the name? Especially right now. I love the red P logo tho! Simple, clean & chonky
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!
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.
Friday started off great. I met up with my buddy, Jon, at Lake Cunningham and we went on a (socially-distant) walk around the park. After one lap Jon split and I stayed to do one more then ran into another friend, Adam, who was getting off work at the park. He drove up to show me he was rocking my San Jose shirt. That made my day! I didn't realize I was wearing my San Jose shirt till afterwards. On the way out of the park I snapped a picture of this awesome hand-drawn found-dog flyer posted near the entrance. When I got home I showered, ate lunch, did some crossword puzzles, and started drawing. It was an awesome day up until that point. Soon after, I heard about protesters downtown and on the 101 holding up traffic. They were protesting in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police. Soon I was seeing friends videos on Instagram of people smashing car windows, police firing tear gas & rubber bullets, crowds throwing objects at the police, a trash bin on fire in the middle of the street, a car running over people, people looting a Starbucks, a cop getting knocked out. This shit is crazy and there are protests/demonstrations/riots happening in multiple cities across the US. I wonder if this is going to continue through the weekend and what will happen in its wake.
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...
Everyday before inking my latest 3 pieces (bottom pics.) I've been warming up by drawing on these 4"x5.5" cards or the backs of old envelopes (not pictured)
Pardon the shitty quality of my iPhone 6 camera. I'll be upgrading soon :)
Just went thru emails, updated my calendar, made a couple phone calls, worked out at home, walked for a few miles, and rented Jojo Rabbit. Tomorrow I go back to work on this sumumabitch.
Today I worked on Eyes & Mouths for a few hours after taking 4 days off. I spent the first hour warming up by drawing on the back of an envelope and a couple cards before putting ink down on the actual piece. I must have still been rusty because still I fucked up a few lines.
I took a break from inking today, and didn't do anything artsy at all, so here are a couple of videos I recorded yesterday of me filling in a mouth. That sounded dirty.
This is turning out to be the most challenging and the most fun to ink because every eye & mouth is different and it keeps me from getting bored. It also forces me to tackle each character with different pens & techniques.