Category: Art Education

Secret of Kells Study

Recently Little Sister and I watched a great film highlighting the Irish Mythology surrounding the “Book of Kells”. The film, The Secret of Kells which features an apprentice monk named Brendan living in the religious city of Kells, is about how the book was illustrated. The boy steals an eye from a mythological snake to help produce the fine drawings in the book. He meets a girl named Aisling who has been affected by the snake, and she helps him complete his mission and keep the book safe when the city is attacked by Vikings.

The movie itself was a bit hard to follow, but the illustrative style was serious inspiration! I thought I’d take some time and learn to draw in the same style, and then try and adapt it to my own illustrations. So far, I’m having a ton of fun with it!

It was a great discovery to find that Living Lines Library had a bunch of the original concept art and sketches to go from! It was fun digging through to find the ones that caught my eye and work from them.

I’m not done yet… this one’s gonna challenge me for quite a while!

p.s. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to learn from something like a movie style without directly copying the work and “stealing” it… I think my favorite expression of how I feel can be found here:

Franerd on Imitation, Copycats, and Art Theft:

Draw Every Day {Week 11}

I must admit to having some trouble keeping up with this month. The metallics are fun, but limiting, and I’m bored. Not sure how I’m going to do the black and white and pen months!!

Something that Smells Wonderful:

A Fun Object on your Desk:

Things You Collect:

Your Favorite Snack at the Movies:

The Best Part of Thanksgiving:

Your Favorite Healthy Food:

Your Favorite Indulgence:

Flowers Flowers Everywhere…

I’ve been diving into more botanical art this week!

I did this poppy using a tutorial by Watercolor Misfit on YouTube. I wanted to try a more realistic hand, and see if I could get the colors to work if I dropped the paint in wet on wet. I really like how adding the shading before I painted helped the darker areas have more depth. I’m not terribly happy with some of the hard edges that were created when I dropped the orange in the tops of the petals, but I’d say I definitely learned something and the result is beautiful.

I’ve also been doing more bouquet work. Just simple sketches with light washes over the top to sort out where I want to go with those stylistically. The colors seem muddy to me, but I’d not cleaned my palette in quite a while, so I’ve done that now. I like both the realism and a stylistic illustrative, almost cartoon, approach, but I’m not sure which is more sustainable as far as my personal interest goes.

I found myself sketching the same flowers over and over, so I went to the library and got some field guides to know what to look for for references on Pinterest. Now to spend some time there sourcing pictures, and actually getting to the drawing and painting!

Sabrina Ward Harrison posted this Cy Twombly quote the other day on her Instagram feed… and I’ve definitely been feeling like this. I think there’s a rut we can get into as artists of sourcing the perfect photo, the greatest reference, the best angle of the thing we’re going for. I’ve been organizing and reorganizing my Pinterest. I’ve been going to the library and thinking a lot about this project, but I’ve not put much ink on the paper. Fear of starting? Maybe? Fear of it not going anywhere, again? Maybe? It’s something I’m pondering as I go along.

I’m still doing the drawing a day, but bored with the plant prompts. I’m looking forward to starting a new month in February!