“Kids Draw” at the Library

2014-07-08 10.22.30

 

One of the coolest and most unexpectedly popular programs I run at our public library is Kids Draw. Every Wednesday, from 3:30-4:30, I set up tables and chairs in the downstairs meeting room. Some paper, pencils, and crayons are laid out, along with a few cool New Books packed with fun illustrations, and I pump up some Chip Tunes music from Pandora. Kids and their folks show up, grab their gear and a seat, and doodle away.

That’s it. Instant art event.

As a librarian, this is a hit on a multitude of levels. It’s incredibly cheap, weekly cost consisting of just a few dozen sheets of computer paper and a some simple art supplies used repeatedly throughout the year. As far as planning and prep goes, there is practically none. I keep all of the gear in a basket, snag a handful of good picture books on my way over, and the whole thing takes barely ten minutes to set up, most of that just lining up chairs. And since the focus is on social drawing over artistic instruction, there is no need for a lesson plan, or for the facilitator to even consider themselves an artist.

On a sappier note, it’s wonderful to see the interactions between parents and children. While some of the older kids get dropped off, at our library anyone under 10 must be with an adult. This has resulted in several parents that might not usually think to draw spending a solid hour sketching and doodling. Kids are so much more tuned in to something when they see their parents participating, and you can just watch a bond forming over shared art. As a bonus, the children have a tendency to talk and ramble as they work, and I’ve heard many parents getting a little extra insight into their young one’s day.

Beyond all of that, the educational value, the social value, the parenting value, I must admit that the thing that keeps me so invested in the program is the outright fun of sitting and drawing with these kids each week. We have a core group of regulars who show up for every session (even linger after and help pack up!), and as we sketch away on our monsters and robots and trolls we discuss current movies, favorite books, and general thoughts on life. I get instant Art Direction on what colors look best for certain space ships, and many is the time I’ve been prompted out of my comfort zone by a request for specific cartoon characters or someone’s favorite dinosaur.

If you’re a librarian, I highly recommend trying this out as an easy addition to your regular programs. If you are a parent, perhaps ask your local library to try something like this, or just set aside an hour at home for Art Time. If you’re an artist, grab some pencils and paper and go find some wee cousins, nieces, and nephews to draw with.

It’s worth it for everyone.

Sketch-A-Day on Tumblr!

Hi, Internet!

tmbl4tmbl6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been inconsistent on posting to this blog, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been drawing! For the New Year I gave myself a Sketch A Day challenge in 2014. I’ve done this in years past, with varying degrees of success, but it’s one of those things that I really think is more about the effort than the goal.

tmbl3tmbl8

Anyways, I’ve actually done pretty good so far, and haven’t missed a day in my first couple months. I owe a lot of this to my decision to not overthink it this time around. Anything that is drawing can count, be it quick doodle or comic page or full fledged solo illustration. I’ve started a Tumblr to document this effort, in addition to being a quick post blog. So if you’re wanting to get an art fix or check in on what I’ve been up to, that might be a good place to start!

tmbl7tmbl2

 

 

 

 

 

 

tmbl1tmbl5

Clinch River Sturgeon

Our local PBS station, WCTE, hosts the Great TV Auction ever year, with proceeds benefiting the station. Along with many of the other talented Art Prowl artists, I donated a piece that will be auctioned off on the evening of Sunday, June 9th. Anyone in the area should tune in for a great opportunity to get some cool art and support your local public television.

IMG_3188
My piece is titled “Clinch River Sturgeon,” and depicts a vibrant green lake sturgeon. Much like my Cryptid Americana series, it is acrylic paint on a stained pine plank, with india ink penwork for all of the details. Below is a step-by-step photo progress gallery.

And as an exclusive tip to my blog readers, I’ll clue you in to the fact that the fins and underbelly of this particular fish have a phosphorescent tendency, all thanks to a little experimenting with glow-in-the-dark paint:]

 

Art Prowl Preview!

This weekend is the Art Prowl! The Prowl is a local gallery/studio crawl, spanning Friday and Saturday, in which all variety of artists display there works along the West Side district of Cookeville. This will be my second year exhibiting, and I will be showing at the Putnam County Library. As a special treat, I’m sharing a space with my Dad! If you can make it, come on out to see us!

Here’s a special Blog Readers Preview of some of the pieces I am showing. I’ve been working on a series of paintings on large wood planks, depicting American cryptids and mythological creatures. Shown below are my take on the Jack-a-Lope and Furry Trout. Jack measures in at 4 ft tall, with the Trout a modest 3 ft.

Hope you enjoy them!

Jumbled Inks

Here are a couple quick ones from my sketchbook.

First was a page full of random critters I penciled in, but upon inking I felt that I had left too much empty space, so I added a bunch. Repeat that process several times, and voila!

In a similar vein, I decided to fill a page with dwarves, just sticking them in however would best fit the page. Didn’t intend to give them so much individuality at first, but I’m pleasantly surprised with the results. I think there is a good bit of subconcious Hobbit enthusiasm leaking out in this.

Both were done with some basic finepoint pens, and I made a distinct effort to try to keep my line widths uniform, and just build depth with hatching. Worked out alright, I think.

Photo Smorgasbord

I’ve had these bits and pieces from assorted projects  bouncing around my hard drive, thought I would post a bunch of them together. Enjoy!

A set of owl plaques drawn as a gift. Ink and watercolor on stained pine.

I promised my sister a trio of drawings for Christmas, entirely her pick. What did she go with? A list of six animals, to be combined however I saw fit into three new creatures. Slothkey, Hippoplatypus, and Sea Giraffe. She knows my strengths! Ink and watercolor on paper.Mass Effect commissions. Had a lot of fun playing with some colors. Marker on Bristol.

Kitty Ballerina for a friend. Cute x10. Ink and watercolor on paper.

Pinocchio plaque commission. Ink on stained pine.

Wicket E. Warwick commission, to accompany a Boba Fett and Vader I made earlier. Ink and colored pencil on brown paper.

A Christmas present for my gaming group, The Nerdhouse. I caricatured us all as some of our favorite characters, doing single watercolor paintings to give to each of them. Then I scanned them all in and collected them for a digital print.