I started with the bubbles, as you can see. They were smallest and therefore both easy, yet challenging. I did several circles of simple patterns but I wanted to do some more complex images. I wanted to see how much I could possibly fit into such a tiny space. I finished all of the circles by Wednesday afternoon, and started on the squares. With the exception of the upper right hand corner, I decided to try and tell some sort of story in every single square, like a panel in a comic strip. It took me the rest of the day/night to finish the squares. I’m actually much happier with how these came out than I expected. The top left corner image didn’t have enough room for a proper face, but I still like it, and might do the same drawing on a larger scale later. Other than having some issues with that picture, and the bottom left drawing, I am proud of how all the pictures turned out.
Last night, I was slumped as to what to put in the center of this page. I was thinking about doing a collage but a collage of what? So this morning I took out a magazine and started flipping through for interesting images. I found a cartoon penguin and got inspired. I was going to do something sort of silly: a couple of penguins under the shade of an oak tree, in the middle of a springtime forest or something crazy like that. I started to draw the tree when I was suddenly struck by a far more interesting idea.
I have only drawn a realistic looking tree once before in my life. It was huge, and I tried to make it an apple tree but the apples were tiny and it ended up looking more like a raspberry tree. So, I decided to split my big drawing into three segments and draw a huge tree covering each section. I decided to do each third of the drawing in a different season. So, I did the basic outline.
Then, I added the final details to the tree (which took me four hours, btw!) and carefully colored in the bottom of the pages and the background of the top of the sections, giving each of them a different type of sky (or in the case of the autumn image, I didn’t draw any sky, but I added leaves all over the ground, as this is the time of year when leaves turn pretty colors and fall off of trees), also trying to convey the emotions of that season. I did winter in shades of grey, autumn in warm colors, and summer/spring in cooler, softer colors, and even sort of pastels.
Also, even though I didn’t do this drawing in the past few days, I was going back through my sketchpads for inspiration for the different panels when I came across another sunflower drawing. I have an obsession with sunflowers. I love to photograph them. I have tried drawing them at least a hundred times (including a huge picture I did in second grade art class, with a massive sunflower in the room. It’s actually a pretty cool story. Our art teacher drove by a sunflower field every day on her way to work. She loved them too and thought they were beautiful and wanted one for her students to use a model for a drawing. However, she didn’t know the owner of the farm/field and she had no idea where his house was (you couldn’t see it from the road I guess).
So, one day she pinned a note to one of the flowers asking if she could purchase one from the farmer, and leaving an explanation of the situation, and possibly some personal information. The farmer wanted to help our art teacher and her students so much that he contacted her and gave her the sunflower for real. I can’t give you the exact size, as I was seven-years-old at the time but, I remember the sunflower we drew pictures of was enormous. Possibly as big as three feet in diameter. I didn’t think about them much between then (1992 or 1993) and 2005, when my family and I went to Italy (and Amsterdam) on vacation.
I saw sunflowers in both places. I went to the Van Gough museum in Amsterdam too. It was enough to remind me of my love for those flowers and to start the obsession up again. Since then, I’ve been trying as hard as I can to capture the image of a sunflower exactly as I see it in my own mind. I finally managed that (to some degree) just a few weeks ago. I looked at several other drawings that people had posted online but other than some basic techniques I borrowed from the other artists, this drawing is all mine, and not traced, or plagiarized in any way.