Today I’m sharing some quick sketches I did in my new sketchbook.
I need to get back to posting things as I do them 🙂
In the meantime, let me share some of my more recent work over the next couple of weeks. Several of them are posted on my new Etsy store, which was one of my current projects.
The above mini painting is a 4×4 canvas acrylic based on a close up photo I took some time ago. the initial sketch on the canvas was only the barest approximation to get me started. the piece developed from there into one of my favorite of my mini paintings. I hope you enjoy it also.
Another of the collections from this week. Assuming my computer lets me load it this time.
All aboard, today’s airship has arrived. If you are a Spelljammer gamer you may recognize parts and pieces of the airship from various airships in the game. I drew this in pencil.
This is a Gallifreyan quote I drew some time ago. The original translation is ” Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” I may do a few more of these with other quotes to see what aspects of Steampunk I can incorporate that help it or harm it or accentuate it. The language format is based on the Gallifreyan writing guide from http://www.shermansplanet.com/gallifreyan
I am not entirely satisfied but tried a couple of new things I want to practice. I am also going to write a bit now about Why and How Steampunk.
My father was here looking at my site the other day. I was explaining why I started this and how mom influenced the project, my art, and what I am thinking about with this, even my choice of subject matter. I had to explain several terms like Steampunk and automaton to him and it got me thinking about the differences in our family and in reading or artistic people in general. Dad is very well read and educated but rarely reads things unrelated to something he is doing and he doesn’t read fiction, never has. Mom did, she introduced me to several of the classic science fiction and Steampunk fathers like Asimov and Jules Verne. But the difference is in how they viewed fiction and writing in general. Fiction, for mother, was not superfluous, it was a way to write about or examine an issue or situation in a somewhat more disconnected and less immediate manner. Fiction authors have always tackled the issues of society from social to religious, scientific to governmental. Science fiction is especially known for this practice. The depth of what-if evaluation in genre such as science fiction, Steampunk, cyberpunk, or alternative history (which can fall into several genres) is often intense if focused on one issue or development. Steampunk reaches many of these topics but focuses on what-if of technology based in steam, gears, and style rather than electronics, efficiency, and computerization. Mother appreciated good writing, science, and educational material in most forms and genres. Dad must be shown the connection first and then is unlikely to connect personally to a fiction writer; it just isn’t how he thinks. My brothers on the other hand all read fiction and many other types of books, but each approaches them differently, as did my sister. I approach everything as an opportunity to learn, grow, enjoy, and experience; books are just a favorite experience for me. I will enjoy reading about a place almost as much as going there if it is well written. On the other hand, a poorly written story, however good the story itself is, will never engage me and will likely irritate me. Steampunk is something only mom and I enjoyed as far as I know, and for her it was because of the quality, the evaluation, the lessons, the imagination, the depth, and the style; it was never a major thing, just something she knew and had a style she liked.
This returns me to a topic from weeks ago and the broad appeal of Steampunk. My mother was to most people the most unlikely candidate to have read or discussed Steampunk. But topics like that gave her connections and relatable points to people she may have not been able to reach otherwise. Individualism and intelligence was important to mom, so what-if scenarios were somewhat of a hobby. She had a project for all of us every time you spoke to her. More often than directly discussing Steampunk, we discussed related concepts and ideas, which is why I have issue with something requiring use of a term. Gears, steam, Difference engines, other ancient types of computing devises, architecture, Victorian or related styles, how things adapt, what things could have changed each aspect or would have simply faded these are all aspects in Steampunk that are of interest and value to people completely unconnected. Historical and cultural evaluations are often enhanced using fiction and what-if scenarios. Artistic and architectural studies are enhanced using fiction or scenarios to understand its place in society and how it was both impacted by and impacted each facet of society. Writing, reading, drawing, or working in a genre like Steampunk helps you understand culture, society, people, technology, materials, art, history, development, government, religions, architecture, and why each of these things develop. A well written Steampunk story will not just keep the same style if it is a what-if future story or even near present. Because it must examine the impact of the change in technology and style on the culture, government, religions, styles, development, population growth, and use of resources and environment. If it simply rote uses technology in an unchanged or shallow cultural development, it is not well written and it misses the what-if part of Steampunk. The depth you go into in that evaluation is different and depends on the story, but the small details are impacted by how much of that detail and depth you have considered. Dune is an example of an author with way more background, development, and depth than are directly written in. It is obviously there, and it makes the story a rich pleasure of immersive fiction and knowledge. This is what I love about what-if stories and the cultural and scientific study inherent in them. Even a simple drawing or piece of art has part of this background. Why the placement, materials, style, why the clothes, colors, lighting, or architecture are used in inherent to the depth of the view and evaluation.
