Sketch-A-Day on Tumblr!

Hi, Internet!

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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.

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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!

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Grinch Bulletin Board

Another one of my art duties at the library involves designing and constructing bulletin board displays in the hallway. I’ve done several over the last couple years, ranging from a giant marker drawing on a single sheet of paper to intricate collages of multiple painted components. One of my favorites is the holiday board I made, depicting How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This is the third time I’ve displayed the piece, and every year it changes a bit. Most of the individual components are saved from year to year, but the landscape and text has to be recreated each time.

First step is to put my background paper up. Then, I take two long sheets of white, cut wavily for hills, and staple them up in layers. (I like to be a minimalist on staples, not really a fan of how they look. As I add elements, I will put staples underneath for hidden support. Like ‘Spanks’, I suppose)
Next, I add the bag of Christmas Contraband. This actually hangs from the ceiling, so I need to put it up first to establish my height levels. The sled and giant slope are then put in underneath. I also slap up the Who Hill, with the jubilant Whos behind it.
I add the Who village in a haphazard fashion, just randomly grouping the Who Houses. From this point out, all elements are attached with heavy duty clear tape (bookbinding tape) with staples behind to make sure the paper will hold up. These huts, and the later trees, were all made on construction paper and laminated.
Now for the Grinch himself, as well as a smattering of Seussian trees. It’s hard to see in my poor quality photos, but I’ve also gone in with a few cool-colored crayons and added simple shadows under the different elements, as well as some differention between the rows of hills.
The last step is to draw in the letters, and it’s done! I play around with the lettering a bit every year, sometimes with more success than others. There are a few on this rendition I might have done differently, but I’ll live with it. And there’s always next year!
Close up of my Congregation of Whos. I had a lot of fun drawing these, just free-handing the silly little things off the top of my head. I found it works best to draw all the bodies, and then I go back and join up the arms and hands. I also enjoyed putting a few fun cameos in there, for those of you who know my IRL people.
I’m proud of most of the elements of this piece, but the Who Houses were by far the most fun. Really, sometime when you have a few spare hours and some Seuss books handy, just start doodling characters and scenery from his pages. After a couple tries, you’ll probably start absorbing his style, and all of a sudden everything has soft loopy curves and odd angles. Fun!
The Main Man was interesting to assemble. The body is just basic thick cardboard, painted with tempuras. I then fitted some red vaux-velvet around him, and hot glued like crazy. Topped it off with a little white felt and fuzz, and I went back with an ink wash to add in some folds and depth. Honestly, I’m pretty surprised he’s held up to three years of kids tugging on that coat.

Have some Happy Holidays!