Kept it a bit simple today. I see a number of distinct differences between the styles of drawing between these first two. The eye shape in particular and the skin and eye details are quite different even before painting or GIMP. This one also gives me an idea for some masks.
I decided to do a series of the Steampunk Vision. They may not all be done immediately, but I continued the theme today.
Again, the tiny canvas is my base for the drawing. I do not have time today for the 2 part project of drawing and painting, but I did a GIMP version. The GIMP version will be nothing like the painted version. Main difference being, the painted version will try to accentuate each piece and the inter-connectivity. The GIMP version is a piece of art and accentuates other details and aspects. the focus of a piece changes quite a bit when going paper to canvas to computer. The three medium lend very different styles for me.
Okay, I really like the tiny canvases my husband bought me. I did a drawing on one today, I prepped it a few days ago. I then painted it. Having never painted anything with a human part, I am extremely pleased with it. I liked the drawing.
Many of my furniture designs are done taking a piece of material or a piece of furniture I have or see and modifying it to fit my idea or a theme. This one is just a small wood spice shelf, seen in the center of the piece. It could be done with that piece or be redone in metal in the same color or tone. I have been redesigning pieces we have to fit the Steampunk Alice theme. I have not really been able to work on making them yet, but will have all the designs when I do. Not sure why the sides look so Klingon but they kinda do. The lines and the idea of the lines came from a gate or castle in Alice I think, not that it was like this at all, just where I went with it. Somewhat of the mirror mirror tone looking at it now isn’t there? Lots of influences and things blended. Maybe not strictly Steampunk but the materials and lines fit so it goes.
Working all day and then coming home to do stuff here before I can start my project makes working on painting a tad difficult to finish in one day. Given that I must be up at 4 am, I am going to stop this project for a part two, to be continued tomorrow. I am posting the work as it stands now. I finished the drawing, if I had considered, I would have done more detail in pencil and made it 2 separate projects. Live and learn today, I shall remember next time. Another point is that I really need to find the rest of my brushes before I can continue the details and repair what the wrong brushes blurred.
This is done in Acrylic only because I forgot to prep the canvas before drawing. I am also considering how to make oil one day projects, because I do not like the wet on wet technique. When completed, this will be a 2 aspect piece. It is a Steampunk cat corner and a Steampunk art display with Alice influence. I find Alice and Dr. Who both go remarkably well in Steampunk design, a fortuitous discovery for a Whovian. I am fascinated to see what other subjects and themes go well in the Steampunk genre.
Today I also realized that although I am fine with them on the computer and in physical art, I actually hate drawing many basic gears. I love them in art though. I am testing to see the ones I actually like to draw, and began to see differences.
The colors obviously will be different as layers go on, but you can see I went with a fairly basic color scheme, there will be some obvious touches like purple on the hat and red in the cards. Wood floor and details also. I do not have metallic paint so am working on the gears. Victorian aesthetic is great, the lines are excellent, but I like Edwardian better because there is a better color sense to the actual period design. Too many colors at a time in Victorian, although most Steampunk design does seem to lessen that. Also, too many patterns for my taste. It is part of the overdone feel but for me detracts from the design. I prefer use of luxurious materials, and excess detail or functions to excess colors and patterns. Somewhere in there is a line in Steampunk, but as I have previously discussed, that depends on the sub-genre of Steampunk. I find myself working in several of the sub-genre as I go. I like different tones for different things and days.
This desk was a remarkable pain, GIMP crashed 5 times and my file was lost each time. Working on this version, I saved steps and am going to upload them as I talk also. I began with a sketch as I usually do of a steampunk desk with places for cats to play and sleep. The enclosed area is designed to open for them or storage as needed. The following is the original sketch I worked from.
I have Photoshop installed but no plugins and having never used it, I was to tired to use it instead of GIMP…GIMP was not friendly.I began the color stages with simple materials.The brass desk was too bare so I began to work. This is where things went bad. I did 5 versions beyond this, each entirely different, and I was each time unable to recreate what I had done. I had separated floor and wall, redrawn the entire sketch in GIMP with the trackball and was finishing up when I lost my first one. The following was my next step that survived. As you can see, I am patterning the desk and attempting to add shadows and depth. This was my third one that survived but my 4th design. After the next crash, I quickly did another and decided the program was shutting down, I was too tired to focus and the day is over.I like the idea and the base concept. I really liked my first and third pieces today, and am honestly too tired to judge the final one that I began the post with. I did leave a little Alice influence in with the clock and red carpeting but might add more if I did another version…not sure.
I may go in sometime tomorrow and add captions to the images, but I need sleep.
Simple addition to yesterday’s post. I am just adding the sketch as requested. I am starting today’s piece soon.
Steampunk Drink Automaton
Having a lot of time to think when training dogs or walking them around the lakes, I have a lot to discuss. However, extreme lack of sleep is beginning to tell on me and I am not certain I could be truly coherent. Tomorrow will most likely be a repeat of same automaton nature of my brain. I will briefly say I was thinking of people I have known and their diets through part of the day. Both lifestyle diets and those frequently on one diet or another. a trend is apparent showing two basic approaches to diet, regardless of details. One, is the deprivation, denial, and restriction approach. The other is a fulfillment of need, desire, or an attempt of similar.
Deprivation eating restricts some portion and often most of a persons eating, often to excess. Observation says this often leads to drastic deviations from restrictions and shortage of a sort that must be corrected by other means such as drinks or vitamins. This however, is not my point. My thought was how quite unhealthy this seems; not merely from a physical standpoint but from a mental and emotional standpoint. How does this constant focus of restriction, deprivation, and avoiding the things you crave or are interested in impact your other portions of self?
Personally, I do not diet. I have eaten fairly restricted dies, such as vegetarian, at times. But for me it is not a matter of restricting my intake, it is a result of paying attention to my system, my body, my activity, my environment, and my health to know what I need and what cravings are indicating. A craving for sugar is quite specific if you have learned to pay attention to the differences. Is it ice cream, soda, sweet tea, fruit, candy, what are you craving. What is going on in your life or system that is causing this. Now you should know what you really need. For me those particular cravings usually indicate a need for potassium, calcium, C, or a couple other things. Environment and local climate alters cravings and needs.
Anyway…back to the matter at hand. I drew a steampunk drink automaton in pencil very old using motorcycle parts as a base. I then uploaded into GIMP and added color. I made a decision to leave it partially shaded to highlight the feel of the drawing and the sketch quality. I hope you enjoy. I am also uploading a slightly different version of my color work. He runs on leather tracks set in wood and brass fittings and has an extendable, bi-rotational tray arm to maintain balance of drink tray.
Today at work I was working with the dogs (I’m an assistant trainer at a pet resort, and I take care of the guests as requested) and considering the difference between varies breeds, categories, and pet types. I have cats personally and don’t really want dogs, but I enjoy working with them. It is interesting the things you can consistently expect from various types of dogs. Some examples I thought of: All retrievers have shared traits, and labs have some that most other retrievers may not have. One thing retrievers do constantly, many breeds don’t, is eat dirt and rocks. All bulldogs have some similarities and I really blame people for the miss-categorization of their personalities. I find them great to work with, they are fun to train. Their personality tendencies, mix of intelligence and plain denseness, loyalty pushing overprotective zeal, and their strength make a nice do but one you have to watch their triggers and know what they react to. That is a key with all breads though – what do they react to without thought. You can see in their eye the moment the brain kicks back in after a reaction. It is unfair to punish them for a reaction to something they should not have been exposed to, it seems to me.
Anyway, this is all very unrelated to my piece…actually it’s not really. I drew, in pencil, a cat climbing thing. I am planning on taking a wall or two and the tops of a few others in our house and making them a cat place. This stemmed from that idea, but is only a beginning. I had a whole other section for the piece but really don’t have time today. Maybe when I do a computer version, I’ll add a couple sections. I should also mention that I am slowly making the house over in a steampunk Alice general concept inspired by the video game Alice. As you can see in this piece, it is often subtle, though the entire kitchen/ dining area is dark red. I build furniture when I have a place to work and like to design pieces whether I make them or not – they inspire me when I do start to build. My actual pieces tend to develop rather organically as I build and the plan I so painstakingly drew is left behind as a lovely fiction. Mother always said I saw the world from a different perspective than everyone else, thus why my drawings are always at odd perspectives not used by others, often impossible ones to actually view the object or scene from in life.